Monday, July 4, 2011

Oops Upside Your Head!

Little Denny coulda used a little more rod.
My parents spanked me. I didn't like it, but it worked.

I just got back from visiting my mom and my girlfriend. So how did corporal punishment pop into my head, you may ask? Well, I'll tell you. The flight there and the flight back. Kids. Annoying, hyperactive, earbud-wearing, laptop-using, seat-kicking, snot-nosed little mini-people. That's how.

I'll just focus on "Tommy". I wanted to put a ballpoint pen through Tommy's eye. Tommy was about eight and decided that he had to comment on everything. EH-VEH-REE-THEENG. Now I can't blame him for being fascinated with air travel. The first time I was on an airplane – I think I was three or four – I loved it. I loved everything about it. I loved the smell of jet fuel, the way the planes looked, the sound of engines revving up before takeoff, the thump of the wheels on the tarmac as we touched down, the view out the window ("Mom, why are the buildings so small?"), the way the seats reclined, the way clouds looked close-up. So I don't blame Tommy for any of the random, enthusiastic observations he made throughout the two-and-a-half-hour flight. But did he have to muse so loudly? Did he have to push, bang and kick my seatback during at least half the flight at irregular intervals, usually just as I was dozing off? The answer, apparently, is yes.

But I can't really blame him for that either. I've gotta blame somebody though, so I'm gonna tag his dad, who was sitting right next to his precocious offspring the whole time. I wanted to put a pen through his eye too. Because Dad was the one that let Tommy get away with yelling over the sound pumping into his oversized head from the buds pressed into his ears. Because he was the one who let his son test the tensile strength of the tray table's hinge by opening and closing it compulsively and with ever-increasing vigor. I kept twisting my body around to shoot Dad the your-kid's-bugging-the-shit-out-of-me look and he ignored it. At one point little Tommy was leaning forward and had his face mashed up against the window, inches from my ear and decided to make a tsk'ing sound with his tongue and teeth. Tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk, tsk. Now three minutes may not seem like a long time – it's only about the length of your average Beatles song –  but it is when an oversize-headed eight-year-old is tsk'ing a staccato into your ear at 37,000 feet while you're vainly trying to sleep away a cramped flight in coach.

When I was Tommy's age, my parents never let me get away with stuff like that. No, they didn't slap me upside the head in public, but they did spank me. And that would make it clear that inappropriate behavior simply would not be tolerated. I'm all for corporal punishment. Absolutely. Totally. 100%. Spare the rod, spoil the child? Nope. I got whacked. And it worked. (My mom could accomplish this kind of discipline with The Look.) I realize that being a parent can be frustrating, challenging, daunting and plain old tiring. Parents pick their battles and sometimes have to decide to look the other way when their kid acts like Charlie Sheen's love child. But if people choose to have children, and choose to take them to the mall, the movies, on a flight, out in daylight amongst other humans anywhere, they're responsible for doing their best to keep their kids from bugging the crap out of everyone within eye- or earshot.

I still love air travel. I still love the way clouds look as I pass through them en route to cruising altitude. I still like the way jet fuel smells. And I still had an amazing vacation. But lazy parents with obnoxious kids on planes bug the crap out of me.

So yes, my parents spanked me. I didn't like it, but it worked.

278 comments:

  1. ...spanked children can work out fine. un-spanked children can turn out to be rotten. and vice versa.
    Who knows, you might even have worked out if they HADN'T spanked you. ;)

    I would have been annoyed too, Stephen.
    I would have considered spanking the father ;)

    And yet, if all works out parents are able to teach children respect without having to spank them (on a regular basis).

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  2. Hmmm... Reminds me of a certain family member who turns 7 today (Beelzespud), but I know she wasn't on your flight. ;-)

    I'm all for spanking, and think a lot of people need to revive the practice. I see too many children misbehaving as their parents try to bargain with them. "If you stop screaming we'll stop at the toy store on the way home." Really? Or one of my favorites. "Please don't do 'fill-in-the-blank' because Mommy really needs to finish shopping. Pleeeease." Said with the sweetest, begging voice. Ugh.

    Grow some people, and start disciplining your children. Do it for all of us. Because I'll tell you, I'm tired of chastising your children for you. Especially when I don't know you or them. Stop making your badly behaved kids my problem while I'm dining, shopping, watching a movie, etc.

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  3. @Steven I've been in front of that kid too! I HATE parents who don't control their kids. What is wrong with parents now? I think @Christy is right. Parents are letting kids run the show now. The parents need to grow a pair and take control. Great way to put it!

    This was a really GREAT post. You write really well. I like your writing style and you usually make me think.

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  4. I would have point-blank asked the parent to keep his child from annoying me. I've done that before on planes, trains, and automobiles, and I'd do it again.

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  5. @Sarah: LOL! That kid gets around! Thanks for the compliment on my writing. ;-)

    @theminx: If the flight's long enough, I talk to the kid and the parent, usually in that order. I try to give the kid a chance to shape up before I get him in trouble with Mom or Dad. The trip I took with "Tommy" wasn't that long so I just let him...be. And it gave me something to grouse about later. *lol*

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  6. @Steven I agree that spanking isn't a bad thing as long as parents aren't abusing their kids. And I agree with @Christy and @Sarah that parents are letting the kids control things now days.

    I think like you and Sarah, Tommy has been behind me too. He does get around! LOL! I really get annoyed when you make it clear that the kid is annoying you and the parents don't do anything about it. It's frustrating! I'm with @Christy. I'm tired of chatising other people's kids. And believe it when I tell you I don't have a problem doing it, even if I don't know them. If they're invading my physical space, sound space, etc and no one is doing anything to stop them, then I have a right to put an end to it. Beware of the stranger kids!

    @Christy I love, love, love your statement about people "growing a pair"! LMAO! That was awesome! I think something similar every time I see parents begging or bargaining with their kids. It drives me nuts! People you're the parents! Cowboy up and take control for goodness sake!

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  7. @sorei: I totally zoned-out and didn't respond to your comment. ;-p

    I may have turned out okay if my parents hadn't given me a few (dozen) slaps from time to time. Or vice versa. ;-) I know there are times I wish other parents would do something when their kids misbehave around me. And I so wanted to slap Dad upside the head!

    @Shay: It's tricky. Because I'm not a parent myself, I get that argument, "Oh, you just don't understand. If you had kids, you'd know how hard it can be." Well, I was a kid, and I know how hard I was! LOL! You don't have to be a parent to have a little common sense about what's acceptable and what's not when you're out and about. If your kid's crawling under the table next to you at a restaurant, you don't have to be a behavioral psychologist to know that's wrong. If you see your kid whacking the tray table up and down over and over again while you sit with your headphones on, you oughta do something about it. People!

    I liked the "physical and sound space" thing. Well said. :-)

    @Christy's right: Moms and dads both need to man up! LOL!

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  8. I know that wasn't one of mine! They know better! I have "The Look" down. LOL!

    Love this post! I'm a firm believer in spanking. Mine were spanked and they've turned out great. Their friend's parents tell me how well behaved they are when they visit, and they always mind when we're in public. They learned to say please, thank you, sir, ma'am, etc. There is no excuse for badly behaved kids. None!

    I laughed so hard at @Christy's "grow some people" statement! That was great! And she's right. People are letting kids run things. It irritates me to hear parents asking their kids for permission. Who's in charge?

    Can we make that a bumper sticker? "Grow some people, and start disciplining your children."

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  9. @Steven you're right. You don't have to be a parent to know how hard being one is. I'm an aunt and a friend. I know it's hard. But it is possible to keep your kids under control. My parents did, and they did it with spanking. I knew if I misbehaved I'd "get it" when we got home. No doubt about it. When I have kids, I will spank them.

    @Jana great idea! It should totally be a bumper sticker! LOL!

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  10. ok I will out myself even more: I am strong believer in NON-spanking.

    YES children (and grown-ups) should learn to see their limits, they should know about respect and the behaviour of both Dad and son on the plane was annoying. Not acceptable, in a way.
    But what does have to do with spanking?
    May I be provocative again please?
    Spanking is NOT the ultimate answer to getting people to act respectful at all.

    I might be in the minority here, maybe this is a european/american thing?

    Actually I am a bit stunned at the moment, reading your "in favour" comments, stunned as I just did not expect this.

    I agree there is a line between disciplining and abuse. a thin line. For me this means, spanking might happen, as an exception of the rule. not as a rule.

    little time right now, gotta work...

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  11. @sorei I don't think anyone here is condoning excessive spanking, bordering on abusive. What we're saying is that parents today, in America, have gone way the other way and aren't doing anything to discipline their kids. Nothing. They let the kids run things.

    I spanked my kids when they were little and I don't think I was wrong. They didn't get it when I TOLD them to not do something. They needed something that got their attention. Spanking worked. It worked with me when I was a kid and it worked with mine. If you asked them, I don't think they would ever say they were abused. I stopped spanking them when they reached an older age. It was appropriate or effective. At that point, grounding and taking away privileges became the punishment. But as little ones, spanking got the job done.

    So speaking for me, I stand behind my support of spanking. I don't think enough people do it, and that's part of why we have so many badly behaved American kids today.

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  12. @sorei have you seen many American kids? They're terrible! Parents have given up their authority to the kids. They've let the kids be boss. It's awful! And as someone who goes out and tries to have a good time in public, I'm tired of badly behaved kids disrupting my enjoyment of whatever I'm doing. I've seen a lot of kids in need of a good spanking.

    As I stated in my initial comment, I think it's good as long as parents aren't being abusive. There is a thin line, but by trying to not cross it, people have gone too far the other way. We have too much PCness over here (political correctness). It's out of control.

    If I have to speak up about a kid I don't know doing something wrong, the parent isn't parenting. I have to do this too often. I honestly believe @Steven is right about spanking, and agree with @Christy that parents aren't doing their job because they're not taking control.

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  13. I spanked my children and they turned out just fine. They also spank their little ones and I'm all for it. My grandkids are well behaved. They know if their parents or I tell them to behave or else, we mean it. We don't abuse them, we don't spank for every little thing.

