In a rare Sunday edition (for no other reason than I am late), I bring you the weekly digest of items either too short, too eccentric, too dumb, or too-recycled-from-my-other-social-media feeds to warrant their own post.
- Parenting Analogy: Trying to get kids out of the house is, at times, like riding a bike underwater. IF the bike had no chain. AND complained constantly. AND just remembered that it had to pee.
- Technology: We found an old film camera in our basement, with some undeveloped film. On one hand, how did we live like that, with the surely-gut-wrenching uncertainty in what EXACTLY we had captured on film, and with the knowledge that we’d have to drive to the drug store, TWICE, to find out? On the other, it would be kind of refreshing to have to wait until I pick up my photos to realize my thumb is in every single one of them or that no one in my family is smiling at the same time.
- Speaking of Tech: Like many folks these days, we get much of our in-home TV entertainment through services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. We do live in a pretty fantastic age, one in which the entertainment choices are so vast it makes your head spin, all accessible from the comfort of our couches/chairs/floor-if-all-the-kids-are-watching too.
As grand as it is, sometimes we regret the loss of the simplicity found in good old rabbit ears and VCR’s. Never in my recollection did our VCR have an issue finding a wireless network, or not play a movie because it was produced by a rival company, or change the videos it would be willing to play at the beginning of every month. Simplicity can be nice.
- Speaking of VCR’s: During my childhood and adolescence, my parents paid enough in VHS late return fees to buy a small Mediterranean island. Even with the decaying business model, how did Blockbuster not have about $7 trillion banked from late fees alone? They shouldn’t have had to a single movie since 1999 and should be still coasting on those funds. I think it’s very possible that right now, there’s a former Blockbuster middle manager sitting on some tropical beach sipping Rum and Coke and telling the staff, the seagulls and anyone else who will listen the story of how he skimmed billions from the Blockbuster Late Fee fund. He is safe in telling his contemptible tale, since no one knows what Blockbuster is, and his ramblings are written off as those of an eccentric-if-rich old coot. Or at least that’s my guess.
- Speaking of Movies: There has not been a movie in the past 6 months, or more, that we have been compelled to go see in the theater, and even then it’s been mostly kids’ movies. Is it that most current movies are not compelling? Is it that we are old and crotchety and fail to understand the cinematic world these days? Is it that the effort to get a babysitter and drive to a theater to pay those hippy criminals exorbitantly high prices for a ticket and concessions . . . sorry, crotchety is creeping back in there. I just miss being excited about a movie. Maybe, like the hair on the back top of my head, those days are gone?
- Turtles, Nature’s Other Scapegoats: People often use the phrase “He/She finally came out of their shell” to describe folks who have overcome some type of social anxiety, as if the “shell” they refer to is actually some sort of temperamental prison which, FINALLY, they are free of. Presumably, this phrase derives from the distinct anatomical features of our friend the turtles. But, I think this is a very unfair analogy. Not only does it denigrate introverts, who are perfectly fine inside of their warm shells, curled up on a nice wingback chair with some good lighting, a cup of Earl Grey and a great book. It is also a slap in the bulbous face of our reptilian pals.
Save for the hellish occasions in which they become the main feature of a savory soup, turtles cannot fully come out of their shells. It is part of who they are. Unless, of course, you are talking about them poking their heads and legs out ot see and move and eat, then, I guess, touché – your analogy holds. . . You know what? Scratch that: it is still an unfair analogy. The other day my daughters found a turtle and brought it up to the house. Had that turtle decided to heed the advice and admonition of conventional folk wisdom and had “come out of his shell,” my dog may very well have eaten his head.
Let’s be kinder to introverts AND turtles, I guess that’s what I’m saying.
. . . Until next week, feel free to stay in your shell . . .