Back to the past

Over Thanksgiving we played the game Loaded Questions. It is a great group get to know each other kind of game. Perfect Christmas gift idea. You’re welcome!

The main object of the game is to ask a question in a category and try to guess who wrote what response. Every player gets a chance to be a judge.

When I was a judge, I asked the question…If you could live in a past time period, when would it be?? Paul said it was taking him awhile to write a response because he was having a hard time spelling his answer..

Here were the answers:

1960’s

1970’s

1970’s

1980’s

1980’s

The Renaissance period (obviously Paul’s answer)

An hour ago so I wouldn’t have to play this lame game (obviously my son)

I found the answers interesting. My mom and Darryl wanted to go back to their teenage/young adult years…but what I really found interesting was that 3 out of 4 teens wanted to live in the time period that I grew up in…I was shocked..

But, but, but, but…there was no internet back then.

The teens said that they didn’t care.

I asked my daughter Angel about it later…Why did you pick that you wanted to live in the time I grew up in??

She had two answers. First, everything today is fake. She said that she knows of an ultra thin uTuber that spent hours posing with an ice cream cone that she never ate. She said that although she is a normal weight that it made her feel fat. Also, people only post good things about their life…which makes her feel like her life is boring or that she is not happy enough. (At this point, I should’ve shared with her about all of the personal posts here on WP but I missed the opportunity to tell her that other people’s lives do suck sometimes).

While we were in conversation, she took my picture with her a couple of times for snapchat. People were sending selfies back with little comments on it. She said I should join. Why would I want to send pictures of myself back and forth to people all day?? I don’t understand.

Second, my daughter said that all of her social contacts are on her phone. I guess that means instead of hanging out with friends in person, they send pictures back and forth all day or play games. She said that putting her phone away for a short time would mean that her social interaction is gone. She talked about a challenge at college that included giving up a phone for one day. Teens become a slave to their phones. Funny thing is…I never see them use their phone as a phone.

This is what it was like growing up in the 80’s…

 

The weekends always held a sense of adventure. After watching the Saturday morning cartoons, the neighborhood kids would ride around on bikes without helmets. Sometimes our chains would fall off or we would fall off our bike miles from home. We had to work together as a team to figure out how to fix problems. No one ever knew where we were.

I really loved the monthly trips into town to go to the library. Sometimes I could read a book a day. I would drool over the new releases that could only be rented for a few days. I couldn’t wait until that book was out on the shelves. I always checked the return pile for coveted books. I loved the silence and the smell of musty old books. Sadly, I haven’t been to a library in years.

It was exciting to hear a new song on the radio. I would listen for hours just to get the chance to pop a cassette tape in and record the song. Of course, I rarely got the whole song on tape. I had a weekly date with America’s Top 40. The weekly countdown was big excitement.

In the evenings, we would go on walks to visit with our grandparents or great aunt and uncle. I think I miss this the most…just walking in as if expected…unannounced visits. People just would stop in and talk for hours. People would drop whatever they were doing and listen. There was never a ‘let me check my schedule’.

We loved playing outside making forts out of wood or in the snow. We were never in a hurry. I loved going to the post office to see if I got a letter in the mail. We would pretend to ‘smoke’ candy cigarettes. We played in the sprinkler and drank water out of the hose. We ate raw cookie dough and ate homemade meals every night. We only had our picture taken on special events. I loved the big poofy hair and the big boxy cars.

We had a computer at home that I learned how to make my name scroll across the screen. It was exciting! Sometimes I would even change the color of my name. I loved to play Donkey Kong. We had an Atari and a VCR. I had a Michael Jackson record player from when he was still black. I spent hours playing with Barbie and Ken. I could spend hours watching a slinky go down the steps. I loved the game of Life. We never heard bad world news, unless things were really bad the adults didn’t tell us.

The strange thing is, although you might say that there was nothing to do, I can’t remember ever being bored.

I would challenge the young folks to spend a weekend without their phone to see what kind of adventures are out there..

