Parent Pathways

Some things just never end well

May 22, 2012 

Have you been keeping up with the John Edwards trial? I have. I’m not sure why. It’s definitely not due to my keen interest in campaign finance law, so it must have something to do with the tawdry details surrounding the case. Gracious, what a mess.

The trial got me thinking about things that never end well – and the little chat I’d like to have with my son someday when he’s a lot older. We’ll put this one in the filing cabinet for later, but here goes, three things that virtually never end well:

Sex tapes: As in, don’t ever, ever make one. It seems this should go without saying, but apparently not. I guess I’m an old fogey but, frankly, I don’t even understand why people make sex tapes. They can’t be all that flattering, and who wants the inside scoop on what they look like when they’re, well, you know? How does that even sound like a good idea? Hey, I know what we can do! And the same goes with taking pictures. Someone somewhere is going to find them and post them, email them, sell them, etc. So, keep your private parts private. Please.

Blue lights in the rearview mirror: Yeah, this isn’t going to end well either. The best thing that could happen is a warning ticket, and that’s not likely. The advice I’d like to give my son is this: Pull over. And take your lumps. That’s right. Don’t you dare try to outrun an officer, mister. Thelma and Louise was a movie. The police will catch you, and then it’s going to end a lot worse than it would have if you’d just pulled over.

Drama is good in the movies but you really, seriously, do not want much of it in real life. You might think you do, but it’s completely overrated. So pull over. Get out your license and registration. And by the way, don’t even think about drinking and driving. It is so not worth it.

“Can I be honest?” This is a two-pronged warning. First, if anyone says this to you, just know nothing pleasant is going to follow. People don’t say, “Can I be honest? You are just an amazing person.” No, that phrase always precedes something that’s probably going to be pretty rude and probably insulting.

On the flip side, don’t ask this question of anyone else. Honesty is not what is wanted most of the time. Now, obviously I’m not advocating lying. This is more of the “if-you-can’t-say-anything-nice, don’t-say-anything-at-all” adage. This may apply to girls more than boys, but if someone gets a bad haircut or has a bad acne breakout, they probably already know.

Be kind, not honest. Because you’re going to be there one day, too, and you’ll be a lot more grateful for the kind folks in your life than the honest ones.

That’s all I have for now, sonny. Runner-up never-end-wells include forgetting your wife’s birthday, anniversary and Mother’s Day, ahem.

cwgala@gmail.com

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