Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Parenting, Cancer, and Meltdowns - Oh My!

I’ve been bad about blogging – it’s almost been a week! This first week after a holiday schedule is brutal. Whoever decided we should work five days and relax two days was off his rocker.

I read an article today on a woman who sold her old son’s car because she found a booze bottle under the seat. Here’s a link to the article if you’re interested. This is what her ad said: "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."

This sounds reasonable to me. I applaud her for sticking with the rules. Further information in the newspaper article explains that she’s a DJ, the kid is 19 and in college, and that they bought the car for him around Thanksgiving. She and her husband got him the car, told him the rules were to always keep it locked and to have no alcohol in it. She found a bottle of whatever under the seat and sold the car.

None of this shocks me. I think she did the right thing – in fact, it reminds me of something I might conceive of. I’m surprised by the comments left by readers in the newspaper article. So many of them are accusing her of overreacting, being a controlling mother, or even that she was doing this to further her DJ career (oh please). Maybe the reaction would have been different if the kid were 16 instead of 19, because these commenters kept pointing out that he was an adult and could live how he liked.

I cry BS on that note. I was 19 once and made some of the poorest decisions of my life that year. I drank too much, studied too little, and wound up really, REALLY lucky that my poor choices turned into blessings. Was I an ‘adult’? Hell no. I could vote. And that’s about it. Would I have listened to my mom if she’d have told me to stop screwing up my life? Probably not, I was headstrong and on that ‘on my own’ high... But she would have had every right to take away any support she was giving that enabled this behavior. This kid is still being supported financially by his parents. They bought him this car and set rules for it. He broke them, they sold the car. Good for them.

As for her doing this to further her DJ career, she was apparently asked by several local radio and news shows to talk about the ad, but she refused because things were strained between her son and her and she didn’t want to add to the tension by yapping about it on the radio or tv. The kid is mad. I get it. Haven’t we all be mad at our parents? Someday he’ll understand, though.

Enough on that…

I found out on Monday that my former boss’ boss has late stage lung cancer that has spread throughout her body. Then yesterday I found that another former coworker has brain/spinal cancer. Today my mom emailed me to tell me that my uncle’s brain cancer has spread and there’s not a lot that can be done treatment wise, but they are still giving some things a try. Three days this week and three bad news cancer updates.

Cancer is so scary. And it just seems to be so prevalent! So many people I know have died from it – and I know many who have beaten it. It terrifies me because The Husband is a smoker and I don’t want to lose him to cancer when we’re young and our kids are still little. I don’t want to see him waste away like his Uncle Bob did. I do my fair share of nagging about the smoking, but it doesn’t do anything but make both of us grouchy. He’ll quit only when he’s ready to. I just hope it’s not too late when he decides it’s time. Every time I hear about someone getting cancer, I worry about TH. I know he worries about it too… I just wish the cigarettes weren’t so powerful over him.

Ok, enough on that too…

I got a really fancy new phone the other day. Hollywood was irked that her mom has a ‘cooler’ phone than she does. It’s orange and has a good camera and a fancy keyboard to use for all of the texting I’ll be doing. Ha – I only send text messages to TH to ask him to pick up things from the store that I forgot to put on the list. Or, sometimes I’ll send him a text message after I’ve pissed him off and he’s no longer answering my phone calls. So anyway, the phone is very tricked out. It has more features than this uncool old hag will ever use. But that’s ok.

Ok, one more thought… this one’s political, so skip it if you’re so inclined.

Did you all see Hillary when she got teary eyed while answering a question on the campaign trail the other day? If you didn’t, I really think you’re living in a cave without tv, radio or internet access. (so how are you reading my blog??) Anyway, here’s the link if you haven’t seen it. So. I’ve been busy and didn’t actually see the clip until yesterday and my first instinct was to absolutely, totally, and 100% identify with her. I get teary when I get stressed, angry, tired, whatever. It’s something I’ve always hated about myself. So when someone like her with her normally steely resolve gets emotional, it was actually kind of humanizing.

My work friend had a different thought. She said, “But you can’t have a president burst into tears when she’s meeting with a prime minister and negotiating a treaty.” Hmmm. Good point. The Husband had more colorful things to say about it – they had to do with a female president having her time of the month and going bonkers with the deadly cocktail of hormones and exhaustion. My solution to that problem: you just don’t schedule the peace talks while the prez is PMSing. Am I Right? Ok, ok. That was a joke. Don’t hurl anti-feminist comments at me, ok?

