Fortune cookie wisdom #13

The luck that is ordained for you will be coveted by others.

 

I want you to think of the most beautiful person, the most talented athlete, the richest acquaintance, the biggest blogger you follow, and the most intelligent person that you know…Close your eyes if you must…

They are lucky, right? I mean, otherwise you would be as great as they are.

Admit it, you are jealous just like I am.

Don’t we want what makes them great?

But they have struggles too.

Maybe we just can’t see them.

The most beautiful girl has the best of luck. She can get any guy that she wants. She knows that her beauty has opened many doors that for others are closed. But she feels alone because no one seems to get past her looks and see the real beauty inside of her.

The most talented athlete has the best of luck. He is sure to win almost every game. But no one sees the pressure to perform, to continue being the best. His fans only love him when he is at the top of his game.

The richest girl in the room has the best of luck. She throws the biggest and best parties. When she goes to bed at night she wonders if the same people would be her friends if she was poor.

The biggest blogger has the best of luck. He scribbles some dribble and has over 100 likes. He spends hours every night responding to the hundreds of comments of people that he doesn’t know and not sure he would even like. He starts writing to appeal to the masses and losses part of who he is in the process.

The most intelligent girl has the best of luck. She aces every test. It comes easy to her to succeed. But she has no one to talk to because they don’t understand things at her level. She is expected to solve everyone’s problems and to do more than her fair share in group projects at school and at work because she is so much smarter. She often feels overwhelmed with the weight of her responsibilities.

All of these people have haters.

They have people that would give anything to be more like them.

So no one cares, no one listens..

There are things that are not acceptable for them to ever talk about to people who aren’t as “lucky”..

Oh, poor you…you can get any guy you want and you complain that they are only interested in your looks….I wish I was half as beautiful as you.

Poor you, you always have to perform at the top of your game and can’t handle the pressure…I wish I was coordinated enough that people would want me on their team.

Poor you, you are so rich that you can afford anything you want…Who cares if your friends are real?? I wish I could just pay my bills on time.

Poor you, you are so popular online that you have to take hours of your limited time to respond to every comment. I wish a couple of people would read what I write.

Poor intelligent successful you, you have to be surrounded by idiots all of the time…because face it, no one is as smart as you. I wish I didn’t have to work so hard for something that comes easy for you.

Even the “luckiest” people in the world have their struggles.

But why bother listening because we already know how wonderful it must be to be them…The grass is so much greener over there that I can’t even see how it blends in with the weeds..

Maybe being average is not so bad after all…

Paul’s journey, part 5

Despite not having the best (or even good) grades, Paul went off to college after high school. He went because a friend was going and it seemed like a cool thing to do.

Once he got to college, something strange happened to Paul. He became popular. People liked him. He had a lot of friends. He somehow managed to escape the stigma of childhood and started a new life for himself far away from home. He joined a fraternity, participated in hazing, and became part of the wildlife on campus.

Here are few rescue squad stories…

1) There was a wild party at the frat house one night. The house was jam packed with people everywhere. Paul decided to sneak out the back door to run to the bathroom. When he came back, the room was empty and the phone was ringing. He felt like he was in the twilight zone. He answered the phone to find out it was 911 calling about a shooting. What shooting? Apparently there was a man in the front yard with a hole in his cheek from a botched suicide attempt. After the rescue squad arrived, Paul headed down to his room. He found hundreds of under age party goers squeezed into every nook and cranny who thought the party was getting busted.

2) One night a group of college students thought it would be a great idea to take an old canoe sledding down a hill in the icy snow. It was fun at first. Kids piled in and went at break neck speed down the hill. The last group (for obvious reasons) hit a tree on the way down. They flew out of the canoe. One girl had a broken pelvis, another needed plastic surgery on her face. The night ended with another call to the rescue squad.

 

Hanging out with friends and partying meant the world to Paul during his college years.

There was a dark side to this lifestyle…(besides the previously mentioned harebrained ideas).

His first long term girlfriend broke up with him.