    As my kids grew older we did the grounded, taking away things and events for punishment, but we also delivered a whack to the back of the head (not a hit, just a "what were you thinking" thing) when called for. We had a great relationship with our kids and still do.

    I'm sorry you don't understand the spanking point of view @sorei and I hope you don't think we're all terrible people. I know a lot of people who believe as you do, and I expect we'll see some on here before this post runs its course.

    @Christy and @Jana I love the idea of making "Grow some people, and start disciplining your children." a bumper sticker! LOL! That's great! I'd buy it! Or maybe a t-shirt? How about signs? Too funny!

    Oh and I've also taken it upon myself to discipline strangers' children in public. I shouldn't have to do their job for them.

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  14. This is from the wife and me.

    We agree with spanking, but we also know that some people take things too far and it goes into abuse. We had to step in and report some neighbors to CPS a few years ago because they were abusing their kids. After a lot of trauma, they did take the kids away and placed them with a safe relative. But we also have neighbors who spank their kids and it's different. Very different. Their kids behave and the wife and I appreciate it. Then there are the kids across the street who run all over their parents and have from day 1. They're awful. I want to put a pen through their eyes some days. They're the terror of the street.

    I agree that a lot of people have taken the PC thing too far and don't do what they need to with their kids. I think some are just plain lazy. They don't want to be parents and do what they have to. Come on folks. You had the kids so do your job.

    @Steven you're right. Spanking works. More people need to do it, as long as they don't take it too far. It worked when my parents and my wife's parents did it to us. We turned out OK.

    Like several other people on here, the wife and I laughed when we read what @Christy wrote, then laughed harder at what @Jana wrote about the bumper sticker.

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  15. @Betty Lou
    NO
    neither of you are terrible people, no way!
    This is just something we disagree about.

    German children can a pain in the ass (arse?), same kind of disrespectful behaviour, german parents try to avoid "authority" as well: a growing problem!

    I do not think any of you mean abusive spanking.

    I do not want to offend any of you for his or her opinion either. We just disagree.
    I can not agree with a general sentence like: spanking works. More people need to do it.

    Usually there are many more factors adding to this one instrument, and usually it is a cocktail that works, not one single instrument(like spanking).

    And in my opinion it is far too easy not to see the line where spanking for the spanked one turns into humiliation or fear and brings damage, although never intended by the one spanking: the line is thin.
    I can never agree to making it a rule rather than an exception.
    This ritual can develop a tendency of getting bigger, happen more often, whenever a parent feels helpless, just to make a point.
    I know everyone of you states it is important not to cross the line to abuse.
    Sad thing is, it isn't easy to see when you cross the line.
    It is a bit similar to alcoholism. We never define ourselves as alcoholic, it is always the person who has taken one or two steps further the line who is. never me.

    Anyway, just take mine as the "other" opinion.
    Happens to me all the time ;)

    Again:
    I strongly agree it is important to teach rules, to live up to them and show and thereby teach respect. Respect for oneself and others. To show one has responsibilty and live up to it. More people need to do that, in my opinion.
    And there is nothing more difficult either.

    We all try to do that with different means and instruments. As best as we can.
    As a rule, spanking is not included for me.
    Just as an exception.
    don't worry, I won't go on ranting about this, I'll be silent now. :-)

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  16. @Steven! Did this guy read your blog yesterday and write this for CNN today? What timing!

    Everyone copy and paste this link into your browser and read the article. It's exactly what @Steven is talking about.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/07/05/granderson.bratty.kids/index.html

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  17. @sorei, thank you for sharing your point of view. When I stated that I think spanking should be revived by some people, I didn't mean it as a general rule for everyone. It doesn't work for everyone, and I believe there are rules parents should follow if they decide to use spanking as a form of punishment.

    First and foremost, one should never spank a child when angry. I'm a firm believer that the parent needs to take a breath, take a step back, and evaluate the situation. Spanking while angry can lead to striking a child too hard and too much. Before the parent realizes it, they've crossed the line into abuse because they were temporarily blinded by anger.

    I also believe spanking should never be done in public. There's no need to humiliate a child in front of other people. I would never want my child to feel publicly embarrassed by the spanking. That's not part of the deal.

    You had an excellent point about some people taking it too far simply because they don't realize they've done so (as I mentioned, doing it in anger). The alcoholic analogy was good, but often the chronic abuser does know they're taking it too far. Perhaps not at the time, but often after the fact. The similarity with alcoholism comes in when they do it again and again. The guilt and shame follow, but they'll continue to take the physical abuse too far, and often it escalates. The sad fact is that these people are usually going to be abusive anyway. They don't need someone to tell them they should be spanking their child. They're already doling out physical punishment in inappropriate ways.

    However, there are also parents out there who are spanking in appropriate ways at appropriate times. I fully support their decision to do so.

    The parents I have an issue with are the ones who, as others have mentioned, are letting the children rule the household. These are the children who are throwing fits, biting, screaming, disrupting lives, and being terrible for no reason other than to get their way. Sometimes it's a matter of bad parenting and sometimes it's a matter of emotional problems. The parents need to evaluate which it is. One of my brothers is raising a niece because her mother died suddenly when she was an infant. I made a reference to her in jest in my previous comment, but I shouldn't have. She has emotional issues she's not equipped to deal with. Fortunately, they're going to have her evaluated and hopefully get her the help she needs. This is a situation where spanking would be inappropriate. The girl needs another kind of help.

    Sorry about the length of this comment. I felt I needed to clarify my position on the subject. I am tired of children belonging to strangers disrupting my life when I go out. But I don't expect them all to begin spanking their children. I do wish they would take the steps necessary to make sure their children are well behaved and respectful of other people. There are too many badly behaved children out there right now, and yes, some of them could use a good swat on the behind.

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  18. I'm gonna get to the other comments later, but I just have to say right now...

    @Shay: Holy shit! That article was exactly what I was talking about! I'm glad I posted my blog first or everyone would've thought I plagiarized him. Holy cow! Thanks for posting that link. ;-)

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  19. @Christy

    thanks :)
    a good clearification for me.

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  20. anyway, to be provocative again, I guess the parents need a spanking to make more them aware of their responsibilites about being a parent and not letting children get away with certain behavior.

    I have talked to people who train/educate animals, like dogs.
    I got the feeling, maybe some folks should try to train dogs first. If the dog respects you, you have the chance that your child might too.
    I know this might sound weird, and I am not at all saying children are like animals.
    But animals often have a feeling for the question if the person in front of them is telling them he/she is to be respected or not.
    As I said, this might sound weird, still.....maybe you can understand what I am getting at (early morning, just one coffee)

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  21. Ha! I knew you'd be surprised by that article @Steven! I couldn't believe it. LOL! I hope everyone reads it.

    @Christy you're right about parents making sure they don't spank when they're angry. I never really thought about that, but what a good point! And you're right about abusive people doing it anyway and not needing someone to suggest spanking to them.

    @sorei I see your side of things and I'm glad you shared with us. It always good to hear an opinion that's different. And LOL, yes! The parents need a spanking! LOL! I think I get what you're saying about the animals.

    What a great topic @Steven! And wow that CNN has an article about it the day AFTER you posted yours! :-)

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  22. Holy cannoli! I just read the article on CNN. Do you think that guy reads your blog? LOL! Good thing you posted yours first! LOL!

    Um, can I just say me too for what @Shay wrote? LOL! I like what @Christy wrote and like the clarification, and I like that @sorei posted again. I think I get it. If the parents are respecting the children then they will behave better. Right?

    @Steven I like that this is a place we can all come to and state our opinions. Thanks!

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  23. @Grey Goose: Nice to see you (and your goosette)! I had a similar situation happen a short time ago with some upstairs neighbors of mine. For months I'd been hearing a racket that sounded like abuse to me but I didn't do anything about it. The very next morning after I'd discussed it with Christy, the whole family was gone, moved away. I still wonder what was going on up there. You guys were in a tricky situation when you ended up calling CPS. You never know whether you're stirring something up that doesn't actually need stirring. Good for you for doing it though. Sad though.

    @Betty Lou: Good to see you too, stranger!

    @sorei: Your comment about spanking as abuse being as insidious as alcoholism was interesting. I can see where it could easily creep on someone and, before they know it, it's a pattern of behavior. However...

    @Christy: Like @Shay said, I never thought about not spanking a child in anger, but rather as a legitimate form of discipline. (I'd gladly spank a few grown-ups if I could get away with it though!) I also agree about abusers not really needing an excuse or method to carry out their abuses. They'll find a way...

    @Jana: "Holy cannoli" - Love it! ;-) My ego's still getting off on the fact that I wrote something that showed up on CNN (okay fine, .com, but still)!

    I was just telling Christy last night that when I started this blog (with huge help from her) that I wanted this to be a place where differing points of view could be shared and discussed without fear of getting - wait for it - spanked. *lol* I'm glad you and, hopefully, others feel that that goal has been met. Aside from the occasional troll, I think it's been pretty cool in here. Thanks for what you said. :-)

    @sorei: You just go on ranting, mein freund. That's what we're here for. ;-)

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  24. @Shay, Your comment "You don't have to be a parent to know how hard being one is. I'm an aunt and a friend. I know it's hard." struck a chord with me and I had to comment. I used to think the same thing until I became a parent, and guess what, you don't know until how hard it is to be a parent until you are a parent. As an aunt or an uncle, you have fun with your nephew or niece and then you can send them home to Mom or Dad. :-)
    I do agree with everyone that there are a lot of parents out there that let there that go on auto-pilot and let the kids run the show and parents needs to parents, not be friends to their kids. My kids will say to be your "mean" and I will say, "Good that means I am doing a good job being a parent." I have told my kids many times I am not their best friend, I am their Mother and I will do things they will not like but tough; that is part of parenting.

