Something for Adults — SOLSC 11

Overheard on Adams Street, downtown Brooklyn, 5pm, mother and seven- or eight-year-old daughter:

Mother: “Well, it’s something that happens between a man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and a woman.”

Daughter: “Or sometimes three people?”

M: “Oh, well … I hope not. So it’s something for adults.”

D: “But what is it?”

M: “Well, when two people really like each other a lot …”

And when Alex Trebek plays this dialogue for your Audio Daily Double, your answer should be: “What is, ‘Mommy, what’s sex?'”

Yes, I kind of love this mother. First because she was answering such a charged question while walking down a busy Brooklyn street, carrying a big pink backpack and a scooter. Second because she spoke really calmly, as if answering  that question was the easiest thing in the world. Third because she made a conscious choice to be pretty inclusive in her description of who might actually be engaging in the mysterious, adults-only sex. Sure, she falls down with that, “Oh, well … I hope not,” but I’m giving her a pass. I’m sure that caught her off guard.


It’s week two of the Slice of Life Story Challenge! Head over to Two Writing Teachers to see what the rest of the slicers are up to … and to post the link to your own slice!

SOL image 2014

17 thoughts on “Something for Adults — SOLSC 11

  1. I loved your observations — you inspire me, to just really watch this week (it’s my spring break!).

    I totally get the kudos for Mom being open, too — I guess the “Oh well, I hope not” was her way of “dotting an i” about the other side of her values to her kid.

    Like, I like red cars, but over 50, corvettes are out of the question, in my opinion..

    Kudos for Moms who open the world to their kids, especially by living in Brooklyn!


  2. As a mom who’s been forced into a sensitive conversation or two by my own child in public, I feel for this one. I try to be inclusive, too, but as to the “three people” part, I would’ve gone into my emotional health reasons for hoping not. And probably confused the heck out of the girl who can’t be old enough to really understand the answers to these questions.

    The art of listening is gold for a writer. Love how you captured this moment.


    1. Thanks, Ré. I love when these moments of people’s lives pass by me in this way. As for the question, I wonder how I would have responded. Surely not as calmly as the mom in this story!


  3. I hope that little girl didn’t ask “and sometimes their dog [or cat]?” This is so great, and I will echo Veronica and say I will have to listen more carefully on the street and other public places for found bits of story.


    1. It’s such a great way to find characters, Sonia! I’ve written stories based on things I’ve heard people say, or the tone of their voice. Random strangers are such a gold mine!


  4. I’m sure every parent feels only MY child would do this right here right now. The mother handled it well – all things considered. And kudos to you for not laughing (out loud anyway).


  5. As you know, I’m going through your blog, enjoying your body of work. I came across this post and Yaay! It’s you!! Oh, what fun — great blog, great blog, great blog! And there’s more!! 🙂


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