It always starts the same way. You spend several years bonding with your friends. Maybe it starts in high school, where you steal the principal’s car and return it painted pink. Or, you pull all-nighters in college cramming with your dorm buddies, battling the confusion you created yourself with the mix of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in your blood. Or, in my case, you join a big band, and you find yourself naked in a hot tub with dudes showcasing their goods like it’s no big deal. Through common experience and struggles, you build deep friendships.
Then, they start a family, and something changes. They smile like they slipped out of a giant pod in their basement – they joined the “program.” As more kids start showing up in photos, they begin to wonder why you haven’t joined the program. My friend Vince loves to taunt me every chance he gets to give up my efforts in Hollywood, as he attempts to lure me with the “excitement” of starting a family and getting a regular job back in Chicago. These family advocates seem to have a quota for how many friends they can get to become parents. I’ve finally realized why they are so persistent. The Parenthood Program is a pyramid scheme.
Think about it. Once they join, they have nothing but amazing success stories to share about the rewards of the Parenthood Program. They do touch on the hard work, but it’s downplayed to be sure. It’s a solid sell. As they show you the tee-ball and beach trip photos, you genuinely look at each one carefully. You think to yourself, “boy, they all sure seem happy.” You begin to share the excitement of their lives, and it almost seems like a reasonable way of life. Then you try it out. You baby-sit. It’s the same reason you buy Amway cleaning spray from your brother-in-law — you want to be supportive. But, over time, they increase the pressure to become more involved. They want you to sell the spray yourself. They want you to join the Parenthood Program.
Meanwhile, I’m not really in a place to start a family. Although I’m afraid the limited window of opportunity for the Parenthood Program could be closing soon, I also recognize that switching gears right now is not realistic. My wife will be traveling this summer for training, and then starts a new job in the fall. I’m focusing all my efforts on making something valuable out of the web series and other comedy projects in my developing arsenal. We’re just too into our own, happily self-centered paths right now. So, we decided this week to commit to a different plan for now – the cool Aunt and Uncle affiliate program.
The beauty of this opportunity contains all the bonuses of the Parenthood Program with none of the hassle: fun outings to the amusement park or museum with nieces and nephews, 3D movie afternoons, or evening fireworks shows, and drop them off any time. And, as a bonus for joining at this special time, we will be able to take advantage of Jackie’s new job as a high school choir director. We will have plenty of opportunities to chaperone a whole class of kids on trips across the state for choir competitions. Again, we gain the advantages of the Parenthood Program, but retain the option to leave any time.
Please consider joining our new Aunt and Uncle affiliate program: it’s like a vacation time-share in parenting. Or, at least come next weekend for my presentation at the airport Hilton.