Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vol #2, Col #6: Let's Make a Date

There’s a difference in the eyes of men between a “bangable chick” and a “marriageable woman”. The reason I can be so certain of this is because the vast majority of my friends (I moonlight as a professional musician) are of the masculine gender (not to mention I have six older brothers) making me privy to conversations from which the average female is excluded.

Continuing on from last week’s discussion of personal attire and making “respectable” choices, it only seemed logical to remain within the romantic realm offering up to my fellow ladies once again a few additional tidbits; this time, in terms of attitude, expectations, and actions that ‘twill serve to transform you into the latter of the two aforementioned types.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve dated more than my fair share of losers (again I’m a musician, and rocker boys…well they’re bad news), but then I learned “The Rules”, and honest to god no more than a month after this intensive “mind re-tooling” I roped in my very own Mr. Right. How right is he you ask?

Well, from leaving roses on my doorstep in the middle of the night so that my early morning grogginess (and bitchiness) was combated as I ventured on to my day job to creating roadtrip cds containing each and every one of my most obscure favourites to planning a scavenger hunt of gifts for me on my bday timed precisely so that I’d discover a new treat every hour until he returned home from work to never missing a day when it comes to calling me beautiful, I think you get the picture.

But I’m not here to gloat about my own love life (and believe you me this is the first time in my entire existence that it has even been remotely “gloatable”). No, I’m here to tell you how you can have the very same kind of relationship.

While the business world dictates that the successful modern woman is aggressive and assertive, essentially mimicking the attributes traditionally associated with professional men, when it comes to dating, a woman who makes the first move is perceived as either 
a) easy 
b) desperate; neither designation accords you long-term potential mate status. Let ME let YOU in on a secret: men LOVE a challenge.

On my and my fellow’s first date, I intentionally arrived 15 minutes late. I told him he could only see me again if he were lucky, and I also made certain that I would not be the one texting, calling, or emailing him to make plans. When he did call, I didn’t always pick up the phone, and if he left a message, I didn’t always return it.

Now these actions may scream out to uneducated “Rules” women that I wasn’t putting in my fair share, and consequently, I was going to drive him away because he’d get the wrong impression that I wasn’t into him, but on the contrary my dears, it was all a test. If he wanted me for more than just a little hanky-panky, he had to show it, and the only way I (or any woman) could ascertain his true intentions was/continues to be by being able to evaluate the consistency of his efforts. In layman’s terms, if you get a man on a routine (ie: there’s an expectation that he’s to call nightly at a given hour, for example), any deviation in his pattern will indicate to you there’s a problem in the relationship (barring extraneous circumstances), therefore potentially saving you from seriously devastating heartbreak (which none of us obviously want or deserve).

So why is all of this important? Well, let’s face it ladies, we are naturally more emotional creatures, and we get attached to others much easier. I’ve known a slew of women who have mistaken their “maternal instincts” (their desire to help others through care and nurturance) with their “huntress instincts” (their sex and romantic drives) leading to unfortunate co-dependent relationships wherein they play the roles of mother, housekeeper and bedmate simultaneously (not cool, any healthy relationship is mutual in ALL areas). On the converse, I’ve also known many women who have made excuses for lousy specimens of men, insisting their cheating was only a one-time thing, and that they are perfectly okay with their mates’ addictions to porn and other oh-so-productive drugs of choice.

Don’t kid yourself – we don’t work the same way. Women can’t just fuck and be satisfied. The ones that claim they can are lying to you and themselves, and almost invariably suffer from serious distorted perceptions of their own self worth.

The point is that, “nobody’s gonna wanna buy the cow if you’re giving away the milk for free”. So, just as I suggested to you last week to class it up clothing-wise if you desire to be treated as a person (not a nice set of jugs), I also suggest you re-tool your dating protocol if you’ve found yourself dating anyone similar to my exes. The best place to start? Pick yourself up a copy of Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider’s “The Rules”.

The most important thing to get out of all of this is this: don’t sell yourself short. Going to a fast food joint is NOT an acceptable standard for a date, and meeting men at bars or gyms RARELY leads to anything more than you becoming next week’s locker room gossip. Be coy. Be mysterious. Leave him wanting more, instead of giving it all upfront (I mean that from an emotional, dating history, and physical stance). 

