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Laughing at instead of with

People are ridiculous.

We do and say stupid things on a regular basis.

I once thought it would be a really good idea to remove the ledges on my office windows with a high powered reciprocal saw.

In retrospect, not such a bright idea. Not bright at all. But no one got hurt, I was able to laugh at myself, and it made for some great blog fodder.

I’ve been seen on more than one occasion walking my kids to the bus stop wearing fuzzy polka-dot pajama pants and a “Who’s your Daddy?” t-shirt. And again, I was able to laugh at myself for doing so.

But in both of the above instances, I choose to share my pictures and my story here. I invited you to laugh. I gave you permission to laugh at me and to do so openly.

I have a confession to make. There are a few websites I used to frequent on a somewhat regular basis because they posted pictures of people looking ridiculous. It was sort of my guilty pleasure. It never occurred to me (because I never gave it much thought) that these pictures were being taken by strangers and submitted to these websites without the consent of the person or persons being photographed. It wasn’t until I heard a news story about one such website that I realized that a what I considered “harmless fun” wasn’t so harmless after all.

It seems a woman recognized a picture of her mother on the website and was quite upset. The website removed the picture, and will remove any such picture upon request, but thanks to search engines and the ability to download virtually any picture from the internet, they’re all still out there somewhere. Besides, the damage has already been done. Someone provided an opportunity for thousands of people to have a good, hearty laugh at someone else’s expense. Someone’s mother’s expense. I wonder how hard they would laugh if they were to find their picture displayed without their permission looking like a hot mess?

Oh, but that would never happen. Because they have more class than to go to Walmart dressed like a dirty pirate hooker.

Just not enough class not to laugh at someone else’s expense.

Editor’s Note: I don’t mean to imply that any website or television program which depicts people being funny unintentionally (whether it be by actions or by their outward appearance) is wrong. America’s Funniest Videos and Candid Camera did that successfully for years. But they did so with the permission of those who were the subjects of said videos. That’s vastly different from what’s happening now. When I find myself laughing at a picture of someone who probably wouldn’t laugh along with me, it shames me. It makes me feel like an anonymous bully. Because basically, that’s what I’ve become.

I hope you have kids just like you someday

I’m not one to believe in curses, with one exception. The mother’s curse of “I hope you have kids just like you someday.” That one works — in spades. I have yet to use it on my kids, but they’re not teenagers yet, so it’s only a matter of time.

But you know what? It’s not only a curse, it’s also a blessing. Because let’s face it, we’re not all bad. There are things about yourself that you probably really like, so having a little Mini Me running around isn’t all bad. Both my kids look like me, only cuter. Much cuter. They’re both a combination of personality traits from my husband and me. They have their own exclusive traits that God has given them, too.

For the longest time, I’ve been trying to figure out how I got such a girly girl for a daughter. Now, as she’s getting older, I’m finding that she’s really not that girly. She likes girly clothes and all things Hannah Montana, but she’s also not afraid to get dirty and messy. She’s not a priss. If you’ve been reading awhile, you may remember the story about the pregnant, crazy turkey with diarrhea that she wrote about in school. That was the first indication of her sense of humor – much like mine.

Still, sometimes she takes me totally off guard. We went out to dinner the other night and as usual, she was chatting up a storm. (Still can’t quite figure out where that came from – but I digress.) Anyway, since this particular establishment does not provide kids menus with crayons for endless games of tic-tac-toe, she decided to play a word game with me:

“Mom. I want to play a game. I bet I can make you say brown.”

“Okay. Go for it.”

“What color is a tree trunk?”


“Mom, you don’t have to say something like brown, just any color.”

“Okay. Sienna.”

“What color is the wood on this table?”


“What color is a wooden chair?”


“What color are the leaves on a tree?”


“Ah-ha! I made you say green!”

“You didn’t say anyhing about green, you said brown.”

“HA! I made you say brown!”

(That kid cracks me up. They both do, actually.)

If you have kids, how are they like you? Or how are you like your mom or dad?