I read the new David Sedaris piece, “The Girl Next Door,” on the train this morning. I thought only my parents were advocates of this WASP-y, blame-the-victim approach to childrearing:
….I was moving again. This time because of the neighbors.
â€œOh, no,â€ my mother said. â€œTheyâ€™re not to blame. Letâ€™s be honest now.â€ She liked to take my problems back to the source, which was usually me. Like, for instance, when I got food poisoning it wasnâ€™t the chefâ€™s fault. â€œYouâ€™re the one who wanted to go Oriental. Youâ€™re the one who ordered the lomain.â€
â€œLo mein. Itâ€™s two words.â€
â€œOh, he speaks Chinese now! Tell me, Charlie Chan, whatâ€™s the word for six straight hours of vomiting and diarrhea?â€….