Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Guess who?

I couldn't help giggling when I saw this picture from Emily's class party. The picture strapped across her face is her teacher, Mr. Dean. What's not to love, indeed!

Below is a picture of her crouched behind some of the donations that her class gave in lieu of the typical gift exchange. What a great experience for the kids to learn about giving to others in need instead of giving yet another gratuitous gift to a classmate or the teacher. Way to go, Mr. Dean!

Btw: Emily is in the pink t-shirt and sitting to her right (our visual left) is Makayla, Chris's niece.

One more Emily story:
Each of the girls dutifully filled out a Christmas list for Chris and I. Quite high on Emily's list was Tenko the Dog. Chris and I wore ourselves out looking all over town for Tenko the Dog.

Finally, after striking out several times, I said to Chris, "Look, let's just go to Toys R Us, they should be able to look it up for us and find out if it is available." So, we go to Toys R Us and track down an associate.

"Please," we beg, "Tell us where we can find Tenko the Dog!"

"Tenko the Dog? Tenko...the dog? I don't know....I've never heard of Tenko the Dog." Small pause. "We do have a Techno Dog, though."

Techno Dog! Duuuuh! Chris and I just burst out laughing. Why we hadn't figured that one out when we had spent two days looking at lists with words like " pink bead cutrains" and "Mary-Kate and Ashley perfum" I don't know!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Strip those titles

I am encouraged by the news that MADD cut its ties with Miss USA Teen when news of her hard-partying hit the media. In kind, I am also encouraged that Miss Nevada USA lost her title due to lewd and lascivious photos taken at a party where among other things, she was kissing girls and exposing private parts of her body for whatever jackass was pointing the camera.

I am encouraged by this news because I think Donald Trump's political correctness has trumped his more typical no-nonsense approach to handling challenges when he allowed Miss USA to keep her title. In a news conference earlier this week, he said that he thought she was a good person with a good heart and everyone deserves a second chance.

Ok, not everyone deserves a second chance. Here's an example of someone who does not deserve a second chance: a woman who kept her drug dependency a secret while she ran for a title that among other things, stands as the example of being a good citizen and a good woman to literally hundreds of thousands of young girls and teenagers all over the USA. A good citizen is not someone who hides a secret like that so she won't be disqualified from winning a title. A good citizen is someone who admits when she has a problem and takes responsibility for it. Instead, Miss USA only repented when she got caught. Now she's entering re-hab. Now she's getting help. Now she admits she has a problem. I'm sorry, I just do not believe that women who are picked to represent the epitome of good citizenship and to serve as a role model to young girls should be excused for what amounts to lying to the world about who she really is.

You know, I have five young women at home ranging in ages from eight to twenty-two. I don't want them looking at Miss USA and thinking, 'Wow, what a forgiving world we live in. I can go out there and make a complete mess of myself and guess what? The world will not only condone my behavior but give me a pat on the back for finally admitting I'm a mess.' I want my girls to see her stripped of her title and hear Mr. Trump say something like this, "This title is for the young woman who best exemplifies the values we all hold sacred; honesty, caring for others, helping others, doing good works, in short, promoting a good lifestyle. This young woman is none of these things and therefore is not worthy of wearing this crown or this title. She's done." I really want my girls to hear that so that they can say to themselves, 'Wow, there are serious consequences for messing up my life. Not only is it humiliating, but people can't respect women who make a mess of themselves. Therefore, I need to make sure I live a good life and don't make a mess of myself.'

Because, people, if we don't stand up and say what is right, how will our young girls and young women make those right decisions when the moment of truth comes? Do you think they'll choose not to do drugs if they see that it is acceptable in Miss USA? Do you think they'll eschew premarital sex if it is condoned constantly on TV and in the media? Do you think they'll make the hard decisions to go against the flow of all the stupid things the majority of kids are doing out there if we don't do the hard thing and stand up as a society and say, "Hey, bad behavior has bad consequences. We don't like it and it doesn't make you a good person, so don't do it."

Then and only then will the social ills crippling our society begin to right themselves. Until then, get used to jacked-up winners getting pats on the back for somehow being a good person in spite of their bad behavior. And get used to the idea that next week or next month or maybe five years from now, it will be your daughter or sister or niece doing the stupid thing, cuz that's where it is heading, folks if we don't do something.