Tag Archives: Facebook

Don’t Like Me? Disagree with Me? No Debate Needed. Just. Keep. Scrolling.

Argue-5

We live in a time when a lot of people have a lot to say. Nowadays, the entire world’s an audience at our fingertips.   It’s so easy, isn’t it, to just spout whatever comes to mind:  I like this!  I hate that!  That’s stupid!  This is the best!  Do it my way (you’re an idiot if you don’t!).  Social media has placed anonymous bullhorns at everyone’s disposal and people happily—and routinely — use them.  We just love it because, dagnabbit, everyone’s opinion matters.  Right?

 

I believe in the freedom of speech (mmmmaybe my family is not always thrilled with my practice of it) and I do believe that every person is entitled to his opinion.   What I’m not a fan of is all the anger and negativity that now typically comes with combining those constitutional rights.  What I like less is the intolerance that surfaces when opinions are met with disagreement or opposition.

 

Why is everyone so angry?

 

Here’s an idea:  how about if you see something you don’t agree with …  just ignore it and keep scrolling.  Imagine that.  Just.  Keep.  Scrolling.

 

I am utterly confounded by the amount of people that carry on virtual arguments from behind their computer screens.  The ranting, the nastiness, the back-and-forth, the insulting.  Does anyone truly believe a contrary mind can be swayed simply by expounding in capital letters and angry emojis??  How asinine.  For every one person that agrees with you about any issue, there will be just as many who oppose you, despite your seemingly harmless thought or statement.  Many, many people are ignorant.  Why is it so hard to ignore them?   Many, many people are (punctuation aside) clearly not very bright.  Where is the importance of shining a spotlight on their stupidity?  FortheloveofGOD, why is everybody so offended all the time?

 

My recent experience with a total stranger on Twitter touches on this.

 

After I’d tweeted head-scratching disbelief about the sudden allure of Tonya Harding, a gentleman responded to (and disputed) my opinion of her. I have to admit, I was a little taken aback. Living here in the Nancy Kerrigan quadrant of the country it never even dawned on me there might actually be Tonya Harding supporters still out there but apparently, he was from her home state of Oregon.  Geeze, well I’ll be.  I attempted to mollify his anger with an LOL (and a laughing emoji of course) and gave a sort of Oh Well, To Each His Own retort but it was unsettling.  I’d never heard from him before (and likely won’t ever again) so it was curious to me why a total stranger would bother to take the time to drop the gloves with me.  Really, over Tonya Harding?  Could we even come up with a more insignificant topic?  Let it go, man.

 

I try to stick with Oprah on this.  She was recently being pressured to give a response when our fearless leader publicly insulted her (because, heck, with not so much going on in this country, why not spend some leisure time degrading celebrities?) and her simple reply was: “I don’t like giving negativity power.”

 

Fist pump, girlfriend, me neither.  I think of all the times I type something, then think a minute about the implications, then often keep my finger on the backspace button until it disappears.  With a public page/blog/feed I’ve learned the hard way: sometimes even tongue-in-cheek comments bring out the crazies.  You just never know.  The truth is, not every thought-provoking comment needs to be controversial and not every difference of opinion needs to be documented and debated.  It’s not that I’m above a well-versed discussion of opposing views; it’s just that I’m certain none of the world’s ills are ever going to be solved via Instagram argument.   And it has nothing to do with accepting criticism.  Ha!  I’m a mother of four — my thick-skin suit is impenetrable.

 

Don’t like me?  I am perfectly okay with that.  Just.  Keep.  Scrolling.  Find someone or something you do like and spread THAT around instead.  Wouldn’t it be great if people paid attention to just how many positive-vs-negative  posts they were putting out there?  We talk ad nauseum about the bullying epidemic of our kids and yet we-the- adults are kinda sorta doing a lousy job as role models for them.  Isn’t that a shame?

