Patricia: Okay, we’re nearly done setting up for the neighborhood party. I got some nametags with “father,” “mother,” and “kids” printed on them, with a space for people to write their names. It’ll be easier for people to introduce themselves and make friends.
Ed: The nametags are a good idea, but we have to keep in mind that in this day and age, there are a lot of unconventional families. We won’t just have nuclear or traditional families coming.
Patricia: I don’t see how that makes a difference.
Ed: Don’t you? What if we have same-sex families? We need to be ready to hand out two “father” or two “mother” nametags. There are also a lot of stepfamilies with more than one set of parents.
Patricia: Well, the men are all “fathers” and the “women” are all mothers – that’s simple. I still don’t see the problem.
Ed: What if the children are being raised by grandparents? Some of the men could be grandfathers and some of the women grandmothers.
Patricia: Okay, we might have some of those families.
Ed: And don’t forget that some parents are divorced or are single parents. Their current partner may not be their spouse. It wouldn’t be appropriate to give them “father” or “mother” nametags. We might even get foster families, in which case, the nametags may not be applicable at all.
Patricia: I give up. Forget I ever brought up these nametags. I’ll get blank ones with nothing on them.
Ed: That’s a good idea. Given the complexity we live in today, choosing simplicity might be the way to go!
He’s got a guest nametagand an outstretched hand.
Linus Pauling is an unconventional genius.
Little Jack was placed with foster parents.