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  25. @Amanda I disagree. As an aunt and friend I DO know how hard it is to be a parent because I see my friends and family with their kids, I listen to their frustrations when they need to vent, and I step in and help when they're too busy or sick to take care of the kids themselves. I'm not just there for the fun times, I'm there for the tough times too. I have a sister who's a single parent and she relies on me a lot to help her with her kids because their dad is in the military and not here right now. I've taken kids to doctors/dentist appointments, sat in the hospital when one broke her arm, nursed fevers down, stopped tantrums in a mall, attended out of tune recitals, kissed scraped knees, cried with one over her first broken heart, and so much more.

    I know I'm not the only aunt/friend who is hands on and helping out. I don't mean to be defensive, but please don't judge all of us who don't have kids yet as freewheeling singles who are just there for the fun. We're there for the not so fun too. We're surrogate parents sometimes. And my nieces and nephews never get away with acting up in public. They know there will be consequences.

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  26. Yes, @Shay but you are still an Aunt not a parent and I can respectly disagree; I am both a parent and an Aunt so I have been down both roads, and they are different.
    I am not downplaying your role as an Aunt, Aunts are very important. I think it's great you have been able to help your sister. Family is very important to me; I have been an Aunt since I was nine.

    Now back to the real reason of this post...parents that let their children get away with anything.

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  27. @Amanda: I gotta go with @Shay on this. I think I touched on the "You won't understand if you're not a parent" thing earlier (but I'm too lazy to check!).

    I've babysat my share of rot--, well, challenging children and I wasn't always their best bud. I had to dole out discipline and make unpopular decisions. I also remember how tired I was when I finally got to go home, so I think I have a pretty good understanding of how hard it can be. That's why I'm always reluctant to give a "lazy" parent what-for automatically. I was on a flight and a woman with three kids (5, 7 and 9 years old) sat next to me, her kids behind us. This woman was exhausted and her kids were really keyed-up because they were excited to be traveling. She tried her best but I could see she was struggling. What began as me turning around to ask the kids to stop kicking my seat turned into a 4 hour babysitting session on my part! It helped that a) I could see Mom was trying but she was at her wit's end, and b) the kids were pretty adorable. But I understood what she was going through even though I don't have kids of my own. I also saw how rewarding it can be when kids get the attention they need and a spoonful of discipline when that's called for too. You don't have to be a full-time parent to "get it". Just my two-more-cents' worth. ;-)

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  28. @Amanda so if I'm basically raising my nieces and nephews, that doesn't count? Wow! I actually have to give birth to them and have them living with the 24/7 for it to count. Huh.

    The point is that I do know what it's like because I love them as if they were my own, and do and have done all the things their parents do and have done over the years.

    I think it's unfair of you to downplay my role, responsibilities, and feelings of being a surrogate parent. You don't know me and you haven't walked in my shoes. You don't know my friends and family, and you don't know what I've stepped up to do for them and with them. No, I may not have physically given birth to them, but there have been times they've lived with me while their parents took care of life situations. They respect me and mind me as they would their parents. I'm an important role model for them.

    I do know what it's like to be a parent.

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  29. @Amanda: Our comments overlapped! ;-)

    Since I'm on a roll, I'll (try to) answer for @Shay because I think I know what she's trying to say.

    I don't think any of us think being an aunt or a babysitter is the same as being a full-time parent. What we're saying is that we don't have to be a full-time parent to understand what it's like. If you spend enough time around parents and their children, you can glean an understanding of the dynamics of parenthood.

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  30. @Shay: Oops. I overlapped you too! But after reading your comment, I think I can leave what I wrote.

    Now I'm gonna go play with my cats 'cause I can do anything I want to them. lol!

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  31. @Amanda I agree with @Shay and @Steven. I don't think someone has to be a parent to get it. If you're friends with someone or have nieces and nephews you're around enough, you'll get it. If you watch them or help take care of them, you'll definitely get it.

    I'm a parent and I know some of my childless friends and family members know what it's like to be a parent. They step up and help when they're needed or when they can. They've experienced parenting through taking care of my kids. It may not have lasted a lifetime, but they got enough of a taste to know it's a tough gig.

    You don't always have to live something 24/7 to know what's really like, whether it's parenting or something else.

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  32. Ha! @Steven I was writing mine while you were posting yours. LOL! :-)

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  33. Thanks @Steven and @Jana! :-)

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  34. @Jana: LOL! It's like we're all on Blog Break at the same time! ;-)

    I like what you said. It's nice to hear two parent's points of view (you and @Amanda).

    I hadn't really thought about this in relation to this blog topic, but one of the reasons I never really wanted kids was because I saw how difficult it can be. I also saw a LOT parents that I didn't think were doing a very good job of it. And I don't mean that to sound judgmental in light of what's been said here. It just brought home to me how hard it can be.

    But clueless parents still piss me off! LOL! Sometimes I wish there was an aptitude test people had to take before they were allowed to have kids. But that wouldn't really be fair because I suck at tests. I wouldn't even be allowed to have a pet!

    @Shay: Yer welcome. ;-)

    @Amanda: I hope you don't think we're ganging up on you. It's all good...even though you're dead-freakin' wrong! (KIDDING!!!!!) :-)

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  35. @Jana and @Amanda: P.S. You need to open a free Google account and Follow Me, darnnit! ;-)

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  36. Oh brother! LOL! Do I have to open a Google email? :-)

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  37. @Jana: LOL! Eh, I think you do. In order to "follow" and have a cute little avatar, you have to create a Google account, which I think includes an email. But you don't have to use it! You don't even have to give it to anybody! Come on! Do it! Do it! LOL! (peer pressure much? lol)

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  38. @Steven haven't you heard "just say no" before? Sure it was originally for drugs, but I've heard joining Google is the new drug (once you're in, you're hooked). LOL! What if I start listening to you now and you next tell me to jump off a bridge? ;-)

    Let me think about it. I don't want one more email or account to keep up with. Oh the pressure!!!

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  39. @Jana: LOL! So now you're M.A.D.E. (Mothers Against Defunct Email)? Fuggedaboudit! As long as you stick around, it's all good. And I know what you mean; I don't even know how many email addresses I have floating around from years ago. ;-)

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  40. LMAO! M.A.D.E. You are funny! :-)

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  41. I have to jump in very quickly.

    I'm a parent and I agree with @Jana, @Shay and @Steven. Sorry @Amanda, but aunts, uncles, friends, etc. do know what it's like if they're involved enough. True, some don't because they're only there for the fun stuff, but a lot of people who don't have kids (because they can't or just haven't) like to be involved in helping others parent when they're overwhelmed. I have been very thankful for these saviors in my life, and I know my kids put them through the trials that parents go through. Becuase the people loved my kids, they experienced happiness and heartache with me.

    @Steven I laughed so hard at M.A.D.E.!!! You are witty! :)

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  42. I agree with everybody bout not being a parent but. Knowing how hard it is. Tough job. I don't want to do it. I wish people would make their kids act right. A little spanking might help some of em. Not all of em. Brats are bad.

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  43. @Jana and @Betty Lou: Glad I got a chuckle out of you guys! ;-)

    @Lulu: You summed it up nicely: Brats are bad. Couldn't of said it better myself. ;-)

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  44. @Shay, you also making assumption of what I said, I did not say you had to give birth to a child to understand what it's like to be a parent. I could have adopted my children.

    Yes, Uncle and Aunts could be very involved in children's lives but they are still an Aunt or Uncle, not a Mom or Dad. I am glad you are very involved with your family, and yes you could be the BEST AUNT in the world....and that's my opinion, and that's OK if we disagree.

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  45. @Steven...I have to make a comment on the Aunt and Uncle thing, how much time have you spent with your nephews? Yes you have not lived close to us but how many times have you visited your Mom but not them?...just saying.

    We are looking forward to you moving closer so you can get to know your nephews more. ;-)

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  46. @Amanda I don't think you understand what ANY of us are saying.

    We aren't saying we're parents. We're aren't saying we're in the same position as parents. We aren't saying we're as important to the children as parents.

    We ARE saying we UNDERSTAND what parents deal with every day. It IS possible to UNDERSTAND.

    I can UNDERSTAND what it's like to be in a situation even if I haven't been there day in and day out. I can UNDERSTAND someone's life even if I haven't lived it myself. I can UNDERSTAND a lot of things.

    I don't have to BE homeless to UNDERSTAND what they deal with daily. I don't have to BE blind to UNDERSTAND how difficult their life is. I don't have to BE in the military to UNDERSTAND that their jobs are stressful and life-threatening.

    Do you UNDERSTAND?

    And oh by the way, I have a friend who is RAISING her NEPHEW. His parents died in a car crash when he was 3 months old. Does that mean SHE isn't just as good as his parents??? Curious!

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  47. A little strong, but well said, @Shay.

    @Amanda you're coming across as very defensive and closed-minded about this. I'm a parent and I think it's completely possible for people who aren't to know how hard it is to be a parent.

    I'm genuinely curious about why it's such a touchy subject with you. I hope you know we're not attacking you. I think @Shay is frustrated because you're not opening your mind to what she's trying to communicate to you.

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  48. Thanks @Jana. I am frustrated.

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  49. @Amanda: To second what @Jana said, we really aren't trying to make you feel attacked. Promise. I think some of @Shay's frustration is partly because we just want you to understand that we're not down-playing the role of an actual blood parent. We're not trying to say that relatives play an identical role in a child's upbringing as an actual parent. We just want you to know that we don't actually have to be a parent to understand how difficult – and rewarding – being a parent can be.

    As @Jana also said, I'm curious if there's an underlying reason why our comments have gotten under your skin so much. Care to share? ;-) If it's too personal or painful, we understand.

    @Shay: Decaf. LOL! (just messin' with ya)

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  50. Legally speaking, of course there is only one mother and one father, normally. And they have all the responsibilities.

    In real life, I guess there are more possibilities.

    You can hear people say, this or that person was more of a mother or a father to me than my parents were.

    sometimes the parents are alive but not there.
    Maybe sick or something.
    and the responsibilty can be shared.
    sometimes there are more people raising a child, caring and... parenting it, more than one mother and one father.

    sometimes "aunt" just states the legal status.
    sometimes "mother" or "father" is just the legal status too, and the work behind that status is done by others.

