Thursday, June 04, 2009

Getting Together with Stay-At-Home-Dads

Yesterday I drove 90 minutes round trip to meet with a group of stay at home dads (aka SAHDs). I will limit my comments on this segment of the population until I can observe a larger sample size. But I have a few comments on the day.

1. The heat yesterday was almost torturous. I would have never gone outside in this kind of heat while living in South Dakota unless I was going to work or executing an essential errand. The limited waterfronts didn't seem worth visiting, the air conditioning was oh, so inviting, and trying to get sunscreen on the moving targets that are my children did not seem worth the effort. But the natural surroundings of the Pacific Northwest beckon. Even the promise of tall trees or a breeze offers some respite from the sun (in case you haven't noticed, I'm not a big fan of the sun).

2. Sports radio personality Colin Cowherd reminds his listeners to say things out loud before engaging in a particular activity. Saying out loud yesterday's activity would not have fit in South Dakota on multiple levels, but for some reason, it worked here: "Get together with other stay-at-home-dads, walk in 90 degree heat over 3 miles, and have a beer at the brewery." Say that out loud--does that work in your context? In South Dakota, I imagine the thought process might be: a) stay at home dads? b) dude, let's drive... c) what would people think if we were caring for our children while drinking a beer in public?

3. I'm having a hard time judging the worth of traveling to meet with other SAHDs. They seemed like good enough guys. Economics 101 taught me about opportunity cost. Monetary cost of yesterday's activity: about 40-50 dollars in gas, food and beverage. I could lower that cost significantly by packing my daughter and I better for provisions. I missed out yesterday on applying for jobs, cleaning the house, taking a nap (like I really could with our home like an oven). It will take me at least two more meetings before I can judge whether I'm contributing to the conversation and I could actually make a few friends.

In conclusion, I need to gather a larger sample size and percolate my observations. At the very least, this story is worth telling from a sociological and writing standpoint. Stay cool.

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