Maturity

There are certain things that one is supposed to leave behind in childhood. Cruelty. Humiliating others. Petty revenge. Foolish pranks. Bullying. Laughing at others’ misfortune. Selfishness. Name calling.

I have a hard time relating to adults who engage in such behavior. I don’t find it funny. In truth, I find it horrifying. Such blatant lack of compassion kind of scares me, because you never know when it will be aimed in your direction. Be very careful who you consider to be friends.

I am particularly worried about those of us who are just entering adulthood right now, at a time when the leader of our country demonstrates most of this conduct on a daily basis and may very well be reelected. What kind of signal are we sending to our young adults when this is countenanced?

Now, more than ever, we need to model kindness and love and generosity. We need to be the lessons that our leaders are not. And we need to ask ourselves why we have such leaders in the first place.

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What to Cook When You Hate to Cook. Recipe 3: Pepperoni Mac n’ Cheese

I never said that all my recipe suggestions were going to be healthy ones. In this day and age, you can get healthy recipes any-dang-where. You certainly don’t need me for that.

No. I’m here to speak for all the lazy cooks out there who long for comfort food, waistlines be damned. (My peeps! You know who you are!)

Any hardening of your arteries is your own responsibility. We’re all adults here. All I can say is this stuff tastes good. And it’s easy to make. So here goes:

Pepperoni Mac n’ Cheese

One box of Mac n’ Cheese

Pizza Sauce

Pepperoni

Prepare mac n’ cheese as per instructions on the box. Add pizza sauce and pepperoni to taste. Mix all together. Done.

(I also strongly suggest you start buying pants with elastic waistbands. You’ll need them.)

Any other pizza toppings you’d like to add, including extra cheese, would probably be yummy, too. Just a thought. Mmmmmm…

pepperoni
The next best thing to pizza.

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Pick on Someone Your Own Size

Of all the collateral damage caused by our Grand Poobah, I have to say I feel the most sorry for Barron Trump. If he’s not being criticized about being sleepy at 3 in the morning, he’s being called “Poor Little Rich Boy” or being accused of mental health issues.

Childhood is hard enough without being bullied by the internet trolls and the comedians of this world. We all have scars from the cruelties we experienced growing up, but there’s absolutely no excuse for this. Give the kid a break. There are some lines that no one should ever cross.

Barron Trump did not ask for any of this. He didn’t choose his parents or the paths they decided to take in life. He had absolutely no say in the matter. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be him. He will never experience the luxury of a normal life. His father is fair game, but he isn’t.

Satire is fine. Criticism is often necessary. Opinions have a right to be expressed. You don’t have to agree with me. I don’t have to agree with you. But direct your slings and arrows at the adults of this world. Pick on someone your own size.

Say what you will, but at the end of the day, this is just a 10 year old boy. And he’s a 10 year old boy who gets to look forward to experiencing puberty under public scrutiny. Can you imagine?

bully

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Adult Bullies

The psychiatric community does not like to place the label of psychopath on children. I suppose that is understandable, because there’s no known cure for psychopathy, and if you get that diagnosis wrong, you could drastically damage that child’s life. No one wants to give up on a child. But the theory is that one percent of the population is psychopathic, and the current thinking appears to be that this is not a trait that you suddenly acquire one day like a new pair of shoes. You are born with it. So it stands to reason that one percent of all children are psychopathic as well.

Most psychopaths do not turn into violent serial killers. Many of them are quite successful in business and relatively functional members of society. A lot of that has to do with their upbringing. Put a psychopathic child in a warped and abusive family, and you might get a murderer. But put him or her in a healthy, loving environment, and chances are you’ll get someone who can at least pass as being a normal person much of the time.

When children behave badly, it’s their parents who are usually blamed, or lack of education, or inadequate role models. The assumption is that their behavior can change if these factors are altered. But when an adult is violent or cruel, those excuses, as far as I’m concerned, only go so far. Adults, you see, should know better.

I’ve known my fair share of despicable adults. Many of them have had horrible childhoods. But after a certain point, one ought to be able to put on one’s big boy pants and take responsibility for one’s actions. If you are incapable of doing that, then there’s a good chance you have psychopathic tendencies.

