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January 03, 2008

We're From *Hollywood* and We're Here To Help You...

mockery.jpg Well, you can just stop 2008 right here and now. Sometime while the Princess was napping the nation officially flat-lined, and surprisingly she's not talking about Iowa.

Oh, go ahead. Close your eyes, boys and girls, while she whisks you away to a far off time and place, courtesy of the Lifetime Channel...

His first guest is 32-year-old James Morris, who has spent most of his life dieting and feels he needs to lose 40 pounds to look good.

“He’s hated his body for two decades,” Kressley says. “But that’s where I come in. Because I’m here to teach him to unlearn his terrible self-image.”

In the age of “Dr. 90210” and “The Biggest Loser,” it is refreshing to see a show not focused on plastic surgery or dramatic weight loss. It’s even more invigorating to hear Kressley speak affirmatively about real bodies. When Morrel cries upon seeing himself in his brand new, flattering suit, Kressley says, “I think you are finally just seeing you. Let’s try to see ourselves more the real way.”

Kressley, who comes off as a less obnoxious but just as supportive Richard Simmons, offers the pitch-perfect amount of encouragement. The final triumphant moments come when the show's men agree to be photographed (tastefully) in the nude and Kressley has, as promised, turned body loathing into body loving.

...because Lord knows, the only triumphant true path to lasting body acceptance is to be photographed (tastefully) in the altogether. Though if all you're after is to make a few new friends, a trip down to the local sporting goods store may be just what the doctor ordered, too:

There was a lovely young lady there as well, alongside of us. With a pert brown pony tail, Kevlar vest, fast draw holster and speed loading rig. The handcuff holder at her six o’clock assured me that she was a law enforcement agent. Or else the kinkiest woman I’d ever laid eyes on. Either one. Or both.

And at the end of the day, does it really matter?.

But I digress.

Nekkid.jpg This sort of idiocy, in a nutshell, is why the blog princess refuses to watch television. At the first flickers of reality TV, the few grey cells in her pea-sized brain not already pickled in a vat of delightfully impertinent yet unassuming Petit Syrah begin arm wrestling each other for the remote control. But as God is my witness, for some insane reason after all these years, I still find myself fascinated by the seemingly endless differences between men and women.

Why is this?

Why can't I read about differentials, guns, or smashing things up? Why do women waste so much time wondering how the other half of humanity thinks? I couldn't resist the intro because it occurred to me, while reading Jules this morning, that quite possibly the only thing more completely cretinous than watching a bevy of bodacious lovelies reclaim their self respect by posing nude for some gay dude would be a show about a bunch of amply-girthed fellas who find the path to Ultimate Man-bliss by indulging Carson Kressley's taste for zaftig manflesh. In white underwear.

Yeah.... like *that's* gonna happen.

Ladies, pose nekkid on TV all you like. Maybe the appearance of your cellulite will even be "visibly improved". But the voices in Frodo's head a wee, small voice tells me your knight in shining armor did not go through any such joyous voyage of self-discovery (especially with the Bra Whisperer) on the road to body image nirvana. It's just a hunch, but I'm feeling pretty good about it.

Of course I shouldn't beat up on women. We may be a bit dopey about things like the causal connection between taking our clothes off and a sense of self esteem, but one thing we women *are* is friendly and concerned. We don't, for instance, go about committing random acts of aggression against unicyclists:

This study observed the response to a sudden, unexpected exposure to a new phenomenon—unicycling. The response to this stimulus was surprisingly consistent but varied with age, sex, and stage of sexual development. Young children were curious, but as boys grew older their response became physically and verbally aggressive. As boys matured to men their response became more verbal and evolved into the concealed aggression of a humorous verbal put-down, which was lost with age. In contrast, the female response was praise and concern for safety.

The physical responses corresponded to the verbal ones, and added little to them. Most men clearly meant their responses to be funny and snide, and they were often given as a put-down. Women, however, usually responded with pleasure and admiration and were concerned about safety. The consistent content of the male "joke" and its triumphant delivery as if it was original and funny, even when it was neither, was remarkable, and it suggests a common underlying mechanism. The evolution of the response provides the clue to what this might be.

