Tuesday, March 18th, 2008...2:27 pm
#8: Faux Retro Childhoods
There is a part of every Best Parent that pines for a simpler, more natural time; a world of campfires and treehouses, backyard treasure hunts and bedroom tea parties. But what good is nostalgia, Best Parents ask, unless we can spend a giant Louis Vuitton diaper bag filled with cash on it for our kids, and thus demonstrate, once again, that the Best Parent, alone, is society’s superior sire.
Enter the retro faux childhood industry. This collection of books, camps, and high-priced activities are designed to mimic the simple adventures of youth - all at a price point aimed straight at the well-worn platinum card of the Best Parent.
Why teach your children how to build a fort or tie a knot, when the Best Parent can instead spend a small fortune for this same exact information in any number of Dangerous Boys and Daring Girls books? Why go camping in actual nature, when many local natural history museums now offer overnight camping trips indoors in their diorama-filled facilities? Interested in becoming a rock star or an actress? No need to form that garage band or put on that backyard play when there are Best Parents willing to unload four-figure weekly sums on so-called fantasy adventure summer camps.
And let’s not forget the Best Parent’s Holy Grail - the Nintendo wii, whose sports so effectively mimic the actions of baseball, tennis, and bowling that any urge to actually play these sports in real life is effectively eliminated. The fact that the wii’s almost impossible to obtain by non-best parent consumers makes it all the more valuable for Best Parents, who avidly trade insider wii-buying information on their many Yahoo parenting groups.
True, the faux retro childhood industry offers an added level of safety for the Best Parents’ child. No one has ever yet been eaten by a polar bear while camping at the natural history museum. More importantly, though, faux retro activities provide the Best Parent one more welcomed chance to lavish unnecessary fun-bucks on their brood in a very loud and attention-grabbing manner. Being fashionably old-fashioned says: “Look at me. I’m not shallow and self-absorbed. I care enough about the past to spend a whole lot of money paying someone else to imitate it for me. And that’s why I’m better than you!”
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