This is a story about a friend who we will call KB. KB is married with 2 children and the family is what most would characterize as normal every day good people. (I say “most” because they had this crazy lady tenant at one point and her characterization might be less generous.) KB’s children watch cartoons and eat Fruit Loops and play games that involved knocking each other over the head with plastic toys. They speak only one language.

KB’s family is friends with another couple and their two small children. These children have attended a Spanish immersion school since they were toddlers. They eat only organic foods: plenty of fresh squeezed juices. They don’t watch TV but instead play with toys carved from wood harvested from sustainable forests or games that involve math and spelling skills.

KB’s family was recently invited to a birthday party with this family. Due to circumstances, the family split up. KB took the kids and did one set of errands while Dad was in charge of securing a gift and meeting at the house for the party.

KB arrived to find an eclectic group. The kind of people who listen to public radio and recycle and love the taste of whole-wheat anything. Their small children ran around speaking Spanish and playing games that emphasize cooperation. They feasted on a gluten-free cake made with organic figs and ground almonds and other foods harvested under fair trade standards.

When gift opening time came, the birthday boy got Spanish computer games and toys that embraced foreign cultures. When it came time to open KB’s family gift, it was a plastic Darth Vader sippy cup that sounded like Darth Vader breath when you drank from the straw.

The kids went apeshit.

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