I ought to be past the stage of being a SINK.

 

Instead, in part thanks to the economy, in part due to changing mores, I’m still stuck as a SINK (Single Income No Kids). I just wish that the word didn’t strike me as being so forlorn, evoking someone having a sardine sandwich for supper.

By chance or choice some couples are Double-Income-No-Kids — DINKs — and, as such, are said to have lots of discretionary income. Oodles of it. The acronym frames parenthood in terms of finances.

The terms “DINK” and “SINK” are related to age and place in the life cycle as it was traditionally constructed. Contemporary usage applies “DINK” to a couple only during the decades when they might be financially responsible for children. Referring to both gay and straight couples, “DINK” isn’t commonly used… More…

 

At 9:05 a.m. in Story Land, a 16-year-old boy dressed as the Mad Hatter started up the Alice in Wonderland teacup ride. He watched the cups clank and churn around. If a child accidentally stepped into one of the holes where the teacup attached to the ride’s base, the kid’s leg could get ripped off.

At 9:10 a.m., a girl wearing a striped shirt and a red bandana took the pirate boat out for its first cruise of the morning. She turned the rudder and twisted the boat past piles of fiberglass treasure, fake pirates, and a skeleton in a cage named Chuck. As the boat moved forward though the stagnant water, the pirate girl turned it a little too strongly and had to immediately correct course to avoid driving the boat into the cue-line area. Parents held… More…

In Buddhist philosophy, teachers sometimes pose this question to their students: “If the only certainty in life is death, and the time of death is uncertain, what then?” I’m a depressive with a big fantasy life, so this question makes sense to me. Death is imminent, and the future is uncertain. What then indeed, I wonder.

In February of 2001, for Tibetan New Year and as part of a class I was taking on Buddhism, I moved into a home-stay in Dharamsala, the hill station at the foot of the Indian Himalayas where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. As soon as I arrived at my home-stay, the very incarnation of life and uncertainty started climbing into bed with me in the mornings. She was four and her name was Danjing, but everyone called her “Danjing Dejun” when she was naughty, which was most of the time.

My first morning,… More…