Children showed curiosity and interest, which changed in young boys. In older boys, curiosity was replaced by minor physical and verbal aggression—attempts to topple the unicycle coupled with first attempts at simple, mocking humour. In teenage boys, the physical aggression was replaced by verbally aggressive mockery, with elements of adult humour. This response "matured" to its adult male form as a mocking joke, which partly disguised its aggressive origins, an origin that was again revealed by the gross response of motorists, in whom aggressive behaviour is often exacerbated. This adult stage corresponded to the peak of virility and ameliorated in older men, who were more neutral and amicable, with few attempts at a jovial put-down.

The idea that unicycling is intrinsically funny cannot explain the findings—particularly their repetitiveness, evolution, and sex differences—and the notion that males are just expressing a greater sense of humour simply restates an observational fact....

Particularly interesting for the evolution of humour was the way the initial aggressive intent channelled the verbal response into a contrived but more subtle and sophisticated joke, in which aggression is concealed by wit. This shows how the aggression that leads to humour eventually becomes separated from it as wit, jokes, and other comic forms, which then take on an independent life of their own.

These observations lead to the conclusion that humour evolves from androgen primed aggression. But can that conclusion be generalised? Repartee and banter have many of the characteristics of controlled aggression—so often revealed when control is lost—and it may be no coincidence that quick wit is likened to a rapier. The findings may also be relevant to the great male-female divide in humour—women tell fewer jokes than men and most comedians are men, despite some notable exceptions. The findings also suggest that the difference is sexual rather than social. I will not generalise into the many writings on humour—too many of which take an armchair view of the bedroom—from Freud on male humour as an aggressive response to women to the priapic interpretations of Roman sculptures and the effect of salacious comic cartoons on subsequent aggressive behaviour. The range of theoretical options on offer is too great and unproved for interpreting or extending a simple experimental study such as the response to unicycling.

You can say that again.

So now even having a sense of humor is a male characteristic? Now that is an amusing thought. Certainly there are enough male bloggers who will fall right in line with it (she said, flouncing away). But for all that, it still strikes me that it just shouldn't be this hard for men and women - even with all our famous differences - to get along with each other.

The human race has had centuries to work it all out, and tired screeds about how all women are fickle and uppity or all men are dull, insensitive clods smack less of intelligent introspection and a genuine desire to meet the other side halfway than of defensiveness and heartbreak. The basic nature of male-female relationships, like human nature, hasn't changed. Now that divorce is so easy and women have more options, though, marriage may well be less forgiving of error.

It's something to think about.

It's something I don't often hear brought up, when these discussions come up: the possibility that it's not evil men or cold, calculating women, or even (perhaps) fiendish societal incentives that are queering the marital equation (so to speak). Maybe something has been very wrong all along and it is only now, that women truly do have a choice, that they are acting upon their dissatisfaction? It's a disturbing thought for many reasons, not the least of which is that I don't think much of divorce in general as a remedy for marital problems. But still, it is a possibility that bears thinking about. Maybe, along with all the other things we spend so much time getting better at, we need to spend time getting better at being married, now that marriages have so much competition.

Men and women can hurt each other, so easily.

But we don't have to. If something is important, you work at it.

I also can't help but wonder if we aren't simply letting all the easy distractions of modern life become more important than our human relationships? How does a modern marriage compete with your iPod, the TV, the computer, your career, the kids, your friends?

Turn off the Lifetime Channel, or ESPN, or the computer and pick up a book, or twelve if that's what it takes. After all, you're learning a foreign language. Learn how the other half of humanity sees life.

Or just turn out the lights a little early, tonight. Sometimes it's easier to see in the dark.

Posted by Cassandra at January 3, 2008 07:49 AM

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Comments

While I was in California for Thanksgiving Week, I had the misfortune to see myself in a 3 way mirror; my New Year's resolution is to improve what I was most chagrinned to observe...even though (for being ½ a century along) it ain't all bad.