    Hey, we all know there is more than black and white. :-)
    And like @Amanda says, sometimes we disagree.

    we have to be able to disagree. Being able to disagree is an important thing.

    Disagreements are ok, as long we can still be nice to each other ;)
    Even if we try, we cannot always understand each other.
    Words transport more than just the matter-of-factly-level. And the other levels (or: how he other person recognizes these) we cannot always see. Do I make sense?

    On the other hand, it is a common argument to say:
    if you are not a drug addict, you cannot talk about drug addict problems. If you are not handicapped, you cannot...
    You have to be one of the group to really say something.

    I guess it is never the same. as each individual experiences things differently.
    even when I am not handicapped I might be able to enrich a discussion with an intersting idea or thought.
    that is what empathy is about.
    no matter what it is, I can never say : I know how it is.
    even if I experienced something myself, I can just say how I felt with it, someone else might experience it totally different.
    But we can rely on certain similarities (of experiences in other situations that we had), I guess.
    And on empathy.
    :-)

    so how about this is not an either-or question?
    you are BOTH right, we are all "right".
    each one for their situation.
    how about that?

    @Jana
    thanks for writing "you come across as" and not "you are" .-)))

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  51. @sorei I like that you supported both sides in your comment. Very diplomatic. :-)

    @Steven very nicely said! :-)

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  52. LOL! Thanks @Steven! Filling my cup with decaf instead of the high octane now. :-)

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  53. Okay, so pretty much blow off what I just said and listen to @sorei! ;-)

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  54. I think @Shay is right, and I don't think we should blow off what you said @Steven. You had a good point -

    "We just want you to know that we don't actually have to be a parent to understand how difficult – and rewarding – being a parent can be."

    I'm a parent and I understand your point of view and I'm OK with it. I don't understand why @Amanda is so upset by people saying they understand how hard parenting is.

    I say YAY! I'm happy people know it's a tough job! Thank you all for recognizing that. :-)

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  55. I meant to add for @Amanda -

    We should be happy, not defensive about the comments written here. The way I've read it is that they are supporting parents position that it isn't easy, by saying they understand. No one is trying to take anything away from us or our importance as parents, but they are saying they get it. I believe a person can "get it" and not be a parent.

    I also believe, @Amanda, that someone who is an aunt or uncle is equally important if they are raising the child. The person's title means nothing. What the person is doing in the life of the child means everything. If they are there for all the ups and downs, smiles and frowns, then they get to claim their badge of honor as a parent or surrogate parent.

    But that's just my opinion. As a mom, I'm not taking offense to anyone who says they get how hard my job is. I'm going to thank them and be grateful someone understands. :-)

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  56. I believe spanking works with some but not all kids. I've spanked mine and it's been effective, but like @Christy said, I never do it when I'm angry and I always do it privately. I don't use it as their punishment all the time. Because I've done it a few times, they know it's a possibility, but they also know they might have to face other punishments. It depends on what they did.

    Generally my kids are well behaved. I'm not going to sit here and tell you guys that they're angels who are perfect because they're not. They're kids. But I do have The Look down and a lot of times that's all it takes from me.

    Now about aunts, uncles, friends, etc. saying they know how hard parenting is, I agree with everyone except @Amanda. Sorry @Amanda, but I think they can understand. I really like what @Anna had to say. As parents, we should be thanking everyone for saying they know we have a hard job. So thank you everyone! :-)

    @Steven I really like your blog and that you aren't afraid to write what's on your mind. This is a subject that a lot of people feel strong about. Thanks for posting topics that have some meat to them. :-)

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  57. @All...I am not saying Aunts and Uncles are not important, I think you are misunderstanding what I was trying to say, but I know when to get up.

    Sorei, thank you for your kind words on my behalf :-)

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  58. I meant give up...sorry!!

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  59. I guess we're all moving on with our lives now? LOL! :-)

    @Steven what are tackling next? It seems like no matter what topic you pick it ends up being kind of controversial. LOL!

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  60. @Denise: Yo D! Thanks for the kudos on the topics and blog in general. Glad you like it and I'm glad you're here. :-)

    @Amanda: LMAO! "...know when to b up...?" I was like where is she from? Is that some sort of colloquialism I haven't heard of? ;-p I'm glad you toughed it out. We were beatin' ya up pretty good there for a while. Glad you're here, too. ;-)

    @Jana: "Puppies vs. Kittens" – How's that? LOL!

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  61. LMAO! Puppies vs. Kittens would be exciting! Imagine the controversy! Personally, I'm all about puppies, but I can go for kittens too. I'll save my reasons for the actual topic. LOL! :-)

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  62. @Jana I'm ready to move on.

    @Amanda No hard feelings. I still like you. :-)

    @Steven Kittens. Hands down. Do you really want to question that answer? LOL! ;-)

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  63. Oh dear! I have to comment on this post before there are more comments! I've been reading the post and comments for a couple of days trying to catch up so I could comment too, but you people are too fast for me! So here I go before you post more that I have to read!

    @Steven very good! I like it, but I don't agree with you about spanking. I tihkn it's wrong. I'm with @Sorei about spanking. It's humilating and can lead to abuse if it isn't checked. Sorry to disagree with you @Steven.

    @Amanda I'm with everyone else about the whole aunt and uncle thing, but it looks like that's resolved itself. Just wanted to let everyone know where I stand. :-)

    @Shay you sure are passionate about how you feel! LOL! It's nice to see someone stand up for herself and write so well. :-)

    @Denise my friend! I haven't seen you on in a long time but then I haven't been on much either. I'm getting married! Can you believe it? The big day is in December! I'm making wedding plans now! I'm so excited! Who would have thought back when St. Upid's was posted that I'd be getting married by the end of the year? Wow! :-)

    @Steven I pick puppies. When are we going to talk about it more? :-)

    I'm off to try on wedding dresses. Have a fun day people! :-)

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  64. @Steven you haven't addressed @Tracy about your nephews. You recognized everyone else who posted. Why not her? Just wondering why.

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  65. Why so frustrated @Frustrated? LOL! ;-)

    Smile it's Friday!

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  66. Oops! I somehow managed to post that on the wrong blog! I was viewing this one and another one that a friend operates. I guess I wasn't paying attention.

    Ignore my previous post. Sorry! :-) (imagine me blushing)

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  67. But I do like your blog! :-)

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  68. LMAO at @Frustrated!!! That sounds like something I'd do! Welcome to the blog! :-)

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  69. @Anna: I meant to say 'hi' earlier. So...HI! :-) Thanks for what you said.

    @Frustrated: I don't know whether you're still here, but LMAO! Hey, wrong number or not, I'll take what I can get. Feel free to stop by again any time. ;-)

    @Jana, @Shay and @Tammy: I don't have a preference; they're both so damn cute! But I got custody of two adorable cats in my divorce. And Kittens vs. Puppies is NOT gonna be my next topic!!! LOL!

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  70. @Anonymous..it's Ok for Steven not to answer my question; it was more of a of a rhetorical question anyway.

    You see, I lost my Father this week to cancer; we had his funeral just this past Wednesday. So it has been a rough week for my husband Scott (Steven's brother) and me.


    Family is very important to me and that is why I said at the end of the post we are looking forward to Steven moving closer. So he see how wonderful his nephews have been turned out to be.

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  71. @Tracy: I'm so sorry to hear about your father. At least his pain is at an end. And on a much lighter note, I'm psyched about spending more time with my nephews. This is gonna be the first time we've lived in the same state since they were born! ;-)

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  72. @Steven, thank you. On a lighter note, I am a dog person but I love cats too.

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  73. @Steven is a really good man and @Christy is a really lucky woman. They're a sweet couple who deserve wonderful things in life. I just wanted to thank them both for being so kind to me and helping me out. I hope they're happpy forever! :-)

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  74. @Sarah your comment was very sweet. They are a very nice couple and do deserve wonderful things in life. A lot of us on here and on @Christy's blog hope they have a long, happy life together.

    Speaking for myself here. I started out as a lurker in this blog and then lurked in @Christy's. @Steven drew me out and made me want to participate. They've both inspired me in different ways. No I don't know them personally, but I do know that what I've read in their posts and comments has affected my life in a postive way. I'm glad I started reading this blog. :-)

    Thanks @Christy and @Steven! You two are the best!

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  75. I haven't commented on all the spanking posts because I don't like being in the middle of things like that, but I have been reading everything. I feel like I need to comment on what @Sarah and @Shay wrote about @Steven and @Christy.

    I agree with them. I've seen @S&C reach out to people on both of their blogs. I know what they've said to me has been extremely nice, respectful, and encouraging. My new hubby and I are big fans of theirs. We think they're a VERY cool couple. They're the kind of people we'd want to hang out with.

    The reason we keep going back to their blogs is them. Hubby and I think they're both good writers and they both have different but relevant things to say. Hubby likes @S's blog more and I like @C's blog more, but we both like both blogs.

    Our prayer for them is that they have all the joy, love, happiness, and fun that is humanly possible together. :-)

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  76. @Steven and Christy I agree with everybody! You two are awesome! You both have touched my life in such a positive way! I can't say enough good things about you guys!

    It all started with St. Upid and I've been hooked on you two since. There have been days when I've been down about something but all I had to do was come to one of your blogs and get lifted back up. It's been a tough year for me, but both of you have written things that have made me think. Thank you!

    It's funny that I don't even know what you look like @Steven but I have an image in my head. I know what @Christy looks like from her profile picture. I don't have to know what either of you look like in real life to know that you're both beautiful inside. You have beautiful loving spirits that shine through. We're all lucky to have you share that with us.

    My prayer for you is much like Michelle's. I pray that you are both blessed beyond imagination, and that love and happiness fill your lives together.

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  77. Zowie folks! What great things you're writing about @Steven and @Christy! The wife and I have to get in on this.

    I was going to say you two are getting to see what we'd say about you if you passed on, but seeing as how @Christy had a near miss a few months ago that seems wrong. And the wife just nudged me and told me to delete that but I'm leaving it.

