Friday, March 2, 2007

Bring in the Doulo

That's male for "doula."

I just read a HILARIOUS short story by the HILARIOUS Sam Lipsyte. It is about a loser guy who has a bunch of pathetic jobs and then reinvents himself as a male doula -- or doulo -- at which he is also very pathetic. Sam Lipsyte is brilliant. The piece isn't available online I don't think but it is in the November 2006 back issue of Playboy so reach over to your man's side of the bed and borrow it. (Yes, Playboy is a respected venue for fiction and that is why your man is reading it in the first place. Literary man!) Back to the story, in it the doulo works a postpartum role: he fumbles around giving breastfeeding advice ("we've got to get this latch-on on") and tries to be useful in other ways, e.g., as the one whose job it is to "order up some pizza if we all wanted pizza. My mentor, Fanny Hitchens, always stressed the importance of pizza. Pizza, even just the idea of pizza, binds people together in their common love of pizza."

Sam Lipsyte also wrote a hilarious book written as a man's update to his high school alumni newsletter. I am also a little ticked off at Lipsyte because i was hoping to work into my blog a good use of velcro fruit as a funny image or metaphor but his doulo refers to a young child playing with "velcro’d wedges of fake Manchego." That I can't beat.

Other excellent parental reads: do get this March/April issue of Cookie magazine. No they are not paying me to say that (but Cookie, if you want to pay for me saying that, just let me know and we can discuss that option) and I have no real idea of how good or interesting Cookie is with regard to the usual glossy parental mag fare as I haven't perused it yet. But they did run a hilarious and brilliant essay by hilarious and brilliant Heidi Julavits in which she manages to bring llamas and motherhood together into one essay. Not an easy feat.


Karen Stead Baigrie said...

2 comments. Firstly - why do they all try to eat the velcro plastic fruit? Crabmommy, I am sure you will have some valuable input on that one given a little time.
Secondly - I have not yet had a chance to read my most recent and very glossy Cookie mag but it did dawn on me that I was not 100% in their demographic when I noticed the piece on juggling country house lifestyle and city house lifestyle. That is not a problem I have right now.

Crabmommy said...

Ah, the juggling of two houses...that's my favorite problem. But FYI, Heidi's husband is a Columbia U professor, so they live up at CU during the school year in CU housing. Which sort of makes the fact that they have a house in MAine a little more explicable, if still totally enviable. One good reason to be a clever professor is surely to be allowed to leave NY for the entire summer. Rather than perhaps have to leave Brooklyn for good, as I did and often regret, a piece that shall find itself on these crabmommy pages. Thanks for posting, bklynmom. I like to feel I am still a bklynmom myself, and being friends with bklnmoms online makes me feel I am a girl with 2 lives, the country life and the city life. Which has its problems, you know.

fadasan said...

I love it! I can't believe that you publicly coined "doulo" before me. I went so far as to have concert security guard-style "doulo" shirts made for the delivery of my daughter 2 years ago. If you start doing e-commerce...