Browsing "Unfit godparent"

More Life Rules

Inspiration comes from everywhere — sometimes the most surprising places.  Today’s inspiration comes from having spent time with one of my 16 year old cousins whom I haven’t seen since he was a tiny child.  He has grown up to be a really nice kid and incredibly handsome young man, and I hope that I can be in his life a little bit more – as much as he will allow or tolerate — and teach him anything I have to offer.  Even though some of my lessons are a bit off-kilter (and many have to do with cocktails), here’s the second installment of the tidbits of information that I feel are worth sharing with young people.  I’m continuing this list not because so many people were interested, but just because it’s fun.

I hope some of these inspire thought, at very minimum.

  1. There are reasons why you need to excel in school.  Elementary or grammar school prepares you for high school.  It’s important to do well in HS so that you can get admitted to the best Universities — not just for the programs they offer, but because of the network to which you’re exposed.  When you become an adult, you will want to have a good network of smart and successful people to leverage for connections to great jobs, business partnerships, or even just informed opinions.  Those relationships are developed in college and continue throughout your life. A reasonably smart person with a great network will go a lot further than a genius who operates in a vacuum.
  2. Take a genuine interest in getting to know the people in your life.  Make a concerted effort to know them — what makes them happy, their motivations, their goals and anything they’ve learned along the way.  Especially your parents, who are so focused on raising you that you might look up and realize that you don’t really know them at all.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  You will hate to have missed the opportunity.
  3. Get a good handle on the basics.  Know how to load a dishwasher, unload a dishwasher, do laundry, iron a shirt, remove a stain.  Life hacks will get you through.
  4. Understand that, by and large, people just want to be heard. It’s worthwhile to listen, even if you don’t take their advice. You might learn something that will change your course, or not. But you’ll never know if you don’t listen.
  5. Err on the side of formality until you’re invited to do otherwise.  This includes manners, the use of nicknames and business attire.
  6. If it’s introduced, it has to be addressed.  Your job is to keep things that you don’t want addressed from being introduced.  Sometimes it’s best to fly under the radar.
  7. Pick your mate for the right reasons.  It’s great that she has an incredible body, or that he has a nice car.  But look for personal traits — signs of integrity.  Watch how he/she treats the important people in his/her life.  Is this person determined and deliberate?  Goal-oriented?  Examine the family before making a true commitment.  And always remember that how you align is how you’re defined.
  8. Make a valiant effort.  Life is much more fun when you actively participate.  This rule is one that I learned the hard way.
  9. Have a signature dish that you  master and enjoy cooking.
  10. Find an older person in your life who cares about you, in whom you can confide.  This can be an aunt or uncle, a godparent, a cousin or an unrelated person who you connect with.
  11. Don’t be mad at your friends for being themselves.  They might not show their love for you in the way that you expect or hope.  Sometimes you have to adjust your expectations to accommodate what they have to offer.  If you try to change them, you will only frustrate yourself and alienate them.


That’s it for now!  I welcome all comments, questions are rebuttals!


Dec 16, 2012 - Unfit godparent    1 Comment

The Anti-Parent


Have you ever met that person who just isn’t cut out to be a parent?


Fortunately I’ve never wanted to be, and maybe if I had have, I would have taken the time to develop some of the maternal traits that currently aren’t present in my being.  Like picking up a baby, changing a diaper or quieting a crying child (without the use of a pacifier, bourbon or duct tape) or the general use of good judgment.

Believe it or not, I do have godchildren, which is always amazing to me because I’m not the best influence.  In fact, I’m probably the most adult person that I know.   I have been ever since I was a child.  I don’t understand the way that kids think, I have no language filter, I have zero interest in kiddie movies or Disney, I’m not appreciative of the noise or messiness, I’m deterred by bodily functions, and I’m always terrified that I will say something that will put them in therapy for their entire adult lives.

Of the four godchildren, there are two that I haven’t seen in a while, mostly because one is far away, and the other is usually extremely busy with her huge natural family.  I feel guilty because of this, which is saying a lot because being raised by a Catholic mother has desensitized me to guilt.  But I digress . . .

The remaining two — the 12 year old boy and 16 year old girl —  have always been my little appendages as little adults in their own rights.  They have been trained to me, and they know and accommodate many things about me.  They’re aware that I have road rage, a fluency in profanity, and they know not to repeat anything I say.

Fortunately, their parents actually get a kick out of the things that I tell them that no adult in their right mind would share with a child.  Did I mention that I have no filter?

We had brunch today, and here are the topics that we covered:

  1. Why Auntie Gina sometimes needs a cocktail
  2. What “proof” means when it comes to liquor (to my credit, their father who was also present, helped with that one)
  3. How sugar and liquor together is usually a bad idea
  4. The order in which one consumes wine and hard liquor (I went all physiological on their asses)
  5. The circumstances under which marriage is a good idea
  6. What is a prenuptial agreement, what it protects, and why it’s smart to have one


Bad, right?  But the good news is that I countered the corruption with a few good lessons:

  1. Why a car is not an asset
  2. The total cost of ownership of a vehicle
  3. Why it’s stupid to own a luxury vehicle without having given thought to purchasing a home, which is an asset, for the most part
  4. How to think proactively about college selections

All of this in less than two hours!  I’m more effective than an online university!

Is there any wonder that the 16 year old gleefully refers to me as the “anti-parent?”  (I earned this title last year when I told her that one of her little friends might be a bit of a slut and is not to be emulated.)  She would like to drink with me on her 21st birthday.  I’m not sure if I should be proud or mortified.

In the interest of full disclosure, I called their mother as soon as I dropped them off today to share the topics of our brunch.  She laughed, because she’s used to me, and told me that she would provide me with a list of things that she’d like for me to teach her daughter before she goes off to college.

The good news is that they don’t take me seriously . . . against all odds.