As a mother, there are so many things I want to tell my children. In a perfect world, I would sit them down Ted-Mowsby-style and tell them a seemingly never-ending series of anecdotes. My children would sit patiently for hours and listen as I told uncomfortable stories from my past. I would finish my story-telling and let my children sift through the superfluous and search for the meaning. Alas, my kids have never been fictional television children, and none of my past relationships could be told in a sitcom's 30 minutes no matter how many years I took to tell the story. Plus, I'm pretty sure DCFS would intervene if I subjected my children to that torture.
For my children's sake and yours, I wrote a list about the only thing I've ever really figured out: People to Avoid. While it may seem like a trivial, prejudicial and controversial list to give my children, it's all I've got right now as I sift through the pieces of a new post-divorce world. So, it is with a dash of truth, a pinch of humor and a large heaping of experience that I share my best advice (right now):
5 People You Should Always Avoid
1. Quotes Too Much Guy: Always avoid anyone who feels the need to insert a quote into every conversation or email. Sure, while it may be a tad pretentious, it can also be an amusing party trick when someone quotes Dante's the Inferno in Italian at drunken college parties. You may meet him and end up making the walk of shame the next morning back to your dorm room, but please do not make the mistake of keeping him or others who quote too much in your life. Surround yourself with new ideas, fresh ideas. Respect the classics, but use them to inspire your own creativity. Expect the same from those you befriend and challenge each other to grow.
2. Girl Who Ends All Sentences With A Question: She may be the most intelligent person you have ever met. She may be insightful and kind, but why must all statements and observations end with a raised voice and question at the end. Choose someone secure in her opinion and confident in herself. If you encounter this person in your life, please, oh, please discourage her from pursuing a job in education! While this trait might be endearing in a professional cheerleader or actress, it is quite distressing in a teacher. How can parents trust her to teach their children if she isn't quite sure of herself?
3. Girl Who Talks Like A Cheerleader and Guy Who Talks Like A Professional Athlete: Sure, it's great to have team spirit and be knowledgeable about sports; however, unless they are actually a paid professional cheerleader or athlete, no real life person should talk with the enthusiasm and vocal intonations of a cheerleader nor with the brutal passion of a professional athlete after a big game. Yes, this also applies to those guys and girls who may have cheered or played sports in high school but continue to share their stories decades later at parties.
4. Anyone Who Dresses Up Their Vehicles: Please run away from anyone who dresses up their vehicles! They can't be trusted. No one should adorn a motorized vehicle with antlers and a Rudolph-the-Reindeer nose, nor should they attach fake eyelashes to the vehicle's headlights. There is no excuse for this! Period.
5. Anyone Who Uses the Royal We: This shouldn't be on my list. This shouldn't have to be included. Yet, I have actually encountered someone who really used the royal "We" in conversation, and so might you. Refer to #4. Special Note: This person is even worse than someone who dresses their vehicle in utter ridiculousness because I truly think this person is dangerous. I mean, seriously, s/he uses a plural first person noun when referring to him/herself. That's pretty scary! Be extra careful when dealing with this person!!
While this list may seem a bit harsh or too negative for a normally positive person like me, I do believe that my sentiment is real. Ultimately, I believe we should surround ourselves with positive people, genuine people. We need people in our lives who challenge us to try new things, inspire us to attempt that which may seem impossible, encourage us to embrace all that life has to offer.
Did I forget someone from this list? Do you completely disagree with one or all of those I mentioned? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with me!