Think back to the days where marriages actually lasted…the one night stand scene gets old real fast and promoting promiscuity is stupid (not to mention all of the diseases and unnecessary pregnancies it leads to).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vol #2, Col #5: Destination Unknown

‘Tis the season NOT to be jolly (well, unless of course you feel so inclined), but rather to hit the road, set up shop in a summertime soiree resort, and/or leave on a jet plane to some exotic destination. The solstice is fast approaching, and so it only seemed natural to write about the typical itinerary that year after year seems to accompany said weather. If you catch my drift, I’m referring to the long pinned for summer vacation.

After a hard go at school and/or full-time work, once the birds start their chirping, and the flowers begin to bloom, we all get that feeling - that feverish desire to construct one’s days entirely around basking in the sunlight. Spring and summer are after all generative times (ie: the seasons of rebirth), so this desire to explore new terrain – a “summer fling” if you will (vacation and otherwise) – is only natural. Wherein lies the problem, however, is how “contemporary tourism” is done.

While I hate to stereotype, there’s something to be said about how our friends from down South, in particular, do the whole “let’s visit a foreign country thing.” Last June while I was on vaca in Athens checking out the one and only Acropolis (undoubtedly one of the most amazing sites one can ever hope to experience in the flesh in terms of witnessing monumental history), is unequivocally where I encountered the worst of the “contemporary tourist” offenses I can imagine.

As I was coming down the peak headed back toward ground level, I heard two Americans behind me quibbling back and forth, stating how they didn’t get the “big deal” associated with this place. It was, according to one of them, and I quote, “just a bunch of rocks.” So here I am, a diehard fanatic of all things Ancient Greek and Roman, experiencing absolute euphoria because I just got the opportunity to view a part of history in person that I only fantasized about every time I read my textbooks, having to overhear blatant ignorance and a lack of appreciation for the history and longstanding impact with which this place was/continues to be associated. Suffice it to say, it was harder than you can imagine for me to keep my mouth shut.

But even in more mundane circumstances, it seems that tourism has gone all wrong. We stay at five star resorts just to sun our buns and get drunk in the hotels’ pools with their built-in bars. We order burgers and fries, instead of daring to give a “taste-test” to the local ethnic cuisine. We go on organized adventure tours with fellow wayfarers, rather than interact with the locals. We relegate ourselves to the upscale “touristy” parts of town, instead of getting in with the “nitty gritty”.

Despite the fact that their impulse to travel was almost exclusively fuelled by imperialistic aspirations (and we all know what went along with those), the globe-trotters of the past KNEW how to truly “discover” somewhere. In fact, gents like Alexander the Great (well, maybe not so great), took to immersing himself into the “strange and new” cultures of the places he travelled to such an extent that he began to adopt their dress, along with some of their customs (something that didn’t fare well with his military, but that’s a whole nother story in itself).

The point my dears is that if you are lucky enough, in the first place, to be able to jet-set around this fine planet of ours, you should embrace every moment for its full potential. It’s rather ethnocentric to desire to lead the same kind of life one does back home in Canada, while stationed in a villa in the midst of the Costa Rican rainforest.

For those of you looking for a form of tourism that’s even more rewarding personally and as a bonus assists in alleviating social issues, consider going on a “volunteer vacation.” From planting trees in areas plagued with environmental degradation, to teaching English as a second language, to assisting with wildlife conservation, not only can you get a taste for the “true” culture of a people and a land (not just the superficial nicely packaged tourist version), but further you can do the world some good. Hats off to ya sailors! Land ho!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Vol #2, Col #4: Perhaps Some “Dressing” for the Occasion?

I guess in some ways, I’m still really like a little kid. At the tender age of 26, I still jump on any excuse I have to get all “glam-ed” up and spend a night out on the town. But unlike the “modern woman”, to me, putting on my “Sunday’s Best” is NOT equated with finding a napkin-sized piece of fabric to cram my bits and curves (for better or for worse) into. Accordingly, I’m one of the few (it would seem) dames that harkens back to a time when the expression “it’s better to leave something up to the imagination” was abided by.

Now, I suppose you could blame my mother for exposing me to the “finer things” in life as a young child (by way of mandatory etiquette training), but I don’t see anything wrong with taking pride in one’s personal grooming habits; moreover, I don’t claim any issue with the idea of presenting oneself as “classy” or “respectable”. Perhaps if more women went this route (and I’m sorry if I’m being harsh on you ladies, but this is for your own good), the media AND men wouldn’t feel so entitled to constantly objectify us (but that’s a whole nother discussion in itself).

