Saturday, July 29, 2006

Where Was Dad?

For centuries, eons, generations and possibly even since the beginning of time, the general model of what would become a Homo Sapien family is that the female stays home with the children while the male goes out and hunts (works). This was the way it has been since the beginning of history—history being the point at which the stories were written down.

This seemed to work too, didn’t it? Equal jobs, equal partnership, neither job harder than the other (but in some cases less fulfilling), and the job got done. The kids grew up with morals, the food was put on the table, the household belonged to the woman, and everything worked out fine…

Actually, no, it didn’t.

Let me tell you why this doesn’t work today, and why it worked “way back when.” In fact today, this is probably the worse economic system that we as a society can chose to hang on to. We’ve pretty much mostly gotten away from it (at least my generation sorta has), but isn’t it ironic how America usually chooses to hold on to the most detrimental traditions?

This system of home economics worked so well “way back when” because at that time in history, father’s were for the most part just not involved in their children’s lives. In fact, in the 17-18th century, it was common for children to rarely see their father or meet him for the first time in their teenage years. The father would show up to bestow his blessing in Creole society and then return to his practice. This was “way back when.” As recent as the 50’s, this philosophy still held root. Father’s were involved in their children’s lives but just not really. Father’s places just weren’t with the children.

However, now we have this syndrome that has been popping up in Modern America that is blind to social, economic, and gender status. It’s called the “I’m Angry at my Father” syndrome, and it is most common among teenagers and young-adults. It radiates in the rock and rap music that young ears tend to listen too, and supposedly it is the music that is the cause of the syndrome...but someone had to write the music and where do you think they got the idea?

Now, a father figure (it doesn’t necessarily have to be male, just so long as it is strong) is necessary to serve as a role model. Families lacking a father often produce delinquent youths. A father in today’s society acts as enforcer of the rules, while mother acts as the maker of the rules.

Father’s need to be there for their children today. Little Girl’s need daddies to serve as a model for what kind of men they want in their lives, just as little boys need mothers for the same reasons. Both need to have two strong parents to model themselves after, and if one is more frequently absent than the other, they are going to wonder where they are. Fatherless son’s are born under the mark of the outcast because they will never be able to learn the social skills that are essential to make friends, and fatherless daughters are cursed under the mark of a loner because they will not know what qualities to look for and to not look for in the people they surround themselves with. Children without a father grow up missing something and end up getting in trouble that could have been avoided by having a father there to give counsel. The kids know this, hence the “I’m Angry at My Father” syndrome.

Today, Mother’s and Father’s need to be equally involved in their children’s lives, or else the child will grow up asking “where’s my father?” One parent can’t be completely involved with the child while another parent be completely uninvolved, it must go both ways now. It is the only way to raise a healthy, productive young person. To both be there for them.

I don’t care if YOUR FATHER was never there for you, I don’t care how many reasons you have that can justify it. There is NO excuse or reason, cultural or economical, not to be there for your child. Both Parents, if you cannot be there for your child, you should not have had it. There is no excuse for why the child should have to have only one parent in their life and wonder where the other one was when they were in need of guidance. Half a family equals half of the problem-solving skills and good advice.

Like Cat Stevens put it, “There were Planes to Catch, and Bills to Pay, but he learned to walk while I was away…and as he grew, he said I’m gonna be like you.” No child should have to walk while you’re away.

My mom quit working so that she could stay home and “raise me.” My dad went to work full time as a painter. All I know about my dad to this day was that he doesn’t know how to be a Dad because he never had one, and I didn’t start talking with my dad until I was 17. Now I’m a little lost in my life and at the same point my father was lost at in his life, but there was no way to keep history from repeating itself, because by just talking to me he couldn’t teach me the lessons that he learned from experience, and now I only have half as much confidence as I should have because I only really ever had half a family and one parent, and she was drunk half the time I was a kid. When parents aren't around to show their good sides to the kids, the only things the kids inherit from their parents are their parents bad traits which they will never be able to control because it is part of them. Did I get my parents good qualities? Hell no. I got my Dad's temper and my Mother's self-esteem...which has brought me nothing but failure. And I cannot say that I don't know why.

