- hello Lin
- Username: grandmalin
- In response to: "If you were in a movie right now, what music would be playing?" Something by Randy Newman. I love him. I love him so much I forgot his name and had to go look him up.....
- grandmalin's latest answers
- Moody Weather
How much does the weather influence my mood?
Well, first off, this is a great question to ask any Canadian, because we wouldn't even have moods if it wasn't for changes in the weather. We would have nothing to talk about and nothing really to do. We are a nation of people who have evolved with the seasons.
We all complain bitterly about winter because it's cold and white and bleak and makes our cars run funny. (Well except for those insane winter sports enthusiasts who pretend to love the ice and the snow and skiing in the mountains and who go trotting off to hockey games all the time.) (There's also the ones who go flying off to Mexico for six months every year and no longer care, although once there I'm pretty sure they will complain about the heat instead.)
In the spring we either get far too much rain or not nearly enough. The snow goes away too fast, or it refuses to go fast enough. This puts all farmers and gardeners and lawn enthusiasts into foul humor, one way or the other. The rest of us either pity them or remain thoroughly confused as to why it makes any difference.
In the summer the weather is either unseasonably cool or ridiculously hot. It is too humid or it is too dry. There are too many bugs and there's not enough sunshine, or there's way too much sunshine, and all those harmful rays can't possibly be good for us. Perfect weather would stun us speechless. Most of us are confined to windowless workplaces and temperature controlled buildings and we miss it all anyway.
In the fall it gets much too windy, much too soon, and we get burried in leaves before we're ready for it. Everyone decides to get everything winterized all at once and we're all surprised and miffed when the people who do these things are very busy and we have to wait our turn. We live in constant dread of that first snowfall and fret for weeks about whether or not it's the right time to put the snow tires on.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that about 90% of my time is spent indoors quite happily disconnected from whatever impact the weather would like to have on my life. Of course this doesn't stop me from being bored and irritated because I'm cooped up inside, or annoyed with whatever is going on out there, even if I haven't experienced it yet today first hand.
There's always somebody wandering around from building to building who is happy to drop by and let the people inside know what kind of hell they're being put through weather-wise. The rest of us adjust our moods accordingly.
- Asking for Help
I avoid asking for help with the dishes. No one else can load them into my dishwasher like I can with everything in the proper place and facing the right way and the exact perfect distances apart that they need to be in order to come out sparkling clean. My dishwasher is old and pathetic and doesn't work unless everything is rinsed before it goes in there. No one else seems to understand this. Or why I don't replace it with something that works better, and I will someday, but it's hooked up all weird and not really built in because it still has a plug in instead of being wired and do I really want some dishwasher installer rolling his eyes at me until it's absolutely necessary that I have to put up with that? Right now the water is hot and it disinfects things and the dishes are cleaner and better rinsed than if I did them myself in the sink.
Of course every good rule has an exception, and if someone else loads the dishwasher when I'm not looking and turns it on and then copes with the results on their own, that's great. Just don't let me see what's happening at any point during this process, because whatever is going on is sure to be wrong according to the way I would have done it. Which is always the right way. I don't get what's so hard to understand about that.
I avoid asking for help with the grocery shopping too. Mostly because I don't like to be questioned about why I need whatever it is I'm putting in the cart. Some things cannot be explained.
I never avoid asking for help with something I can't see any sense in doing in the first place, or don't feel like doing alone, or don't have the energy or ambition to tackle at the moment, especially if I notice that there are other people just lallygagging around doing nothing. And if they don't want to help, I have no problem joining in and keeping them company in the loafing process while waiting for them to change their minds or until we all forget what it was we were supposed to be doing in the first place.
- Act Your Age
When Annie was three years old her mother told her to act her age. Stop being such a baby, she said, you're a big girl now.
When Annie was six years old her mother told her to stop behaving like a two year old. You are being so childish, she said, it's ridiculous. Act your age.
When Annie was twelve she longed to be sixteen. You are still a child, her mother told her, not a teenager. You aren't ready and you are not mature. Perhaps you should stop trying to grow up so fast and act your age.
When Annie was a party girl at twenty-one and wild and free, her mother told her to grow up. Do something with your life, she said, get a better job, stop hanging around with losers, make some plans for your future. For someone your age you are being very irresponsible.
