As I get older and some of my friends begin to have kids of their own, I think about what kind of parent I want to be. Then I realize, at the end of the day there are certain patterns all parents fall into, for better or worse. It’s just the way it is. And that I, your humble narrator, @danborrelli, will also fall into those patterns. The most crucial universal parenting technique, lying. So here is my list of the 9 biggest lies all parents tell their kids.
9. BEAUTY IS ON THE INSIDE
Of course we'd all like to think that. But the fact of the matter is physical attraction wins. And before you start blaming society and television and Hollywood. Let's think about this for a minute... Is that really such a bad thing? I mean more often than not all the beautiful people have to offer this world is their physical beauty. If you took that away they'd have NOTHING. And sure it makes the rest of us feel bad for like a minute, but then it's fine. Because when it comes to relationships, you never wanna marry the beautiful woman and actually spend time with her. That would be a nightmare! I'd marry Rachel Dratch over Kim Kardashian any day.
8. PARENTS KNOW BEST
College is a scary time because it's the age where you start to realize your parents are no longer the smartest people you know. Not to take a dig at your parents! I'm sure they rock. But college is a bizarre place where some dude has spent the last 40 years studying JUST art in the time of the Renaissance. You can't top that. Sure he probably lives with 9 birds and is unfit to raise a child but if I have a question about Titian's early work, I'm going to him over my parents any day.
7. GOING TO COLLEGE GUARANTEES SUCCESS
The fine print on this lie ALMOST makes it true. If you go to a (good) college and have a (practical) major your chances of getting a job after graduation increase. But at this point in our culture, too many people are going to college. Which isn't right, it shouldn't be for everyone. Trade schools and apprenticeships used to lead to plenty of middle class jobs. And not just in the blue collar world. Look at the old Hollywood system. Writers would work sometimes right out of high school, or even after the army, as apprentices in the studio system. WRITERS, who don't spend 10 years at college! I spent 4 years studying that crap and you can probably find like 6 typos in this paragraph alone. I'll take the old school route over an expensive degree any day.
6. IF YOU DON'T BEHAVE I'LL CALL SANTA AND TELL HIM NOT TO COME TO OUR HOUSE THIS YEAR
This is crap. I through the challenge flag on this one every time. There was NO way those guys were ever going to call Santa and tell him not to come. First of all, Santa has to reach like a bazillion houses, so you probably can't just get him on the phone. You have to send an email and then they schedule you a time to talk with a Santa representative and if you miss the call it could affect you getting your benefits and all that crap... Plus, imagine the social backlash of being the one house to CANCEL CHRISTMAS! Good luck not looking like a jerk at the next PTA lunch after that snafu. I'll take social standing over strong discipline any day.
5. YOU'RE GOING TO GET SICK IF...
What they will make you sick... Dirt, cold, eating things that fell on the ground, not washing your hands, weird animals that show up in your backyard who you're convinced are magical and have come to you for help but you can't seem to communicate properly, , picking gum off the sidewalk... What they don't tell warn you about... Staying up till 3am working on a paper and forgetting to eat anything except Orbit gum and Red Bull for two days. I'll take dirt over that any day.
4. WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE...
This is a big one. They'll constantly brag about being the model child you should strive to be. But here's a fun game, talk to your grandparents about this. It turns out, 10 times out of 10, your parents were way crazier than you. And that's reassuring, especially if they turned out well. I'd take that over perfect parents any day.
3. YOU CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT TO BE
False. I can not be a hip hop dancer. It's just not going to happen. Ever. Which is fine, I'm cool with it. But god forbid I WANTED to be a hip hop dancer and my parents supported that decision. I'd rather have realistic expectations over a life full of failure any day.
2. YOU NEED TO BE HEALTHY AND FINISH YOUR DINNER
No you do not. If you're full, STOP EATING. It's predicted that in the next 20 years 50% of the population will have diabetes. 50%!!! That's like...half! So maybe we should try NOT finishing our dinner. Especially when half of it is fried and probably not all that great for you. Maybe instead we should all run a mile before dinner. Then we'll have no problem finishing OR getting to bed on time any day.
1. YOU'RE SPECIAL
Not really... I mean sure, you might be different, good at a few things most people aren't, bad at a few things most people aren't. But special!? The only special thing I've done all day is manage to end every item on this list with the words "any day". And you know what, I don't want to be special. Special is hard, and it's tragic, and it's not all that rewarding. Sure there's good special. Michael Jordan special. But most "special" just lands you a crappy reality show or a stay in a mental hospital. Give me the return to normalcy that the kids in the 90s rebelled against. Give me mundane Sundays. Give me boring. Give me AVERAGE! I'd take that over special any day.
What parental myths did your parents perpetuate? Let me know in the comments below or by tweeting at me @danborrelli