At least my dad didn’t up and leave like a lot of kids parents did, but those kids whose parents did leave them for real that I know have scars on their hearts that don’t heal. I know my dad grew up in a concentration camp and saw his family shot and came to America in the 60’s gang lifestyle with nothing, I know he doesn’t know how a good father is really supposed to be…But that shouldn't be an excuse. There’s no reason to not be able to be there for your kid. There is no excuse. There is no justification and no reason a child should have to grow up without a father. None whatsoever.

The question is: how is suffering the pain of not having a parent be there at all because he left different from the pain suffered from not having a parent be there because he was working? Either way, he’s not there, and it seems as if “he doesn’t love me enough to have time for me.” And parents wonder why their kids disappoint them, because they were NEVER THERE FOR THEM.

And we wonder why the majority of Americans are depressed and obese, and why the crime rate is 10 times as high as it is in other developed countries. We wonder why less civilized, "traditional" countries have such massive poverty problems and are at the top of the Third World list. No, I'm not blaming all of this on Dad...well maybe I am, just a little.

Now standing in the shoes of my father and not knowing what to do or how I’m supposed to wear them in my life, I feel for the rest of my generation, and for the fact that the old ways need to hurry up and die. I find myself looking for hero’s in my life, for people to take the place of a father who was never really there because he didn’t know how, so that I can know what it feels like to be protected and built up, so that I can know what it feels like to have someone’s strong arm hold me up when I’m weak and stumble, my mom is just not strong enough alone. But these hero's never stay long because friends are like soap that slips through your hands if you try too hard, and though my mind is desperate for teachings, my heart can’t take anymore fake father and older brother-figures. Through and through, I join the choir, and can’t help but asking the age-old question…

Where was my Dad!?!?!?!?

Monday, July 24, 2006

For Those of You Guys Who Have Lost A BGF (best girl friend)...

…Here’s a bit of girl code for you.

I’m going to dispel a common myth about girls. If the goddesses of femininity strike me dead then so be it because girls can’t keep secrets (but that’s not the myth I’m dispelling).

When you and your BGF are not speaking, usually it’s not for the reasons you think it is. If she was the one that stopped speaking to you first, then yeah it probably is for the reason’s you think it is, but if you’re the one that initiated it, then you probably have it all wrong, and vise versa.

First let me start off by describing the few types of girls. The most widely publicized type of girl is the “popular girl,” the girl who has great self-esteem and carries herself with an air of confidence, with a radiant smile that attracts many friends. This type of girl is associated with bitchiness and sometimes has a tendency to be stuck up and controlling, so it is assumed that if you make one mistake with these girls they kick you out of their lives and never speak to you again and hold their head above you and avert their gaze from you to shame.

Well I have news for all you guys…THESE GIRLS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN! I mean, c’mon have some common sense. NO GIRL before the age of 30 has “great self-esteem,” in fact no girl before the age of 20 has ANY self-esteem for that matter. Self-esteem is forbidden for girls, it makes them look like “bitches” who are stuck up and spoiled. The slightest bit of self esteem for the girl in pursuit of popularity makes them seem like they think they are better than the majority, and then the majority won’t hang around them because they are so obviously not.

The typical girl (who has any sort of intellegence) is one who is sorta shy, subconscious of a few things about herself, helps people out when they need it but this depends on the girl, has had an eating disorder at one point in her life, is (believe it or not) nice, is unbelievably insecure around her “friends,” and always assumes she is wrong before assuming she is right. It doesn’t really matter what type of girl it is, punk or preppy, girly or tom-boy, this general model is pretty universal.

