Saturday, April 19, 2008

To Tell or Not To Tell?

I recently read a post from Her Bad Mother about deciding which stories from her past she would and would NOT be telling to her unbelievably adorable daughter, and she invited participants to post comments about their OWN "hidden pasts" and whether or not to divulge same to their Spawn. Rather than eat up her comment space, I thought I'd just take the idea for myself. Thanks, HBM! And, if you're not reading her blog...WHY not?!?

The basic premise is this: what, if anything, is too disastrous and/or embarrassing about your past to even bother sharing with your offspring? Naturally we all have things we'd rather forget about: drunken escapades, stolen goods, reckless driving...the list goes on. I agree with HBM's suggestion that many of these tales could potentially serve as "teaching stories," meant to deliver a certain moral. "Okay, Rozzle, see, your ol' Dad isn't perfect either!" Or, perhaps this: "See, I've already been through this and learned, so don't YOU repeat MY mistakes!" But beneath that thin veneer of promising parenthood churns a cauldron of personal embarrassments and deliberate indiscretions, and I wonder what I WILL tell my Rozzlesaurus about my past...?

• Do I tell her what a ho' I was in college? That I shagged my way through an increasing pileup of 18-year-olds, quasi-girfriends who stayed the same age even as I got older? What about the girls I really REGRET, like the color-guard member whose name I can't even recall, or the disastrous time I tried fucking my until-that-point Sunday night dancing buddy? In a world where you karmically reap what you sow... IS MY DAUGHTER GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE GIRLS?!?

• Do I tell her about the times I made my mother cry? Or, about the times I deeply disappointed HER mother? Those times when conflicting pressures bubbled to the surface and I ended up disappointing SOMEBODY, dammit, even though I'd rather have had sharpened bamboo shoved under my fingernails?

• What do I say about booze? About how in high school her dad & his buddies would have somebody's mom buy us a shitload of Boone's Farm and we'd play poker all night, swilling rotgut "wine" and smoking Swisher Sweets? Do I tell her that I once had her Uncle Eric buy us booze when he was only - I swear this is true! - FIFTEEN YEARS OLD?!?

• Then there's a whole 'NOTHER thing with marching band, stuff I won't even post HERE! But, many readers know what I'm talking about...what do you tell YOUR kids about those days? Anything???

Right now, I'm the greatest guy in the world in the eyes of Roslyn. When does that change? Will she find out for herself anyway? And, at what point do I ADMIT to my past mistakes, willingly destroying that image for all time? So much to think about...


Blogger L*I*S*A said...

Hmmmm, food for thought. I do believe I'll plead the fifth on this one.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Strangeite said...

No. Fucking. Way.

There are many stories that will tell my children but there are many that I will not. Hell there are some that I have almost successfully blocked from my memory.

I am not suggesting lying, just selective admission.

8:46 AM  
Blogger LauriO said...

The best thing I can say....your life experiences AND your friends :)....made you who you are today. And, that's a good thing..........


10:04 AM  

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