Friday, June 24, 2011
Hi! My name is Fanny Collier. Every once in a while I’m tossing in some thoughts of mine on this blog. I call them Brain Farts. Why do I call them that? Because some of the things that I want to talk about are so simple that even an idiot without a brain should be able to figure them out. For instance the brain fart that I had the other day when I was watching one of those morning shows is telling me that some common sense is finally catching up with some of the parents in this country. You see there was this woman being interviewed who was talking about an article in Atlantic Magazine. It seems that there’s this theory out there now that maybe parents should let their children experience some failure. You think?
She went on to say that kids have to learn that they are not the center of the universe. Duh! She further stated that parents who are in constant pursuit of nonstop joy for their child might not be helping them. Marvel of marvels!
I was wondering when somebody in this country would wake up and smell the roses. I’m in my eighties and so I’m what they call old school, and this mess about kids feeling good about themselves every second of every day got on my nerves a long time ago. I’ve got four great-grandchildren and the behavior I’ve seen them get away with has driven me up a wall. Every time they play sports, whether they win or lose everybody gets a trophy. How insane is that? What’s being taught? That nobody looses in life? It seems to me that it takes away from the sense of accomplishment for the winner for a job well done. Is that fair? I’m sick of this.
I say it’s this kind of message that makes kids these days think that they should get something for nothing. Are they in for a rude awakening when they grow up! The woman being interviewed wondered how kids are going to learn to handle disappointments as adults if they haven’t been allowed the experience as children. The answer to that is badly, if she’s seen what I’ve seen.
My granddaughter was raised like this. She was the younger of my two grandchildren and my son and daughter- in-law didn’t indulge my grandson like they did her. He was raised to be an independent, self-sufficient man who was not given everything he asked for. He had to earn it. He turned out to be a decisive man, who thinks through his decisions. You can't find a better husband and father. He’s honest conscientious, and loyal. He has never come to his parents or to me for anything. He works for what he gets and doesn’t expect a handout, or even a hand up. What he doesn’t have or can’t get then he does without. I’m proud of the man and I do mean man.
My granddaughter is the opposite. She was given everything she wanted when she was growing up and always wants more. She seems to feel that she is entitled, to what I don’t know. Sound familiar? After all, the pursuit of her joy was her parents’ only concern, so she thinks that she should continue on that course. I love the child dearly, but she’s a whiner and has been since she was a little girl. As an adult she’s constantly asking for loans for this and that from her mother, who is a widow on Social Security—loans that she rarely pays back. And why not, after all, she’s entitled. The word no seems to be a foreign term to her, and I watched as her children started to travel down the same path, that is until they hit a road block. Me!
I had informed my fully grown granddaughter a long time ago don’t come to me for a loan. Just like a bank I’m not in the habit of loaning money to people who won’t live up to their commitments. She may be spoiled, but she’s not stupid. She knows who’s ripe pickings for the games she wants to play so she leaves me alone.
My next thing was to line all four of my great-grandkids, ages eight through twelve, up against the wall, where I proceeded to march back in forth in front of them like a general addressing her troops. I informed them that I had heard at least two of them talking back to their parents disrespectfully and saying the words “no I won’t” when they were asked to do such and such. I didn’t name names, but my granddaughter’s kids knew the score. I then reminded them what I had told them when they each were still toddlers: “Say no to Great Grandma and you’ll wish that you’d been sent to the happy hunting ground to be with your ancestors. Don’t try me.”
They were older now and I felt that it was time for a refresher course. I established that I was aware that spanking kids these days could get an adult put in jail, I didn’t care. Like I told them, at my age I welcome the prospect of going to a place where I’ll get free room and board, and free medical care. It sounds like a good deal to me. I could read my bible, do some arts and crafts, make a few license plates or whatever they make and get to bed early without somebody calling me on the phone in the middle of the night with some foolishness. Hell! Sent me to jail, because that’s where I’m headed if any of them said no to me about anything, or disrespected me in any way.
When I asked them if they understood my meaning, the chorus of yes ma’ams sounded like a church choir. I’ve never had any problem with my great grand kids and I had better not. I’m sure that they think I’m half crazy and I want them to keep thinking that way. I respect them as human beings and in return I demand to be respected. I have earned my place in this life, through trials, tribulations and triumphs that they could never imagine. I told those kids and I suggest that you tell yours that when they can say the same, then and only then will they be entitled.
