The story of Mitt Romney’s dog has fascinated me, so Neil Swidey’s revisiting the origin of the tale was required Sunday reading (“Mitt Romney’s Dog & Me,” January 8). Unfortunately, Romney’s critics are not the only ones who “focused on the wrong part of the anecdote” – you have missed the key issue as well. Even if children were not routinely strapped into their car seats in 1983, car-top carriers designed to transport luggage and other inanimate objects did exist. To opt for placing the dog on the roof instead of the clothing and food reflects on the cold (not logical) decision-making process used by Romney. For me, clear logic would have placed the dog in the car with the kids, and the bathing suits, chips, and sports equipment in the roof carrier. (Besides, think of all the time he would have saved by not needing to stop and hose off the car.) Based on this anecdote alone, I question how anyone would want Romney to decide on his or her well-being.
Deborah Walsh Kantor / Marietta, Georgia
I relish every column by The New York Times’s Gail Collins on Romney, waiting for the moment when Seamus (the write-in candidate, according to her latest piece) appears. Thank you for adding the precious nugget from Bill Wasik about Romney seeking to “tie us all to the roof of the car.” Truer words never spoken. It hardly matters whether the cruelty involved the act of putting Seamus on the roof in the first place or leaving him there long after anyone with a beating heart would have relented and put him in the car. The anecdote says everything any voter needs to know about the character of the likely 2012 Republican candidate for president.
Linda L. Fleck / Roslindale
In my opinion, the Seamus story shows another aspect of Romney: the tendency of the GOP to place problems (the smelly, the sick, the distressed in our country) out of their sight and out of their minds as they travel to their destinations. Even in the days before car seats, a sick family member was a sick family member.
Bonnie Rudner / Waban
As the wife of a stay-at-home dad, I have to say how refreshing it was to see this subject being discussed (Perspective, January 1). I work at two mental health clinics and I just started graduate school for a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. My husband is beyond supportive of my career, and he loves being at home. Yes, it has its challenges and, yes, there is something about “Mommy” that makes my 3-year-old cling to my leg when I’m home for the day, and my four daughters also love it. But I still wanted to thank you. I read it to my husband as he was driving on Sunday, and he thanks you for your support, too.
Julie Jacobs / Boston
I enjoyed this piece very much. The other dad mentioned in it, Northampton’s new mayor, David Narkewicz, happens to be my brother. I’ve always bragged to people that he was a stay-at-home dad. Be proud! It’s an honorable profession and wonderful gift.
Anne Ouellette / Enosburg Falls, Vermont
I have no issue with stay-at-home dads in particular; on the contrary, I admire men who choose to go against our society’s norms to do what is best for their families. Parenting is not an easy job, and I am always happy to meet fathers like writer Alexander Lane, for whom spending time with his children is “more of a joy than I can begin to describe.” But as a mother who had to go back to work when my child was just 9 weeks old to make ends meet, I have to say not having to work outside the home is a luxury. Many of us are not so lucky as to have a choice in the matter.
Lauren Gilman / Acton
It was Sunday morning around 8:30 when I was awakened by the sounds of my husband’s laughter. I got up to see what all the ruckus was about. He was sitting at the dining room table reading “Chick Flick Vs. Shoot’Em Up” (Coupling, January 8). By that point, as he wiped the tears from his eyes, his laughter was uncontrollable. He began to read the essay out loud, but since he couldn’t get past the first paragraph without breaking up, I offered to read it instead. It was a ridiculously accurate depiction of what goes on every time we sit down for movie time ourselves. Thank you for an amazing story, and quit spying on us!
Cheryl Revasz / Portsmouth, New Hampshire
My wife and I have an even better solution to the movie issue than alternating our picks. Nearly every Saturday, we go to the movies with another couple; the men see one movie, the women another. Then we meet for dinner. This has been going on for about 25 years, and it works well. I have yet to find a way not to have to listen to my wife tell me all about her movie on the way home, but it is a small price to pay to not have to sit through it. On occasion, there are movies that all four of us will go to see, and my wife and I can share popcorn. It has worked really well for us these many years.
Leo F. Egan / Braintree
Miss Conduct’s mail
Miss Conduct’s answer regarding G.T. sitting near a noisy child at The Nutcracker (January 1) seemed to indicate that The Nutcracker is not for young children because kids should be limited to the “kind of artistic experiences that they are socially and developmentally ready for.” I beg to differ. I recently had the pleasure of viewing the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker, and it was definitely designed to appeal to children of all ages. Children should be allowed to ask about a scene or express pleasure. If we had to wait for them to be “old enough to sit quietly,” we’d have to wait 10 years before they could go anywhere. Perhaps G.T. should have remembered the spirit of Christmas and asked for quiet a bit more politely.
Ann Delaney / Westwood