Negotiating the Truth

I finished a run in Prospect Park this morning (okay, a walk/jog, but I was out there, dammit) and was waiting in line at Connecticut Muffins to buy my Vitamin Water REVIVE (shameless plug for whatever firm is out there monitoring its social media landscape for organic conversations about their product. Enjoy.), and overheard the following conversation. Now for some parents, this may be everyday. But Chris and I are childless — I love that phrase. Always sounds like it should be delivered with a sob. But in our case? No. Please, our parrot is better potty-trained than our dogs. What does that tell you? And besides, Chris would spoil the kids absolutely rotten. He already puts dinner plates on the floor with a gleeful, “Treats, puppies, treats! Hurry! Before Alan makes you ‘sit’ for them!” So, you see what we would be up against…


So, the father/pre-teen son combo next to me shared (okay, I eavesdropped) this:

“I can buy my own drink today. I have money.”

“That’s okay, let me buy it for you.”

“But I can buy it.”

“Where did you the money?” (Clearly, Dad’s paternal instincts kicked in.)

“I found it in my wallet. I opened it up and it was just there.”

“Is it your money? Or were you supposed to use it for something else?”

“I had it left over from my metrocard.”

“How much did you put on the card?”

“Nothing, my friends and I skipped under the turnstyle.” (This was the breaking moment. Son divulged 1) friends’ poor influence, and 2) cheating the system. Clearly he felt the need to confess, but was trying to find the right moment. Which way would Dad go? I was fascinated. I secretly hoped the woman in front of me would order a very complicated drink so I could continue to eavesdrop… er, observe.)

“Right now, your small and that’s easy. But it can become a habit to start taking shortcuts, and that can lead to trouble. Cops watch that stuff. And if you don’t know how much money is on your metrocard, and you spend the rest, then you’ll have to call Mom from where ever you are and she’ll have to come find you and get you home.”

“Hmmm. Yeah.”

“I’ll buy the drinks, and then we need to go load your metrocard.”


And, scene. Ah, a run in the park, a refreshing VitaminWater, and a teaching moment. Not a bad way to start my weekend.


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