Posted by: camojack at January 4, 2008 12:42 AM

We ladies have learned to stay away from 3-ways, Camo :p

*running away*

Seriously, no need for a New Years' resolution. I'm sure old what's his noodle can fit you in for a triumphant body baring session or two... Don't pretend you're not tempted!

Posted by: Cassandra at January 4, 2008 08:23 AM

You know, I feel the same way about soccer as those guys did about unicycles.

I think one of the most disturbing qualities about getting older these days is the glum realization of just how DIFFERENT men and women really are.
When we are young, both sexes have the urgency and eagerness for sexual interaction; if you marry and parent children, there is the shared joys and responsiblities of child-rearing.
But as that fades too, the realization of the strangeness of men and women becomes more self-evident (at least to me).
It was there all the time, and always has been.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 4, 2008 08:24 AM

2nd try...

What is it about you guys and soccer? :p

Shorter-winded version: I am not sure we're really all that different, under the hood. I think we want exactly the same things, but for slightly different reasons and I think men and women are both driven by a combination of biological, emotional and mental impulses. Can't do too much about the biology, but I think the influence of that fades over time. The emotional and mental parts, on the other hand, are at least partially under our control.

Biology brings us together, but it's really the other two that keep us there. Marriage is a partnership. It's not for everyone, but if you are willing to invest in it, you can learn so much from someone who sees life completely differently from the way you do. To me, it has been a wonderful (and confusicating) experience, but a worthwhile one. Certainly one I don't *need* to get through life, but one that has enriched my life, even now that my children are gone. I enjoy just talking with my husband and finding out his take on various things, even when I don't agree with it. He makes me think - he challenges me to be a better person than I would be on my own, and I'd like to think (and he tells me that this is true) that I perform the same function in his life.

Oddly enough, not to be salacious, but in all the many things I have missed this year I think I miss talking with him the most. And believe me, I miss a lot of things :)

Posted by: Cassandra at January 4, 2008 09:39 AM

I think that it is extremely important that I have almost nothing to say on the issue of the differences and similarities between men and women, other than this: Women have breasts.

I attribute my current state of bliss to the fact that I have spent the vast majority of the last 3 decades vigorously avoiding every opportunity to expand on this philosophy.

I further attribute the fact that I have survived so long in the close company of no less than 347 red-haired Irish women as proof that, except as noted above, there is no other difference between men and women, unless one of said redheads says otherwise, at which point I will immediately agree and move on to more important things, like cleaning the garage.

Posted by: spd rdr at January 4, 2008 11:45 AM

"if you are willing to invest in it, you can learn so much from someone who sees life completely differently from the way you do."

Yup. (cue up The Gambler on the kereoke) You just have to know when to share, know when to stare, know when to mumble, know when to run.

Never say I told you so when you are sitting at the table, there will be time enough later for telling yourself you're the boss, son.

Posted by: Kenny Rogers at January 4, 2008 11:47 AM

Yeah, Kenny :) And a lot of times women need to learn when to shut up :p

Although in this case I think perhaps I was just a bit annoyed by the cynicism in the comments section in the Dr. Helen post.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 4, 2008 12:11 PM

"Although in this case I think perhaps I was just a bit annoyed by the cynicism in the comments section in the Dr. Helen post."


When I first read your post this a.m., I stopped reading the comments to Dr. Helen's thread right after reading Eric's comment. Upon seeing your reply to Kenny, I went back and read the entire comment section.

Wow! Just wow.

Thankfully Walkin' Boss and I seem to be missing out on all the angst and tumult of modern relationships during our three decades spent pulling the wagon together. Must be the blinders, the harness or something...That which does not kill you, makes you do the dishes, take out the trash, get up in the middle of the night -shotgun in hand- to investigate the strange noise or something like that. =8^)

I think I'll go take another shower now. And I think I'll follow the lead of Mr. Rdr Esq. and plead the fifth with regard to any further comments on this topic.

Posted by: bthun at January 4, 2008 01:39 PM

Re: posing (tastefully, semi-)nude on TV.

