50 Shades of Too Much Information?

Propaganda for 50 Shades of Grey is everywhere. Not only are snippets flashing across the flat screens in our private living rooms, they’re popping up on covers of magazines at the doctors office, and on the radio as we drive our kids to school. The hype is practically inescapable.

The underlying message is sex and like it or not, this message has been let loose in society, where it’s being absorbed by incidental osmosis… most notably by the next generation.

I’m certainly not insinuating that sex is taboo and that we should not talk about it. Nor am I implying that the majority of young people understand or are even privy to the explicit details and inner workings of 50 Shades or the S & M culture, but I am, however, confident that the related hype supports the general message that – sex is all the rage… and kinky sex is even better.

It bothers me that it’s gone mainstream and its presence is inescapable.

Ready or not…

The $64,000 question is – will the naughty hype created by 50 Shades of Grey tempt young people to enter the sexual arena before they’re ready?

I respect the fact that S & M is a perfectly acceptable form of entertainment for adults. I get it – masses of hormonally overloaded mommies are embracing it as a new refreshing means of sexual escape.

This is absolutely not about anyones personal lifestyle. Quite frankly, I could care less if people choose to light themselves on fire and fornicate on a bed of rusty corkscrews.

The simple fact is – Children do not live in protective G rated bubbles.

The problem begins when adults have CONVERSATIONS in public places, and they do. Even if we’re careful with our spoken words, our tone of voice and body language emit strong messages. Children only need be present to absorb the message expressed by their friends moms and other grown-ups.

50 shades of sexual hype is spreading faster than a drop of food coloring in a glass of water.

Chill out Mama Bear, this is not about your parenting skills.

God only knows what Carol Brady did behind closed doors. For all we know she hung by her pasties from a trapeze when Mike shut the light out. Ones sexual escapades has nil to do with their parenting skills.

Nobody is insinuating that you are promoting 50 Shades openly or that you’d allow your child to read the book or watch the movie.

And lastly, nobody is condemning or judging the S & M lifestyle as a whole.

It seems to be the general consensus of most parents, that since they’ve had conversations with their children about sex, they’re reasonably confident that they’ll make the right decisions when the time comes.

This may be true.

Let’s at least admit that it can get pretty confusing when it’s obvious that mommy is head over heels over Mr. Grey.

Actions speak louder than words.

Parental guidance is without a doubt the best protection. However, just like discussions on underage drinking, smoking and drugs, the outcome can more-often-than-not be a crap shoot.

No technique is flawless, so I wouldn’t be so fast to boast that your stellar parenting skills are armour enough to protect your children from making bad choices. Keep an open mind.

Dangle a sweet sexual Snicker bar in front of a child, reiterate that it’s not appropriate for them and what’s likely to happen?

They may or may not.

Jury’s out.

I’m not assigning blame to 50 Shades enthusiasts.

I’m merely speculating that when a society chooses to loosely toss around a concept like 50 Sexual Shades of Naughtiness, we’re destined to be faced with a generation that’s somewhat desensitized to sex. Not to mention, the fact that we’re inadvertently giving the thumbs up to engage in a new level of sexual exploration.

Some children are getting an earful before they’re ready, simply because 50 Shades is a thing. It’s out there.

Will this newest bundle of readily-available sexual information cause us as a whole to carelessly put the cart (50 Shades of fun) before the horse (fundamental sex education)?

This may certainly not be true for all children, but the possibility is real, and these poorly guided youth share space in the same society.

It’s not so much the effect this will have on my own children that concerns me, as it is the breakdown of yet another societal value.

How can we as parents begin to encourage abstinence, safe sex, and the fundamentals of a healthy relationships when our kids heads are being filled with propaganda that kinky sex games are all the rage?

It’s tough to compete with societal pressure.

To add assault to injury, young girls tend to be highly volatile emotional beings: heartbroken train wrecks in waiting.

Do we really want to go there?

Take a moment to ponder the potential emotional wrath associated with this new level of submissiveness and vulnerability.

Do I fault the author or film producers for creating 50 Shades? No.

I absolutely respect the fact that some people are awesome parents and it’s possible that 50 Shades of Hoopla will not effect their children.

It cannot be dismissed, however, that the seed of submissiveness and codependency, not to mention a new realm of intermediate sexual exploration has been planted in mainstream society.

Attitudes are infectious.

Peer pressure is powerful.

Are we encouraging a new progressive atmosphere in society where sex is no big deal?

When women raise eyebrows and chat nonchalantly about this latest fad on the sidelines of their kids soccer games, they are absolutely fueling the embers for the next sexual revolution.

It’s an attitude and it’s conspicuous.

It definitely leaves this mom unsettled.

On the flip side, it also paves way for necessary conversation.

I don’t pretend to have the answers to this particular dilemma. What I do know is that our society is becoming more and more complacent about sex in general and that’s something to think about.

The question is – what role do you play in all this?

Food for thought.

