Equals a lot of hot air desperate for escape and reminds me of...
Stay with me here a minute.
Say it to yourself over and over like a mantra.
Junior High. Junior High. Junior High.
Remember? No? Wanna forget? Yeah.
The windy years. When everything blows up in your face, including your face. You have an attractive picture of yourself from Junior High. Nope? Didn’t think so. Did you know that it is a scientific fact that with the onset of adolescence, one’s nose grows disproportionately faster than the rest of one’s face which causes your appearance to appear less than symmetrical. Now add the sprouting of facial hair, boys AND girls, acne, boys AND girls, the painfully aching desire to stand out and fit in at the same time, which leads to wild and sundry experimentation with hair styles and clothing choices as upsetting to your parents as possible, and you have...pictures that should be buried in a landfill and never unearthed, especially if you are a candidate running for office.
When the wind, which was once the rough and tumble frollicking breeze of childhood, suddenly changes direction and only blows one way, and anyone who disagrees with you is just plain stupid. Dense. Dumb. Ignorant. Out of touch. Old.
Just like your parents.
Once the object of your affection, the source of your personal safety, the cheerleaders at your side from crawl to walk to run. Your personal chauffeurs, your buddy in the tent at camp, the nurse holding your head so you won’t fall into the toilet while you heave over and over in the middle of flu season. Your 24 hour ATM machines. Your Get Out Of Jail Free Card thank God it’s only a dent and no one was injured ambulance chasers.
Those parents. The ones who held your hand while you crossed the street, now you beg to crouch down behind the steering wheel when they drop you off at school. The ones with the black socks and the weird hair. Them. The ones who used to know everything, now know nothing. Well, they know something. But they are so old. So out of touch. So out of date. So inferior in intellect. So slow to change. So unaware. Sigh.
It starts with the hot air of a sigh. Then eye rolling. Then shoulder shrugging. Then an air of dismissal. And soon, it goes from hot air to really steamy. And the venting begins. You don’t understand. You don’t get it. You’re stuck in the past. Jeez. Please.
Leave. Me. Alone.
If you can’t or won’t or don’t agree with me, then you are, you must be, you surely are WRONG.
And as there are few Junior High pictures that any of us would care to post, the parents of Junior High Schoolers rarely have pictures taken during that same era that they would like published. For this is about the time hair starts to fall out, balding patterns develop, crow’s feet and worry lines are etched, blood pressure soars, sleep deprivation develops and bad nutrition from eating while standing at the counter after screaming up the stairs one last time begins. We, the parents, do not worry about the poor, care little about the earth’s resources, wear shoes made of leather, gasp, or drink tap water unaware of the parasites leeching into our pores. We are politically incorrect, intolerant of change, incapable of mastering technology, listen to the Carpenters on the radio for God’s sake, and emit carbon willy nilly while mowing the lawn.
It is at this point that the hot air swirls ever higher, rushes ever faster and is soon a developing storm on the horizon. So we bend like the trees, but we do not break. Because parents have been to the dark side, remember those doomed days, can hear our own voices railing against the parental machine and collapsing the day we heard the words slip out of our own mouths followed by a slap to the forehead and...oh I sound like my mother...
You see, in the grown up world, the art of conversation is a two way street. Or it used to be. With two people, standing on the same street, face to face. Once upon a time in a land very far away, people spoke and others listened. Then a pause and others listened while people spoke. And guess what? They didn’t have to AGREE. Oh sometimes they did, and sometimes they didn’t or sometimes they agreed to disagree, or to simply avoid the arguments because they just wanted to spend some time being TOGETHER.
Young and foolish is one thing. Older and intolerant is quite another.
On the Internet. In the marketplace. At school. On the highway. In Tweets and on Facebook. Commentary on blogs and in social media. In politics and across the globe. Across the fence into our neighbor’s yard.
A lot of of hot, grandstanding, bull-throwing, gossip mongering, vile and hurtful rhetoric. Hot air rising off hot headed blowhards. You knew these people in Junior High. You know you did. Maybe you were even one of them once upon a time. We all were. We all thought we knew it all. And if you didn’t agree with ME, there was something wrong with YOU.
Well, I think I know how to let some of that hot air out of the balloon. Just a small tiny leak. To let in a pinprick of light. Take the Anonymity out of the Avatars and require that anyone posting a comment state their real name, not some clever screen name, and in place of their Avatar photo...post their Junior High school picture.
Be brave enough to put their braces, rat tails, Goth piercings, bad hair, geeky, goofy, and underdeveloped selves on display.
OR...a picture of the real you...the face you want the world to see...to match the voice you want the world to hear...
I promise I’ll do it too...if I could just find that picture...I’m pretty sure I used a lot of hairspray on my helmet hair...and is that a unibrow...ummm...that one is not from my good side...
The Yard Yetis A Gardeners Tale continues...