 

After the frightful events of late I’ve seen posts from some friends touting the 2nd Amendment, the NRA and certain red baseball hats.  I also have friends who spew venom at our Commander in Chief – legit – every single day on his social threads.   I get it.  This is a hot topic right now.  This is THE topic right now.  But this serious, dire, deadly problem is never going to be solved in a Twitter rant.  After plenty (and – most important — private) throat clucks and eyerolls, I watch all these posts go by and Just.  Keep.  Scrolling.  I don’t chime in, I don’t respond, and I even refrain from throwing in incredulous hashtags (#useriousgirl?).  Why?  Because my friends are entitled to their thoughts and I am entitled to my eyerolls and – like Miranda Lambert says – it takes all kinds a’ kinds.  I am an educated woman.  I know if anything is going to effectively change my mind about gun control right now it might be words spoken by a parent who just lost his child in a school shooting but it is never, ever going to be because of a Facebook post by someone without skin in the game … sitting behind a computer … or staring at a smartphone.  No way.

 

So to all the people that happen to be gun lovers  …

and keto champions ….

and crossfitters …

and animal rescuers …

and vegan worshippers …

and (endless) fundraisers …

 

and any other enthusiasts of ANYthing I wouldn’t be apt to give a swipe right to …you should know:  if I’m not interested in joining the cause – and especially if I don’t have anything nice to say, I’m simply going to Just.  Keep.  Scrolling.

If everybody else did the same, that’d be just great.  No offense taken.

 

    *     *     *      *      *      *

Read any good books lately?  Start one here:  A Collection Of Eyerolls:  A Momoir

Chapter 1, Click here:   https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/07/29/a-collection-of-eyerolls-chapter-1-yes-billy-joel-we-will-all-go-down-together/

Chapter 2, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/

Chapter 3, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/

Chapter 4, Click here:  https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/12/02/a-momoir-chapter-4-a-moms-plea-to-seth-rogen-enough-with-the-masturbation-already/

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram. 

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Eyerollingmom’s Christmas Letter: Nothing But Ho Ho Honesty

grinch

 

I don’t send out Christmas cards anymore and if I’m being completely honest, I kinda sorta question why some people still do.

I’m not a Grinch.  Hell no.  I still partake in holiday cheer (ahhh, too much, some may say) but I guess I just feel that a lot of old traditions are rather redundant in today’s all-knowing-all-the-time existence.

I never planned to stop.  It just sort of happened the year my mom passed away.  Three months after she was gone I struggled to put up a Christmas tree, let alone send out a photo of my kids who weren’t looking much different than all the pictures I’d been throwing up on Facebook throughout the year.  And of course anything good or eventful that went down in my life had already made it into a post, or text or blog.  Really now, is anyone in need of a recap?

But I’ve always thought that if I did send out a Christmas letter it really wouldn’t be like everyone else’s.  Here’s what I mean:

If I sent out a Christmas letter I’d say for sure, my year was just likes yours:  full of happiness and thanks and blessings and joys and laughter and (hello, four perfect kids?) plenty of proud and boastful accomplishments.  But then I’d feel compelled to add it was also a year filled with a whole bunch o’ family crap,  a shitload of sadness, some bitter disappointments and (hello, four slightly imperfect kids?) too much embarrassment to mention.

I’d start by bragging about my oldest, my newly minted 21-year-old.  He is my unchallenged sweetheart — mainly because he is hands down the most respectful of the tribe.  To this day, he’d do anything I ask without so much as a sigh.  I’d say how my heart swells with pride that he is a USAF Reservist and I am duly delighted that he’s going to school to become an EMT and paramedic.  But then I’d have to admit that his lack of motivation to work at anything — ANY thing — full time makes my blood pressure surge.  And worse, that when I see him playing video games for hours at a time I want to scream like a crazy person on a NYC street corner.  Don’t even get me started on the beer cans in his room.

