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So, today someone said something to me that indicated that they could predict my behavior in a particular situation.  Yes, I am being vague on exactly what happened.  But the bottom line is, after thinking about their comment, it struck me how people think they can say certain things because they believe they know you.  Does anyone really know anyone else?  After this person’s comment, I wanted to say to them “You don’t know me.”  Interestingly, I often want to say this to people even when they predict correctly.  However correct, predictions still do not indicate that you know a person.

The desire to predict someone’s behavior reminds me of our strong desire to label people.  I know I do it, but I also know that I hate it when it is done to me.  We also want to prove to be people that we have labeled them correctly.  How many times have you said to someone, “Oh you wouldn’t do that.  I know you.”  Or maybe you have said, “Well, that’s how you are.”  Really?  You mean to tell me that you can predict my behavior in any and all situations?  I don’t think so.  But we do this all the time.

To some, I am a liberal, but I promise you, to others, I am quite conservative.  Labels are never more prevalent than in politics.  I think I may have blogged on this subject before, but am too lazy to look it up.  The reality is, being a democrat doesn’t define who I am.  So, who am I?  In many ways, even I don’t know, but here is some information that I will give you, so that at least on these subjects you can say that you know me:

  1. There is probably nothing I think about more than whether or not I am being a good dad.  I know I am not perfect, but I take my parenting job very seriously and if my daughter ends up on a pole, I will have failed.
  2. I think most people are stupid.  I wish I could sugar coat this fact, but I can not.  It is what it is.  However, I try very hard not to make people feel stupid, despite my feelings.
  3. I have an inner circle of people in my life.  If you are in this inner circle, there is nothing I would not do to help you.  It is impossible to lose membership to this inner circle.  You may have decided to treat me different, but I have not.
  4. Lastly, I require the television to turn my brain off.  I am constantly thinking.  I can’t turn my brain off.  It actually makes blogging a blessing and a curse.  On one hand, it gives me an opportunity to share thoughts, on the other hand, I usually have about 1000 thoughts per day and can often not decide which to blog on.  For example, this blog was not supposed to be the blog, but has bumped my blog on my recent near death experience (To Be Continued).

Is the above list exhaustive?  Of course not, but the reality is that most people do not know me and it is presumptuous to think that you do.  I barely know me.  So, please, please, please do not make predictions about my behavior.  You may be right, but it does not mean that you know me, it just means that you have a label of me in your mind that can’t possibly characterize the whole that is me.

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I got upset at my son, Brett Jr today, because once again he forgot to give us a document from school that needed to be signed.  This document was due Friday, and we just got it today.  This is an old issue, and he knows it.  So, I gave him a talk, signed the paper and moved on.  One minute later, he told me and Leah that he was not allowed to watch TV on Monday and Tuesday.  I told him that I know that he doesn’t forget on purpose and he did not need to be punished.  He said, no, he did need to be punished for forgetting the papers from school.  So, we said OK, no TV on Monday and Tuesday.  My son just punished himself.  That’s crazy.  He is awesome.  Of course, now we have to come up with something to do that does not involve TV.  Well, that sucks!  I’m just sayin …

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So, today is Wednesday.  You know what that means in the Woods household?  No TV day.  Isn’t that the craziest thing you have ever heard?  TV has given so much and asked so little.  A while back my wife requested that we have at least one day when the television is not turned on.  Of course my response was, “Why would we do that?”  “I don’t know, so that we could talk as a family. Get to know each other maybe.  Bond.” She replied.  Silliness.  Down right silliness.  Which brings us back to today, no TV.

The first time we did this, we announced to only Brett at the time that Wednesday would be no TV day.  He of course asked “Why?”  Mighty fine question son.  Leah explained the deal, and he again asked if we had to, looking to me for help.  I gave him a look as if to say, “We are on the losing team on this particular battle, son.”  Once he saw no help from me, he said, “Fine”.  I still remember that first night like it was yesterday.  Brett Jr. had gone to bed, and the first thing I do is turn on the TV.  Which of course met resistance from my wife.  “What are you doing?  It’s no TV day.”  “What?!?  You meant me too?  Why do I have to have no TV day?” was my response.  “So, we can talk.” She said.  “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Ugh, I say.”  Which brings us back to today, no TV day.  We have been doing this for several years now.  At has become part of us.  Everyone knows that Wednesday is no TV day.  I remember when my brother and his son was staying with us for a while.  I even made him obey the no TV rule on Wednesdays.  He was not impressed.  Of course it led him to want to move out of our home quicker, so that was a bonus buy.

We will have dinner tonight.  Go around the table and everyone will talk about their days.  After dinner, the boys will “play” fight until the 3-year-old cries and then complain to us that his older brother is being too rough.  To which we will reply, “Then don’t fight with him.”  Thirty seconds later, he is fighting with his brother again, until once again he is crying and the circle of life continues.  Once a little three year old energy has burned off`, at least a little, we will either play a game or watch a movie.  The choice will be affected by how tired we are, which is interesting, as I think most decisions in this house are determined by the adult fatigue level.  Which brings us back to today, no TV day.

Things have evolved over time.  No TV day has slowly become Forced Family Fun Day.  Sometimes it is good to not only NOT watch TV, but get out of the house and do something fun.  The first time we did this, it received the same resistance.  Brett asked me “Do I have to go?”  “Yes” I replied, “As a matter of fact I have to go too.” Hence the term, Forced Family Fun Day, as everyone is forced to enjoy the day.  This is probably mostly for me, as I can be a pill sometimes.  We will be having FFF Day this Friday, which means a second day of no TV.  How did that happen?  I’ll tell you how that happened.  It turns out that kids enjoy hanging out with the family.  Brett Jr. suggested we have family day later this week.  “Traitor! He has been turned over to the Dark Side!”  Well, what do you do?  It turns out my wife’s crazy brained idea has been adopted by the entire family.  Yeah, I don’t mind them either.  What’s a little Forced Family Fun among friends?

So, I will go without TV for two days this week.  I guess it is not a bad price to pay for a family that enjoys being around each other.  Makes you wonder if you shouldn’t consider having a No TV Day of your own, or maybe a FFF Day.  Of course if you do, and your family looks at you crazy, don’t blame me, I’d look at you crazy too.  No TV. Bah!

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You know what is funny?  I got up this morning and it was zero.  ZERO!  That’s cold.  On my way home I think the temperature was around 25.  Now, here is the funny part.  I took OFF my jacket.  In what world is 25 warm?  The Wisconsin world that where!  No one should live here.  I’m just sayin …

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