I’ve said my piece and that’s my Brain Fart for today. Live and Learn.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Hello, and welcome to Mini Musings, a blog for women 50 and up who want to live life instead of simply exist. You don’t have to have grandchildren to follow this blog. All that is required is that in this stage in your life you want to enjoy yourself thoroughly. You want to do what you want to do, go where you want to go, whenever and with whomever you choose. After all, you’ve earned the right to enjoy the grace of being marvelously mature.
For those of you who do have grandchildren and who may wear the label of granny, grandma or nana, wear it proudly, but don’t let that rob you of the recognition that you are a woman with a life of your own. Too often the expectation in our society is that grandmothers have nothing better to do but babysit their grandchildren. Newsflash! I beg to differ.
There are three of us who will be sharing our mini musings with you. Our names are Bea Bell, Hattie Collier and Connie Palmer, that’s me. All three of us are widows in our sixties, and we’re all the figments of the imaginations of our creators, the authors of, Grandmothers, Incorporated the book series that follows our adventures as amateur crime fighters. We’re different women with diverse opinions about nearly everything, so we’ll be doing plenty of musing. Occasionally Miss Fanny, Hattie’s mother-in-law, who is in her eighties and going strong, might toss in some words of wisdom in her column called Brain Farts. There will also be guest contributors who will offer insight on various topics. So you see, this blog will not only be informative and inspirational, but it should also be a whole lot of fun.
Let me introduce the team:
Like I said, I’m Connie Palmer. I’m the mother of four grown children, three of whom live out of state, thank goodness. Now they can’t be all up in my business! Presently I’m dating a younger man, but I have no plans to ever marry again. Still, I might live with him one day, who knows, as long as he keeps his own house. Maybe he can rent it out. I really don’t care. I’ve gone through the sharing and compromising bit and I’m over it. I had thirty years of a loving marriage with a good man. We built a thriving real estate business together. Now I run Palmer Realty alone and I’m good at it.
Bea Bell is next on the list. She’s one of my best friends. We share a granddaughter. Her late son was married to one of my two daughters. While I have seven grandchildren, Bea only has the one. I’ve got to admit that we both spoil her. Bea is retired now, but she was a big shot in local politics when she did work. She still has a lot of contacts, and she's always been a social butterfly. She’ll have a lot to say on this blog about the political and social fronts. It was Bea who came up with the idea for an informal detective agency that we call Grandmothers, Incorporated. You see her son is a detective on the city’s police force. All three of us are fans of t.v. crime dramas, so we know a little bit about the law. I don't want to brag, but we've done pretty well putting some bad guys away. Don't worry, we’re not going to use our crime expertise on this blog.
Hattie Collier is my other best friend. She’s the mother of two and has four grandchildren, all of whom live here in town. She’s a super grandmother and much more traditional than I am. That often causes us to clash. I’m trying to think of a diplomatic way to describe her because I like her a lot. The only word that I can think of to describe Hattie’s personality is exasperating. She can really push my buttons. Let’s say that she’ll be our moral compass on this blog. She is a woman who still thinks of herself as married, despite the fact that her husband has been dead for years. On top of that, she's had her eyes on the unmarried pastor of her church for some time. Can you believe it! Her thoughts are pretty conservative—often downright weird. Her musings ought to be quite interesting.
Then there's Mrs. Fanny Collier. Like I said, she’s Hattie’s mother-in-law. The two haven’t gotten along since Hattie walked down the aisle with Miss Fanny’s only child. They snipe at each other constantly and Miss Fanny can be a pretty good foil for all of Hattie’s nonsense. Miss Fanny tells it like it is and is usually right. The lady is as sharp as a tack! She lives life on her own terms and screw anybody who doesn’t like it. She’s my she-ro.That’s it, the Mini Musings bloggers—four figments of two active imaginations—Connie, the radical one, Bea, the moderate one and Hattie the conservative one, with some spice being added to the mix by Miss Fanny. Between the four of us we’ve experienced it all—racism, sexism and now ageism—and we figure that we’ve earned the right to comment on it all. So we welcome the marvelously mature to our blog. If you like irreverence on all levels, you’ll like what you read. If you don’t, then we suggest that you move on. Check out our website at www.grandmothersinc.com or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org