I think it goes without saying that the advent of the micro mini deserves a sizable amount of blame in this whole equation, but where things really went awry was in the late 1970s with the coming of the so-called “Sexual Revolution.”

At one point in its glory days, the Western white women’s fight for equality/liberation – a battle against a discriminating social structure (ie: patriarchy) - was a unified movement known by the now-blacklisted word “feminism”. Somewhere along the lines, extremist parties formed within this movement leading to divisiveness in regards to both the feminist agenda and feminist message.  

What started out as a simple request by women to be recognized as persons
(oh we’re so demanding!) and therefore entitled to human rights (much the same way African Americans fought for their civil liberties) became a battle largely between two opposing forces:

1) the radicals (ie: those who, in the most extreme cases, insist on lesbian relationships, and the avoidance of marriage as it further entrenches women into the patriarchal social structure) and

2) the liberals (ie: those who are to blame for the enactment of such things as Ontario’s “topless” legislation); it is the latter group that is of interest to this article.

Influenced by the “free-love” ideals of the hippie era, the liberals subscribed to Hugh Hefner and Playboy’s vision of the “new woman”: embracing strip-teasing, flashing, exhibitionism, and self-objectification as an indication of their brand of “empowerment”. Despite buying into and perpetuating the VERY SAME submissive, sexually-available (more importantly, EASY), and unsophisticated image of women that had been DESIGNED BY and FOR men, the liberals somehow rationalized to themselves that because they were now the ones “owning” this image that they were now in charge of itif we simply look to the unrealistic beauty standards and expectations that continue to be thrust upon women by the media (we should especially note the genders of the CEOs of these media outlets), and the incidence of cosmetic surgery, not to mention eating disorders among the fairer sex, I think it goes without saying that these “libers” were WRONG.

But even taking this bit of complicated social history out of the picture, honestly, as a female AND someone who is very clear in her own heterosexuality, when a woman’s got all her goods on display for the world to see, EVEN I HAVE DIFFICULTY STARING HER IN THE FACE, so how could I expect anything less from straight members of the opposite sex?

The point I’m trying to make is that “dressing up” has become synonymous with “dressing down” or in fact, wearing close to nothing at alland my friends, what you wear has consequences (ie: unwanted attention for one thing, not to mention the judgments/assumptions that go along with certain wardrobe choices). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a few mini-skirts and clingy numbers that accentuate my bodice that I will whip out upon occasion, but there’s a time and place for everything.

While I thought it went without saying, it would seem that some of you need a reminder: if a clothing item is found in the boudoir section of a store, it likely means that’s where it is suppose to be worn. Class it up girlfriends. Lingerie and low-cut shirts = inappropriate for the academic environment, just the same as ripped jeans and Axel Rose bandanas should NEVER (I repeat NEVER) be worn to the theatre (and this is coming from a die hard rock'n'roller!).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Vol #2, Col #3: PC…How’s About We Change it to “Polite Candidness”?

A few summers ago while on vacation with my mom, I attended a feminist-oriented executive women’s business club meeting. While the evening’s programming, special guest speaker, and food were most agreeable, I couldn’t help but raise a brow to the events that unfolded during the introductory segment.

Like any typical businesspersons’ gathering, after a brief mingling period, the event’s facilitator proceeded to take charge, going around the room asking each and every individual to introduce herself and list her occupation. Now this activity was all well and good, and at first, “business” seemed “as usual”. BUT after several of these brief personal overtures, something started to strike me as very odd: THE APPLAUSE (and NO the vast majority of the attendees were NOT social goodwill ambassadors! Quite the opposite really…real estate agents and bankers).

While I’m all for honouring the rules of decorum, and in fact agree that using euphemisms or the “compliment” then “constructively criticize” technique is often necessary (oh we humans are so so sensitive), when we have to praise people simply for standing up and stating their names/occupation, I gotta say perhaps we’ve taken “political correctedness” a tad too far.

