Friday, August 7, 2009

To My Future Children

Dear Annie,

The only time I ignored a fire alarm, there was actually a fire.

This incident occurred at boarding academy one lazy afternoon, and it wasn't until I heard girls running through the hallway, screams, and doors slamming that I finally felt curious enough to see what the fuss was all about. I opened my door and the entire hall was filled with smoke.


It wasn't my fault that I had ignored the alarm. I'll blame my dawdling on many years of fire drills in elementary school. The administration, for some reason, felt the need to train the students what to do in the event that there was a real fire. All it did, instead, was render us immune to the screeching sound and its intended warning.

The absolute worst drill in school was the one they set off for earthquakes. The noise it made was akin, perhaps, to a rebel yell: a wail both completely indescribable and terrifyingly chilling. It made my skin crawl. I don't understand the purpose of an earthquake alarm: do you really need to be notified that the ground beneath your feet is shaking violently?

Now that I think about it, my childhood was filled with apocalyptic warnings, mostly from my loving parents cautioning me weekly as to the trials and tribulations my future would hold if I did not heed their every word. My father used to tell me: “A foolish man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.” But of course I didn't understand or listen to half of what they told me until it was too late. Only now am I learning to obey my mother when she gives me advice, and it is still tough, even at 29. When I'm struggling with potential life changing decisions, I have to call her repeatedly and let her brainwash me for hours on end so that I don't screw up my life. The sad truth of it is that she has never been wrong. Never.

Why is wisdom so counterintuitive?

A year or two ago I tried to create a YouTube video for my future children. I thought that perhaps my 15 year old daughter would rather listen to a semi-wizened 27 year old Lisa than to her painfully uncool, decrepit old mother (who uses words like "uncool"). I never posted the video because, after I edited it, I looked so old and boring in the thing that it depressed me.

So, I've decided that I shall write my sage advice here, instead.

Advice for My Future Children

To a Daughter: Wait till you are at least 20 to start dating.

To a Son:
Wait till you are at least 30 to start dating.

Daughter: Challenge yourself, have a myriad of hobbies. The sooner you figure out what your passion is and develop it, the better chance you have of turning it into a successful career.

Don't play video games.

Daughter: Read lots of books by old dead guys.

The word "tomorrow" is not spelled "tommarow." And please learn the difference between "your" and "you're."

Daughter: A certain kind of man will say anything to get whatever it is he wants from you. Yes, anything! He will tell you you are the most beautiful woman he has ever met, he will say he loves you, he will tell you you are the reason for which he exists if he thinks these words will help him accomplish his mission. And then, when he gets what he wants or you don't live up to his expectations, he will discard you like a used piece of rubbish. Run from a man who promises you the world.

Son: Contraceptives are not foolproof. Don't be a fool.

Daughter: Learn the art of femininity: how to dress, poise, etiquette. Wear dangling earrings, curl your hair, but don't put on too much make up - just enough will do.

Brush your teeth.



PetsAreFood said...

Omg. I am so blogging a rebuttal.

taintedsky said...

A rebuttal?! Ha ha. You have to know I'm just joking, right? And as far as the men not dating till their thirty... all I really mean is men don't really mature until they are thirty usually, and are certainly not ready to settle down till then, regardless of how promiscuous they may or may not have been.

David Cho said...

You are joking? Sounds like good advice to me.

You should post that video. Funny stuff you have there.

taintedsky said...


I'm not trying to be terribly serious. That's all.

dbircsak said...

Hi, I noticed your blog when I was doing a Google search for Nanook and contraceptives...

taintedsky said...

Huh Darrell, that's an interesting search. Do you have some sort of strange Eskimo fetish?

Or perhaps you simply find it terribly ungodly to use the word "contraceptive" in a blog.

David Cho said...


Very funny exchange.

David Cho said...

Hey Darrell, I see that you are an .NET programmer like me! You are welcome to my blog. I will not gomorrah you. We can talk shop.

(Lisa, sorry for pimping my blog here :0)).

(Lisa, Anne and others, I took off word verification more than a year ago, and got spammed only once. Looks like blogspot got it figured out)

taintedsky said...

Huh. I didn't even know you could take off word verification!

Annie, where is your promised blog?

Jameson Graber said...

I know it sounds crazy, but in my experience, the girls I've known have had more commitment issues than the guys.