There are a lot of things I don’t think should happen in this life. There aren’t many of them I can do a lot about, but if I can influence just one person to change their mind… well, it won’t be enough, now will it?
But still, it is an opinion column. And these are my opinions on the various things I don’t think. Which is Texas vernacular for “I do think this probably ought to change.”
I don’t think you should try to be your child’s friend. You are their parent, and you should act like one. Part of that is saying “No.” A lot. Parents who don’t say “No” will be rewarded by having their adult child living with them. I would say “in their basement,” but this is Texas—there are few basements. People who are raised understanding they cannot have everything end up with a lot more sense than those who believe the world will hand them everything they want. Case in point—Donald Trump. How would you like to have him living in your imaginary basement?
I don't think children should be allowed to treat their parents like the parent is stupid. A child who has never been told they are to respect their parent has zero reins on their tongue. I’m not talking about hitting the child, I’m talking about teaching them early that you’re the parent, they’re the child. As someone who’s been in the business world for longer than I care to remember, reins on your tongue and respect for authority are important.
I don't think people’s teeth should be so white they glow under black light, or so straight they make everything else about you look crooked. I understand you want to see definite results when you’ve worn braces for what has to seem like forever, but we’ve taken it way past natural in this country to something that’s getting a little creepy.
I don't think pets are more important than people. Ever. I know I’m bucking a trend, here, but please don’t call me a “pet parent.” I think a lot of my dog—but she is a dog. She is not people, and she is emphatically not my child. Too many legs, for one thing, that’s part of how I can tell the difference. Plus, all the fur. She is a rescue dog, and I don’t know her birthday. Guess what? She doesn’t care when her birthday is! Why? Because she is a dog, not a human being. This does not mean I would ever abuse my dog, by the way. However, I do buy Walmart dog food. This may be categorized as abuse by the ASPCA by now. Americans spent $9.5 billion (with a B) on dog food last year, and nearly $2 billion on cat litter. That’s a lot of money for a place that cats go poop.
I don’t think everyone should feel they must go to college in order to be successful. The importance of a college education has been inflated far, far past it’s natural place in the ecosystem. I do think everyone needs training in a trade before they go to college, and I think tradespeople, service people, day care workers and restaurant workers should get a lot more respect than they do. Hard physical work has been devalued in this country, and I think that’s wrong,
I don’t think it’s fair that the only people who sitcoms still pick on and make fun of are men. Men are portrayed as stupid in every TV comedy. In an increasingly politically correct world, the comedy writers have defaulted to picking on themselves, since male comedy writers outnumber female ones on the order of eight to one in the last figures I could dig up. Stop it.
I also don’t think we should keep trying to make men into women. I like men. I think they’re funny, not stupid. I like the fact that they’re different from me. Men have begun to feel, if they’re not interested in periods or other female concerns, they’re doing their partner a disservice. Men should not need to cry about stuff. Please let men be men.
I don’t think children should get a trophy for showing up to the game. I think children who win should get trophies. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep harping on this—the business world will not give you a trophy or a raise for simply showing up to work every day.
Basement dwellers need not apply.
I’m thinking out loud that’s all I don’t think for today… but keep checking this space.
Lisa C Hannon’s email is email@example.com. She lives and writes in West Texas.