At one point during these “Hello how are yous?” the facilitator actually had to step in, demanding that the applause ceased as it was eating away too much at the time devoted to the guest speaker! 
Although Jerry Seinfeld pointed out in one of his most notable 90s monologues that apparently the average American is more afraid of speaking in public than dying (YES dying, you read correctly), I find it hard to believe that anyone could be successful in the business world without such an ability, and therefore beyond the fact that this seemed overly and unnecessarily polite, I question the grounds on which someone (well actually many persons) felt that clapping was necessary in this circumstance?

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like we’ve gotten a little too comfortable with the idea of receiving gratuitous praise for everything, including menial seemingly “idiot-proof” tasks. Like honestly, what’s going to be next? Should I shake your hand because you can successfully make your bed and brush your teeth at the age of 25? Or maybe it’ll be considered an accomplishment to be able to spell one’s own name correctly at 30? I mean it’s getting to the point wherein if you have to confront and/or criticize a co-worker, or peer at school (at least in my experience), you basically have to “baby talk” to them as though you’re a preschool teacher in order to protect their tender egos.

Somewhere along the lines, we either set the bar REALLY low or coddled each other to such an extend that the average person’s self-esteem is entirely contingent on receiving well-regard from others. To the latter statement, I have only one piece of advice: grow a backbone.

I won’t lie, I just as much as the next person don’t like receiving negative feedback on my work as I put my heart and soul into everything I do, and so when I’m criticized it’s hard not to take it personally. However, I’m not so fragile that I consider standing up and merely stating who I am worthy of acclamation.

Perhaps the mixed messages we received in childhood, however, are partly to blame. I mean, which is it: Is honesty truly the best policy OR is it better to say nothing at all if you have nothing nice to say?

While I’m one who tends to (with few exceptions) “walk on the wild side” in support of the former, I tell you in truth, “facing the music has” has been nothing but a lonely road (and yes my overuse of euphemisms was entirely deliberate there – aren’t I clever? Oh wait, I forgot I don’t need my ego constantly stroked to know I’ve got a reasonable amount of intelligence...but flattery from my man? Well, that’s certainly nice upon occasion).

Monday, January 31, 2011

Vol #2, Col #2: Its My Body and I'll Eat What I Want to!

The human species has long had a nasty habit of condemning the things it does not understand. Any sign of difference or non-conformity seems to lead to the eruption of shit storms largely fuelled by personal attacks, as opposed to factual evidence. And so, it was my public display of pride in relation to my choice to lead a vegan lifestyle that resulted in the wielding of insults in my general direction from me being labelled everything from a member of the gay community, to part of some elitist anti-human vegan society (no joke) to a supporter of the extremist actions undertaken by the animal activist group Peta. For the record, I am NONE of the above. But more importantly, vegetarianism and veganism are actually nothing new, nor are they really as “radical” as one may presume.

Long before humans became a settled species, they survived nomadically by hunting wild animals and gathering berries and other sources of vegetation for food; hence they were known as “hunters and gatherers”. While what I’ve just mentioned is fairly common knowledge, what has attempted to be buried by both anti-feminist groups and the powers that be of the food industry, but has indeed been CONFIRMED through the study of archaeological remains is the fact that a near 80% of the hunting and gathering diet was composed of plant materials.

Now, the rationale behind the argument posed by the proponents of both the meat and dairy industries (ie: that without the ingestion of both of their aforementioned substances, one would not be getting enough protein to survive) is more obvious: it’s simple economics. The meat and dairy industries pull in billions annually and with money comes power (and the ability to buy off political candidates to support one’s products).

As for the anti-feminist groups’ opposition? Well, seeing as the gatherers were the FEMALES in each group, by acknowledging that their contributions meant MORE than those made by the men in terms of the sustainability of early human life, it would throw fact in the face of the longstanding socialized belief that “men are the providers” for their families. With all of that said, the regular consumption of meat and meat products did NOT actually begin until humans became a settled species and domesticated livestock. But enough with the history lesson, let’s get to the facts:

The human body, in its modern form is, believe it or not, BEST tailored to digest plant materials over anything else. For starters, neither our saliva nor stomachs are acidic enough environments to properly break down flesh; hence cramping, constipation and indigestion are common ailments associated with the consumption of meat. Perhaps more obviously, however, if we take a gander at our dental records or the lack of claws extending from our fingertips, we’ll see that our delicate constitutions are very different from those possessed by carnivorous animals.