Hey, once you've seen one naked chick, you want to see them all.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 4, 2008 02:34 PM

Don't get me started on this one. The modern american marriage is doomed to failure. The successful marriages I have seen are those based on more "traditional" concepts of marriage and male/female roles. These include couples who are of older generations than mine, immigrants from foreign lands who tend to be more traditional and conservative in outlook, and those few americans (male and female), typically from more rural areas, that have not bought into feminism and what would be considered "modern" gender roles.

The vast majority of others are hopeless. Women are whiny, self-centered little princesses who model themselves on the shallow Sex in the City cast. The men have likewise become immature, irresponsible, and feminized. One almsot wishes for a John Wayne or Gregory Peck-type to pimp slap them and demand that they act like grown men. The scene between Don Corleone and Johnny Fontaine comes to mind when Johnny starts crying and the Don smacks him and demands he stop acting like a woman.

In the young couples I see, almost none of the women know how to cook or clean anymore. They even take pride in this lack of ability! As if taking care of their family or their man was somehow beneath them. Listen, honey, if you think its so great to ignore and neglect your man then, believe me, he will soon dump you for some gal that will.

I was playing cards with a bunch of young guys and, as guys tend to do, the conversation turned to women. One guy mentioned that his wife actually took the time to prepare him his favorite home-cooked meal the other day. Everyone was shocked! You found a woman who still does that they exclaimed? All were quite jealous. As the lone single guy, I took an impromptu sampling and found that NONE of the guys would say they were happily married (albeit grudgingly and with strict avowals of secrecy so that it wouldn't get back to the wives). The specifics varied, but most of it boiled down to not feeling respected, appreciated, or treated with worth.

This leads me to conclude that modern women are idiots, or at least so self-absorbed in navel gazing that they have no time for maintaining relationships from a giving perspective. Men are not complicated. Feed them, keep the place resonably clean, be cooperative and fun in the sack, and let them know from time to time that you value them.

Have women really been unable to figure out this simple formula for the thousands of years of human existence? I don't think so. I have spoken with many grandmothers and great-grandmothers who have expressed understanding of this simple formula for keeping a man happy at home. My own grandmother gave my sister this advice more times than I can count. The problem is that their daughters and grand-daughters, like my sister, don't want to hear it. Thus, they ignore this female wisdom, their men go unhappy, and eventually leave them. Do they learn from this mistake, of course not! The problem can never be with themselves, heavens forfend. It must be with some mysterious galactic force that motivates men and they have yet to discover.

Lest all you women think I am a misogynist, I am equally disgusted with modern men. I can't believe how many young fellows I know that can't meet the primary obligation of being a man: providing for your family. I have never met a more lazy, shiftless, Playstation-obsessed bunch! How can you be hanging out with your "buds" when there are bills to pay and food to be put on the table? Who raised these primadonnas? Has noone explained to them the difference between work and play, and duty, self-sacrifice, and obligation? All these layabout, K-Fed wannabees sure are good at fathering children, though. Is this some kind of weird reverse-Darwinism at work?

Anyway, besides the gender and sociological problems, any man is a fool to get married in today's world given the severe financial and legal penalties the man is forced to incur if the marriage fails. Just look at Paul McCartney. A lifetime of creative success and hard work made him rich. His soulmate then dies leaving him a widower. In his loneliness, he remarries a younger woman, Heather Mills, but the marriage fails after only a few years. Now, this golddigger is demanding tens or hundreds of millions he has earned over a lifetime of stellar achievement. Any successful man is therefore a fool to marry when our society has decided that divorce laws must be so oppressive against men.

Posted by: a former european at January 4, 2008 05:31 PM

Well, you have to admit, afe warned you not to get him started. By the way, if I had "Sir" Paul McCartney's loot I'd buy myself a charter membership in the Wife of the Month Club. That is, unless mrs. rdr killed me and buried me in the dump.

Posted by: spd rdr at January 4, 2008 06:22 PM

Who is this 'mrs rdr' you speak of?

AFE, I think you are circling the right planet. It boils down to advanced (or is it regressed?) infantilism on the part of many so-called adults.