    @Steven I have you to thank for how happy me and the wife are right now. I was spending too much time talking and emailing folks I didn't really know, and I was ignoring the most important person in my life. I almost lost her. I didn't know how close I was to losing her until we started talking. She was already planning on how she was going to leave because she didn't think I loved her anymore. I still loved her but I was wrapped up in other people's lives and couldn't see what I was doing to her. @Steven your blog posts and comments helped me see things. You saved me and the wife from making the biggest mistakes of our lives. THANK YOU!

    @Christy your posts have made us laugh together and that's been great! We also read some of your older posts and one made both of us cry. You helped bring us together too. We read your blog and @Steven's together. Comments and all. It's one of the things we do together. And when I post a comment I do it with the wife by my side putting words in my ear (so you know this is from her too).

    Me and the wife hope you two are very happy. We want you two to always remember what and who is important. Each other.

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  78. Wow! I was on my break at work responding to email and notifications kept coming through about all your comments! Nice!

    I have to add mine really quick before I go back to work.

    Uh, ditto! LOL! Seriously, I think @Steven and @Christy are great couple! It's amazing how blogging can changes lives. I know they've helped change mine for the positive. I started my year with a guy who was treating me badly, I didn't feel loved, and I wondered if I would ever find Mr. Right. At one point I felt kind of worthless. But I started reading @Christy's blog and everything started changing. @Steven and @Christy had such amazing things to say to everybody. Then I came over here and liked what I read even more. Eventually I started emailing with @Steven and he often had great advice for me, words of encouragement, or support. He's become an email friend and I feel like I know him and @Christy.

    I agree with @Michelle. If I lived anywhere near them, I'd love to hang out with @Steven and @Christy. They're cool couple and I'll bet they're a lot of fun.

    Sending my wishes for a life full of happiness, love, and all that other stuff too! :-) You both deserve it!

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  79. Hey everybody! I've been watching and reading your comments for a couple of months, but I've never posted a comment on a blog before. It's a little intimidating!

    I know @Christy in person and I can tell you she's just as sweet and nice in real life as she seems online. She has a very loving, giving heart. She's beautiful inside and out. I've seen her embrace the homeless, give her time to kids, and listen to people that no one else would. She's done things that are kind of amazing for other people. And here's the biggie. She always does things without expecting anything back or without expecting recognition. To me, that's impressive and says a whole lot about her character and who she is.

    I don't know if anyone knows it, but she's creative and writes poems and short stories, besides her blog. And I know she was working on a novel at one time. I hope she still is because she's a good writer! But she's also just a lot of fun to hang out with and talk to. I don't know @Steven in real life, but he's a lucky man and I hope he knows what a gem he has in her.

    But enough about @Christy. What I've read from @Steven on his blog has made me feel good about him being with @Christy. He seems like a good man with a good heart. I like a lot of the advice he's given people, and I like how kind he's been to people. He seems like good people.

    So I'm going to add my prayer for the two of them as a couple. Praying that you two continue to grow as a couple, learning more about each other, having fun along the way, growing deeper in your love for one another.

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  80. Oooo! We gots a love fest going down! LOL!

    Seriously, they do seem like a great couple.

    Thanks @Steven for opening your blog to people like me so we can come here and vent, discuss, or just read. I enjoy it.

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  81. LOL at @Tom!

    I love coming here to read the blog because @Steven is a great writer and has some interesting thoughts. I love going to @Christy's blog because she's funny and she has interesting thoughts. And I love reading all the comments you guys make. This is one of my favorite blogs.

    El Presidente and our First Lady make it even better! Three cheers for the First Couple of Thoughtorama and Booksflutterby! They keep us inspired and entertained. Thanks!

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  82. That's right. Sushi Lover is in the house! Come on. Let's hear it for me! LOL!

    I haven't been commenting but I've been keeping up with the comments. You people are insane! But in a totally good way. ;-)

    OK, I'm gonna get all serious now. I skip a lot of blogs and don't keep up with what the authors are writing, but I never skip what @Christy and @Steven are writing. They have a way of making me think or cheering me up. I've come away inspired by something one of them has written or just rethinking an idea I had about something because of something one of them wrote. I've read their comments of support to some of you and thought, wow! They just seem to have it together in a lot of ways. I think their advice is always good. And I like the way they're there for each other. They've been attacked on here and on @Christy's blog and they've stood their ground nicely. They seem to be a strong couple and that's awesome!

    Thanks @Christy and @Steven! I may not comment as much these days, but I'm still here and still a big fan! Kudos to our First Lady and El Presidente for kick-ass blogs!

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  83. I've never seen blog followers do this. Interesting! I agree that @Christy and @Steven have offered good advice and have great blogs. I'm a fairly new reader, and you all have made me want to go read some of their older stuff. Guess I'll have to read all the comments too. This will take a while. LOL! :)

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  84. @Steven & @Christy I like your blogs too, and I think you're the real deal as far as being a couple goes. You've made cynical me believe in love, and that's saying something. I wish you both the very best!

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  85. I have to make this really fast because I'm at work and not suppose to be here. So forgive my mistakes. :-)

    I think @Steven and @Christy are wonderful! They've really helped me realized that I'm worth being in love and being loved back! I don't know where I'd be right now if it weren't for thease 2 but I'm prety sure I wouldn't be with my new fiance. I wouldn't ahve had the courage to say yes when he asked me out. They were so supportive when I wasn't sure. Adn now I'm getting married! It's all thanks to them! I owe them so much!

    I don't know how I could ever thank them both for all the nice things they've said to encourage me and advise me. When I thought I was making mistakes or when I needed advise @Steven was right there to give it to me and tell mme what I needed to know from a man's perspective. He's so nice and so sweet!

    These 2 deserve a happy life. I want them to be as happy as I am. I keep hoping I'll get on my computer someday and find an email or blogpost that says they're engaged! :=)

    Thank you for everything you've done for me @Steven and @Christy!!! I appreciate you both sooooooo much!!! You changed my life!!! :-)

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  86. I knew there was a reason I was following the comments on this post. Not because I'm into spanking. LOL!

    Dude I'm not getting all mushy but I wanted to let you know I read your blog and you make me think. Some people would said that ain't easy. LOL! Keep writing and I'll keep reading. I like your lady too. She seems way cool like you.

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  87. @Steven and @Christy - you both write beautifully and I think your photography rocks! @Steven - your art is incredible! The first post I read by you, @Steven, was the one about Ebonics. Loved it! Then @Christy wrote this in a comment, "Incorrect grammar and poor pronunciation shouldn’t be cultural identifiers of which we’re proud. They should be something we strive to eliminate." and I had to know if she had a blog. It was such an intelligent statement. I can only imagine the conversations you two have, based on what you've referenced here.

    Your writing, art, and photography have moved me. Anything that moves me, keeps me coming back for more. No easy feat. What I find fascinating though are the followers who post comments. @Steven you've let your blog become a forum for people to get things off their mind or ask advice. I think that rocks! What's even better is that you and others give good advice back.

    I know people on here have asked a lot about your personal life and I often think it's a little rude. You deserve your privacy. But you two have been very good sports about it all. You've been very gracious. I think that's part of why people are writing in today. You let us see pieces of each of you and we really like what we see.

    Stay cool!

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  88. This reminds me I still need to follow you, don't I? I will. :-) Hey, you can't pin a Freely Zooming spirit down! LOL! I'll follow @Christy too.

    In the meantime, let me tell you how you've affected my life, since that seems to be what we're doing today. By the way, I like the vibe of this thread and think it's wicked awesome that you have so many people posting. How cool is that?!?!?!

    I read a post by you that seemed to be inspired by something @Christy said. I'm paraphrasing here, but it was along the lines of, "How many people know 5 personal things about you." That really struck a chord with me. It's one of the few blog posts I've ever read three or four times, and then thought about over and over again. I've even brought it up in conversations.

    But what got to me about the post was that it led to me evaluating the people in my life and the role that each played. Could they name 5 personal things? If not, what was I supposed to do about it? Did I ditch them? Or did I help them get to know me better? If it was the latter, I had to first ask if the problem was them or me. What I came to realize is that I often put up a wall between me and other people. I don't give people the chance to get to know 5 things about me. I'd rather be Little Miss Freely Zooming, the one who reminds everyone of a fairy, artist and writer, vague and mysterious.

    The big realization was that I wanted people to know me. I wanted them to know 5 personal things. So I began opening up. I wouldn't have done this if not for your post and @Christy's comment to you. You changed my world. Nothing about me, the people I know, or how I live is the same. It's better. And I owe it all to you two.

    So I'm going to join the love fest today, because I think it's ultra-cool, and because you truly did change my life. Thank you just doesn't seem like enough.

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  89. Wow! I can't believe how this has taken off! @Steven and @Christy you HAVE to be feeling so good right now! :-)

    I swear if a troll shows up and ruins this, I'll... Well, I don't know, but be warned trolls! LOL!

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  90. And these are only the people on @Steven's blog. Imagine if some of them from @Christy's blog joined in! I'll bet a lot of St. Upid's Day ladies would have a lot of nice things to say. I've also seen both of them respond to people on @Christy's blog who have been visiting sick friends or who missed visiting a sick friend and then the person died (something like that) and it was really, really touching.

    @Ally Cat it's stuff like that that makes us interested in their personal lives. They're so nice and caring. So we wonder what they're like as a couple. God got it right when He put these two together. I'm very happy for them! :-)

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  91. I forgot to add that I LMAO at the comment @Grey Goose made about this sounding like a funeral. Glad he didn't delete it.

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  92. I wish there was a LIKE button for comments. Tehre are alot I'd like to LIKE. :)

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  93. I agree @Anonymous. I'd LIKE all of the ones posted today! :-)

    @Dino that was funny! I'm glad you didn't delete it too @Grey Goose! LOL!

