I read a rather positive and affirmative list of jolly-good things to do with your family.kids yesterday called 100 Ways To Make Today Magical that a friend suggested. It was lovely. I really suggest you go have a goose at it yourselves. So, in a similar vein I thought I'd make a short-sharp list of things that I hope for. It may not be as pure and light as the link above.
- I hope neither of my kids grow up with that BO smell that smells like a pastie. Which also seems to haunt those people that hold the absurd conviction that deodorant is completely unnecessary. It is necessary - mostly to cover up the rank Ginster's pits you reek the place up with.
- I hope neither of my kids get caught in the shameful embarrassing situation that I was yesterday when I was witnessed by some young ladies getting quite into this - and then realizing that I'm a middle aged man in a Dodge Minivan. To a strong degree I don;t really care - but that's the second time in a week that I've been discovered in my lady-wagon listening to very loud music like an 18 year old boy racer. Must. Stop.
- I hope my daughter doesn't go through one of those phases where she idolizes some pre-pubescent twunt like Justin Beiber. I can perfectly understand why young girls become besotted with strong, attractive, masculine role models. I don't remember my sisters worshiping anyone quite so at odds with traditional masculinity (although I have vague recollections of a Brett Michael's poster). It certainly was popular when I was in school for the teenage girls to pine after the Sixth Form boys - what with them being clearly older, bigger, stronger and more mature than the twee, spotty, wobbly-voiced wazzacks they shared their classrooms with. And there does seem to have been a diametric shift toward tween-sex-worship of tiny little boys that has to have an under-root of sordid nastiness to it. But marketing and product whoring aside - what I can't understand is why anyone is enamored by someone who looks and sounds exactly like other twelve year old girls that are sculpted like toffee into shit pop stars these days. The very fact that there are millions of Google hits that point out someone like Bieber looks like a cross between Ellen Degeneres, Emma Watson and Zack Morris when he was thirteen doesn't help explain why girls go mental for it. On the other hand - I think I'd be happier with my little girl having a massive crush on him than my son. And that isn't a comment about sexuality at all - not one bit. Seriously - would you think it was normal for a thirteen year old boy to idolize Justin Bieber?
- I hope my kids don't ever become famous for being caught humping cattle of any kind. Obviously I hope they don't hump cattle at all - but being discovered doing that and then getting your face splashed all over local and then national news isn't something I want for my kids. We do live in a rural area, so the statistical odds of that sort of thing are presumably greater. Although that link above is for Vermont and not New York and is one of the reasons I refuse to eat Vermont cheddar - which presumably gets it's odd tangy salty flavor from the above detailed method.
- I hope my kids aren't weird. I know everybody's weird. I don't mean I hope they aren't trainspotter-weird. That's harmless and frankly Peter Dinklage made that a million times more cool and sexy that anyone else ever could have. And I certainly don't mean comic-book loving weird. That's not weird - that's awesome. That kind of weird is what I strive for with them. And I know I'm weird. Two things quickly about that -:
1 - I'm Good Weird. There's a distinct difference. That being when people want to be my kind of weird the police don't label them a, "copycat" deviant of some type.
2 - I don't care. I remember the exact moment in my final year of my BA degree at university when I realized that I genuinely don't give a toss what other people think about me. It was a fantastic moment and I sincerely hope you all have experienced the same thing. It doesn't mean you get to be a twat - it means you get to feel entirely happy with that part of yourself in any environment.
Anyway - I don't even mean Goth-even-though-you're-in-your-30s weird. Which is more sad than weird - and I'm not saying I'm better (I am better - but I'm not saying that here) because if they don't care then moer credit to them. But I do hope my kids aren't Guido weird. Those people can't be comfortable in their own weirdly orange skin surely? I certainly hope they aren't a lunatic-weird like that horse-touching woman I used to work with that had explosive fits of insane rage (seriously - she'd physically shake, bang the tables and growl). I definitely hope they don't ever become like those nutters that wish they were a vampire so that Twilight would be a little more real. You know the type - the ones who bought that vampire dildo that feels like a dead rigor-mortis-stage penis SO IT FEELS MORE REALISTIC. That kind of weird is odd because it isn't a stable mental illness with easily-accessible text books, medication, therapy and social acceptability. No - it hides in seemingly ordinary middle-aged women who work in their office cube and only briefly allude to the fact that every penny they make is spent on buying what are claimed to be Robert Pattinson's scabs and removed toenails (hopefully not by force) online.