I’ve known people who were 65 years old and were still bullies. They delighted in making life a living hell for those around them. They were cruel, hostile, aggressive, and completely devoid of compassion. If you’ve functioned like that for decades, that’s not some mere character flaw, that’s a lifestyle.

Speaking from painful experience, people like that are not going to change, and your best defense against them is to avoid contact as much as possible. Woe betide you if you have to work with this type of individual. If your human resources department thinks that these negative traits can be reversed with some sort of communications or anger management training, they will be sadly mistaken. If they don’t have the courage to cut these people out of the company like a cancerous tumor, then your only hope, unfortunately, is to try and outlast them with your sanity intact, or move on.

Yes, I know, it should be
Yes, I know, it should be “than”, not “then”. I didn’t make the meme.

“It’s a Ride Naked on a Tricycle Kind of Day”

A friend of mine sent out a picture of his toddler doing just that the other day, and that was the caption below it. I thought, “I have those kinds of days, but only in my head.”

That reminded me of one of my pet peeves. Why do children get to do things that adults would never dare to do? I want to jump in puddles! I want to make mud pies! I want to go down a slip n’ slide! I want to blow bubbles in my milk! I want to have a tree house!

My mother used to adore merry-go-rounds. I still have an image of her in my head, riding on one in her early 40’s, sitting stiffly upright but looking absolutely delighted. At the time I was so young that I didn’t realize how special that was. It takes a lot for an adult to do something like that. Why is that?

Some people have children or grandchildren and can use them as an excuse to let their inner child come out to play. But for those of us who have no children, or whose children have all grown up, I feel it’s important to remind oneself to remain playful. That’s what I loved about the Cosby Show. Now there was a couple that remained playful with each other. I want to have a relationship, heck, I want to have a life like that.

Somewhere along the line most of us become more reserved. It sneaks up on us gradually. One day we look up and realize we’re no longer someone who gets into snowball fights or does Chinese Fire Drill at stoplights. And that is most definitely our loss.

In college at the dances, a friend of mine used to link hands with me and we’d spin in circles. It was so liberating! Just 3 or 4 short years later I visited her on campus. She now worked there. We happened to find ourselves at a dance and I wanted to spin, for old time’s sake. She wouldn’t, or couldn’t, do it. As a staff member, she had an image to uphold. That made me profoundly sad.

But we don’t have to walk that path if we don’t want to. We can still be responsible adults while tossing the occasional water balloon. So your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to find yourself a puddle and jump in it. I won’t tell.

young_at_heart

Reality Based Children’s Books

The other day I watched a brief video of a Children’s book that was narrated by Samuel L Jackson. It’s called “Go the F**k to Sleep”. I don’t know what made me laugh harder: the actual book, which was surely written more for the entertainment of adults, or the fact that we have reached a point in history where we’re willing to laugh at ourselves enough to actually publish a book of this type.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y-vDYOpkoWE

This got me thinking of other children’s books that are simply crying out to be written. Here’s a few that I’ve come up with, but feel free to suggest your own in the comments section below.

  • Things Often DON’T End Happily Ever After. Sorry.
  • Glass Slippers Would Cause Fungal Infections on Your Feet
  • There’s a Good Chance You Won’t Become Royalty
  • Not Everyone is Beautiful and That’s Okay.
  • If You See Things Turning into Pumpkins, You Might Need Help
  • If You Go Around Kissing Sleeping Women, You May Appear Desperate or Do Time
  • The Plural of Dwarf is Dwarves
  • It’s Usually Not a Good Idea to Hang Out with Undomesticated Animals
  • The Yellow Brick Road Has Pot Holes
  • If Someone Gives You Magic Beans, Make Sure They’re Not from Monsanto
  • Jackass: The Eighth Dwarf
  • The Big Bad Wolf was Just Misunderstood
  • Humpty Dumpty Died and it Wasn’t Pretty
  • Goldilocks was a Burglar
  • Never Throw Wild Parties with Creatures 10 Times Your Size
  • If Someone is Creepy, Don’t Get in his Boat, Even if he Owns a Chocolate Factory
  • Most Problems aren’t Solved in 25 Pages
  • Not all Evil People are Visibly Ugly