I’d then go on to gush about my daughter, who’s rocking her sophomore year at college and blossoming into a beautiful and engaging young woman right before my eyes.  She’s really something else.  I’m genuinely in awe of her compassion for the environment and her conviction to make it a better place.  Though I’ll miss her like mad, I know one day soon her dreams and plans will take her away to some exotic place far, far away from me.  Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit her staunch insistence that humanity is failing … troubles me greatly.  Quite honestly, her woe is the world philosophy is a complete and total buzz kill at the dinner table and (sigh) an argument typically ensues when she really gets going.  Truth be told, if I must nitpick, the toxic fumes festering in her room from the mess seem to be a blatant contradiction of the green earth she’s desperately seeking to save. (Apple cores:  best placed in a compost heap rather than under that bra on the rug, no?)

I’d continue and blather on and on about my middle son, a high school sophomore, who is incredibly handsome and intelligent and easy going and popular and athletic and …  and … so incredibly lazy I feel I should start researching boarding schools.  Or wigs — since I’m dropping fistfuls of my own hair as I chase him around screaming about missing homeworks and vanishing assignments.  I am convinced the sound of my voice is like a dog whistle to his immune ears and I fear he may fall out of bed one night and suffocate in the pile of wet towels next to his bed.

I’d then be forced to boast about his sidekick — my youngest — the king of the eighth grade and future president of the United States of America.  Here is a fellow so incredibly beloved and kind and charming and funny … that his teachers and friends’ parents would be aghast at the shrill volume of his disrespectful back-talk to me.   If he was heard by the masses on a particularly bad day he’d find himself one lonely little boy indeed — because parents wouldn’t let this Talented Mr. Ripley within earshot of their own children.  If they only knew…

I’d tell about our loss this year of our infamous Grandpa Eggo, my stepdad, and only remaining grandparent on my side of the family tree.   Just shy of his 92 birthday, he was one hell of a hot ticket – and  — a bonus — had Carl Fredericksen from the movie UP as his celebrity doppelganger.  Looked JUST like him and THAT was hilarious.  We got a lot of laughs out of his couple of years without my mom as a buffer but man, I’d have to admit that the old guy drove us batshit crazy much of the time.  What’s worse:  his death leaves a distinct hole in the lives of my siblings, for we are now forced to reconcile our simmering differences without a neutral zone of connection.  Being a grown-up becomes acutely harder when you’re left to deal with the messy family stuff without parental referees.

I’d close my Christmas letter with the unthinkable confession that some of my happiest moments are the rare occasions when I pull into my driveway after work and the house is completely – silently – empty.  For a short time until the chaos begins again, I am blissful.

But then, then … as my final admission,  I’d confess there are unexpected moments that catch me off guard … when the house is quiet and — to the contrary — I am consumed by a wordless panic.  My thoughts drift to a time soon to come when I’ll finally be without the video games and the wet towels and the beer cans and the fighting and the back-talk.

And my dread is paralyzing.

Funny how life knows when to give you a swift kick in the ass when you need it.

In those minutes of solitude and fear I somehow understand my personal charade.  Perhaps I bitch and squawk so much … only to mask how crazy I may become without them?

And that’s the truth.

So anywho, even though I don’t send out Christmas letters … or Christmas photos (please.  No-shave November is killing any chance of that; who wants multiple Wolverines in their family photo?) I do always reflect on my passing year, only in a warts-and-all kind of way.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if more people did the same?

 

Merry Christmas, dear friends and readers!

 

Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was just featured in the Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements.  (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore).   A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. –

 

 

College Kid Heading Home? Release the Kraken!

Woman+Pulling+Hair+out

 

My daughter, a college freshman, comes home this week for her winter break.  This means my emotions — like every other college parent’s – are running the gamut of YayyyyyyyyyyOoooooooohhhhhNoooooooooo.

 

Cue in collective nods from those who have danced this dance before me.

 

She’s had four months of independent living, coming and going at leisure, not having to answer to anyone and doing whatever in the world she feels like at any time she feels like it.  These typical rites of college passage no doubt will make her transition back to home a nightmare of unparalleled proportions.

 

Guess I’d better get my thick-skin-suit out of storage.

 

We had a tiny bit of friction during the long Columbus Day weekend.  We had a bit more (cough) differences of opinion during Thanksgiving.  But let’s be real here.  A few argumentative moments here and there are nothing compared to the barrage of discontent that will fester over five weeks.

