Thursday, March 08, 2007


"I'd ask you to say hi to [name] for me, but you won't."
"Sure, I'll say to [name] for you if you want."
"Say hi to [name] for me."
"Of course, that means that you'll then be taken up as a topic of conversation. I mean, that's what 'say hi for me' really ends up meaning: topicalize me. So, would you like to be a topic of conversation between [name] and me?"
"Okay, I think I'd prefer you not say hi to [name] for me."

Meanwhile: My father turns 73 today. My father worked thirty years in a meatpacking plant and then retired (at least, from that job). It's amazing to think that was more than twenty years ago.


Tina said...

My son turns 3 today! I wonder if meatpacking is in his future. Happy birthday, Papa Freese!

H said...

It's hard to believe that your dad had a job before he turned to driving all us little fools around on the bus! I bet there were days he missed that meatpacking plant.

jeremy said...

Tina: If not meatpacking, maybe the Meatpacking District.

H.: I think on even the worst days driving the bus he would not have pined for the meatpacking plant.

Anonymous said...

Do you get moments of disbelief when you tell other graduate students what your Dad did? When I tell other students in my top-10 grad program that my dad's a cop -- who actually worked in a steel mill (like my grandfather) before he became a cop -- I get looks of disbelief followed by "My dad's a (insert high-paying white-collar job)." I'm not saying all kids at elite schools come from upper-middle class backgrounds, but they likely make up the majority.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not saying all kids at elite schools come from upper-middle class backgrounds, but they likely make up the majority."

I realize that not all JFW readers are sociologically astute, but isn't this STRAT 101? Of course the majority of students at elite schools are privileged!

nina said...

Other things to remember about this date, so long as we're being all sociology and privilege or lack thereof -- today is International Women's Day, celebrated with massive purchasing of red carnations in Poland. Just so you know. Oh, and it's seven days before March 15th, Jeremy. (I also remember that my best girlfriend's (form elementary school) mom's birthday fell on October 24th.)

rps said...

Wouldn't topicalizing me be to say, "RPS, she says 'hi'" and not just, "RPS says 'hi'"? Or does "topicalize" mean one thing in referring to to a sentence and another in referring to a conversation?

In any event, I certainly say "happy birthday!" to your dad, irrespective of whether you choose to tell him so.