His best friend at home became a quadriplegic. Paul wasn’t there that night the rescue squad was called. His friend Dwayne was camping and partying with friends. Now Dwayne would do anything for a dare, especially if he was drinking. Someone dared him to dive off a dock into shallow water. He broke his neck and almost died that night. There was a long grueling recovery. He never walked again and died young.

He flunked out of college. Paul was forced to take a semester off. People thought he was stupid again. He went back home and worked at the cheese factory on the production line with his mother. It was an awful experience, but it proved to be the spark that he needed to get his life back in order and buckle down.

 

 

 

Another late night visitor

I received another late night knock on the door this week. Surprisingly, it wasn’t for my son. It was the neighbor girl Abby who was crying bearing gifts of cookies and a handwritten apology note for my youngest daughter Arabella.

I found out there was a problem when I picked up the girls after school. Arabella wasn’t talking to Abby and Abby had no idea why. Arabella mentioned something to me later about the girls having friendship issues due to their extreme differences in body shape. Abby is in 7th grade and is very tiny. Some of the kids were teasing her saying that she looked like a kindergartner. Arabella is in 8th grade and is on the hefty side. I can see a future of her always struggling with her weight.

It is open to debate, Abby may or may not have said something about rather being small than fat. Arabella may have found this offensive.

Abby’s mom sent me a message wanting to know why Arabella was upset with Abby. I responded that they were having a discussion about body image. Abby’s mom replied that Abby admitted to saying some not very nice things to Arabella. In response Abby’s mom said, “I can’t believe this. I’m incredibly sorry. I’m just mind blown and upset. Abby has always been so sweet and considerate and I have no idea where this came from. I sincerely apologize.”

Then Abby showed up at the door crying offering her apologies.

Wow!

Abby’s mom was very stressed out by the whole situation. To be honest, it didn’t really phase me.

Abby is the oldest child. They are going through this whole middle school yucky time for the first time. Arabella is my youngest child. We have been down this road several times before. We have received worse knocks on the door.

Abby is a good kid. I didn’t want them to get worked up too much over this. I told them that sometimes people say things they don’t mean or that they regret later. No hard feelings..

I remember my middle school days. It is a terrible time for kids. It seems like everyone has to fit into the same cookie cutter mold.

When I was in middle school, I was the smallest in my class. One day I wore my green stretch pants to school and everyone called me frog legs. I bemoaned the fact that at 13 I was still asked if I was under 10. The adults all said that someday looking young would pay off for me (it did).

Some of my friends had braces and glasses. For awhile, I wanted that too. I remember walking around the house with a gum wrapper held on my teeth by an opened up paper clip. I also wore my babysitter’s glasses and looked at myself in the mirror which she said would cause me to need glasses. Apparently, she was wrong. (Why do I remember such crazy stupid things??)

I think the middle school years are the hardest. Especially if you are really short, really heavy, have a big nose, can’t afford to wear the right clothes, or are different in any way.

Woe to the popular kids too. They have to jump through a lot of hoops to stay popular.

I am soooo happy that this will be my last year as a mother of middle schooler.

 

Driving? Me crazy

Last week my son got his driver’s license.

Initially I was happy to have another driver in the house. That makes a total of 4 drivers now. There is a bit of anxiety on my part having teen drivers. Although it is very nice having hours of extra time in the early mornings, evenings, and weekends not having to take them to practice, events, work, or social activities.

Apparently, a lot of other parents feel the same way I do. Well, the part about not wanting to have to spend hours of their week transporting kids. Angel even gets paid to provide transportation for other people’s kids. Really, it sucks that much! When you are single, you can go out on a Friday night. Married people without kids can do whatever they like. Even staying home is not that bad. You could have a nice romantic evening at home sipping wine watching Netflix.

Parents don’t have that luxury. Nowadays there are just as many events on the weekends as there are on the work days. The endless birthday parties, dances, events, tournaments, etc… Even going out on a Friday night is not sacred anymore. Sorry I can’t go, my teen has plans.. So, I totally understand.