 

Five looooooooonnnnngggggg weeks of

 

… ridiculous rules (because ‘don’t start a load of laundry and then immediately leave the house for twelve hours’ is …unreasonable?)

 

… crazy curfews (because bars can kick people out soon after midnight but parents shouldn’t?)

 

… and outrageous expectations to be – I don’t know – an active member of this family (because popping in for an occasional meal or – dare to dream – coming out of a bedroom for more than fifteen minutes at a time is … irrational?).

 

Yes, we are all sorts of looney over here.  Poor kids – it’s just like West Point under this roof.

 

I know, I tell her, I remember.  My mother and I drove each other nuts every winter AND summer I was home.  I keep telling my daughter that, like it or not, it is the way of the world.  That it is something every college student since the beginning of time will go through.  Naturally my sage sentiments fall on deaf ears.   She tries to reason …

 

It’s not fair.

She’s responsible.

She’s intelligent.

She makes good choices.

(All true, I might add.  But then she’ll throw in some crazy statistic like …)

 

She’s the ONLY one with a curfew

(or, worse)

No one else’s mother even cares what they do or what time they came home.

(No one?)

Nope.  Not one.

I then call balderdash and bam! we’re right back to a Saturday Night Smackdown.  It’s sure to be a tough time but I’m ready.  My litany of retorts isn’t very creative but it’s plentiful.

 

This is not your dorm room.

Get used to it.

It is what it is.

I felt this way, too.

Because I love you.

Because I said so.

I do trust you.

It’s only about safety.

I understand.

I get it, I really get it.

and so on…

and so on..

But nothing is changing.

A mom is a mom is a mom.

 

 

Evidently we shall never see eye to eye on this but I imagine we’re not supposed to.  I just hope she doesn’t sulk away her vacation like Greta Grump and enjoy some of the time while she’s with us.

 

The house, while still busy and loud and messy … is a brighter place when she is here.   I so don’t want to be in Def-con 12 Battle Mode during the holidays.   I kinda just want to watch movies under fuzzy blankets with her … and do a little shopping … and share some late lunches … and well, just sorta be with her.  She’s eighteen and the years are moving her into adulthood faster than I can finagle.  FortheloveofGod, she’s talking about Africa next year. I just keep shaking my head.  And catching my breath some days.

 

Maybe, just maybe, she’ll go a little easy on the old lady and go with the curfew flow and pick up her room every few days.

 

Who knows.  It could happen.

 

Santa, you reading this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Being a (Pretty Good) Mom (Sometimes)

In the hopes my children will never read this (or at the very least, lose interest midway through and click off like they usually do), I’ll make the mother of all confessions (no pun intended): at times I am not a great mom.

 

Now … It’s not a tragic scenario by any means.  I’ve never lost a kid at the mall (which, I might add, instantly places me in a winner’s circle without my sister), but I have been known to lose track of my ten-year-old’s last shower.  And I suspect that if Children’s Services ever caught wind of the actual number of times my kids’ sheets are changed, well, there might be some action taken.

 

But so far, to date (she said, knocking wood) none of my kids have a probation officer.  To quote Michael Buble, I’m feeling good.

 

Still, I’ve got some dirty diaper secrets my kids would have a field day with — especially the next time I’m ragging about a low B in Spanish.

 

I have signed homework sheets that I never really checked.

 

I’ve feigned sleep when I heard a screaming/puking/sneaking-in-past-curfew kid in the middle of the night just to allow my husband the opportunity to fly out of bed like a rocket and deal with it.

 

I’ve had the television entertain my little ones for hours at a time, just to talk on the phone a little longer or get my house clean.  And the violent video games that are rumored to melt brain cells? Let’s just say we take our chances.

 

I will say without shame that – until they’ve been old enough to realize it – I have skipped pages of bedtime stories.

 

I have sometimes not enforced regular teeth brushing with my toddlers because, I reason, they’re just going to fall out anyway….

