Once in awhile, someone comes up with a phrase that really nails an experience with vivid exactness. This weekend, talking with a new friend about our mutual disgust with the tedious prose of Karl Ove Knausgård (the author of the biographical novels collectively titled My Struggle), she came up thigh this descriptor: Frat boy Proust, which is really all one needs to say about this over-praised work. It took me at least three or four paragraphs to explain this phrase to my 12-year old niece, but I think I had moderate success.
The next morning, my cousin and I were talking over our shared family history, and she coined a phrase that perfectly describes much of the parenting of past generations of mostly absent fathers: low bar heros, a descriptor that applies to any parent who didn’t physically abuse, abandon or otherwise totally fail at the extraordinarily impossible job of being a good parent.
I’m lucky to spend the weekend in such excellent company.