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Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Better off Dad" Book Launch

Some of us talk about writing a book -- and some people actually do it!

My friend Will has penned a book about his experiences as a stay-at-home dad. I worked with Will's wife Alli in Charlotte, where we discovered we were a year apart at Duke. After she and Will had their first baby, they decided to move to Illinois in order to be closer to her family. It made sense for Alli to keep her job and for Will to stay at home. To help fill his days, he got a job writing articles for a local paper, and that turned into writing a column. A local editor saw Will's work and thought it would be marketable as a book. It's out -- just in time for Fathers' Day!
Is that not the best title ever?

Will is on a mini-book tour, and I was invited to the New York launch party at his sister's home on Park Avenue. The apartment was lovely -- I think the leather wallpapered powder room off the study was my favorite part. It even smelled like leather!

Servers passed through the apartment with glasses of wine and trays of canapes: marinated tuna cubes, roasted potatoes with creme fraiche and chives, shrimp cocktail, sausages in puff pastry (not sure if they call 'em "pigs in a blanket" on Park Avenue??), asparagus with lemon aioli, and chicken satay. I had a great time chatting with a guy from Charlotte and his actress girlfriend.

We were all given a copy of the book as a party favor and encouraged to spread the word by writing a review on Amazon. I've read a few of the essays so far and really enjoyed them -- as a single gal, it's fun to get a peek into the world of potty training and princess costumes (Will and Alli now have two daughters). And as Will's sister noted, the book isn't just about being a stay-at-home dad -- it's about the challenges all modern parents face.

I love Will's quote on the back cover:
"When I tell other dads about my arrangement, their reactions typically fall into two camps. An overwhelming majority raise an eyebrow and say something like, 'That is definitely not for me.' The others raise a toast and tell me that I'm living the dream."

After the party, I boogied down to the Village to meet my friend Hilary for dinner at Mermaid Oyster Bar on McDougal. Neil was stuck in all-day meetings for his new job as an instructor in Princeton's freshman writing program, but he managed to get back to the city in time to join us. Our favorite part might honestly have been the gouda hush puppies with a creamy smoked paprika sauce. They both ordered the lobster roll, and I had the Montauk skake with fava beans, asparagus and fennel. Complimentary chocolate pudding at the end was a nice touch. Hilary and I finished off the night with a decaf capuccino next door on the sidewalk at Caffe Dante. I got home at 12:30 -- quite a Wednesday night!

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