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  95. That didn't work. It's supposed to be a hug. Sorry. Here - HUG!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  96. .MMM.'''.
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    \(_E3___.'|
    | | |

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  97. Damn. Still didn't work. I give up. Sorry again.

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  98. Aha! Blogger takes out my spaces at the beginning of each new line. Foiled. The first one is supposed to say Hugs and the second one are two people hugging.

    I had good intentions. You've both affected me positively too. I just wanted to send a hug your way.

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  99. LMAO! That's funny @Anonymous. Sweet but funny. :-)

    Hugs to you!

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  100. @Steven64 did you see this article about a restaurant that's banning kids? Great idea!

    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/parenting/restaurant-bans-kids-under-6-discrimination-or-smart-move-2509487/

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  101. Where do I begin? Steven read some of your comments to me while we Skyped during lunch today, and I was overwhelmed. Tonight we read the remainder together, and I was again overcome with gratitude for everything you had to say. You’re all so sweet!

    When I started my blog a couple of years ago, I had no idea it would lead to something like this. It’s so moving to know that things I’ve said or written have changed people’s lives. That wasn’t my intention, but wow what a bonus! If that’s even a small part of my purpose in life, then I’m doing OK.

    Now, about some of the comments.

    @Sarah, you’re right, I’m a very lucky woman! I’m really happy Steven and I have been able to help you. Hang in there. This time next year, you’ll be wondering how you ever could have let your ex affect like he did, and you’ll be back on top of things.

    @Shay, if I’ve written something that inspired you, I’m thrilled! Thank you!

    @Michelle, I’m so glad you like my blog! Thank you!

    @Jana, my St. Upid’s Day friend! You have no idea how strange that St. Upid’s Day post was, but I’m thrilled it took off and affected so many people positively. You and all the others who commented during the St. Upid’s Day frenzy changed my life. Thank you!

    @Grey Goose, I laughed when Steven read me what you wrote about knowing what y’all would say about us if we passed on! I’m alive and well, so it was funny! I’m happy you and the Mrs. read my blog together. Thank you!

    @Denise, I’m so happy for you and Dave! Congratulations! Thank you for the wonderful things you said!

    @Linda, well we talked today and you know how I feel, but thank you again!

    @Betty Lou, thank you for thinking I’m funny and interesting!

    Oh, @Sushi. I’ve missed you! Thanks for thinking we have kick-ass blogs!

    @Anna, yay for you believing in love again! That’s awesome!

    @Tammy, congratulations to you! I can’t believe how much your life has changed in just a few months. I’m glad I could be part of it.

    @Ally Cat, to me, there is no bigger compliment than to know I moved someone with my writing or photography. I had forgotten about the comment you quoted, but I’m thrilled you remembered it. Thank you!

    @Freely Zooming, follow me now! LOL! The post Steven wrote about 5 personal things affected a lot of people, but I was truly moved when I read your sentence about wondering whether the problem was them or you. I think it’s great you’ve opened yourself up.

    @Anonymous who posted the “art” that’s supposed to be hug stuff, I laughed so hard at your posts I cried. Thank you! The sentiment was very nice and the laugh was awesome!

    To everyone, your prayers and wishes were amazing! You’ve all touched my life today in such a wonderful and unexpected way. I’m almost at a loss for words, so I’ll simply say one more, thank you.

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  102. Wow. This is…unbelievable. Christy and I have been sitting here trying to figure out how to respond. I got hung up because nothing I could think of seemed like enough. Then we considered writing a joint comment, but I poo-poo'd that idea because I wanted to say a lot of specific stuff. Anyway, here goes.

    When I started this blog, I had all these things I wanted to get off my chest. Things I'd thought about for years and didn't really have any place to express those thoughts. That's how it started out. What it's become, much to my pleasant surprise, is a place where lots of people could express their thoughts and feelings. Anger, sadness, humor, insight – it's all showed up here in one form or another. And I'm so incredibly grateful that this is a place where so many of you feel comfortable hanging out and sharing.

    It's often said that we don't really "know" each other in a place like this. And that's true in a traditional sense. But in a decidedly untraditional sense, I feel like I've gotten to know many of you quite well. I've shared your triumphs and tragedies. Your hopes, your pet-peeves, your opinions, maybe even some of your secrets.

    The fact that so many of you enjoy being here as much as I do is truly amazing. And a blessing for us all. The things that you've all said here today will stay with me forever. This experience has been wholly unexpected and completely wonderful. So thank you, from the bottom of my digital, online little heart. :-)

    Now I've got some specifics...

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  103. @Sarah: You're so very welcome, always.

    @Shay: I'm so, so glad your invisibility cloak is in mothballs! Thanks for coming out of the shadows. :-)

    @Michelle: Long time, no see! I'm so glad you and Hubby (congrats!) hang out here.

    @Jana: My little Upidite. :-) What do I look like? Well, I'm not quite as cute as Christy. But close. LOL! I'm glad visiting us brightened your day when you needed it.

    @Grey Goose: Zowie! A lot's happened since I started this thing in January, huh? I can't even tell you how…verklempt it makes me to think that I had something to do with you and your goosette sticking together. Awesome. I'm glad none of us has passed on! (that cracked me up; glad you left it, too)

    @Denise: Yo D! This has been such an amazing ride to go on with you. From worthless to engaged. Woohoo! We'd hang with you, too.

    @Linda: Now that I know who you are, thank you! :-)

    @Tom: Love Fest 2011, bay-bee! I'm glad you come here to vent, discuss and read. Keep comin' back. :-)

    @Betty Lou: Thank you for the compliment and I'm so glad you enjoy visiting, Madame Historian! :-)

    @Sushi Lover: Is it you? Is it really you? LOL! Thanks for the kind words, dude. You help make this a kick-ass blog. (Slacker!)

    @Anonymous (New Reader): Hope to see you in November or so when you've gotten through the comments! LOL!

    @Tammy: Quite a year for you, huh? I'm glad I could help you in some small way. And I'm so happy for your engagement, girl!

    @Dino: Dude, good to see you, stranger! And thanks for your almost-mushy sentiments. Oh, and Christy is way cool (like me). ;-)

    @Ally Cat: What you said was amazing. And I thank you for saying it. You make doing something like this blog totally worth it.

    @Freely Zooming: Okay, zoom on into the Follower's Den, dammit! LOL! (@Jana, you get a pass, you email-o-phobe, you.) I'm glad something Christy's said and I've written stuck with you. She does that to me all the time.

    @Anonymous ('Like' Button): I LIKE you, too!

    @Anonymous (Hugger): LMAO!!! I thought your first foiled thing was a gun! LOL! Your heart was in the right place, and it's the thought that counts. Hope you stick around. HUGS! (heehee)

    @Sandy: I read the article you posted and there were links to lots of other articles about…problem children. It's an epidemic! Thanks for stopping by. :-)

    And last but not least, a collective THANK YOU for all the prayers and good vibes expressed here today!

    Now I gotta come up with something else to write about…;-p

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  104. I feel like I'm late to the party! LOL!

    I don't know what else I can add to what everybody else already wrote. I like coming to this blog and reading what you write. I've got you bookmarked. I agree with everybody and think you're both doing good. You're both cool in my book! Thanks for letting us all hang out here.

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  105. I meant to mention this when I commented last night. It occurred to me that we went from spanking to hugging in, like, nothing-flat! LOL!

    @Night Owl: I was wondering if you'd stop by for last call. Nice to see you, dude! And thanks.

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  106. @Shay I second that! :-)

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  107. @Shay and @Jana: Awwww! We ♥ you, too! Seriously. I'm still reeling from all the wonderfulness yesterday.:-)

    @Anna: I'm so sorry! I can't believe I missed you when I was posting my tome last night, especially now that I've/we've won you over. Finally. At last. LOL! Glad you're here, you cynical convert, you. ;-)

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  108. I guess it would be a little overwhelming wouldn't it? Too much love in one day? LOL! Isn't it nice to be appreciated by so many? Not a lot of people get the chance to know the positive things people feel about them, and not a lot of people take the chance to tell people the positive things or the good ways they've affected them. I'm glad we had the chance to tell you and @Christy. You're sweet people and deserved to hear it. :-)

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  109. I think I need to get my boots out, it's getting deep in here...LOL!!!

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  110. Wow @Amanda. That was really rude. I think everybody was sincere about what they wrote. There's nothing wrong with expressing appreciation for people who have been nice or touched you in some way. I really like and appreciate @Steven and @Christy. They've helped me a lot while I deal with my divorce, and I like knowing that they care. I have 2 more people in my life who understand what I'm going through because they've been there. Some of my real life friends don't understand because they haven't lived through it.

    I think what everybody wrote was outstanding! People's lives have been touched and they let @Steven and @Christy know it and know how. Your comment belittled everybody, including @Steven and @Christy and the commenters. It was rude.

    You don't have to sing their praises like we did, but as the quote from Bambi goes, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

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  111. @Sarah you beat me to it! I was typing a comment when my email told me someone had posted one already. I'm saying what I have to anyway.

    @Amanda your comment was uncalled for and bitchy. If I hadn't been late getting online, I'd have written more and would've tried to write what some of the others did because I agree with them. @Steven and @Christy have touched a lot of us. So you saying what you did was wrong. I know you were probably trying to be funny, but we were serious about what we wrote. Your comment sounds like a put down. Not cool.

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  112. @Night Owl & @Sarah

    English is not my first language.
    When I read Amandas comment I thought,she responds to an atmosphere with lots of emotion with humour, which lots of people do.
    She wrote *lol* (to maerk her sentence as humorous?)
    Now HUMOUR is a touchy thing for sure.

    I fail to see the "bitchy" and "rude" though?
    (IF her remark wasn't the most diplomatic or funny, Isn't THAT a bit over the top too maybe?)

    Isn't that a situation that happens in real life too? An emotional scene and sooner or later someone starts joking?

    And it does not effect either of your appreciations of Steven and Christy, at least not for my understanding?


    Again, english is not my first language.

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  113. @sorei I think I may be able to help out here. @Sarah and @Night Owl can correct me if I'm wrong.

