Parent-teacher conferences, as I imagined them in third grade
TEACHER: Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, nice to meet you.
MOM: Denise has told us so much about you.
DAD: But not the bad parts.
MOM: Yes. We won’t mention those.
TEACHER: I can tell there are some problems at home.
MOM: How much do you know?
DAD: I like beer.
TEACHER: Is Denise an only child?
MOM: But she’s a lonely child.
DAD: We also have a dog that we secretly love more.
TEACHER: Well, the good news is her grades are pretty high.
MOM: How high?
DAD: We don’t want to have to send her to the doghouse to sleep again.
TEACHER: Wait, where does she usually sleep?
BOTH: The doghouse.
TEACHER: Oh, OK.
DAD: She better not be acting up in class.
TEACHER: No, but I only call on her when she doesn’t know the answer.
MOM: I’m checking my cell phone. Everybody look!
TEACHER: I see what you are doing. I, too, am in touch with technology.
MOM: I’m not, but I like to pretend.
TEACHER: Let’s see. Is there anything else you’d like to ask me?
DAD: Do you assign lots of partner work? Denise loves partner work.
MOM: And with an odd number of students in the class!
TEACHER: Nineteen, actually.
DAD: Only nineteen?
TEACHER: Don’t worry, she is always with the one Asian girl and the kid who smells like beans.
MOM: Perfect. I don’t let her have sleepovers, either.
DAD: We’re friend barriers.
TEACHER: (chuckling) So, when are you telling her she is adopted?
MOM: We’re going to wait.
DAD: At least until she finds out that God isn’t real.
TEACHER: Hey speaking of God, did you two make a sex last night?
DAD: We sex all the time.
MOM: That’s how we got the dog –
DAD: That and the beer!
TEACHER: (still chuckling) Anyway, Denise is having some trouble with fractions.
MOM: Just give up now.
DAD: If she fails fractions, she’ll never be able to do the taxes.
MOM: No Harvard for her!
TEACHER: Are you sure?
TEACHER: Well, I guess it’s all over for her then. Knock on my door if you have any questions. After all, I live at school!
MOM: No thanks, I’m going to go home and yell.
DAD: Me too! After I have beer.
Denise Taylor is an Opinion editor for The Cavalier Daily, where she remains something of an outcast.