Your Smiles Make Me Smile

If you really want to get the most out of my blog, it's best to start with the first post written in July to the present since some blogs refer back to earlier posts; but any order is just fine... Thanks for visiting! Now scroll on down to the good news! ~Renae~

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I LOVE Your Gauges, Here's My Number.

My boyfriend and I often differ in opinion as to how we see the younger generation.  While Richard sees the road to ruin, I see a parallel to every generation, trying to find themselves and their uniqueness from the generation before.  This is not to say that I like seeing the butt cracks of adolescent boys whose jeans sag to their hips.  I think that, that level of rebellion borders on the offensive. But in all honesty, the first time I saw a teenage boy walking like a duck, his pants below his hips, taking short strides while holding his crotch with his left hand and using his right hand to strut, I started laughing uncontrollably. Fortunately, he didn’t see me laughing, because I really did think that this "gangsta" had crapped his pants and was still trying to look cool in the process.  Sorry, there's just no other way to say it.  True to form, I have been known to go into laughing fits at the most inappropriate of moments and this was one of them. 

“Mom!” my daughter exclaimed in the tone of “get a clue," after I told her I thought he had gone in his pants, “He’s holding his crotch because he’s not wearing a belt!”  “Why isn’t he wearing a belt?” I asked. “Because that’s the style!” (eye roll, duh). 

Okay, so it doesn’t make any sense to me.  You don’t wear a belt because that’s not cool, but your pants fall below your hips exposing a half moon, and so you hold your crotch to keep your pants from falling to your ankles and can only take very short steps, hence waddling like a duck and looking like you've gone in your pants; and that’s the style.  I simply, don't get it.

My argument, however, in favor of the younger generation and seeing what we cannot relate to is only that some people didn’t understand Elvis Presley either; they found his hip gyrations to be offensive.  Richard’s argument is that they should be studying for their SAT’s, dressed appropriately, memorizing Shakespeare on weekends and holidays, and learning various languages.  Funny, I don’t recall Richard ever doing any of that in high school.  If you actually knew him (Alexis, Mike S., and various West High Alumni....), you would know this to be true; understandably, Richard wants more for his son Connor than he expected of himself.  He wants Connor to excel academically, play varsity sports, win chess championships, be offered scholarships to Stanford or Harvard.  Not that this isn’t achievable, but most high school boys usually fall into a “normal” range, to the disappointment of their parents.  Connor, in my eyes, is pretty typical.  Yet, he plays varsity football, basketball, has an abundance of girlfriends, can converse well with any and all people from children to the elderly; is compassionate and charming when he’s not trying to pull the wool over his dad’s eyes, and has a wonderful sense of humor.  Connor is probably not going to be invited to Harvard in the near future, but in wanting so much for our children to excel, in our version that society has put upon us as to what excelling is…Richard sometimes misses the obvious.  He has a good son.

His desire for Connor to achieve success, sometimes leads to our debates over the definition of success.  I have always said there are many paths to the top of the mountain, and the top of the mountain looks different for everyone.  In the end, maybe I'm simplistic, but success by my definition is nothing more than finding contentment within yourself.  There isn't a one-size fits all formula. 

Recently, to Richard’s disapproval, Connor replaced the over sized fake diamonds that he often sported, stemming from the rapper/hyphy movement.....with gauges.  Because many of you may not know what a gauge is, they are another form of ear piercing, put in the earlobe to stretch the skin into a large hole.  While you may feel a sense of nausea as I did the first time I saw an adolescent's lobes stretched to the size of nickels, skin stretching has been practiced all over the world since ancient times.  Just pick up any copy of National Geographic. 

Connor, however, wears fake gauges, just to simulate “the look.” But as I said, Richard and I often debate the merits of the youth “today” and what direction they are going. And rightfully so, as all good parents are, he is fearful for the future of his son.  I, on the other hand, am pro-youth, pro-expression, albeit with a sense of respect while allowing them to display their individuality. 

As Richard and I were sitting on my deck, taking in the morning sun and the aroma of the newly bloomed gardenia, Richard said “I just don’t know about Connor, he’s always surrounded by girls.”  Not a bad thing for a 17 year old boy, but a distraction from his studies in Richard’s eyes.  I sat quietly, taking in his words, wondering if he had ever been a 17 year-old himself, with relief knowing that I knew he had only because I actually went to school with him, but realizing that he has forgotten what it is to be that boy.  He then looked at me very seriously and exclaimed with such genuine concern, “Connor has three girls hanging out with him today!”  I gave him the usual “Soooo.”  Then he said, obviously perplexed, “Do you know how he met one of the girls?" "Um, no" I responded.  "This girl walked straight up to Connor and said ‘.........I love your gauges, here's my number'.”

I went into my usual fit of uncontrollable laughter with tears running down my cheeks; then Richard, desperately needing to take a chill pill and realizing the humor in his statement, began laughing with me. 

Elvis made a name for himself. Maybe Connor will too.

Sweet dreams and always, GOOD dreams,

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