When Annie fell in love and got married and had a daughter of her own, her mother said it made her very sad to see that she had settled down so young. She should have waited, and travelled, and persued a career, and enjoyed being single and free while she had the chance. Too late now, she said with a sigh.
Before Annie was thirty she went on a month long trip far away from her mother and took her little daughter with her. They played on the beach and slept until noon and laughed and were silly and hardly ever stopped smiling. Her mother told her she was setting a very poor example, not being a responsible parent, not properly disciplining her child and certainly not acting her age.
Annie told her daughter she hoped she would be happy with every moment of every day of her life at whatever age she happened to be. Cry like a baby if that's how you feel, pout like a two year old while you're solving your problems if that's what helps you to solve them. Dress up and dream and pretend. Dance and sing and shout and laugh and love. Don't try too hard to grow up, but don't try NOT to grow up either. Don't wish to be anyone or anything except exactly who and what you are.
And promise me this, my darling daughter, for the rest of your life, for as long as you live, that you will never, never, NEVER act your age.
- Kids and Phones
At what age do you think it's appropriate for children to get cell phones?
"Appropriate" is such a fuddy duddy word in this context. Appropriate behavior and suitable conduct are mostly very subjective things. And it's rather amazing what some parents are willing to put up with when it comes to acceptable manners, especially in public places. There's also the question of phone etiquette, which, if you don't have any yourself, is rather hard to teach to your children.
Also, there's no magic age for anything. Some kids can be left at home alone because they know how to act responsibly when they're ten. There are thirteen year olds who still need babysitters.
So forget age, and forget appropriate. Think necessity and basic intelligence. A cell phone is a great tool for keeping in touch and letting parents know where you are and whether or not you're okay, or for getting help when you need it. And I'm not talking about calling your mom at work because you misplaced something and can't find it. A smart kid can sort out problems in order of urgency.
Once a kids cell phone is more important to the kid than it is to the parent as a tracking device, it's a good time to get the kid to pay for his own plan, so he learns that his parents are willing to pay for his 'needs' but when it comes to his 'wants', he's more or less on his own. There are a lot of kids out there who don't get that. And if their parents keep footing the bills, they never will.
So how's that for a sanctimoniously appropriate preachy response? Chronological age is kind of beside the point. What's allowed and acceptable changes with every generation and sometimes with the wind. Get your kid a cell phone as soon as he can talk and stops shoving everything into his mouth, if that's what you feel like doing and what you're willing as a parent to deal with. Better make sure you're able to interpret stuff like R U ok? and CU l8ter, and maybe take a crash course in deciphering the magic of auto correct. And be prepared to have your child take off with his electronic devices discovering whole new worlds, and leaving you far, far behind.
- Staying Warm
I really think I'm living at the wrong end of the world, and much too close to the north pole. I hate winter. Snow and cold annoy the hell out of me. I'd like to be able to leave the windows open all year round and walk outside in my bare feet whenever the mood hits me and sit in the sun all afternoon. But it's January, so everything is closed up tight and insulated and weather stripped and there's ice on the driveway and snow clouds in the sky and vitamin D supplements for breakfast.
I stay warm by cranking up the furnace. Sometimes I even put on socks. I go from a warm house to a warmed up car to a heated workplace. The brisk walk across the parking lot is my idea of more than enough time spent braving the elements. No rosey cheeks or rudolph nose or frost bitten fingers for me, thanks. Been there and done that (we lived in the Arctic for over a decade) and I've gotten over it completely. Do not ever want to go back, even for a visit.
Probably I started hating winter from a very young age and have just never outgrown it. Our old two story farm house was heated by a wood furnace in the basement and sometimes in the morning, two floors away from it, once we crawled out from under fifty pounds of blankets, we could see our breath in the air. It felt like our feet would freeze to the floor if we didn't get moving, and shivering violently was the only way to stay alive until we could race downstairs to the kitchen and sit on a heat register and thaw ourselves out.
So my really only favorite thing about winter is seeing the end of it in the spring. Winter is something to be tolerated and endured and survived and hibernated through. I try to ignore it, and eventually it goes away.