At Carmine’s Tuscan Grill in New Haven, four “double X chromosome units,” otherwise known as Deborah Pan, Binnie Klein, Anne Garland and Kathy Barkin sat down for an editorial meeting with Bruce Barber and Duo Dickinson, otherwise known as “99% junk DNA”. The discussion ranged from most embarrassing moments, to eating healthy, guilty pleasures and more. You want a singing telegram anecdote? Done. A tale about a pant-less surgeon? Check. A guilty admission of wearing a “simulacra of pajamas?” We have that too. Add these four intelligent and successful women into the Survival Guide gene pool and you never know where the conversation might end up.
Diving right in, the group talked about the most common conversation ice breaker; “What do you do?” Duo believes the question can be intimidating to those who have chosen to stay home and raise a family over having a career. Alternatively, Deborah proposes asking, “What do you enjoy doing?” Binnie offered the idea that you can break down all of your work and careers into “life chapters.” Kathy found that approach to be “novel”. Duo countered that a really boring person might only have a life Haiku versus a whole chapter. This made me think about the 17 syllable, Japanese poem that is my sad life:
I sit for hours
Longing for favorite show
I love Jersey Shore
The conversation then turned to eating healthy, or how everything you eat is killing you. The advice was, avoid pink slime, stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store, no more than five ingredients in a box and make sure your food is fresh and unprocessed. Not to be outdone on healthy eating, Duo quadrupled the five second rule. Now we all have 20 seconds to eat food off the floor. Personally, I know I’m eating healthy because I only eat the new Dorito Taco and they’re made with corn, which I believe is a vegetable.
The group came around to my favorite topic, guilty pleasures. Binnie revealed her guilt over having on multiple occasions enjoyed schlocky TV whilst in her pajamas. Deborah broke all taboos by admitting to enjoying stand up paddle boarding. My guilty pleasure is going to church on Sunday with my family. Why guilty? I go with the family my wife doesn’t know about.
Bringing up the rear, Bruce wondered how to make the best use of a child’s summer vacation. Suggestions ranged from a father and son cross-country drive, to getting away from technology and enjoying our national parks. I plan on putting the kids to work. Its 2012, both the Mayans and some other ancient culture that no longer exist predicted the apocalypse. Being a man of science, that’s all the proof I need, so this summer, the boys and I are gonna build a doomsday bunker. We’ll get to spend some quality time together and they’ll learn the practical skills of science, math, architecture and hoarding. Now you might think discussing Armageddon is strange but this is the Real Life Survival Guide, and as I said, “you never know where the conversation might end up”.