The pop-culture message for decades now has been "Do your own thing!" or some variation on that, whether from Hugh Hefner, Ayn Rand, or Gloria Steinem.
What is boils down to is being self-adsorbed, selfish, materialistic and unwilling to ever put the needs of another person ahead of yours. Every successful marriage I know of has both partners putting the needs of the other ahead of their own, at least sometimes. When that effor falters or becomes too one-sided, the marriage fails soon after.
None of us are perfect, but to show love to another person requires some tangible, real expression of effort, not just a few minutes of huffin' and puffin' in the sack and slap on the fanny. It means laboring long hours, away from home, to put bread on the table. It can mean long hours of labor to clean a house, or to fix a meal, or to help your kids with their homework.

People who have not succumbed to the modern adult 'infantilism' are going to be fine. But it's those others that are giving our society some kind of hell ride.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 4, 2008 07:26 PM

We ladies have learned to stay away from 3-ways, Camo :p
*running away*

Hmmm...mirrors, or?

Seriously, no need for a New Years' resolution. I'm sure old what's his noodle can fit you in for a triumphant body baring session or two... Don't pretend you're not tempted!
Posted by: Cassandra at January 4, 2008 08:23 AM

I'll pass on "old what's his noodle"; I've been able to maintain a (fairly) decent condition for 50 years now...I think I'm still capable of slimming back down again.

Posted by: camojack at January 5, 2008 12:06 AM

I wasn't implying anything, Camo. Last time I saw you, you didn't exactly look like you needed to lose a lot of weight.

I just couldn't resist twisting your tail since you brought it up :p

Posted by: Cassandra at January 5, 2008 12:32 AM

I'm there for yoooo!!!

Posted by: Richard Simmons at January 5, 2008 10:11 AM

By the way, if I had "Sir" Paul McCartney's loot I'd buy myself a charter membership in the Wife of the Month Club.

Anybody want to make a wager on how many *happily* married men stay with their beloved cuz they can't afford to leave?

Posted by: Sir Paul at January 5, 2008 10:22 AM

I never learn, do I?

If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bar drowning what is left of my *&%$@ illusions.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 5, 2008 11:15 AM

The successful marriages I have seen are those based on more "traditional" concepts of marriage and male/female roles. These include couples who are of older generations..., immigrants...from more rural areas... - AFE

Sounds like you just need to go about finding yourself and older rural immigrant chick, then. :-)


But seriously, I can't agree that 'women' (or for that matter 'men') are the problem. Marriage has always been about finding the right woman (or man). I do agree, however, that there are much fewer people these days that would even fit into the 'potentially right' candidate pool. Most people these days are ready/willing to do the things it takes to make a marriage work. And I believe this is due to society reinforcing the idea that a marriage shouldn't be work. But love, like work, is a verb.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 5, 2008 02:53 PM

Most people these days are NOT ready/willing...

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at January 5, 2008 02:55 PM

Huh?

Posted by: Pile On at January 5, 2008 07:57 PM

Toldja I'd pay, Pile darlin'... :)

Posted by: *snort* at January 5, 2008 08:16 PM

By Crackey! Older, rural, immigrant chicks! I never woulda thunk it! Actually, my ex was older than me and supposedly traditional in outlook. Her head spun around once the wedding ring got put on her finger, though.

All women need to do under our present system of laws is lie, connive, kill, maim, whatever in order to get that ring on her finger. Once she gets that magical ring, boyos, she's got your bollocks thanks to the punitive and confiscatory divorce laws presently on the books. Bankruptcy is less of a financial burden than divorce. At least with bankruptcy, you get to keep some minimal amount of money and property; not so with divorce.

If this weren't the case, I might not be so anti-marriage. If either side were free to leave if they chose without overharsh penalties, then it would be an equitable arrangement. In other words, if she lies to you about her past involvement in the porn industry (one of the McCartney/Mills factors, IIRC), then you can dump her deceitful behind and move on. Likewise, if he turns out to be a lazy, no-acount who won't support his family, then by all means kick him out the door ladies. Instead, we have the present one-sided system. As long as that exists, men would be foolish to step on that landmine.

