The lecture series: speeches delivered early and often as my sons were growing up.
Lessons and values taught through relentless repetition. Appropriate audience age included.
- •Boogers are not food. Please don't mine your nose for nourishment.Age 2-elementary school.
- •Wash your hands with soap. WITH SOAP! W I T H S O A P! !Ages 3-13
- •In this house, we treat everyone and everything with kindness and respect.Age 3-10. Said at 9am sweetly and melodically AND IN ALL CAPS at 5pm with an implied GODDAMNIT in the tone of delivery.
- •We don't have time for the E.R. today, so don't do anything that's going to require a visit. Here's a book...Age 6-11 The file generated by the family medical insurance number is staggering in size. Climbing is easy, landing is where the fun starts, when you see parts usually covered by flesh stitches are absolutely necessary, and changing skin color is resolved with intravenous antibiotics, don't stop for the red lights. Just saying
- •An analysis of how your friends talk about girls: remember they're liarsMiddle school years. If they say she is a blah blah and she'll do blah blah- remember they're liars. Know what a short skirt means-NOTHING!! remember they're liars. No means no means no at any time under any circumstance-to ignore this one word sentence makes you a rapist - remember they're liars. Even if we're pro choice, it is her choice not yours - you choose to use a condom, anything that results from your failure to make that choice is your RESPONSIBILITY! TRUTH
- •If you get caught drinking underage or smoking weed - activities that are illegal, be ready to pay the price.High school. Your friends might have parents who will get them off the hook for indulging in what are considered socially acceptable, youthful indiscretions. You do not. Know that if you are busted, you are going to swing.
- •If ever you fear for your safety, like someone drunk gets behind the wheel of a car, the party is getting out of hand, someone pulled out a gun in jest: call us at any time we'll come and get you NO QUESTIONS ASKED.High school. We proved our willingness to do this on behalf of a friend's daughter. If you say it, absolutely mean it.
- •Don't do anything stupid.Said when they are walking out of the house with our car keys. It covers so many possibilities.
- •If you see a friend being preyed upon at a party, talk to them, ask if they understand and appreciate what is going on, ask if they want to go. All you need to say is 'let's go' and bolt.This one they both explicitly requested. It may be patriarchal, but it's part of the white, male privilege you've got going for you. If you suspect, or sense that something is off or dangerous step in, to do nothing is to be complicit.
- •You are not married, you do not pay rent or mortgage, you may not share a bed when your sweetie visits. I know we're not puritans. I can't explain, I'm not okay with it. Just no.College and beyond. Yeah, this surprised me when the words came out of my mouth.