The say that eventually the child becomes the parent. In my mind, that's a situation that comes much much later in life when parents are old and frail and need help getting around. But I recently learned otherwise.
I had to smile when a colleague emailed that she had to work from home that day because she needed to wait for the plumber. She's a virgin home owner, which is to say that when she and her husband bought their first house just a few months ago, she hadn't a clue what bidding adieu to a landlord meant. Mostly what it means is that you spend a lot of time waiting for plumbers.
By the time my 40-something year-old mother gave birth to me, I was already down to just two living grandparents -- and one of them was in a home for the aged.
As companies focused more on the bottom line, they began to refer to workers as "assets" and when times got tough, they looked at which "assets" to cut. "Do more with less," "Get rid of the fat," and "leaner and meaner" were the propaganda slogans that sent chills down workers' spines. Older workers quickly read the writing on the wall.
Some doctors seem to have embraced the airlines' model for doing business -- you know, the one where they now charge fees for things they used to just do for free.
About a month ago, I was standing in front of the Woodstock display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Ohio when it happened again. A guy about my age, wearing a baseball cap over what I assumed was a balding head, sized me up and asked: 'So, were you there?' I nodded 'yes' and then what happened is pretty much what always happens.
Sometimes, I just don't get people. I mean, we all share the same planet and that alone means we need to be aware of overlapping into the personal space of others, right? So with that in mind, I would like to call out a few folks who, to my way of thinking, broke some planet rules.
There's lots of discussion these days about what to call people as they grow older. Nobody likes 'elderly'; 'senior' and 'senior citizen' are a scant improvement over 'elderly'; and we can argue till the cows come home exactly what 'older person' means. I'm fine with using my actual age as a descriptor. I'm a '64-year-old.' Period. What I'm not fine with is being called 'adorable.'
My doctor gave me one of those heart-to-heart talks: You need to lose some weight and exercise more, he said. The "or else" was implied. I know that being overweight increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and a million other bad things. But I just had to ask: Am I really overweight?
Forget trips to the psychic. Increasingly, Facebook has become our conduit for talking to the dearly departed.
The voice message left on our home phone sounded very convincing. Authoritative and with a hint of menace, the caller said that the IRS Crime Investigations Unit was about to file charges for tax evasion against us -- but if we called them back right away and could explain a few things to the caller, perhaps our imminent prosecution could be averted. But only if we called him back right away.
Retirement planners used to talk about the "three-legged stool of retirement income -- Social Security, traditional company pensions, and personal savings." Nowadays, many of us are sitting on legless stools.
I have two sets of friends: There are the brick and mortar ones who I meet for dinner, spend holidays with, and text -- and then there are my virtual friends, who are the people I have gotten to know online and who I frequently feel that I know just as well.
Peggy Scott just returned home from a lovely jaunt through Italy and Greece with her college daughter, Abigail. Abby was finishing up a semester abroad and her Mom joined her over there. Peggy's Facebook feed was filled with photos. It was a trip where Abby, having spent the semester abroad and with a newly acquired knowledge of all things European, took the lead.
I spotted something on Facebook the other day that caused a parenting flashback. A woman posted how her overweight husband was at a school function when at some point during the festivities, her young daughter whispered in his ear and asked him to please leave. Why? Some of her classmates were commenting on his weight, calling him things like "fatso."
It's safe to say that Clippers soon-to-be-former owner Donald Sterling is a poster boy for how not to apologize. Surely, it can't be that hard, even if you are a multi-billionaire who likes to parade around with strange-looking chicks on your arm. (I'm sorry; that was an uncalled-for and mean remark.)