And yes, Cass, given my past posts on this topic, how could you possibly NOT expect this reaction. I still think you're great, though, despite our differences of opinion.:)

Posted by: a former european at January 5, 2008 11:01 PM

I wasn't implying anything, Camo. Last time I saw you, you didn't exactly look like you needed to lose a lot of weight.
I just couldn't resist twisting your tail since you brought it up :p
Posted by: Cassandra at January 5, 2008 12:32 AM

Quite all right, liebchen. I've been told that I am in great shape...for my age.

However, I'd (much!) prefer it if those last three words could be left off...

Posted by: camojack at January 6, 2008 12:02 AM

Camo, you are just plain sexy. And I am married to a sexy 47 year old so I know what sexy looks like.

You done blushing?

afe, you hit on something that I have struggled with as a parent. Cass has raised her children before the Age Of Nintendo (well, you know what I mean), and I am so glad to hear you confirm what
I always suspected: That children of both genders
need to get a life. We don't have an XBOX, a playstation or even a Nintendo.

The Engineer spends his weekends WITH OUR SONS working on the basement. So far, he has put in a
drywall ceiling (as opposed to the acoustic tile
horror that the former owner thought was so kewl)
and will remodel the bathroom next, then take out the nasty windows and put in a better window for
all three...I get to make curtains!

We are doing this as a family. We sat down with the children (well, we tied them to the chairs)
and told them what the goal was, and the steps we
would take to get there, and they would be a part
of it and learn something along the way.

In the midst of all this I am sewing dresses for the Princess Kitty, repairing clothing, making
meals and we are having a blast. We are considered quite odd by the neighbors, but they
are sending THEIR lads over to our house so
'Mr. D can teach you about work and you need to
get off that stupid _________.' Fill in with
electronic gizmo of choice.

We oddballs are still out there.

Posted by: Cricket at January 6, 2008 10:44 AM

Just celebrated 37 years of marriage to the same woman. The years change us all a little despite how our self-delusions tempt us to the contrary. Most men like a little junk on their wives bones so don't fall victim to the rack-of-ribs models put forth by Hollywood horndogs.

Harmless flirtation and conversation is fun with the opposite sex. Sex lasts a few minutes, LOL, converations last forever. GOD forbid you actually talk to each other without scheming how to get someone to bed! Dressing up is fun, no doubt. But spirited conversation in jogging suits or lounge-wear is more rewarding in the long run.

Posted by: vet66 at January 6, 2008 11:26 AM

Well, actually I didn't, Cricket :p

When my boys were growing up, everyone had Nintendo, something called (I think) Playstation and the Parental Hell of Gameboy.

I was (quite literally) the only parent of teenaged boys I knew who flat out refused to allow any of that crap in my house. We also did not have anything beyond the most basic cable. My POV was that if the boys were not outside playing, riding a bicycle, or doing something that involved a ball, a bat, a stick, or something of a manly nature they could damn well read a book or find something else to do.

Also, all of their friends owned these things.

It really bothered me to see groups of boys who seemed not to know how to organize games or entertainment for themselves any longer. They couldn't 'think up' things to do on their own - everything had to be pre-planned or come in a freaking box to keep them amused. And so, I was not always the most popular Mom with my own eldest son in particular. But we invited boys over and had scavenger hunts and water balloon fights (even 14 and 15 year old boys like to do that stuff - fill a few garbage bags full of water balloons, throw in 4 or 5 bikes, a few skateboards, a hot July afternoon and several bored teenagers and you have instant fun (not to mention a plethora of terrified cats and one or two traumatized neighbors...) :D

I am sorry but I do not believe we have to give kids their every desire. Sometimes the best gifts are a bit of boredom, an unanswered prayer or two, and the opportunity to make something of it so long as kids are well supervised.

Posted by: *snort* at January 6, 2008 11:31 AM

Regarding the women in their undies, I find it amusing and interesting that Victoria's Secret comes out with a $70 dollar bra coyly labeled the "Secret caress."

What if men's underwear were called the "Secret Package" by Jocky? Probably not the same effect! LOL! Gives an entire new meaning, though, to the logo "What can Brown do for you!?"

Posted by: vet66 at January 6, 2008 11:32 AM

YEP! Our kids specialize in that sort of thing.
We have a basketball hoop, a football, rollerblades (now your idea for a water fight
is gonna be FUN), and the above ground pool will
be filled this year.

