Will’s Thoughts – I grew up in a world where boys grew up and wanted to marry a girl just like dear old mom.
It was a world where lads wore white t-shirts, bluejeans and brush-cuts, of big old cars, and ‘yes sir’ and ‘no ma’am’. Most women wore dresses, most men drank far too much, most churches were full, and schools were the size of an average house. It was a world of chores, staying out of the path of ‘the strap’, and being seen but not heard. It was filled with the acrid scent of burnt coal on long trudges through snowbanks to school in the winter, and sweet clover scented skies filled with fluffy clouds in the summer.
There were two things that all young men of my youth thought were the most important goals in life. One was to grow up and be ‘just like dear old dad’, and the other was to marry a girl ‘just like dear old mom’. The dream was to have the work ethic of our fathers, and to find a spouse that had the cooking and homemaking skills of our mothers. Well, I reckon that the world has changed a heap since then. Perhaps the youth of today still aspire to one day be as their parents, but sadly for far too many kids, that means something totally different. Let me explain.
The vast majority of our meat and fish was hunted or caught, and was butchered and wrapped at home. By nine years old, I was reloading the family’s ammunition, from shotgun shells, to 30.06 brass, measuring powder and putting in primers. I took apart fishing reels to be cleaned, re-greased and oiled, and re-strung spools and re-tipped rods. I gardened, mowed, hunted, fished, worked for our factory, and as a delivery boy for a local grocer. Why? Because working is what my dad did.
I awoke to the smell of fresh baked gooey, sticky cinnamon rolls as tall as a loaf of bread, fried bacon, eggs and taters, and trudged off to school with a lunch fit for a farmer. I came home to the simmering smell of wild game mixed with the scent of jarred jams and jellies, and the aroma of trays of ‘fresh out of the oven’ dinner rolls. And then there were certain days that us boys knew to vanish, for those were days of dusting, beating rugs, aprons, mops and brooms. Why? Because running a house is what my mom did.
But, kids today have dads who aren’t around – ever -, and if they are, they are either too busy and/or self-absorbed to give a damn about their children. Those who aren’t drunk/high, on some form of government assistance, in jail, or being forced to attend a twelve step program, take pride in skills like texting and stroking keyboards, and want hunting and fishing banned. They whine if they have to work forty hours a week, and their recreation is not spending time with the family, it is getting the heck away from them.
Finding a girl just like dear old mom has also changed dramatically. Now children wake to the sound of snooze alarms, boxes being opened, and frozen waffles being ‘toasted’. Their lunches are filled with stuff processed and packaged in Hong Kong, and that has a shelf life longer than radioactive soil stays radioactive. Their imported fruit is grown in patches of dirt between freeway on-ramps and exits, their vegetables come from countries with no bans on pesticides, and bread is forbidden from their home to facilitate a gluten free lifestyle. Suppers are prepared by chefs like Boy-Ar-Dee, Laura Swanson and Betty Crocker, rolling pins have been replaced by can openers, and canning is now done in supermarket aisles.
When I grew up, and a neighbor had trouble, the whole community rallied around to help. Today they still rally, but now it’s in small groups for sheriff auctions and to gawk during emergencies. The world I knew is quickly fading away, being replaced by gang-banger and crack addict role models, obesity and children hating who and what their parents are. Few kids today want to grow up to be anything remotely like their parents, and instead of parents teaching their children the skills that they need to survive, they are being de-skilled, leaving them virtually unable to take care of themselves, should ‘the system’ collapse.
Yep, my world of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, handshakes and honor, has been replaced by ‘gimme’, ‘f__k you’, gang signs and disrespect. Picket fences have been replaced by graffiti, and folks fear governments worse than they once did criminals. Ethics has become a class found only in higher learning institutions, morals have become for morons, and respect is earned by dishonor. And, though it breaks my heart to admit it, when kids talk about their parents today, it usually involves profanity, and the one thing that I rarely ever hear anymore is, “I want to marry a girl, just like dear old mom”.
Will’s thoughts prove that everybody has opinions, but he has way more than he should. From dogs that won’t stop barking, to the antics of his spouse, ‘Crazy Lady’, Will’s Thoughts will make you smile.