But I absolutely hope they aren't weird like those men that have a relationship with a doll. Certainly don't marry one. At the very least don't end up on an insane television show called My Strange Addictions (nice video there...) because you like to drink your own piss or can't stop doing this to a car.
Interesting facts here - whilst Googling for "Men in a relationship with a doll" I was offered the rather Channel Five-sounding option of "relationship with a dolphin." Hopefully that refers to a soiree with Dan Marino, rather than a ropey encounter (in more senses that one) with Flipper. Also suspiciously the Google Image suggestions for the doll search came up with an awful lot of photos of Lewis Hamilton. Where there's smoke....
- I hope my kids aren't allergic to any food. I'm deathly allergic to shellfish. I'm at that stage where if I eat some now I will need to be taken to hospital due to severe anaphylactic shock. I'm probably only a copuple - maybe three - exposures away from it being a close call. I also have a mild wheat allergy that isn't up there with some Celiacs I know that can't even touch stuff with their hands. So going to places like Maine and everyone stopping for lobster hoagies is a touch irritating. So I hope they can eat whatever they want.Except that bacon ice cream abomination from a few posts ago.
- I hope my kids don't get a tattoo of something absurd when they're seventeen and feeling rebellious. I don't have any tattoos. When I was an Idiot (a catch-all term for teens and young adults of any class or gender the world over) I got lots of piercings instead. I somehow had the foresight to know that if my piercings look like crap I could take them out. I was one of the few of my peers who had a pierced lip when I was 16. When I went to university I was suddenly amongst a sea of other Idiots littered with eyebrow, lip and tongue piercings - so I took all three of mine out (nipple and eyebrow) so as not to be confused as a conformist trendy pillock (that would be about the same time I had that epihany about not giving a monkey's about perceptions of others). If you get tattooed it's there forever. Which is fine if you love yours - good for you. But when you're 16 you can't make good decisions about what to eat, how much to drink, where to put your wobbly bits or whether you should set burn down your parent's house (it's okay - that one wasn't me) - so getting a tattoo at that age can only go poorly.
For example, I know two people with terrible ones that were chosen at that age. One has a green panther that wasn't originally green. Another has Chinese writing that it turns out says "gay rainbow" that they very much regret getting - especially when they go to their local Chinese takeaway. Plus I have two friends back in the UK who suffer the ultimate faux pas. That being were one got one of those naff tribal tattoos around his leg - only for another friend to get the exact same one as well because they thought it was cool.
- I hope my kids are smart. It sounds terribly elitist and pompous to say this but it must be really hard to know you aren't clever. I don't mean stupid either - those people are inoculated against derision because they have absolutely no idea what is going on. I once worked in a pub kitchen with a bloke who came to work in uncomfortable pants before realizing he was still wearing the wire coat hanger in them. Was he ashamed? No - he was that kind of dense that it didn't matter one iota what happened because his stupidity transcended everything. It actually made him happier. But I think I'm pretty smart. I'm sufficiently educated and like thinking about things. I have the very handy ability to stare misery and catastrophe in the face and not feel particularly emotional about it. I think that has benefited me in life so far. And my wife is extremely clever. People have thrown themselves for years at her due to her abilities (that sounds a lot worse than I originally intended it to - but that is also sort of true as well). While we suffer our First World Problems, and our safe middle-class foibles, it's comforting at least to know that if it all goes tits up we are smart enough people to sort it all out and end up in a relatively decent place. As was shown just over 18 months ago now. I'd like to think that some of those smarts are genetic and that my kids have a leg up to at least make some good choices. Because I'd hate to think my kids could be as held-back as the infamous shredded wheat bloke I lived with in university. No way he's happy with how it all turned out.
- Lastly, I hope they get through unscathed to adulthood. My daughter has her last day of pre-K today. That's one year of school down. My son is closing in on his first year of being mostly aware of everything. So i hope they keep ticking off the challenges, continue to excel in whatever they enjoy, don't hurt themselves physically (emotional bruising and ego-bashing are necessary and expected) by breaking anything and are just happy people. My wife was and still is inherently happy. She loved school, teenage life and being good at things. I want that for my kids. More than anything I just want them to be happy.
As long as that happy isn't achieved by humping cows, vampires, shellfish or cars obviously.