 

And yes, I have driven past the library only to hear a tiny voice in the backseat say in wonder, “Hey, I remember that place – I think I was there once.”

 

My err, missteps have continued as my kids have gotten older.

 

I scoop wet towels off various floors and toss them in the dryer with a fabric sheet for days at a time before washing them (and I would scrunch up my eyebrows in profound judgment if I found out you didn’t).

 

I cut off my kids’ cell service the minute I cannot withstand one more minute of backtalk … and then forget to pick them up because I haven’t heard from them.

 

I’ve texted my kid’s coach –….um .. not … entirely … sober – and squawked about my kid’s playing time (a side note: if you’re going to try this, which I wholeheartedly do NOT recommend, make sure the coach is one helluva good guy).  Nevertheless, not an entirely proud moment.  Um, AT ALL.

 

 

And I’d have to admit, some of my best Mom Moments are a little unorthodox.  For instance, I keep my cell phone charger in my underwear drawer and make sure my kids know it.  Why?  Because should it go missing – like all chargers do – I want my kids – especially my boys – to know they’d be fishing around through my panties in order to get to it.

 

I still haven’t ordered my daughter’s prom dress because she still hasn’t cleaned her room.  And that was our deal – that it had to be Mom Clean.

 

And I’ve changed the locks on one particular occasion to make a rebellious teen know for damn sure that I was completely, unquestionably, irrevocably done with his nonsense.

 

But I have to admit, it’s not hopeless..

 

I’m pretty sure that for every really (really) lousy thing I do (or, in the case of the sheets, don’t do), I make up for it in other ways.  For instance, I kiss my kids.  A lot.  And I tell them I love them — all the time.  The words are spoken so often that I now possess three sons in various stages of development who actually say it back to me:  in front of their friends, over their shoulders as they’re scooting out the door, and (yes, sir) when they’re mad at me.

 

(One time, when it dawned on me that my ornery ‘tween was attempting to become an ornery ‘tween Bedroom Mole, I demanded impromptu hug practices and made him stand locked in an embrace with me until he smiled.)  Whatever it takes.

 

My home is extremely dusty at times (here comes a pat on the back from nobody-cares-about-your-undone-chores-Oprah;  you know, spoken as if she’s one of us) and my inability to remember details makes it impossible for me to recall the name of the last antibiotic any of my kids were prescribed.

 

But I know I’m a pretty good mom regardless.  I watch my kids all the time.  Not in the “Get back here, a stranger’s going to steal you!” kind of way, but in a fascinated, still-can’t-believe-they’re-mine way.   A profound failure in keeping baby books, I do, however, try to write down both wonderful and ordinary things about our daily lives.  When I noticed my little guy’s SpongeBob underwear clear through his little white baseball pants during his very first tee-ball game, I jotted it down.  It was without question the cutest thing I’d ever seen.

 

And when my toddler loudly pointed out during an extremely crowded Easter mass that “Mommy, look, they all drink wine like you do at home!” much as I wanted to die, I wrote that down, too.

 

Nowadays I don’t have to write much down since I can immediately promote their perfections and pitfalls on (ta da!) blogs and Facebook.

 

Life’s too short to dwell on dirty sheets.  Tru dat, Oprah.

 

Kids make you crazy.  But when they’re in the back seat of a Suburban giggling over the stupidest of stupid bad-gas jokes, they make you giggle, too.  And every now and then when you’re ready to lock yourself in the bathroom for just five more minutes before your head explodes off your neck, they’ll do something unexpected and delightful to make you unlock that door.

 

When they were little, when they’d hear Barry White come out of the speakers they’d seek me out (“Mom, it’s your soooooooong!”) and spontaneously dance with me in our kitchen. How’s that for an upper?

 

Now that they’re older and (gulp) out in public without me, I’ll get the mother of all compliments (again, no pun intended) when I least expect it, sometimes from complete strangers:

 

You’ve got great kids.

 

I’m thinking a terrible mom would never be able to pull that off.

 

So I’ll be keeping my phone charge in my underwear drawer, thankyouverymuch.

 

 

 

 

 

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