Now that my son has his license, we are experiencing new problems that we never faced before. Angel was the absolute last kid in her circle of friends to get her license. Alex is the first. All of a sudden, he is the most popular guy around. Everyone wants a ride. But there is one problem, probationary license restrictions. He is only allowed to have one passenger that is under 18 and non family. We told him that we expect him to follow the law.

Over the weekend, Paul and I went sailing for the day. We weren’t very far from home, however a half an hour drive would take several hours on the boat. To be honest with you, I stalk my kids. While I was in the harbor, trying to relax, I noticed that my son was not where he said he was going to be. When I asked him where he was and what he was doing, his response was very elusive.

Of course, my mother mind goes right for the worst. I imagine that his girlfriend broke up with him and he is looking for a cliff to jump off of. Maybe he was drinking or doing drugs?? Drag racing my car? Getting into fights? Left for dead on the side of the road?? Parking with his girlfriend? A friend called me grandma last week and told me to get used to it. ALL bets are on my son to be the first to make that happen. What can I say? I am an anxious, worried sick, terrified mother of teenagers!

Later Alex told me what happened. He is honest to a fault. He picked up his girlfriend and her best friend disobeying his driving restrictions. He said that he spoke to each girl’s parents and explained his restrictions. They said that they didn’t mind as long as they didn’t have to do any driving. The new form of law breaking peer pressure. “But mom, I drive safer when I disobey my restrictions. I drive the speed limit”. Yeah, I heard that from a lot of drunk drivers too. 

But what is it to the other parents? They don’t have to do all of the driving. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Whereas, my son could lose his license if he gets in trouble often enough. Points are doubled for a probationary license. I’m sure there would be a hefty fine. Plus our car insurance rates would skyrocket. God knows that he is not getting the good student discount.

What does he get out of disobeying? He is winning the approval and becoming well liked by his friends and their parents. Automatic brownie points with the new girlfriend’s parents since she lives over 20 minutes away. Why would he want to listen to us after achieving this newfound popularity? 

Maybe I am making a big deal about nothing. It could be a lot worse. It could be texting and driving. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drag racing. Road rage. Lead foot. Highway hypnosis. Aahhh! I can’t worry about everything! Can I? Will I? I will try not worry about what I don’t have control over. I have to let God take the wheel and drive!!

God help me! I have teen drivers.

Class reunions

This past weekend my dad had his 50th class reunion. My mom said that she wouldn’t attend with him unless he took his monthly shower. He decided not to. Instead, he went to the restaurant having the reunion, got a to go box, and came right back home. How strange. Hey, at least he was wearing clothes. 

It made me wonder a little about the purpose of a high school reunion. Technically, most people go to high school 4 years of their whole entire life. Why should it even matter?

The first unofficial high school reunion happened about a week after graduation. Most of the new graduates attended the funeral of our first classmate to die. He spent the night out drinking underage at a bar that was known by the name of Double Vision at that time. When he left, he lived up to the bar’s name and then some. About a half mile from the bar, he crossed the centerline and hit another car head on. Thankfully the family in the other car lived to tell that story, my classmate didn’t. I didn’t attend the funeral. To be frank, even though he was popular, my classmate was cocky and mean. I really didn’t like him. I liked him even less when he almost killed others due to his poor decision. My classmates, however, went to the funeral in droves. 

I did attend 2 official class reunions. The first one I attended was the 5 year. At this point, nothing really has changed. Everyone looks the same. You still remember names. Most were doing the typical things that people in their early 20’s do and no one could afford a pricey reunion. 

The second reunion I attended was the 20 year. Only a few people looked similar to the people locked in my mind as forever teenagers with the ratted hair and tight rolled jeans. Who were all these old people? I forgot names. I mistook some classmates as spouses. A majority of attendees were in the popular group, maybe hoping to relive the best years of their lives. I was disheartened that an unpopular girl, who was always nice, seemed to still be ignored by the in group. I was extra nice to her. Overall, I found class reunions to be like the proverbial nudist colony. The ones you want to see are never there and the ones you don’t are. 

Will I attend my 25th class reunion? I don’t know. I am certainly not interested in reliving any of my childhood years.

 I think I would rather run a marathon.