    I think it may be a language issue. When I read what @Amanda wrote, my first reaction was that I was offended. I and others expressed genuine emotions of gratitude for what @Steven and @Christy have contributed to our lives. It isn't often a stranger has such a profound affect on me, and it's even more rare that I get the chance to thank them and let them know exactly how my life has changed because of their action or words. I got to this week, and it felt great! I was very sincere in what I wrote.

    When @Amanda wrote what she did, it seemed to minimize, in a way, what we all wrote. She may have been joking, but it implied that we weren't sincere. In America, we have a lot of phrases for insincere flattery just to get on someone's good side. Here are a few: brown nosing, sucking up, kissing someone's a$$, and more. It seemed like @Amanda was implying we were doing that, and we weren't.

    I can only speak for myself when I say how I felt, but like I said, I was offended. If felt like she was trying to take away this incredible gift @Steven and @Christy had been given by everyone. I don't believe she meant any malice. I simply think she made an inappropriate joke. Was she bitchy? No. Did she make a dig at all of us? Yes. She didn't have to join in the love fest, but she would have been better served keeping her comment to herself.

    I hope that helps.

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  114. @Freely Zooming

    many thanks :-)

    I always try to improve my feeling for the language, which is especially difficult when it comes to "reading between the lines", sort of.

    I depend on people explaining then, because otherwise I miss something.

    I know some expressions that you mentioned, sucking up, kissing s.o. ... nut I never heard of brown nosing for example, would not know at all what that could mean if confronted with it by accident.

    yes, you helped, thanks! :-)

    So my feeling wasn't ALL wrong, as the bitchy might not get it right, inappropriate joke, I guess - as far as I understand - I can agree.


    [A good opportunity to remind you, I try to express myself as clearly as possible, but I am no native speaker]

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  115. @sorei I think you're doing great if English isn't your first language! I always like reading what you write. You have really good insights and opinions. There have been times you've made me really think, and I love people who make me think. :-)

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  116. @Freely Zooming

    I am german :-)

    ...thank you very much!

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  117. @Amanda:
    Allllrighty-then! I'm going to chalk up your comment to a misunderstanding. Like some others have said, I thought your joke was a little off. But you've been so wonderful in here practically since I started this blog. We kinda pounced on you (except for @Tammy) earlier, but I hope you know that none of us intended any harm. A little heated debate is good for the brain cells! LOL!

    Anyway, I hope you keep coming back. We like having you here and I'd hate to see you put off because of a misunderstanding. You don't have to be German to have trouble understanding what someone meant. One of the ever-present pitfalls of online communication is that you can't always tell how someone "sounds" by their written words. Forgive us if we offended you earlier or misunderstood you now.

    Now get your ass back in here! LOL! ;-)

    @Sarah and @Night Owl:
    Thanks for chiming in. As I said above, I was a bit taken aback by @Amanda's comment at first too. But I think we oughta give her the benefit of the doubt because she's been such a positive contributor in here for so long. In a week or so, after I've posted something new, all this will be forgotten and we'll have a new…something to toss around. (I have to say though, @Sarah, I thought the "Bambi" quote was really cute.)

    @Freely Zooming:
    Are you a writer? You write very well! What you and @Betty Lou wrote touched me, truly. I had no idea that this silly blog idea of mine could actually have a tangible impact on "strangers". I put that in quotes because I don't think of a lot of you as strangers any more. You're flesh and blood people who have lives. To think that something I wrote helped you or anyone else in some way is incredible. So thank you for your kind words. :-)

    You summed up what I was thinking earlier very nicely too. If @Amanda was some anonymous "troll", I wouldn't have given her comment a second thought. But because she's been a 'regular' here and has shared so many positive, insightful thoughts, I re-thunk what I'd been thinkin'. She's still good in my book.

    And I'm also with you because…

    @sorei:
    Your English rocks! I especially like the fact that your questions and insights often make me think about things that have been said in a different way. Kind of like staring at an abstract painting for years and then turning it upside down and looking at again as if for the first time. Your comments are always welcome. :-)

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  118. @Betty Lou:
    It's very unusual to be overwhelmed in such a positive way! (No such thing as too much in one day either. *lol*) What you said keeps popping back into my head. I'm paraphrasing, but you – and @Freely Zooming – said that it's not often that people get the chance to share the positive things they've gotten from somebody with that somebody. But that's what's happened here and I'm truly grateful. Christy and I both are. We've been talking about it since Tuesday! I had kind of a crappy day yesterday and reading what you all have written here, and on other posts, helped me feel better. What started out as a sort of self-indulgent soapbox has turned into something positive for someone other than myself. That's more than I could ever have hoped for, or even thought about. Thank you for everything you said. :-)

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  119. Very well said @Freely Zooming. I read what @Amanda wrote and I was offended too, but I'm going to choose to believe she meant no harm.

    @sorei I wondered where you were from. I always like reading your comments too. I like that you challenge us sometimes. Very good!

    @Steven I'm sorry you had a crappy day yesterday but happy our comments helped cheer you up! What good timing for us to have "the love fest"! Now you have something to read anytime you're having a down day. I hope those days are few and far between. :-)

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  120. @Jana:
    RE: Your guys' comments and my crappy day - Pay it forward, baby! LOL! :-)

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  121. @all..I have to say I am about to resign as Secretary of Defense. If someone can not take a joke...then I don't need to post here anymore. I guess a lot of you don't have brothers and sisters whom you joke with.

    I am VERY offended by people calling me names, saying I am rude and calling me a bitch.

    Sincerely,
    Former Secretary of Defense
    Amanda

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  122. @Amanda: I'm sincerely sorry you feel this way. If you change your mind, we'll be here. Take care, Mme Secretary of Defense.

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  123. @Amanda if you come back and read this, I NEVER called you a bitch. I said your comment sounded bitchy. BIG difference. I'm sorry your feelings were hurt, but I stand by my comment.

    I'm the eldest of six brothers and sisters. Of course we joke with each other. The difference is that we're kin, the people on this blog aren't related to you. Heck, we don't even know you at all. For all we know, Amanda isn't really your name. But hey, I'm posting as Night Owl. A name I've used online for years. The real name is Al.

    Seems to me you're taking a lot of things personally these days, and you're way too defensive. You aren't open to hearing what other people have to say. You used to be cool, but something happened to change that. I don't know what's what in your life, but I hope you get it together and start feeling better about things.

    I wasn't out to make you feel bad. I just wanted you to know how I felt when I read your comment. It made light of what we all wrote and that just wasn't cool. But why am I going over that again? I know you aren't gonna get it.

    So see ya! If you decide to come back, I'll forgive and forget, and we can start fresh. If you don't, well, that's your loss. You'll be missing out.

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  124. I read this whole post and I can see why Amanda is upset, it seems IMHO that's it's crap on Amanda, almost everything she posted people wanted to pointed out she that she wrong, rude or bitchy as Night Owl pointed out.

    People can only take so much crap, IMHO. I have seen other posts of Amanda where she was very witty so unless you have walked a mile in someone's shoes you should give someone a break on their comments and take it the spirit of the blog.

    As Night Owl put, Night Owl isn't really his name, we are all anonymous here, even Steven & Christy, although we know their names.

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  125. I have to disagree with you @Kathy, and I'm entitled to my opinion too. @Amanda WAS fun once upon a time, but something's changed. The past few weeks she's gotten defensive and unwilling to even consider that there might be a different point of view or another side of things. Then she popped in with a "joke" that wasn't really appropriate for the mood of the blog in that moment. I have siblings and like Night Owl I joke with them, but I don't know @Amanda, she's not my sister and she's not, as far as I know, related to @Steven or @Christy.

    No one called her names, no one was making an effort to bully her. Earlier in this post she and I had a difference of opinion and it just happened that others agreed with me. That's not "crap on Amanda", it's just people trying to get her to see what I was trying to say because she wasn't getting my point. She had a very closed mind. She wasn't getting it at all.

    And about Night Owl's comment, I thought he was actually being nice. He clarified that he didn't call her a name and he said he wanted to forgive and forget. What's so wrong about that?

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  126. @Night Owl, @Kathy, @Shay, and @All:
    Some of us, including myself, have spoken our piece and tried to let @Amanda know how we feel. I really do appreciate what you've said, but now I think we just need to let @Amanda be.

    @Amanda:
    It does sound like you're going through a rough time because you haven't been your usual shining self lately. I understand if you feel it's easier (less stressful?) to stay away, but I do hope you'll consider coming back when you're feeling better. You'll be missed.

    (And the Secretary of Defense position will remain yours in absentia until I receive your notarized, authorized and signed resignation in triplicate. ;-))

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  127. Hey @All. I found out that tomorrow is @Christy's birthday! You don't have to, but I went to her blog and wished her happy birthday on her last post. Just thought I'd mention it. :-)

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  128. @Steven and @Christy are you doing something special tomorrow night to celebrate? Hope so! Have fun you two! :-)

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  129. @Steven I just read @Christy's birthday wishes on her blog and realized this is her first since she came close to dieing. Wow!!! This must be a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY special birthday for you two!!!!!!! Hope you two are celebrating big! :-)

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  130. Oh! I didn't think about this being her first birthday since she was in the hospital! I'll bet her family and friends are really happy she's still here. Bet they're celebrating big time this year!

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  131. Ish! I didn't think about it either! It definitely is a time to be thankful for her life and presence on earth. A good reminder that people can be taken from us so quickly. We need to cherish those we love, and show them how much they mean to us every day, not just on birthdays.

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  132. Very true @Jana -

    "A good reminder that people can be taken from us so quickly. We need to cherish those we love, and show them how much they mean to us every day, not just on birthdays."

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  133. @Tom and @Jana I think that's a very good reminder. Even for those we don't know personally, but only know through a random blog on the internet. Like all of you. :-)

    "A good reminder that people can be taken from us so quickly. We need to cherish those we love, and show them how much they mean to us every day, not just on birthdays."

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  134. How quickly the tides turn in this blog. But I really like the direction you guys are heading.