What were your favorite memories growing up in pre internet era??

 

 

 

 

Parenting in a different language

I have been following quite a few parenting posts lately and wanted to share my thoughts..

Imagine if your child was born speaking a different language. Perhaps you would feel frustrated that you didn’t understand. In fact, the child you should be teaching ended up teaching you. They made you feel like a complete idiot that you don’t understand. When you do learn a few words, your pronunciation is all wrong.

When I was graduating from college, a new technology came out called the internet. Along with it came something called email. I really didn’t know how to use it, but it really didn’t matter. I would be graduating soon. Maybe it was a fad. I used articles I found online to write papers, but there really wasn’t a way to document the sources. No one really knew how.

This year I asked my kids what a gif was. I showed my husband how to take a selfie.

We get criticized as parents for everything we do. There is no guidance. No one knows. How much time should we allow our children to spend online?? Should there be a limit or will they end up being behind?

The people older than us have no advice to give. We never had to deal with this, they say.

So we stumble along. We have our children teach us how to set up parental controls that they can get around.

We should be watching everything they do online…but we are still living in the 1980’s where we would be mortified if our parents listened in to every phone conversation. Is it really necessary to invade their privacy?

They is a good ten year gap of us parents out there that have never grown up with the internet having to parent children that have never lived without the internet. It is incredibly difficult.

Most of my closest friends aren’t even on Facebook.

I tried to have a conversation with my daughter last night about sexting. Seriously mom, I learned about that in grade school. You are so out of touch.

I thought my parents were out of touch because they didn’t know anything about MTV.

I consider myself having average computer literacy for my age. I can’t keep up.

How am I supposed to be fluent in a language that I don’t speak with my native tongue?

I have hope that the next generation of parents will be so much better than we are. We are doing the best we can, yet are failing miserably. The gap is too wide to cross. We are judged harshly by others that don’t understand our struggle.

Thankfully the next generation of parents will be able to speak the same language.

Thoughts on Making a Murderer

I feel extremely sad for the Halbach family this year. I am not sure why Netflix released the controversial “documentary” Making a Murderer a week before Christmas. It follows the story of Steven Avery. If you are not familiar with the story, google it. It is a very intriguing story that happened in our state of WI where an innocent man was exonerated for a rape in 1985 due to advances in DNA technology. That was after he spent 18 years in prison. After his wrongful conviction, he filed a civil suit for millions of dollars. But before he collected the money, he was convicted of raping and killing Teresa Halbach with the help of his 16 year old nephew Brendan Dassey. He is back in prison for life.

Back in 2005, during the time of the murder, the media portrayed Steven Avery as a monster. The public was outraged and there was even talk about instituting the death penalty in our state. But this documentary comes from another angle. It tends to portray Steven Avery as the victim. That he may have been set up for a murder he didn’t commit. What really is troubling to me is the media’s ability to sway public opinion in either direction. I have heard some people having the mindset on social media sites that Avery should be freed from prison after watching this documentary. A lot of people have very strong opinions about this without knowing the full picture. I have started to watch the documentary with an open mind.

Do I think that Steven Avery killed Teresa Halbach? I honestly don’t know. Was he capable of murder? I think so. Although Avery was innocent of the rape that he was convicted of in 1985, he wasn’t a model citizen. He was a convicted felon by the age of 18 for burglary. In fact, he was convicted of several felonies before his rape conviction that he was exonerated from. At age 20, he was convicted of animal cruelty for the merciless killing of his family cat. If that doesn’t show psychopath potential, I don’t know what does. He also ran a female relative off the road and pointed a gun at her. Her husband was a police deputy. That was not very smart on Avery’s part. Regardless, a 23 year old man spent 18 years of his life locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. At the time of his arrest, he was married with 5 kids. Kids that he never saw grow up.