I didn’t watch or read any further commentary on the subject, but had one of those lightbulb moments on the way home from work when I wondered if that reaction was STAGED. I fell right into the trap if it was. Did she do that so that scores of women would connect with her on some level like I did? Now I’m not saying I’m going to vote for Hillary – but I did, for a few minutes, identify with her. I thought about how grueling the campaign trail must be, how she probably just wants to flop into a bubble bath with a glass of Merlot, but instead has to have a gazillion cameras on her and people asking her question after question… It worked for me!

And so, I wonder how many women in New Hampshire yesterday had the same reaction that I did and voted for her in the primary. And if so, did her campaign trail tell her to have her little emotional response to dispel her normally icy, unperturbed image? If so, how genius are they? Interesting food for thought. Initially I saw the tape and thought – oh man. She is melting faster than the cheddar on a grilled cheese sandwich. But maybe it was all planned….

Wow – I’ve blabbered on yet again. Maybe it’s a good thing that I don’t have time to do this very often. Happy Wednesday!!


Travis Erwin said...

I think this is the most interesting election since I have been of voting age, or should I say we since we are of the same age?

I stayed up all the watching the coverage and all the political banter about Clinton's show of emotion and the way it shaped the NH primary.

Interesting stuff but we'll never know one way or another if it as genuine or the way it made voters see her.

Jane said...

I loved the story about the meanest mom in the world. My parents would have done the same thing! Of course, I wasn't financially dependent on them at age 19 either.

Did you see The Daily Show clip about the Hilary crying thing? It was hilarious. They also showed a montage of former presidents crying. And the Bounty Hunter guy.

Andrea said...

Hi! Nice to see you again! It's been such a long time!


I'm cheering on the meanest mom on the planet, too, for the same reasons you listed. Plus one more - even if he's legally an adult, in most states it is still illegal for him to be in possession of alcohol before the age of 21.

As far as Hillary crying goes, I'm leaning towards it being a ploy to get an emotional response from we emotional beings...

lspence from HM training group said...

MONNIK - I totally think Clinton's boo-hooing was staged b/c she has the reputation of being "cold as ice" which can be interpreted as insincere - people weren't going for that calculating approach - what's ironic is when she seems most "human" is when I think she might actually be the MOST calculating! Bizarre...anyway, can I be honest with you & tell you that I actually shed a few tears during Obama's speech after the NH primary last night? I find him so inspirational and agree with the majority of his ideas (like him more than any other candidate on both sides of the field)- remember, he said "YES, WE CAN!"

~SUV Mama~ said...

Wow, lady, a lot to comment on.

First: "Mean" Mom? Sounds like a rational one to me. Until I read the "keep the doors locked" part. That sounded strange. I know MANY people who do NOT lock their doors-if someone wants in it's about a 2 second deal. Who wants a broken window? But I digress. It wasn't the point.

2nd: I'm sorry for such horrible news for your own family and your friends.

RE: Hillary: She absolutely did NOT stage it. No way, no how. This woman is brilliant- whether you like her politics or not. She is calculating and has a ton of great support around her- her payroll is higher than Obama's! They would have foreseen that crying would have been a poor move to sway voters. It was emotion. And frankly, I don't think it changes a thing. But I've enjoyed the story because it's much better than hearing about Britney.


LaskiGal said...

Stumbled upon your blog and loved reading your current post. I hear you about cancer. Lost my dad-in-law last year (the patriarch of the family) after a seemingly short bout (though it was probably lurking in him a lot longer). I wrote about the Hillary episode as well-as for staged, wouldn't put it past any politician.

The "meanest mom" ad was great! We need more of that. Just watched Super Nanny and can't get enough of the tough love (though my little one gets everything he wants--he's only five months, so I hopefully have a little spoiling time left).

Mom In Scrubs said...

Meanest mom? I say smartest. How would she cope if she let it slide and someone got killed or maimed? And all of us over 30 KNOW that he will understand and probably even thank her for it one day.

Cancer Sucks. And it IS scary. I feel for you, hon. And I hope TH finds it in himself one day to quit 'cause you're right, only HE can decide to do it.

As for the politics, I am huddled in that deep dark cave.... everytime I see anything political on TV I switch the channel. The remote started smoking the other day.

Jenster said...

I totally think the mom did the right thing and I totally agree with you that a 19-year-old is NOT an adult. 19 is when most of us make our most stupid mistakes.

Cancer sucks.

I'm not a Hillary fan at all - and that goes a looooong way back - 20 years (me living in Arkansas at that time and all). But I think the media has made way too big of a deal of her "moment". Maybe she was faking, maybe it was heartfelt. None of us will ever know.