If that weren’t proof enough, it has been documented that ingesting too much protein, particularly of the animal variety, can lead to kidney impairment, nutritional deficiency, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, obesity, tissue, organ and cell damage, not to mention faster aging! As noted in New York Times Bestseller, Skinny Bitch, “people in cultures that consume HALF the amount of protein that North Americans do, tend to live LONGER, HEALTHIER lives”.

When it comes to the dairy side of things, sorry cheese lovers, I’ve got some equally disheartening news: 96% of Asians, 35% of African Americans and 19% of Causcasians are, in fact, lactose intolerant. Another 7% of the human population is allergic to the proteins in cow's milk. As for “milk doing the body good”? According to studies conducted by Harvard, Yale, Penn State, and the National Institutes of Health, dairy products have been linked to acne, anemia, anxiety, arthritis, attention deficit disorder, fibromyalgia, headaches, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, OSTEOPOROSIS, poor immune function, allergies, ear infections, colic, OBESITY, HEART DISEASE, DIABETES, autism, Crohn’s disease, breast, prostate, and ovarian CANCERS. Sound familiar? (See above in our meat discussion!)

Further, there is NO other animal species in all of nature that continues to ingest milk or milk byproducts past infancy, let alone the milk products of another animal that is equipped with four digestive compartments to their stomachs and grows to 2000 pounds on average within its first two years of birth.

None of this, of course, even begins to touch upon the horror that is “factory farming” and all of the hormones, antibiotics, and toxins (including radioactive materials!) you’re ingesting as a consequence of wanting to eat meat and dairy products. True, non-organic plant products are not free of harmful chemical pesticides either. However, as noted in, Diet for a Poisoned Planet, “of all the toxic chemicals found in food, 95 to 99% come from meat, fish, dairy, and eggs.” Moreover, The Journal of Clinical Nutrition and The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that, “meat eaters are much MORE likely to be OVERWEIGHT than vegetarians,” as a consequence of the coupling of the aforementioned toxins with animal fats. Oh but wait, haven’t you been told your whole life that you wouldn’t get enough nutrients from merely eating plants? That it’d lead to lethargy, nutritional deficiencies, and a depressed psyche? WRONG AGAIN!

Nutritional experts outline a healthy diet as one consisting of approximately 60% complex carbs, 20% lean proteins and 20% unsaturated fats. Please note that this goal can MORE than be achieved by BOTH meat and plant eaters. In fact, there are many vegetarian protein substances, such as quinoa, that are not only far more nutrient and protein-rich than meats and dairy products, but further are packed to the teeth with all eight essential amino acids (without all of those added nasty animal fats, hormones and god know what else, mind you)!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I personally believe in living in harmony with my body’s needs and it is for that reason and that reason ALONE that I made the switch to veganism. I don’t drink caffeine if I’m tired and I sure as fuck don’t believe in forcing myself to ingest human-created toxins in order to aid in the digestion of something that my body naturally wishes to reject. Further on the matter, the very thought of another hypothetical creature higher up on the food chain harvesting my eggs for a nice morning breakfast makes my stomach more than turn. It’s weird when you think about it isn’t it? The things that we’re eating…but I digress.

With all that said, I’d like to add one final caveat: let it be known that I’m NO health expert NOR am I in the business of trying to use “scare tactics” on any of you to make the switch to a lifestyle that I have chosen for myself. It’s YOUR body, eat what YOU want to! However, if you care about your health (which you should, without it, you’re really not much good to anyone, especially yourself), I highly recommend you read up or watch some docs on this stuff (those created NOT in association with any of the movers and shakers in the food business, most notably Monsanto). I know for me, it was more than I could stomach.

*Oh yeah, and if you’re on board with everything I’ve just overviewed, and the ONLY excuse you’ve got preventing you from “following your gut” in regard to making wiser food choices is that it’s too expense to go vegan and/or organic, I hate to break it to ya but you’re wrong AGAIN! Because organic vegan foods are so much more nutrient-rich than anything else on the market, you’ll find you’ll get full consuming SMALLER portions necessitating the purchasing of LESS food on a regular basis. I rest my case.*

“Food Matters” (on Youtube)
“Food Inc.”
“Fast Food Nation”
“The Corporation”

“Skinny Bitch”
“Diet for a Small Planet”
“Politics in Healing”

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vol #2, Col #1: R.E.S.P.E.C.T., Find Out What it Means to Me

I lived under a certain amount of fear as a child, and you know what? It was good for me. No, my parents weren’t cultists, militant drill-sergeant types, or abusive alcoholics (let me make clear I’m abundantly thankful for that). However, they did instill in me very early on that no transgression was without its consequences and nothing, no nothing, in life ever comes for free.

