Shower the People by
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(29 Stories)

Prompted By Babies

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First, apologies/kudos to Suzy for my stealing her idea of using a song title as my title.  It just worked.  And thanks, JT!

"...apologies to all for my being guilty of a veritable hat trick of semi-venal sins in this piece: bragging, name dropping and laziness."

Second, further apologies to all for my being guilty of a veritable hat trick of semi-venal sins in this piece: bragging, name dropping and laziness.   But, really, how cool is it that your first child’s baby shower was written up in The New York Times — and by Anna Quindlen?   https://www.nytimes.com/1981/10/17/nyregion/about-new-york-at-barnard-teddy-bears-in-the-deanery-by-anna-quinlen.html

(Students of feminist journalism will also note that, back in 1981, the Times still used “Miss”” rather than “Ms.” when referencing a woman’s maiden name.  For the record, “Miss Futter” and I had been married seven years at the time.)

By way of some atonement for these sins, and though I once introduced Anna at an event as having “only one more Pulitzer than I have,” let me note that she is a helluva better writer than I am.  So hopefully everyone can open the link above and enjoy her charming piece.

For the further record (and here is more bragging), baby Annie is now the beautiful, brilliant young woman below:

And, for the further, further record – -since I love both of my beautiful, brilliant daughters equally — here is a photo of Annie with her younger (though much taller) sister Libby and their mother, the former Miss Ellen Futter.

OK, bragging over.  Back to my humble self.

Profile photo of jshutkin jshutkin


Characterizations: funny, right on!, well written

Comments

  1. Suzy says:

    I applaud your use of the song title, you can steal ideas from me any time. I would not be astonished if you told me that James Taylor wrote it especially for you and Ellen! I do remember reading this Anna Quindlen piece when it was published. Fun to read it again now. I don’t blame you a bit for letting her do the heavy lifting in your story. Also, thanks for the reminder about the Times’ refusal to switch from Miss to Ms. for the longest time. And great pix of your daughters and your ex.

    • jshutkin says:

      Thanks, Suzy; I will take your “applaud” to constitute legal consent. Honesty compels me to admit that JT did not write the song for us.
      Of course, my cynical daughter Annie views Anna’s story from the exact opposite side of the telescope: “I’m three weeks old and Anna Quindlen writes about me for the Times; it’s been downhill ever since.”

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    John, truly I was thinking the other day how much I miss Anna Quindlen’s op-ed pieces in the Times. Now you’ve provided me with your own personal one. How cool is that? Your whole story is done with wit and charm, and so what if Anna does the heavy lifting; she gets the job done. Also, love the accompanying photos. Thanks so much.

  3. jshutkin says:

    Thanks so much, Betsy. And I truly miss Anna’s op-ed’s too. I understood, but regretted, her move to writing books. Incidentally, she has a new one just out: “Alternate Side.” I have not read it yet, but it had gotten excellent reviews (duh). And the title refers to the alternate side parking rules in NY, something all NYers (and former NYers) with cars can relate to. I may write my own piece on it some day, probably sub-titled “The single most important element in my law school study habits.”

  4. John Zussman says:

    I loved reading both your story and Anna Quindlen’s. As you say, it’s not every baby shower that’s documented by a Pulitzer winner (and I love your line about that, BTW), but then it’s not every baby shower that marks a historical milestone. , I also applaud your giving equal time to all your daughters. Of course, you’d probably catch hell if you hadn’t.

  5. jshutkin says:

    You bet, John. The “bigger little sister,” once she finally was able to get in a word edgewise, has been quite vociferous in her equal rights.

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