Friday, June 30, 2006

Global Parenting

I am going to Washington D.C. next week. Yeah, where it has been flooding. I am going with my husband and my daughter. We are going to meet my daughter’s girlfriend. Whom none of us have ever met, including my daughter. The world is a different place from when i grew up. Her closest friends are all over the country. And from all over the world.

When i grew up, we only knew people who we knew, people we had met in person i mean. But she is a child of the internet. Her closest friends are people she “knows” from the internet. The quotes are mine, because i don’t understand knowing people that i haven’t met. But she does. I am beginning to get it though. I feel like i am flying blind a bit as far as being a parent.

We have probably met, in person, 4 or 5 kids that she knows from the internet now. Some we have traveled to meet, and some have come visiting here. And all the parents approach it in different ways. I do not let her meet these people for the first time without me there. I am there and very large. But I will say that the people, kids and parents alike, have all been interesting and fun people.

The first one was when she was 13, and was meeting a boy that she had been friends with for a few years. (They all met at NeoPets. How cute is that?) He and his family flew in from Chicago and we met in the middle of a local mall. My husband and i were both there. MD (my daughter) was nervous and so was i. But he turned out to a perfectly pleasant, smart, geeky kid. His mom and her boyfriend seemed nice, but 5 minutes later they turned to us and said “So, when should we come back and pick him up?” I would never have left her there alone, but i guess it’s different for a 15 yo boy.

We flew to Chicago once to visit them too. Chicago was great. i’ll need to go back again someday. After a while they became boyfriend-girlfriend. That’s when i really appreciated that he lived in Chicago and not nearby. Then he broke up with her after 6 months. Ah, the drama.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Amazon Woman

I am ridiculously tall. I am okay with this. I would rather be 6 feet tall (but not 6 feet under) than 5 feet tall (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But what is interesting about this is how often complete strangers bring it up. I would estimate that at least once a week someone asks me how tall i am.

That’s okay. I decided a long time ago that it wouldn’t bother me when people asked me about my height. Otherwise i would spend much of my time pissed off. But occasionally someone is so rude that i respond in kind. Last week i was at the local mall and a woman walks past me and then turns around and says, “Oh my god, you are so tall!”

I smile in that “please fuck off and die” way. She continues, “That must be really difficult for you. How tall are you?”

So i asked her, “So, how much do you weigh?”

And SHE was offended by ME.

(Ok, I shouldn’t have done it, but it was fun!)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I have a curse.

I do have a curse. Not “The Curse”, at least not right now, but a curse nonetheless. Whenever i go to movies, these people come and sit behind me. That’s not so bad. But they talk throughout the movie. Whenever i go to the movies with my daughter, and we are waiting for the movie to start, or watching the previews, and THEY come in and start talking, she looks at me and says “They’re heeere”.

So i went to the movies with my husband the other day. We were seeing “A Prairie Home Companion”, and they came in and sat behind me to my left. And they started talking. And they kept it up. So what do I do? I wave my hand in front of them, which they ignore. And then, (and i still don’t believe i did this) i wadded up my popcorny napkin and i threw it at them. And then hissed “Be quiet’.

Then I sat there in disbelief. Dear god. I THREW A NAPKIN AT STRANGERS IN THE MOVIES. Can i never go to the movies again?

But it worked. They shut up. And as I was preparing myself to apologize to them as the movie ended, they high-tailed it out of there as the first credits rolled.

But still, what if they had been packin’?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

People like me.

I was walking along a pedestrian trail the other day with a friend. This trail borders a small river and there are always lots of bicyclists, pedestrians and roller bladers. We pass by a woman who is stopped by the side of the path under a bridge looking at the river. She turns to us and says "I saw a muskrat here 14 years ago, so i always stop and look".

friend: "That must have been neat." (Or some other innocuous statement.)

me: "They are neat, sometimes i see them swimming in the lake by our house."
Friend and i continue to walk.....

woman: (chasing after us) "You're native to this area aren't you?"

me: "Well, sort of, I've lived here on and off since i was 12."

woman: "I can tell because i go to France every year and people from here are all people like you."

me: **wtf???**

woman: "People like you always have to have a better story than anyone else. You are all so rude. French people really don't like you. You should learn some manners."

me: (Ok, this is what i wish i had said) "Oh, i go to France twice a year myself."

Monday, June 26, 2006

In which i am wrong.

I am riding in the car with my husband and we are heading downtown. It's hot and the traffic sucks. We are on a freeway overpass moving intermittently forward, as fast as the goddamned traffic allows. I am bored and cranky. Up ahead i see three young kids walking along the side of the overpass, where they most assuredly should not be. They look all teen-age-ish in their scruffy clothes and dirty hair and they have their arms around each other.

"Goddamn kids," i think to myself. They are probably the cause of some of this traffic mess. They annoy me. I think dark thoughts about them.

Eventually we catch up to them and slowly pass them. I look in the side view mirror and i see that the three of them together are carrying a dead dog. A yellow lab. And the girl is crying.

This is the kind of thing that lets me know i am a judgemental bitch. I start to cry as well. For the dog, and the other bitch too.

My husband looks over and wonders what the hell is wrong with me.