The trampoline is over ten years old and has holes in the pad. Needs replacing. We have a slide for life, and a few other Nifty Guy things
outside. Plus they will be getting new bikes this
year for Easter.

For Christmas, we indulged in ONE big ticket purchase and that was an air hockey table. It came with six 'sticks' and we have been playing
each other and teams nearly every day.

One of my pet gripes about neighborhood sports
is that when the neighbor kids play, they don't play by the rules because they don't KNOW THEM.

We have had to teach the rules of basketball, softball and some other outdoor games to the neighbor children because they don't have a well
supervised recess or they have never heard of the
game.

Our next oldest has had to tell them that playing
by the rules means you win with strategy within the rules. WHAT A FREAKIN' CONCEPT! We referee
for more than just the rules...we do so because
none of the other parents care to be bothered.
And that is sad. You only have them as children
for such a short time...why not spend quality time
with them?

Posted by: Cricket at January 6, 2008 11:47 AM

The first thing that went up at our house in NC was a basketball hoop followed by a college regulation key and three point line. Needless to say our house was where all the neighborhood kids came to play. We welcomed any and all who could follow the rules -- of the game as well as the house: No trash-talking: there's no place in the game for that crap, let your skills speak for you - or not, whatever the case may be; have the common courtesy to ask to play on our court; better swallow your ego here, cause girls *got game*, too. If you don't like getting beat by one, you probably shouldn't play here; everyone is treated with courtesy and respect, you are expected to do the same. We had a few challenge us, but they were quickly shown off the property -- the last two times by neighborhood kids! When we PCS'd, nine years later, we still had a core group of a dozen kids that would stop by to play on their way home from work, while on vacation from school, etc.

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 6, 2008 04:33 PM

"When my boys were growing up, everyone had Nintendo, something called (I think) Playstation and the Parental Hell of Gameboy.

I was (quite literally) the only parent of teenaged boys I knew who flat out refused to allow any of that crap in my house." -- *snort*



Long ago and far away I was earning my living working for an IT company. Anyone here heard of DEC, PDP and Spacewars? I'd played spacewars on occasion and not being the sort who becomes addicted to much of anything, I did not recognize the harm. So one Christmas, Santa deposited a Nintendo console along with a game or two.

Shortly afterwards, seeing the Dawn of the Living Dead in our den, thumbs akimbo, the Nintendo console developed a severe case of No Function Good. It was never replaced or superseded by anything similar.

The children were given the gentle shove outdoors along with a round-ball and a goal, badminton sets, tennis rackets, a swimming pool, a huge wooden playhouse/play-set I built while taking a couple of weeks of vacation one year, etc., etc., etc. The back yard became known as the neighborhood playground. Those were some mighty fine days.

Oh! Did I mention chores? Yep, helping out with the gardening, the canning, learning to cook, pick up after one's self, the cleaning inside and out, etc. was expected too. Apparently this cruel persecution was not the case for all their friends, or so they said.


Maybe it was because my children are young ladies, I dunno, but I was never able to cultivate an interest in them for hunting or fishing. But to this day they did and do enjoy the outdoors. And they love to tell the tale of one of our fly fishing missions one summer where late one evening a black bear came sniffing around the camp looking for a twinkie, or maybe a Molson.


Yup, there is much to be said for tradition and the old ways... and verbs, and rules. And if I have the good fortune to do it all over again with grandkids... well, that will be priceless.

Posted by: bthun at January 6, 2008 05:08 PM

bthun, my daughter is an outdoor type. She would go camping at the drop of a hat. I have memories of my grandmother taking us camping and going camping as a young child...all the way through my teen years.

I have a true story to tell you about my liberal
Democratic Party Member sister. I kid you not.
When Jonathan went to help her for a couple of weeks with his cousin, the toddler was about
21 months old, and Jonathan was...16. My sister
lives in a 200+ year old house in upstate NY.
Rickety stairs, etc. She and her husband carried
this little guy UP AND DOWN the stairs every single day, several times a day.

