Tag Archives: Old Person

Exposing Yourself. . .

It’s a simple rule: Never post anything online that you wouldn’t want to explain to your mother. Or father. Or any other similarly judgmental familial relation.

And, yes, it’s being ignored right, left, up, down, sideways by just about everyone younger than 30.

This came to mind when the friendly confines of Casa de Dude were invaded by the raucous laughter of the Siren, a friend from college of my wife’s, known to me as She Who Must Be Strutting. The Siren was driving her youngest little dude, Robert Bob, up to boarding school.

The two ladies were out for a drink with friends, one of those sorts of gatherings where mammary glands are required, but gonadal possession in the first degree is prohibited, so I was left at home with Hyper Lad and Robert Bob, both of whom are of an age. Not a problem for me. It was the first Saturday night of college football season. They had video games. We all had pizza. Good time for the dudes.

Anyway. We were talking over piping hot slices and I happened to ask Robert Bob what sort of messaging app he used on his phone. He immediately told me it was SnapChat. For those of you not in the know, SnapChat is an app that allows you to send a photo to someone else on the service. The catch is that the picture you send will self destruct 10 seconds after first viewing.

Which, to most of us older folks, sounds like a recipe for the users to start sharing — oh, I don’t know — naked pictures of themselves, secure in the knowledge that the photo will never, ever, no possible way get out into the wider internet and be seen by anyone else but the intended recipient and then only for 10 seconds. Were you readers able to detect the sarcasm there?

So I asked Robert Bob why he felt safe sending those pictures (not that he was sending naked selfies. He wasn’t. Just asking a younger person in general.). After all, anyone receiving one of those pictures could easily take a screenshot of the picture as it was displayed on the phone.

Well, says Robert Bob, with the smug manner of someone who has considered that question coming from an adult and already has an answer that will completely deflate said old person and send them packing with tails between legs, “The app always lets you know if someone takes a screenshot.”

I waited. He kept looking smug.

“And?” I asked.

“And what else?”

“What do you mean what else?” he said.

And I went on to ask, in some detail, how knowing that someone had taken a screenshot and now had a long-lasting image of whatever picture you’d just sent to him or her will help you control whether or not that image now goes online, to be widely disseminated throughout the world-wide web.

To which he replied, “Uuuuhhhhhhhhh. . . ”

Yeah. That.

Understand, Robert Bob is an intelligent, well-reared, thoughtful, considerate young dude, but that question never even crossed his mind. I shudder to think of those young dudes and dudettes not quite at Robert Bob’s level and what happens to them.

Let me make one more thing very clear: This is not a call to arms for parents to start taking away phones or slamming down the metaphorical boot on the informational neck of their little dudes and dudettes. There will always be a new app, a new way to connect with others that you won’t know about and so can’t stop.

The only constant will be your child. If your child has sense enough to be careful and present only a carefully constructed version of themselves online, then you’re good. I consider this to be something like the sex conversation. It’s not something you have one time and then it’s done.

The sex conversation is an ongoing dialogue between you and your child. So should the public oversharing conversation be. Start early and continue the conversation at every opportunity.

Otherwise, unfortunately, there could be consequences.

About which we’ll talk tomorrow.

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Another Week Of Trying Desperately Not To Make The Old Lady Joke

by Richard

Today marks the start of what over the last couple of years I’ve come to think of as my Hell Week. See, today is the day that marks the birthday of my beloved bride, She Who Must Be Obeyed. The problem is my birthday is exactly a week later. We were both born in the same year, which means that, for a week every year, she’s a year older than I am.

And, dudes, she hates it with a passion.

Well, it’s not so much that she hates it. She just hates that I continually call her my Old Lady, or make old-person jokes, or talk about how she’s robbing the cradle, or that she likes younger men. You know, like you do. It’s the sort of obnoxious display that would probably get lesser men killed in their sleep.

Now, maybe I’m getting older, but I’ve come to realize that, despite the fact that those jokes will never not be funny, they’re not that funny for her. So, as part of her present every year for the last couple of years, I’ve been foreswearing the use of those wonderfully funny and amazingly entertaining old jokes. I mean jokes about her being old, not that the jokes themselves are old. They’re not. They’re evergreen.

It’s part of my overall strategy to get her to realize that she doesn’t want to lose me. Make myself indispensable, be great in the sack (as if there were any other choice there), and stop making jokes about her being older than I am. So far, it seems to be working.

Seriously, though, and you knew it would come down to this, it’s a great day. It’s a day I always love to call up her mom, my mother-in-law, and tell her thanks for giving birth to my succulent sweetie. The first couple of times, my mother-in-law was sort of put out and was wondering if it was too late for an annulment. Lately, though, I think she’s starting to like it. Last year she asked where her thank-you present was. I might have to get to work on that one.

Either way, I’m a lucky man to have her around. She puts up with my, um, stuff. And I put up with her, ah, stuff as well. The bits of me that are jagged and sharp fit right into the places in her that are concave and tough. I’d only change one thing about her, and that’s her tendency to laugh when I cry during telephone commercials. Shut up. All of you.

Happy birthday to my wonderful wife, who will be obeyed. No, that doesn’t get old. Even if she does.


I’m trying. I’m trying.

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by Richard


Yeah, dude. Cougars. You know you gotta like dat! Yeah, we– Wha-? What do you mean not that kind of cougar? A mascot, you say? Not a, you know, cougar, but a cougar-cougar? Oh, yeah. Right.

Sorry. Got a little carried away there. So, yeah. Zippy the Monkey Boy and I made it to Charleston, SC, after a nice, relaxing five-hour drive. Loads of good times. In fact, I even forced Zippy to do a little driving on the way. And, yes, that was forced. He wasn’t happy, but he did a pretty good job merging onto the freeway and driving (sometimes through rain) for about an hour or so. But boy was he tense.

Anyway, at the end of the trip, we spent the night in a nice hotel in downtown Charleston and then headed out to visit the College of Charleston, mascot, the cougar.

CofC is a bit of an odd duck for a university. It’s situated right in the middle of downtown Charleston and the main campus is, really, quite small. The actual instructional buildings, however, are spread out within the city and are not all concentrated on the main campus. The student dorms, the cafeterias, the new science building and a number of other facilities, all are on city streets. It makes for an interesting setting.

Oddly, CofC is actually a state school, something of which I was unaware until we hit the actual information session. Only about 10,000 undergraduates attend the school (along with approximately 2k graduate students), leading to an optimistic average of between 23-25 students per class. Speaking of averages and ratios, this is another school with a great female to male ratio for Zippy the Monkey Boy. Approximately 60 percent of the student population is female, while the rest are males. Not a bad ratio of you’re a male, yeah?

College of Charleston has one of the better-regarded marine science programs on the east coast and even has a special learning center outside the city devoted to the subject, all of which Zippy loved. He also couldn’t stop talking about how much he loved all the Spanish moss hanging from the huge oak trees dotted across campus and the city. Said it reminded him of St. Augustine in Florida, one of his favorite places.

The tour itself wasn’t so great, but that’s probably because I’m old. Our young tour guide said either um or uh probably every fourth word and fully half of her sentences ended in a rising inflection, indicating a question, rather than a statement. I realize that’s something only an old person would get irritated by, but, well, it did irritate me.

Still, it’s a nice college, situated in a great city. This one is definitely on his apply-to list.

Now we’re off to Conway, SC, and Coastal Carolina University, a setting that makes Greenville, NC, look like Metropolis and Gotham combined.

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