No, green slime will not fall on your head if you do, but the censors will bleep the word out, even on Comedy Central: It’s “little people” now.
But when I was a kid in the Eighties, there was no chance of being reprimanded or corrected if you used the “m-word.”
Similarly, the “r-word” is dangerous to use as well. I remember back in 2008 when Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder drew controversy and even inspired a petition that was circulated through Facebook encouraging people not to see the movie because of the way it portrayed those with special needs.
It’s wallpapered in our brains as today’s parents of young children to know that one of the worst things to be in our society is a bigot; any type of person who looks down on or makes fun of other people for being different.
(To be honest, I’m actually a tad paranoid to even be covering this topic today for fear of being misunderstood or misquoted as one myself. What if I ironically make myself look like the kind of bully I am speaking against here?)
And that brings us to another especially unacceptable and obscene term; the “f-word.”
No, the other “f-word,” as well as the “q-word.” These days, when one of your friends from high school officially “comes out of the closet” on Facebook in a status update, you can expect to see a flood of “likes” and “hugs” and “You go girl!” comments, definitely not criticism or name-calling.
As if I needed to say it, I’m glad to see these words become demonized. I like knowing our society is reaching such a state of “bullying awareness.”
What I am seeing about our Millennial generation (born from 1980 to 2000) and our concept of vulgarity is that we’re more offended by slurs directed at minorities of every kind in society; as opposed to cursing and cussing in general.
Interestingly, we’re much less offended by the classic extreme offenders, like “g.d.” or “a-hole” or even the original f-word. In fact, it’s not even a big deal anymore to hear those words spoken on cable TV from time to time.
We’ve heard them so many times that I’m wondering if they actually are profane anymore or if we just pretend they are because it’s what we’re used to thinking.
Here’s what I know. I have a responsibility to teach my son what is and is not appropriate to say, largely based on which words I do and do not say.
It’s not up to the rating of a movie or a TV show, or which words the censors bleep out, or even which words that society deems as offensive for whatever reason.
Since a lot of my son’s future vocabulary is indeed up to me, I will guide him and strive to be the example he needs to see and hear.
I will be that person in my son’s life; to teach him not only how not to hurt others with his words, but also, how to build people up with his words, especially to those who need it the most.
The Eighties made it okay for boys to play with dolls. Yes- soft, plush toys. We didn’t care; we were simply blinded by all that masculinity.
It was all for the best, though. As adults, we are now the first generation of dads who change their kids’ diapers un-ironically and actually take offense that anyone would say we are simply babysitting when we take care of our kids in public sans the wifey.
Maybe subconsciously we learned, as boys of the 80′s, that we could participate in social activities traditionally reserved for females, given some minor adjustments. Well, here we are as dads in our late 20′s and early 30′s and guess what?
We still have balls. Madballs, that is. (Featured above.)
According to my version of childhood, here are the top 5 most bromantic boys’ dolls of the 1980′s:
1. My Buddy (1985). Nothing says bromance like this assumed inspiration for the movie Child’s Play. It’s not surprising that I never heard of any of my friends being teased for carrying My Buddy around. After all, he did have a pretty cool theme song. Wherever I go, he goes…
2. Teddy Ruxpin (1985). Rockin’ khaki vest over a burgundy undergarment? Check. Built-in cassette player? Check. Motorized mouth so you can stick your finger in and let him “bite” you? Check! Show-N-Tell during the Eighties meant that half the class brought in the same talking bear. Today, my son plays with the modern version: My Pal Scout by Leapfrog.
3. My Pet Monster (1986). Here is the epitome of “boys’ doll no one can tease you about.” Just look at this fella: Horns, purple hair, gangly teeth, and hands bound in chains. This was one toy you didn’t have to worry about your little sister trying to take when you weren’t looking.
4. Care Bears (1983). Nothing says “I love you, man” like a bear who wears his feelings on his sleeve… or tummy. Sure, the Care Bear I owned was orange and had flowers on his stomach, but just watch out for the Care Bear Stare! Plus, there’s something something pretty tough about having a heart tattoo on your butt.
5. Popples (1986). These furry, friendly, little marsupials (?) gained man points with their ability to morph; which was evidently important to us boys of the Eighties. Popples were evidently what happened when Transformers mated with Care Bears. To add to the testosterone factor, there were certain ones that turned into your favorite sports ball. Tennis, anyone?
Yes, you did read that right. No, this isn’t a rerun from March. This coming Saturday on July 16th as Jack turns eight months old, we return to Music City for keeps.
Imagine you’re me. You were raised in the Eighties and were taught that money isn’t everything but that being happy is. You were constantly told that if you really believe, you can achieve your dreams. So at age 29, you decide to choose happiness over money and move your wife and 3 week old son back to your hometown to be close to family. You willingly choose less money and less busyness with the purest intentions.
Enter four months of unemployment, then living from savings despite eventually getting a job. Then after eight months since moving, you come to the realization that it is not a choice to move your family back to Nashville, but simply the only option.
It’s ironic how it took me four months to find a job and how my wife was sent countless rejection letters for all the places she applied, never landing a job that would keep us from dipping into savings every month; yet in a matter of just a few days and few emails, both my wife and I have jobs lined up in Nashville where we will begin Monday, July 18th.
Our former employers are taking us back. It’s that simple. Granted, this means we have to put Jack in daycare. We will barely see him on weekdays because by the time I drive him home from daycare, he will only be awake for an hour before it’s his bedtime.
So, how do I feel about this? Bittersweet.
We came here truly believing that we would be spending the rest of our lives here; thinking it would be the last time we would have to unpack our things. And when it seemed our expectations were being threatened, we only tried that much harder to make this work. But our resistance was futile.
As I have mentioned before, a married man can never stop thinking about his need to provide for his family. So imagine what kind of psychological toil this constant wondering has taken on my own sanity. For the fact we will be able to pay our bills without dipping into what’s left of our savings; well, that’s more relieving than I can say. But yes, we will have to move away from my family and they won’t see Jack as much as they used to.
He and his cousin were going to be attending the same school and be in the same grade. Not now, though. It’s only a 2 and a half hour drive, but still, things will be somewhat different.
By this point, I am nearly emotionless when it comes having to repack our lives again. Because again, it’s not a choice to be made; it’s the only option.
So I am accepting my fate. I was not meant to live in my hometown with my family. Instead, I was meant to live and work in Nashville, one of my favorite cities in the world.
I am choosing to move forward and be positive about it. There have been a lot of things we’ve missed tremendously about Nashville: Our church, our friends, our quirky restaurants, proximity to Country music stars, and surprisingly more than you would think, shopping for groceries at Publix, where shopping is a pleasure.
As much as I enjoyed growing up in my hometown and the great memories I always have, it has ultimately proven to be the wrong fit for the 2011 version of me, which includes my wife and son. And that’s not my hometown’s fault. It’s just that Nashville is simply where we belong.
My wife and I met there. My wife was baptized there. We got married there. Our son was born there. Heck, even this blog was born there.
One of our mutually favorite movies is Away We Go, starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph. As they prepare for the birth of their first child, they travel to several cities to figure out where their new home as a family is. It’s obviously very relatable for my wife and me.
After sticking it out this long, we were obviously more than willing to make this thing work in my hometown. But now it’s time to return to where our home, as a family, is.
Need another pop culture reference? This reminds me of the best TV show ever made (and that ever will be made), Lost. Those who crashed on the island were “chosen” by the island for a purpose. Even when six of them eventually found a way to leave and go back to their homes, they ultimately had to return because the island still needed them there.
For us, Nashville is the island. We just need to watch out for those darn polar bears.