A Mommy Bloggers Letter to her Children regarding 50 Shades
http://www.bonbonbreak.com/letter-children-fifty-shades-grey/?fb_comment_id=fbc_785013424910328_785164861561851_785164861561851

A message to parents from a child psychologist
http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/parent-survival-guide-to-fifty-shades-of-grey-how-to-talk-to-your-child-about-sadomasochism/

A message to young people from a child psychologist
http://www.miriamgrossmanmd.com/an-open-letter-to-young-people-about-fifty-shades-of-grey/

50 Quotes from 50 Shades… YOU decide
http://www.upworthy.com/6-real-quotes-from-fifty-shades-that-could-make-you-rethink-how-you-feel-about-it

 

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The Cellphone Generation

You know that ohshit moment when you realize you forgot something in the oven?

Well, I do that, except instead of food, I occasionally forget to pick up one of my kids.

Football last night.

In my defense, it was the second practice of the day, which translates to the fourth pick-up…for him. (plus two for Diva #13)

Annnnnnnnd, the final pick up was at 9 pm, meaning my brain had called it quits several hours prior.

Thank God for cell phones.

Not HIS cell phone though, which apparently is flat line due to water damage which by the way, is a complete mystery, because he absolutely did NOT have it anywhere near even a drop of water let alone a leaky athletic drink in his bag. (my personal expert wannabe CSI investigator opinion)

Nope.

He borrowed someone else’s phone to call.

Everyone has a cell phone, right?

Which made me think, HOW on earth did our generation survive our teens without portable communication devices?

Then it occurred to me.

If it was under 20 miles… we WALKED.

With an armful of books (backpacks were for camping) clunky over-sized projects the size of an empty refrigerator box, sports equipment without a fancy-carrying-bag and over-sized band instruments (I actually played the tenor sax for awhile- no shit) to name a few.

In the snow, sleet or rain.

Seriously.

We walked everywhere.

Apparently, walking 10 miles in the snow wearing a short cheerleading skirt with a tenor sax on your back leads to adult awesomeness.

I didn’t forget to say books, because those usually stayed in my locker.

Priorities.

Our kiddo’s are doomed.

It’s a damned good thing they have awesome parents.

RAAAAAAHHHHHHHRRRR!!!!!

Miss Freakazoid USA

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There was a time when I was able to digest beauty pageants without having to chug an antacid straight from the bottle, but that time has long passed.

 Buuuurrrrrp!!

 I caught a glimpse of the Miss USA contestant mannequins on the news yesterday.

 What began as an all-around competition in beauty, talent and intelligence has evolved into something completely unnatural and more notably, unachievable for the majority of the female population.

 It feels all wrong to support this tomfoolery.

 The contestants are mutant women for Gods sake.

 It would better be depicted… Miss Potato Head USA.

 It goes something like this.

 Your starter kit contains a perfect medium sized potato (the genetic lottery probably drops one in every couple of hundred-ish. I don’t know what the actual statistics are, but let’s face it, you’re either born with it or you’re not) boobs, lips, eyelashes, brows, perky noses and cheekbones.

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 From there, the contestant is to acquire as many upgrades as possible and subsequently diet and exercise until they wither down to the size of a small French fry.

 Not just a regular straight-cut fast food fry either. We’re talking crinkle cut with the curves and indentations in all the RIGHT places.

 When did beauty queens begin to resemble low end body builders?

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 It’s been a long time since I’ve paid attention to this hoopla, so it’s all new to me and quite frankly, it gives me innnn-dig-estion…

 What used to be a perfectly natural 10 has evolved into a perfectly enhanced 20.

 Who looks like this?

 Well, yeah THEY do and so does Barbie.

 The point is… this package doesn’t occur spontaneously in nature.

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 It’s painfully altered.

 I’m not discrediting women for being in pristine athletic condition, but add various facial reconstruction, fake boobs so on and so forth and you have something that’s entirely enhanced and unreal.

 My biggest beef (the kind that’s dripping fat and melted cheese) is that we as society are promoting unrealistic role models.

 It’s just TOO MUCH.

 Girls have enough pressure these days without society constantly manipulating and rising the bar for perfect.

 Yes, I aspire for my daughters to be beautiful, intelligent, educated, poised, physically fit women… but not all of the above… at the same time.

 No.

 Just Hell no.

 Intelligence is good enough.

 Educated is good enough.

 Physically fit for your body type is good enough.

 Graceful confidence is good enough.

 Compassionate and caring are good enough.

 You are good enough.

 Girls should be encouraged to celebrate who the ARE and what they’ve accomplished without having their self esteem BEAUTY-CROWN-BLOCKED by continually revised over-the-top standards.

 That’s the equivalent being cock blocked except we’re referring to ones self esteem.

 I threw that in there so you’d pay attention.

 Cock blocked. <-There it is again.

 I guess you can safely say that I’m not a fan of beauty pageants.

 I also happen to think the whole Toddlers and Tiara’s charade borders on child abuse… in the mental sense, but that’s an entirely different post.

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Princess Book Covers and Pink Bras

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Son- Mom, I need a book cover TODAY.

