The amount of misinformation my children bring home is at times highly disconcerting.
- No, most fish do not have eyelids.
- Yes, plasma IS a state of matter.
- No, that is NOT an actual STD and it has nothing to do with math.
That’s just a sampling of teacher inspired information I’ve had to correct. More insidious and less obvious are things the children pick up from other kids. I’m lucky, in a way, that my kids have very few filters around me. They talk about anything and everything. So unlike my coworker who has no clue what goes on in her daughter’s school because her daughter says very little, I hear about the substitute teacher that threatens “bad” children by saying “God gonna git you!” or the scheduled bathroom fights which govern gang recruitment.
Fun, eh? Yeah, Memphis city schools are a shining example of ignorance, violence, and lack of actual teaching. This isn’t to say there are no good teachers. There are. However for every good teacher there’s another two or three crappy ones.
So a few days back my son precipitated some weird joke, which of course the girls parroted, that I was cheating on Soup King. I don’t recall how it started or why, but they thought it was hilarious, and I had a moment of utter embarrassment and thought, “Oh GOD! Where’s the duct tape?” It’s not that there was a shred of truth or anything like that, but rather I flashed back to issues Soup King and I have dealt with and then even farther back to my marriage. The subtle digs and not-so-subtle threats and about women pandering for attention, and being these needy, self-absorbed creatures that had to be kept in line with death threats. So, no I did not find the topic the least bit funny, despite my giggles of embarrassment. I derailed their train with an imperious, “ENOUGH!” I figured it was a one time thing.
I was wrong.
Last night at dinner Mr. Smarty-Pants starts in again. Before his sisters can jump on what they think is sure-fire comedic genius, I cut in.
“Why, exactly, are you saying that?”
“You’re wearing eye shadow. So, you must be trying to get a man.”
Oh, I can see how perhaps some teacher’s comment designed to discourage young girls from primping in class could have been extrapolated, but needless to say he got a dressing down. Women, especially those long past the self-absorbed teen years, do not weigh our every clothing, make-up, and hairdo choice based upon man-trapping designs. I informed him that while some girls and women might do that, he’d best disabuse himself of that notion. Men are not the center of every decision going through a woman’s head. Topping it off by adding that it was insulting and not the least bit funny to accuse me of cheating.
He sulked a bit, but got over himself and the evening continued.
For young people not under my roof, here’s my message to you:
Hairstyles, clothes and makeup do not define you. They do not win you the guy or girl. Looking nice is about taking pride in yourself. More often than not, if you look like a slob it says, “I don’t care about myself”. If you don’t love and respect yourself, why should others?
Life isn’t about snagging a guy or girl, but rather becoming the best person you can be and being happy with yourself.
My amazing Soup King has seen me at my utter worst. He loves me just as much when I have rumpled hair, allergy eyes, suffering intestinal issues, and sporting hormonal zits as when I’m perfectly coiffed and stunning. I feel the same about him. Short hair or long, bearded or clean shaven, t-shirt or suit, it has nothing to do with the loving tender man that captured my heart.
Society and the media will try to sell you a different story, but do yourself a favor and don’t listen.