Do I think that there were some major issues with corruption within the police departments handling this case? Without a doubt. Does it seem odd that there wasn’t blood found at the crime scene? Absolutely. Could Avery have been set up for another crime that he didn’t commit? Maybe. Isn’t is puzzling that the victim’s vehicle was found on his salvage yard property hidden under branches when he could have possibly crushed the car instead? This is where I am going to bring up the point that Avery is shown to have an I.Q. of 70 which would make him on the edge of being intellectually disabled. What really convinced me of Avery’s guilt 10 years ago was the confession from his nephew, Dassey. However, Dassey has a similar I.Q. and his confession seems to be very inconsistent. He didn’t even appear to understand what was going on.

Did Avery kill Teresa Halbach? If he didn’t, then who did?? I find that question to be even more disturbing. Did someone else kill her and the police noticed that she was last seen at Avery’s house which gave them an opportunity to frame him? Seems a little far fetched. Why does Avery’s blood appear to be tampered with?  Nothing about this case makes any sense. This documentary seems to bring up more questions than answers, with no new evidence.

Christmas stalkings

The first time that my mom met my husband Paul didn’t go all that well. The year was 1995. We met for lunch at a cheap pancake house. We sat in a booth in the nonsmoking section. The conversation flowed up until the point that my mom asked my new boyfriend what his beliefs were regarding God. I warned Paul before lunch that if religion were to come up that he needed to change the topic. But Paul didn’t, he went on and on about how he believed in evolution. At this point, I started kicking Paul under the table as he droned on and on about atheism and the rational mind. So my mom did what any devout Christian would do. She set me up with my ex-boyfriend, Brad.

I met Brad a little further back in the days of ratted hair and tight rolled jeans. Brad was in the military. He was the one who had the same personality as me, was also a first born, both are left handed, and we shared the same religion. My whole family loved him and thought that I would probably end up marrying him someday. But after over two years of being in a long distance relationship, we decided to call it quits right before Brad left for a year commitment on a Navy ship. Right around the time I met Paul, Brad finished his time in the military.

One day, shortly after she met Paul, my mom invited me out to lunch at a pizza place. When I got to the restaurant, my mom was waiting for me at a table with Brad. Brad told me how much he missed me and loved me. He was home to stay and wanted to get back together. My mom chipped in every so often about how wonderful that would be. At one point in the conversation Brad started crying. He grabbed my hands and pleaded to get back together. But it was too late. After the meal, I took Brad back to my apartment a couple of blocks away. I gave him back his class ring and all of his pictures. I was so mad at my mom. My mom took things into her own hands, but God had other plans. Funny how that works.

Last week, I told my mom that after Paul had a conversation with our daughter Angel’s stalker that he seemed to back off. Angel’s boyfriend ran into her stalker a couple of times on campus and he nervously walked away with lowered eyes. I told my mom that I thought our stalker days are behind us now. That is when my mom reluctantly told me to watch my back.

Brad recently accepted my mom’s friend request she sent him five years ago on facebook. Last month Brad’s wife passed away. He sent my mom a message asking if I was happy in my marriage. He told my mom that besides his wife, I was the only other woman he ever loved. He told her that he still loves me a lot. The conversation freaked my mom out enough to take a screen shot of the whole conversation. Way to go mom!

So every time I attend a public event that people know I am at, I am hyper vigilant for stalkers now. Seriously, call me paranoid but my life is just that crazy.

 

To my daughter’s stalker

I have never met you and hope that I never do. I can understand why you would be obsessed with my daughter. She is that bright light in a dim lit room. Along with butterflies, even the darkest of souls are attracted to her warm glowing light. Sinking ships try to reach that light in this dark world.

I can understand why you said that you would make my daughter love you the way you love her. She is very beautiful. Her stage presence, her angelic singing voice alone has caused the most callous of hearts to open. You noticed that when you met her a year and a half ago on a school choir trip. Even though she told you that she had a boyfriend, that she just wanted to be friends, you thought you could change her mind.