*No biggie, because OF COURSE this mom of four has a large stash of school supplies.

Me- Here. You pick.

(sets down heap of assorted book covers including Disney Princesses.

Later, I put away heap of book covers minus Disney Princesses.

*mental slap*

Of COURSE, he did.

This is the same kid who wore a pink bra to finals in 8th grade.

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He’s 100% MY kid.

Proud or horrified?

Both.

(((I love him )))

He continually gives me the gift of LAUGHTER.

Makeup Brush Madness

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Who needs 50 different brushes to apply makeup?
Michelangelo probably used fewer brushes to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, for Gods sake.
Target has a makeup brush display larger than both of my bathrooms… combined.
… And that’s JUST brushes mind you.
Something like a gazillion and three different tools to apply your face.
One brush at Sephora- $27
No. way. in. hell.
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 Who’s face is THAT bad?
Ok. There are some ladies…
Can I suggest putting the extra cash toward actual heavy duty industrial strength foundation then?
This seems to make more sense.
Back in my day we used the skimpy FREE brush that came in the makeup and if we happened to lose it we used our fingers.
No biggie.
I still do.
Modern day Diva’s have absolutely no imagination or sense if ingenuity.
Clearly this isn’t a generation that would fare well on Survivor.
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Furthermore, OUR generation (the generation of Awesomeness) had to walk 100 miles uphill in knee deep snow without Ugg’s (we had the $10 Kmart special snowmobile boots that were so heavy you felt like you had barbells strapped to your feet) to get to school… so our makeup was melted off by the time we got there anyway.
I call this makeup brush profiteering.
Shame on you, corporate America and the rest of the world.
It’s also exploitation of a generation that buys anything and everything and whose unlikely to have two wooden nickels to rub together by the time they reach the tender age of 20.
Broke, beautiful and brain dead.

Social Media… The Modern-day Big Bad Wolf

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Reason #2 Zillion- Why it totally sucks to be a teenager in TODAY’S society-

Social networking.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Everybody has one.

Your friends friends business is in YOUR face as soon as you log on.

Blame the six degrees of separation theory– the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. (As defined by the all-knowing Wikipedia)

Possibly the age of too much information.

A detailed photo replay of the entire event that you weren’t invited to is delivered directly to YOUR iPhone through your friends friends.

Unintentional thoughtfulness or something like that.

Of course a person has the right to invite whomever they chose to their social functions.

Exclusion just stings a tad more when it’s publicized.

It’s the new frosty era of IN. YOUR. FACE.

It’s ironic that teenage girls, the world’s most overly-sensitive creatures can also be the coldest and most insensitive.

I’d rather shovel cow manure with my bare hands than have to endure the social injustices of being a teenager in today’s society.

As parents, we’re helpless spectators obligated to relive and endure every excruciating moment.

It sucks.

If I had one wish, it would be to change bodies with my teen like Anna in Freaky Friday.

Mean girls beware.

I would set things straight.

Payback would certainly be a bitch for a select few.

A mom can dream…

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A Day Off… Really?

The nest was blissfully peaceful this weekend.
By blissful, I mean empty.
Kind of.
My two youngest (loudest and most demanding) chicks went to visit my sister for the long holiday weekend.
We’ll refer to her as Aunt Lunatic to protect Cheryl’s identity.
 It was definitely a nice reprieve from cooking and taxiing them around to the usual… EVERYwhere.
My oldest two were home, but much lower maintenance, which is probably why they aren’t the main characters in too many of my stories.
High five, God.
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 Also thankfully, my hubinator is content to eat Lucky Charms when I take the day off, which is absolutely one of the top three reasons I married him.
The other two reasons were not flawless DNA or… unflawless DNA.The bonus here is that I got a much needed reprieve from my student driver – Big Kahuna #16.If you’re lost, this is what I affectionately call my 16 year old, on account of he has big one
Lucky for me, *insert SARCASM here* I’m his Driving Instructor Sargent or just simply… the over-protective bitch.
Whatever works.By driving instructor,  I mean when I curl up into fetal position in the passengers seat and recite the rosary.
I needed a white knuckle break really bad.
Hopefully, the one nerve I had left regenerated itself, leaving me with two, in which to rub together in times of crisis… which is pretty much every day.
Sometimes even hourly.
Everyone with teenagers should have a spare nerve.
imagesCALC8TBRIt’s highly recommended and necessary if one wants to preserve a smidgen of sanity.
Naturally, there’s a down side to my much needed siesta. 
Aunt Lunatic is an organized, immaculate housekeeper and kid pleasing maniac, THAT’S what.
So pretty much, she’s my polar opposite.
If I had a penny for every time I’ve been forced to say, “Then go live with Aunt Lunatic”, I’d probably have enough money to ship them both to an unfortunate childless couple on the other side of the globe.
Not that I had previously calculated that particular expense or even been tempted to.
I think the point I was trying to make here is utter thankfulness for a free chunk of time where I wasn’t being pecked by ducks.
I’ll take it.