Now if you are lucky enough to have a tendency to attract the mean, stupid, bitchy types of females, you're probably focused on the wrong qualities. I'm saying that most girls with ambitions in life, who have goals and inteligent plans, usually follow the above model of personality. Seek out females with dreams who say things like "I want to write for National Geographic," or "I want to design clothes for Calvin Klein," or "I want to own my own business" and are actually working toward these goals. Those types of girls I've noticed tend to be more logical and understanding of the world and of you.

Let’s talk about assuming error very quickly. Ever notice how when girls think they are right about something, there is no doubt in their mind that they are right? This is because they’ve already been down the “what if I’m wrong,” train of thought. The first thing they do, when it’s not a snap-decision confrontation and if they value the friendship, is damage control. “What did I do wrong?” as opposed to “what can I do to fix it?” (that is how guys deal with things). They think the situation through and if they come to the conclusion that they were really wrong, they’ll call you back and cry and apologize. BUT if they come to the conclusion that YOU were wrong, you’re pretty fucked. Ironically the most important factor in this decision making process is incidentally the girl’s decision making skills and logic…if the girl’s logic is flawed (which it often is when thinking in terms of friends of the opposite gender), that’s your problem not hers.

So the original point, when you and a female friend are not speaking, what sort of messages do you think you are sending to each other? To be honest it doesn’t really matter that you’ve known each other your entire lives (although it sure helps), you really have no idea what is going on inside her head, and she—despite all her logic and intelligence—is only guessing at what is going on in yours.

So you guys got into a fight, let’s just say you were both wrong, and deep down you know you were both wrong…however you were both right and justified in being angry at the other person. Sticky situation, sound familiar? I’m sure many have been between this rock and a hard place before. What it was about doesn’t really matter, all that matters is that is severely damaged the friendship, and you two aren’t exactly speaking.

I am now going to dispel the myth of the angry girl because it is causing me so much heartache. Girls hold grudges, this is true, but girls also love openly and endlessly. They are going to love you 100 times more as a friend than you, as a stereotypical masculine model of a male, are going to be able to love her as a friend without developing feelings for her. Girls can do this, it’s a social skill. So even if they are so mad at you that they just want to kill you, believe it or not, they still love you and they would still jump into a fight for you or stick up for you.

The psychology behind a girl’s reluctance to speak to you is actually very much tied into her self esteem. If she is a person who has had all the support in the world throughout her life and has had a good childhood with her share of bad times, then she might handle the situation pretty well and less emotionally. However, like I have pointed out, most girls have been hurt beyond measure throughout their lives and have at least one horror story that shapes who they become as people.

It's out of Pride that guys will refrain from speaking to you. Ego and machoism will be the reasons that guy’s stop speaking and leave it that way, but these things don’t exist with girls. Ego and pride imply self-esteem, which is just lower than most guys even if it’s high, and not to mention most girls think ego and pride are stupid reasons to ruin a friendship. They don’t place as much emphasis on it as guys do. When girls stop speaking, believe it or not it’s because they think YOU don’t want to talk to them.

Yes, I’m being completely honest, the emotional “he hurt me so I don’t want to talk to him” lasts a week or two tops, after that, the only reason she is not speaking to you is because you are not speaking to her. In fact, a lot of times it actually hurts her that she is not speaking to you, and the more you ignore her, the farther away she will take herself from you, even if all she wants is to be close to you.

I know it seems like she doesn’t care, and that she is still mad and she might even act like it or say so if you do try to confront her. But please, believe me its all skin deep, and under the surface of her easily scarred intuition, she still loves you more than she loves herself. C’mon guys, its not worth the complacency and confusion to let things lie in the ground. Whatever happened between you two happened a million years ago and a million miles away, and now all that’s there is the lack of her dumb jokes and cocky demeanor, which you know you really miss even though it got annoying at times. She’s not mean enough to have wanted to hurt you on purpose; she just doesn’t have it in her.

Accept that she never meant to hurt you and would never do it on purpose and FREAKING GO SAY HI TO HER DAMMIT!