Does this time of year remind anybody else of early MTV? Like January/February 1982 MTV? Tarney Spencer, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty singing “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” Nina Blackwood’s hair? Anybody? Hmm…probably the same reason New Year’s Eve reminds me of disco. Probably too many pictures of idiots waiting in the cold to get inside Studio 54 back in ’79. Motown makes me think of summer too. I can’t be alone on this. The Temptations singing “Just my Imagination” embodies summer…and hair metal means spring. Weird. Anyway…
But speaking of New Year’s Eve, we had a party. Actually Rye had a party. A 6th grade New Year’s Eve Party in the basement party with four of her friends. And their cell phones, iPads and Kindle Fires. In an ominous sign for our future, those girls can put away the liquids. Swear to the Good Lord they each drank an entire 2 Liter of pop. Could be why they were up past 5 a.m. However, in a positive sign for the future, we can hear just about everything they say simply by sitting on our couch in the family room. Through a quirk architectural happenstance, basement conversations travel directly up the duct work and out of the vent next to the couch. Didn’t even have to get down on my knees and strain my neck to listen. Make no mistake, I’m not above doing this. Many future Friday and Saturday night already include this on my itinerary. Thankfully the lack of sound proofing between floors is proving to be an unknown advantage, kinda like Randy Fuller for the Steelers in the ’95 AFC Championship. A couple times the conversation topics got a little loose and Mom was on standby for your basic parental basement incursion. But we discussed that any basement breach would blow our cover so we better be absolutely sure that a surprise raid needed to count.
Anyway, in our estimation, we didn’t need to actually go down the stairs. Although I made sure the basement door remained open and we sent Kinsey and Bailey down there every now and then using Civil War cavalry tactics to storm behind enemy lines, capture supplies, tear up railroad tracks and return with actionable intel. Worked all right. More data needed to decide if its worth repeating.
So, Rye also had a friend stay over last weekend too. They decided to create a facebook page for Rye. This is something that we hadn’t really discussed with Rye. However, it was very clear to my brain and my subconscious that there was no way in freaking hell that Rye was getting a facebook page in 6th grade.
Reasons? Well, and let me be very clear about this, I don’t need no freaking reasons. However, to be an effective parent, I do think Riley needs to understand why she can’t have a facebook page in 6th grade.
Reason #1) Even facebook, which doesn’t give a crap about anybody’s privacy, set up its system so you have to be at least 13 years old to have a page. To get around this hurdle you must lie about your age. Which means that if we were to allow Riley to have a page, we’d be endorsing a decision to lie about your age in order to do something she would not otherwise be able to do. Letting her do this is essentially telling she’s allowed to get a fake ID and sneak into bars once she gets to college. Much like hiring Dave Wannstedt to coach your favorite football team, this is a course of action fraught with peril!
Reason #2) She has absolutely no idea how to use facebook. Which, if my calculations are correct, makes her exactly like 90% of every other facebook user. But she doesn’t know what privacy settings are. She doesn’t know how facebook shares personal info. Her friend sent out roughly, and I’m just spitballin’ here, 8 million friend requests. When I asked her who each of these kids were once they accepted the request, she didn’t know most of them and they were all older than her. Again, this sounds a lot like an 18 year-old girl sneaking into a bar. I mean if we’re going to be okay with this we may as well just count on Marty Schottenheimer in the playoffs or tell Craig Ehlo to guard Michael Jordan with the game on the line. I understand we can’t protect her from a lot of things, we can however protect her from facebook crap before she knows how to use it.
Reason #3) She didn’t ask us if she could have a facebook page and she didn’t ask us if she could create an email to support the page. Um, in our house, this is what is known as a dealbreaker. It’s like making a movie about Ronald Reagan and having James Brolin portray him. Or answering every question with “hmmm…perplexed I am” in a Yoda accent. You don’t really get the benefit of the doubt after that.
Reason #4) It is nearly impossible to disable your facebook page. Joining facebook is like getting a tattoo. Sure its technically not permanent but getting rid of it results in extreme pain, scars, blood and the use of lasers.
Then Kinsey comes home Thursday and tells me that Austin asked her to be his valentine. They are in 4th grade. And she was all smilely and giggly about it. Which cracked me up. But also begged a couple questions. For example, what does it mean to be someone’s valentine? I’m 41 and I don’t know what it means. I sure as hell didn’t know what it meant when I was 9. Is being someone’s valentine one of those weird myths that people bandy around in conversations this time of year without a common definition of the term? Like the spread offense in college football or the pronunciation of “Wisconsin.” Turns out Kinsey didn’t know what it meant either and it kinda weirded her out. But she didn’t want to hurt Austin’s feelings by telling him she didn’t want to be his valentine…mostly because she doesn’t know what it means. I told her that he probably doesn’t know what it means either. And if you and a boy don’t know what something means THEN DON’T DO IT. Okay, I didn’t really say that even though it was exactly what I was thinking. Mom and I counseled her to ask Austin if he just wanted to be valentines with everybody so they could give valentines cards to everyone and still get lots of valentines candy. Evidently worked. Either that or they both forgot about it.
So, we’ve decided that we want the girls to be in 2nd grade for the rest of their lives. Either that or we need them to be triplets so we can deal with all the teen sh…errr crap all at the same time…and of course be done with it at the same time.