After the trip, you texted, snapchatted, social mediaed, and called her all the time. It got to the point that she told you to stop, but you didn’t. Her boyfriend told you to stop and then you started harassing him. You told him that you were going to kill him at school performances that you knew they would be at and terrorized them in general. Then this summer you hacked my daughter’s facebook account.

We didn’t hear from you too much after that. Although I was disappointed that you decided to go to the same college as my daughter’s boyfriend. I thought that after you got into college and started meeting a lot of girls that maybe you would give up the whole idea that she would love you. She has had the same boyfriend for over two years now, a man I would be happy to call my son-in-law someday.

Then I heard you recognized my daughter’s boyfriend at college from facebook pictures. You punched him in the face. Even though my daughter’s boyfriend didn’t want us to know about what you did, we found out. But this week was the last straw. You hacked into my daughter’s boyfriends facebook account. You posed as him and broke up with my daughter. When she found out it was you, you told her that you loved her and would force her to love you. You said that you were going to find her and rape her. This time you went too far. My husband called you after this. He told you that you are never to talk to our daughter or her boyfriend again. He is not a man to be messed with, so I hope you got the message.

If you ever talk to them again, we will get a restraining order. That is if you are lucky.

Post modern parenting

Last week I had the opportunity to go a really nice indoor waterpark in WI Dells, the waterpark capital of the world. Why the supposed waterpark capital of the world is in a cold climate is beyond me. They only keep the outdoor parks open 3 months of the year. I absolutely love waterparks so I decided to tag along with my husband while he went to a conference. The first body slide I went down, I banged, bruised, and scraped up my elbow. By the end of the day I had a matching bruise on my other elbow and another on my back. Seems like I can no longer have fun without somehow hurting myself.

That day I ate lunch by myself at the waterpark. By MYSELF! That hasn’t happened since at least 1994. It gave me time to people watch, one of those hobbies that I don’t seem to have time for anymore. As I was waiting for my lunch alone at the table, I became surrounded by babies. There were strollers everywhere. I had to go through a maze to get back to my table with my food. As I watched the young parents, I noticed something. As soon as the babies fussed at all, the parents handed over iphones to pacify the infants. The babies watched music videos of some sort. It didn’t sound like baby music, but had more of a dance beat. Gone were all of the ridiculous toys to pacify babies like the plastic keys that I used to use. Gone also was the parental entertaining of infants. Gone was the opportunity to ask the babies how to set up parental controls for my teens.

What is going to happen to these device pacified babies? Will they be texting and getting their own phones at 3? Carpal tunnel at 4?  I remember being told that it was bad parenting to have your infants and toddlers watch TV or movies. What about cell phones, ipads, and/or kindles as babysitters? Who knows? When my kids were little I would have given anything to sleep to 8 AM. I was thankful if I could get a shower in. I wasn’t going to get up at 4:30 in the morning to take my shower before they got up. During the day, I would sometimes pop in a movie and take a shower with the door slightly ajar. That didn’t keep one from escaping. Little Arabella when she was around 2 took off for the road while I was in the shower. I remember running down the driveway after her wrapped in a towel with soap in my hair screaming at her to stop. Those were the crazy days of parenting. Now I wake up at 6 AM regardless of how late I stay up. I would give anything to go to bed by 10PM, but have to wait for my teens to get home. Oh, how parenting changes. Pity the poor parents with babies and teens. Do you actually sleep?

As I was sitting at the waterpark eating, writing blogs in my mind, and reflecting on the life cycle of parenting, I was also scrolling though facebook. That is when I found out from a post by Paul’s cousin that my mother-in-law was in the hospital. It is always great to find out things through social media, isn’t it? Especially when my husband was in meeting and I had no way of contacting him. I certainly was NOT going to wander around the conference hall sobbing and sopping wet in my swimming suit blubbering around with waterpark bruises all over my body.

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. It is great to be able to be in contact with anyone anywhere. But you can never truly get away from life’s problems and busyness unless you put your phone away. I long for the solitude of a phoneless weekend. Someday I will do that, until then my phone is two inches away still waiting for test results for Paul’s mom. We are hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.