Chapter 1: Regret and Reunion
The New York Times
Metropolitan Diary quoted a sardonic item sent in by a man with grown children aged twenty-two and twenty-six, proposing a message for his telephone answering machine:
If you require financial assistance, Press One.
If you are in emotional turmoil over an impending breakup with a romantic partner, and require a few hours of sympathetic discussion, Press Two.
If you are being treated unfairly at work or school and wish to displace your anger to a nuclear family member, Press Three.
If your car or household appliances need immediate repair or replacement,...