Thursday, July 12, 2012

I Love You, Man

It's just not kosher to complain about kids.  I know this. 

Yup.  You got it.  I'm sitting her chaffing to bitch and moan about a kid.  So I'm going to suck it up and do it. 

What do you do when a generally nice kid repeatedly wants to talk to your son about how much bigger he is than his own skinny self?  The kid actually tried to wiggle something on him.  Yes, you heard that correctly.  Then, he proceeded to make a bunch of fat jokes.  I banned fat jokes, but he made another fat joke, whispering so loudly that even my sixties-riddled eardrums could hear him.  Did you not hear me correctly?

Here's the thing - fat jokes are just not funny.  They're mean to the recipient and they are insulting to a whole bunch of other people out there as well.  What the hell is with people and fat jokes?  Does this boy hear this stuff at home?  Does he think he's still a friend if he makes my son feel bad about himself?  It's bullying, plain and simple.

Now, I'm in a tough spot.  The boys are old enough that they should and could manage many of their own problems getting along with others.  When do I get a sense of humor and let 'boys be boys?' When do I step in?  I made my point and yet this kid persists.  It's as if he needs to point it out every time the boys get together.  I don't want to complain to his mom, but I'm getting to a point that, despite his friendship with Jack, I'm not willing to let him into my car.  That makes it hard to get him home when it's my turn to carpool.  A catapult might work. 

What is it about boys that turn them into cretins when they are about to become men?  I don't remember boys being this way when I was a kid, not most boys.  But then, I was a doe-eyed tree climber who liked to read.  What I really mean is that I could have been missing a whole raft of fat jokes.  I either had my head buried too deeply in my book or I was too high in the tree to hear them. 

So I talked to Jack.  I basically told him to fling some shit.  That's what boys do, right?  They fling shit at each other and they learn to take it like a man?  Oh, I am so damn glad I'm not a man.  I don't like even being around when shit is flying.  Here's the other thing I told Jack.  If it's all about you, your fat, your farts, your stink, then it's bullying.  If it's a little about your stink, his farts, that other guy's ugly feet, then it's funny.  Just how this all is funny, I'm not sure, but that's what I need to say to him.  I just know you've watched a half a dozen movies like 'Grown Ups' where the men get together, make fun of each other, and generally treat each other like shit, then slap each other on the backs and say, 'I love you, man' at the end.  

Girls getting together movies are very different.  There will be a group of girls being mean to one girl.  They keep it up until said girl gets girl-power, i.e., turns into a princess or some nonsense, then the girl sends the group of mean girls into hell by unpopularizing them all in one fell swoop.  Then the princess will go back to the girls she had dissed, the ones who were her loyal friends all along.  Yes, mean girl movies are really very different than mean guy movies.  If they made a movie about a bunch of girls throwing jabs at each other then ended it all with them hugging each other and saying they loved each other, I'd stomp out of the theater and ask for my money back.  As if I  get to choose to go to girl movies with this household.  Sometimes I really feel the lack of estrogen in this place.  Our movie choices are Action, Action, Comedy, and Action.  Girl movies are things I get from the library and watch surreptitiously when no one else is around.

So, I'm struggling with how these soon-to-be men are supposed to keep from spitting into each other's tea after all this shit-slinging.  Okay, you're right.  They wouldn't be caught dead drinking tea.  They're too young for beer, but they'll be spitting into each other's beer before soon enough and I'm not going to be able to do a thing to stop them, or even remotely civilize them before then.

Letting go really is a bitch when the work doesn't seem to be done.  That's really the problem here, isn't it?  I'm going to have to let my son let his friends treat him like shit.  Maybe it'll work out or maybe it won't, but either way, it'll hurt to watch.  I can only hope they get to the part where they slap each other on the backs and say, 'I love you, man.' before I catapult one of them off the face of Mt. Si.  You have to imagine Seth Rogan and Jay Chou for that scene, okay?

Thanks for listening, jules

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