For his safety. Enter older cousin/big brother.
Jonathan taught the lad to go up and down the stairs on his own, and with great caution. My sister nearly fainted the first time she saw
her little guy actually navigate the stairs safely.

But she had NO PROBLEM putting him in daycare to toughen him up.

Moonbat Parenting 101.

Posted by: Cricket at January 6, 2008 09:34 PM

Cassandra, do you stay away from mirrors because
you can't see your reflection?

*running real fast*

Posted by: Cricket at January 6, 2008 09:36 PM

Camo, you are just plain sexy. And I am married to a sexy 47 year old so I know what sexy looks like.
You done blushing?
Posted by: Cricket at January 6, 2008 10:44 AM

Well garsh, li'l lady...that was a nice thing t'say. FWIW, my gal agrees, or at least she says so too.

As for me, I am on the fence, so to speak; I'm still none too keen on that "for your age" biz, though... :-(

Posted by: camojack at January 7, 2008 01:17 AM

It goes with the territory. I have streaks of white through my reddish/brown/blond hair...I refuse to dye it because I would look just plain silly. Frantically youthful hair with
crow's feet that are just beginning. I will be 49 this year and was told that I could pass for
30-35. Duh. Fat fills out wrinkles, doncha know....

Posted by: Cricket at January 7, 2008 09:43 AM

It's always been my experience, camo, that the only thing you get from being on the fence is your underwear wadded into a nuclear wedgie. So to speak.

0>;~}

Posted by: Sly2017 at January 7, 2008 11:04 AM

"But she had NO PROBLEM putting him in daycare to toughen him up."

Yikes! Like they say, you can pick your friends, but your family is another matter...

Walkin' Boss and I screwed up the logic truth table somewhere at the beginning because we ended up thinking we should raise a family on one income in order to toughen us up (and let mom do the mom at home thang).

I'll let ya know if it was worth it after the kids pick my nursing home. =8^}

Posted by: bthun at January 7, 2008 04:56 PM

It goes with the territory. I have streaks of white through my reddish/brown/blond hair...I refuse to dye it because I would look just plain silly. Frantically youthful hair with
crow's feet that are just beginning. I will be 49 this year and was told that I could pass for
30-35. Duh. Fat fills out wrinkles, doncha know....
Posted by: Cricket at January 7, 2008 09:43 AM

This is why I no longer grow a "face warmer" in the Winter. That, and the fact that I typically go to Hawaii then as well...where it would be superfluous. For some reason, the facial hair is mostly white now, whilst the hair on my head is still quite dark.

It's always been my experience, camo, that the only thing you get from being on the fence is your underwear wadded into a nuclear wedgie. So to speak.
Posted by: Sly2017 at January 7, 2008 11:04 AM

Perhaps; that's why I added the "so to speak"... :-)

Posted by: camojack at January 8, 2008 01:37 AM

bthun,
I KNOW for a fact that our children will take our dentures on steak night.

We are doing the one income SAHM thing too.
So far, it seems to be paying off, but I can
only say that because none of the children
Have Left Home yet.

So far, we have the CLUs involved in: Scouting,
Achievement Days at our church, karate and dance.
That isn't counting the early morning seminary
classes for the two older ones, or the other
activities we get involved with, but we are careful to not over schedule their time. Nothing gripes me more than to hear some mother or father
say that they can't wait to put their children
in school so they don't have to pay for day care.

GGGggggrrrrrr.

I like being a SAHM. I have power in my little world, and I have to use it carefully and with
temperance and wisdom. I don't think being a
Major Figure in a corporation could even come close to that.

Well, so I've heard.

Posted by: Cricket at January 8, 2008 07:33 AM

G'morning Cricket,

"I like being a SAHM. I have power in my little world, and I have to use it carefully and with
temperance and wisdom. I don't think being a
Major Figure in a corporation could even come close to that."

I'll bet that your children will agree with that.

Walkin' Boss and I are now empty nester's... So I'll add only to enjoy them while you have them close because it sure does get quite when they spread their wings. Like the fellow said, don't blink.

Best regards,

Posted by: bthun at January 8, 2008 07:55 AM

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