I’m Marlin. She’s Dory. Got It?


Park Buddy’s the one on the right.

At the playground the other day, a mom I barely know came over to ask me,

“So… where’s Park Buddy?"

I explained to her what you faithful readers already know: Buddy Boy’s in school now, so we don’t see as much of them at the playground. That handled the denotative part of the question.

The subtext, though, was “Even I, who don’t know you, can tell that you two see an awful lot of each other.”

Wink wink.

Nudge nudge.

Seething a bit, I found myself wanting to explain that (straight) men and women can be “just friends”: just because your gender, orientation, age, and all the other elements of attraction theoretically line up doesn’t mean you are somehow forced to lust for one another. Our shared passion is parenting, not random wantonness. We’re very similar, Park Buddy and I, we make each other laugh, we give each other advice. We like each other a lot; but not like that, OK? And it’s a little weird that you would jump to that conclusion on the basis of a few paltry playground observations.

But there’s no point in explaining common sense: you either get it or you don’t. So I just smiled, answered the question she spoke and not her implication, and imagined to myself the very model for male-female friendships: Marlin and Dory*. Concerned about the kid, they bonded heroically, and no one back at the reef made snide, knowing comments.

*And if you haven’t seen Finding Nemo, you should.