Archive for November 8th, 2010

November 8, 2010

Bubbleboy Makes Friends

I have noticed a sneaking “friendication” of my son’s world. Again I begin with a disclaimer – a sign of our times: I love my friends, they are important to me.   I’d go to hell (and back, hopefully) for them, I’d loan them money, pump up the airbed for them, help them move, listen to their failed love stories, paint their apartments,  I let them choose TV programs and I even try to accommodate their dietary preferences although that is becoming pretty much impossible these days.  If my friends break something I smile and say “don’t worry, it ain’t important” and, truthfully, it isn’t.  I have very good friends and I intend to keep them for a long time.  Then there are others, acquaintances, people I like, people I think are funny or witty, smart or entertaining.   Some of them might become friends – or not.

And then – big ugly confession coming – there are people I can’t stand.  People who annoy the hell out of me, who are judgmental, arrogant, nasty, or dull. People who bring out the worst in me. I am not proud of that but also not apologetic . There are people who hate me.    No idea why (well, okay, I might have an inkling) I am fine with that, too. Such is life.

We are all best friends forever - or at least until tomorrow. Pic: © Marzanna Syncerz | Dreamstime.com

Only, my son’s isn’t. He is six and therefore supposed to consider everybody between 2.5 and eight years a friend. He might have friends, good friends, really good friends, and best friends – but they are all friends.

And since they are all friends certain rules apply (there are probably more but this is the one that bothers me the most):

No kid can bring birthday/party invitations to class and hand them out unless all “friends” are invited. The rational is that the friends’ feeling will get ever so severely bruised resulting in lifelong visits to a shrink by not being invited to Mike’s birthday party – even if Mike is that kid one never plays with.  F-ing hassle for the poor mom who has to position herself off the school grounds or lurk in the shadow of some building waiting for the parents of the real friends to walk by before or after school and secretly hand them the incriminating envelop, glancing around right and left to make sure not to be spotted.

The worst (or best): the kids are smart and they are not buying that stuff  so it is all for naught. Standing phrases in our house are “Jack is my friend but I never play with him and I don’t like him.” or “Janet is my friend – BUT I DON’T WANT HER TO COME TO MY BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!!!”

I tell my child – politically ever so incorrectly: “It is okay, not everybody has to be your friend. It is normal not to like certain people and not to play with them. You just have to be nice to them anyway and you cannot ever knock the daylights out of them.”

One day, I know, my son will yell on the top of his lungs “but my mom says it is okay that I don’t like you!!!”. That day I will get a call from the principal. I am working on my defense summation already.

November 8, 2010

Catch 22

You’ll hear Americans say ‘this is a catch 22″ and chance are you have no idea what that might mean.  I didn’t.  To be in a catch 22 (situation) means you are in the very unenviable position that one thing must happen in order for a second thing to happen but since the first thing doesn’t happen the second will neither.

There are a couple of typical catch 22 situations:

Job seeker: “I can’t get a job without a place to stay and I can’t find a place to stay without a job.  It’s a catch 22.”

Another job seeker:  “I need a job to obtain a visa but in this economic environment nobody is going to give me a job without a visa.  Complete catch 22.”

The idiom can be used in casual as well as in business conversation. It is derived from the book  Catch 22 by Joseph Heller about the experiences of an American pilot.