Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Public Apology: Dear Rory's Parents

public apologyDear Rory's parents,

I'm sorry if I conjured up a very disturbing image for you at Jack's birthday party.

It was about this time last year, I think, that we found ourselves talking by the bowl of ranch-dressing dip. Jack was turning four. I was there because my kid was in Jack's preschool class. You're friends with Jack's parents, I believe. One of you works with one of them, maybe? Anyway, you have a son who was at the party, too. Rory.

Being that four-year-old birthday parties are geared for the entertainment of four-year-olds, they're generally not so much fun for grownups. Even less so when the birthday boy is a classmate of your kid's, as opposed to, say, the kid of one of your friends. I didn't know any of the adults who were there very well. Still, even though I would have probably rather been sitting in the corner with headphones on, watching the episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars that was being projected on the wall, I made an effort to have a conversation.

"Rory's a nice name," I said. "It's Scottish, right?"

You didn't know. Neither one of you are Scottish, it turns out. You just liked the sound of it. You asked me if I was Scottish. I said no, but that I always thought of Rory as a Scottish name because I knew it mostly from a song by a Scottish band I like. I should have stopped talking right before I said that, but I didn't. "The Vaselines," I said, "Do you guys know them?" You didn't. I didn't expect you to. They're kind of obscure. "They sing that song 'Jesus Don't Want Me for a Sunbeam' that Nirvana played on the MTV Unplugged thing." You did know that song, you said.

"What's the song with 'Rory' in it," one of you asked, perfectly friendly.

That was when I knew I should have stopped talking earlier.

"Oh," I said, feeling the pores in the skin on the top of my head open up. "It's actually, umm, in the title to the song."

You waited.

I should have lied. How hard would it have been to make up a song-title with 'Rory' in it? "Rory Be Mine." "Hey Hey, Rory." "Rory Wants a New Pair of Shoes." Whatever.

Instead, I gritted my teeth and in the most casual, least creepy voice I could manage, told the truth. "Rory Rides Me Raw," I said.

I could tell from the looks on your faces that you hadn't heard of that one.

We didn't talk much more after that, though the party was a long one. They waited for the balloon-tying clown to show up before serving the cake. It felt like forever.

Previously: Dear Guy in the Spiked Leather Jacket

What is the deal with Dave Bry? God! Well, he is The Awl's Associate Editor for Blunderparenting and Raekwon, for one thing.

17 Comments / Post A Comment

mathnet (#27)

lashglshglgh love you so much

My son's middle name is Rory! Go, Farrell Rory, go!

Kate Croy (#973)

"They’re kind of obscure."

tiny dancer (#1,774)

I love this feature so much. I'm sorry, I'm too hungover to put together more sentences regarding this feeling.

dorothy (#1,694)

I know, me too. Not hungover, I just don't really have anything to add, except I want to know everything about Dave Bry. Cause I love everything he writes here!

tiny dancer (#1,774)

Yes, I wondered if there was another blog I could read or a book I could buy to aid in my procrastination. And then I got distracted again.

Bittersweet (#765)

Awkward as shit, but at least you told the truth.

And there was a clown! How did you ever make it through that party? Ook.

beingiseasy (#1,735)

being a parent didn't sound too bad at first. get to hang out with your kids, climb a tree every once and awhile…but now, after reading this, realizing I'll have to hang out with other parents who I don't know; meh on the parenting

beingiseasy (#1,735)

rather; meep on the parenting*

HiredGoons (#603)

At least they understood what the song name meant, so you didn't have to delve into a further explanation.


Dave Bry (#422)

I should have told them it was a song written from the perspective of a friendly talking horse.

NicFit (#616)

At least the title isn't "Rory Gave Me a Rusty Trombone", as that would require further uncomfortable back and forth.

rzokeefe (#152)

I love this column so much. As a parent of a Rory, I'm going to pretend this one is just for me.

sunnyciegos (#551)

Dear Dave,

Never change.



Are there any songs about Rhoire?

Tom Scocca (#48)

I'm more of a man than you'll ever be.

raging (#1,069)

What? No one is more of a man than Dave Bry!

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