If I talked back, stayed out too late, or got into any of the typical mischief teenagers do, there were consequences to be paid. As for the ability to compromise/negotiate said punishments enacted against me? Let’s just say that ceased to exist! Further, if I wanted spending money for various recreational pursuits, it sure as shit wasn’t just handed to me on a silver platter. Rather, from the moment I was able to walk and talk, I contributed to the household chores; at the age of seven, I was practically my mom’s full-on secretary.

What I’m trying to express in probably too many words is quite simply this: my parents were AUTHORITY FIGURES and it was through them that I learned not just the difference between right and wrong, but moreover the concept of respect, especially as it pertains to your elders and other persons within our social hierarchy, such as teachers and police officers, who demand the same sort of treatment.

Well, I’m not sure who’s to blame – perhaps it was the upsurge of bad TV talkshows (and their over-the-top degenerate guests) hosted by the likes of Jerry Springer in the early 90s, or the repeated media-hyped moral panics surrounding corporal punishment and its supposed potential for backlash – but since the Babyboomer generation, I’ve observed a marked change in what is being doled out as the “recommended” strategies for effective parenting/ parent-child relationships…and in my view, it ain’t for the better!

I mean, these days, parenting is apparently all about “befriending” your children, and allowing THEM to practically designate THEIR own punishments (if any) as THEY see fit. Parents are being instructed to hear their children out and negotiate with them in terms of what’s fair discipline-wise, even if it’s indisputable their kids made some serious errors in judgment. But, the worst of it is that parents who fail to comply with this laissez-faire attitude and actually try to encourage obedience from their children can be taken to court for “infringing” on their kids’ rights. I’m sorry, but I can’t think of something more ridiculous, and here’s why:

As Piaget noted many moons ago, humans typically do not start to become capable of rational, mature adult-like (ie: “operational”) thought, a prerequisite to the full comprehension AND chosen adherence to society’s norms and mores, until they reach between seven and 11 years of age. Further, according to Kolhberg’s "Theory of Moral Development", the internalization of universal ethics, along with the establishment of a sense of personal responsibility is highly contingent on proper socialization, as well as both the reinforcement and punishment of appropriate and inappropriate actions; respectively. In other words, kids, lacking the complex cognition necessary to understand why things are right or wrong per se, instead base their actions purely on consequences. Therefore, if parents refuse to acknowledge their role as the primary disciplinarians/moral teachers in the lives of their children (primary as in both first and most impactful), how the hell can we expect kids to ever adhere to societal rules and regulations, let alone respect future authority figures who will inevitably enter their lives via school, the workplace, and just life in general?

Despite the current fashion’s insistence that “friending” your offspring is the way to go, it has long been established by development psychologists that the MOST effective of the four parenting styles is the form classified as “authoritative”. The perfect combination of nurturance and boundary-setting, authoritative parents “monitor and impart clear standards for their children’s conduct. They are assertive, but not intrusive and restrictive. Their disciplinary methods are supportive, rather than punitive. They want their children to be assertive as well as socially responsible, and self-regulated as well as cooperative,” (Baumrind, “The Influence of Parenting Style on Adolescent Competence and Substance Use“, Journal of Early Adolescence, 1991.)

The point I’m trying to get at is that, for one thing, there’s a reason why the Facebook group entitled, “If I Spoke to My Parents How Kids Talk Now a Days I'd Been Knocked Out!,” is so popular. The other point is this: can you name another 26-year-old who cried when issued her very first speeding ticket because she was so disappointed with herself for tainting her record of perfect law-abiding citizenship? Likely not.

I “get” parents wanting to be relatable to their children. Heck, I especially “get” parents wanting to try and minimize the potential for conflicts with their kin. But what I don’t get, and what you shouldn’t accept either is parenting WITHOUT a sense of discipline. There’s a wild epidemic out there spreading among many members of my own generation, along with the one that follows it, and that wild epidemic has been labelled quite concisely as “a sense of entitlement.” To the parents who “befriend” their children, all I’ve gotta say, is what the hell did you expect? As I wrote in my very first paragraph, nothing, indeed, nothing comes for free.