    "A good reminder that people can be taken from us so quickly. We need to cherish those we love, and show them how much they mean to us every day, not just on birthdays."

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  135. Didn't know what I was starting! LOL! :-)

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  136. @Jana: You're quotably eloquent! :-) That was very well said, m'dear.

    I feel weird adding my own birthday wish for Christy on my blog, but...

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BABY!!!!

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  137. @Shay, Are you are Right Fighter?

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  138. I meant, are you a right fighter?

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  139. Every now and then,
    when the world sits just right,
    a gentle breath of heaven
    fills my soul with delight...

    ~Hazelmarie ‘Mattie’ Elliott, A Breath of Heaven

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  140. @Call Me Quotes I love that! Very nice! :-)

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  141. @Call Me Quotes I liked that so much, I looked it up online and found the whole poem. I really like this a lot! Thanks for turning me on to it!

    A Breath of Heaven

    Every now and then,
    when the world sits just right ~
    a gentle breath of heaven
    fills my soul with delight,
    and I sigh,

    as the sun brings its morning,
    its gift of warmth to chase the chill ~
    from the crook of night's arms
    arising o'er that far hill,
    and I know,

    heaven smiles,
    and I smile, too,
    for life can be hard
    while the dreams are few.
    Yet, every now and then,
    when the world sits just right ~
    that gentle breath of heaven
    fills my soul with delight,
    and I see,

    a turning of a leaf
    dancing in the autumn's sun,
    and a brilliant shade of crimson
    glowing when the day is done,
    and I sigh,

    as the rose that stands alone,
    thrives where no others thrive.
    A rare bouquet of one ~
    still strong, still alive,
    and I know,

    that even in the shadows
    heaven catches, unaware,
    those blinded by visions
    of hatred and despair,
    and I see,

    a promise of tomorrow
    in that wind around the bend,
    as it carries a dream of hope ~
    with no hate or pain to tend,
    and I pray,

    as every now and then,
    when this world sits just right ~
    that gentle breath of heaven
    fills my soul with delight,
    and I smile...I smile.

    ~ Hazelmarie Elliott

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  142. @Shay and @Jana - I like the whole poem a lot too. I didn't know if I should put the whole thing on. I'm glad you did @Shay! :-)

    Happy Day to Everybody!

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  143. @Call Me Quotes and @Shay:
    Okay, "hate"'s a strong word, but I usually...dislike poetry. Usually I just don't get it. (And Beowulf's too damn long.) But this poem was really sweet. I was in an excellent mood anyway, and it got even better after I read it. Stealing from @Jana – very nice. Thank you! :-)

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  144. Nice poem! I love poetry. This one is great! I love the rhythm, tone, and words. Thanks for posting the snippet @Call Me Quotes, and thanks for posting the whole thing @Shay! Lovely! :-)

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  145. I really like this poem a lot. It cheered me up tonight. Thanks! I needed it. Tonight was a hard night for me. :-)

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  146. Charmers . . .do these characteristics remind you of anyone?

    * are often described as "the nicest guy or gal you could ever know," but in relationships they are very controlling, self-serving, and irresponsible.
    * seldom agree to therapy. They don't see a problem with themselves so why should they change? If they go to therapy, they try to charm the therapist.
    * look good on the outside, but an ulterior motive lurks on the inside
    * see themselves as victims rather than those they hurt
    * believe they are special and entitled to special behavior; rules that apply to others do not apply to them
    * have their own brand of logic and an excuse for everything
    * appear to be very giving, but there is always a price to pay for their attention
    * can apologize easily, but there is no true repentance
    * don't feel love or guilt deeply, tend to minimize the pain of those they have hurt
    * discredit their accusers when they are confronted
    * cope by making themselves the hero in the worst situations
    * are very clever, and often able to keep from being caught
    * have extreme shifts in personality, may be kind and sarcastic in the same instant
    * are very needy, and blame others for not being able to meet their needs

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  147. A few jokes to bring a smile to your face. :-)

    How do crazy people get from one end of the forest to the other? They take the psycho path. LOL!

    Why did Mozart get rid of his chickens? Because they kept saying, "Bach! Bach! Bach!" LOL!

    Why couldn't the pirate plays cards? Because he was sitting on the deck. LOL!

    What did the spider do on the computer? Made a website. LOL!

    Why shouldn't you tell an egg a joke? Because it might crack up. LOL!

    What did Mars say to Saturn? Give me a ring sometime. LOL!

    Why do dragons sleep during the day? So they can fight knights. LOL!

    Why did the book join the police force? It wanted to go undercover. LOL!

    What's the difference between a fish and piano? You can't tuna a fish. LOL!

    Why did the computer keep sneezing? It had a virus. LOL!

    Why do bicycles fall over? They're two tired. LOL!

    Why did the cowboy ride his horse to town? It was too heavy to carry. LOL!

    What part of the turkey is musical? The drumstick. LOL!

    Why was the computer cold? Because it left its Windows open. LOL!

    What makes a calendar seem so popular? It has a lot of dates. LOL!

    Why did the picture go to jail? It was framed. LOL!

    What do you call cheese that isn't yours? Nacho cheese. LOL!

    Why did the lazy man want a job in the bakery? So he could loaf around. LOL!

    What washes up on very small beaches? Microwaves. LOL!

    Where should a 500 pound alien go? On a diet. LOL!

    Why was the belt arrested? Because it held up a pair of pants. LOL!

    Why did the robber take a bath before he stole from the bank? He wanted to make a clean get away. LOL!

    LOL! LOL! LOL! ;-)

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  148. @Gotta a Million of Em your jokes were silly but they made me laugh! LOL! Thanks for giving me a smile tonight! I appreciate it! :-)

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  149. LOL! Very cute @Gotta a Million of Em. I was trying to think of my own joke to add, but none of them are clean! LOL!

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  150. @Got a Million of Em: I'm sitting here this morning, drinking my coffee, just shaking my head. LOL! Nice morning pick-me-up. Thanks!

    @Night Owl: LMAO! For some reason, I bet you've got a LOT of TV-MA jokes!

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  151. I've got a couple. Ready? Eh. Here they are anyway. LOL!

    I've noticed my memory's not as good as it used to be. And another thing I've noticed, my memory's not as good as it used to be. :-)

    ---------------------

    A woman in her 60s was driving with a friend. She went through a red light. The friend didn't say anything. But then she went through another one. The friend said, "Do you realize you just went through two red lights?"

    "Oh," she said, "was I driving?" :-)

    -------------------------

    Tom, Dick and Harry went to a party. After the party they returned to the hotel. The hotel was 600 stories high.

    Unfortunately for them, the elevator was not working. They made a plan for the first 200 stories, Tom will crack jokes.

    The second 200 stories Dick will tell a happy story and lastly Harry will tell a sad story.They then started up the steps

    After 2 hours it was Harry's turn. He turned to the other two and said "Ok guys, here's my sad story. I forgot the keys downstairs. :-)

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  152. @Jana: LMAO!! The first two were cute, but the last one made me sad! LOL!

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  153. LOL! OK. Here's one to cheer you up.

    A sloth calls the police to report that he was attacked and robbed by a gang of turtles. When the police ask him to describe the attack, he replies:

    "I.....Doooon't.....knoooow...
    It... all... happened..... soooooo ... fasssst....."

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  154. LMAO! You guys are so funny! Thanks for the laugh today! :-)

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  155. I've got some from an email that are cute. Here's my contribution.

    TEACHER: George, go to the map and find North America.
    GEORGE: Here it is!
    TEACHER: Correct. Now, class, who discovered America?
    CLASS: George!

    TEACHER: Willy, name one important thing we have today
    that we didn't have ten years ago.
    WILLY: Me!

    TEACHER: Tommy, why do you always get so dirty?
    TOMMY: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground then you are.

    TEACHER: Why are you late?
    WEBSTER: Because of the sign.
    TEACHER: What sign?
    WEBSTER: The one that says, "School Ahead, Go Slow."

    SYLVIA: Dad, can you write in the dark?
    FATHER: I think so. What do you want me to write?
    SYLVIA: Your name on this report card.

    TEACHER: In this box, I have a 10-foot snake.
    SAMMY: You can't fool me, Teacher... snakes don't have feet.

    TEACHER: How can you prevent diseases caused by biting insects?
    JOSIE: Don't bite any.

    TEACHER: Ellen, give me a sentence starting with "I".
    ELLEN: I is...
    TEACHER: No, Ellen. Always say, "I am."
    ELLEN: All right... "I am the ninth letter of the alphabet."

    MOTHER: Why on earth did you swallow the money I gave you?
    JUNIOR: You said it was my lunch money.

    TEACHER: If I had seven oranges in one hand and eight oranges in the other, what would I have?
    AMY: Big hands!

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  156. I love those @Betty Lou! Very cute! :-)

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  157. @Betty Lou: Those are adorable! I like the second one; that woulda been me when I was, like, 7! :-)

    And --

    @Jana: Yours cracked me UP! LMAO!

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  158. @Jana: Or should I say yours...cracked...me...up. LOL!

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  159. LMAO!

    Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were going camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep.

    Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes woke Watson up and said: “Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you see.”

    Watson replied: “I see millions and millions of stars.”

    Holmes said: “and what do you deduce from that?”

    Watson replied: “Well, if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like earth out there. And if there are a few planets like earth out there, there might also be life.”

    And Holmes said: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”

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  160. Okay. Here's mine. (couldn't resist.)

    A dog trots into a bar and orders a drink. The bartender glances over and says, "Hey! We don't serve yer kind in here." As the dog is about to object, the guy on the next stool shoots him in the leg. The dog limps out, dejected.

    Months later the same dog trots into the same bar. The bartender does a double-take and sneers, "Whadda you want?"

    The dog leans in close and replies, "Ahm lookin' fer the man who shot mah paw."

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  161. Ack! I can't take it anymore! LMAO! This is great!

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  162. @Tom: We overlapped! Poor Watson. LOL!

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  163. One more then I have to get back to work. LOL!

    There was a captain sailing on the sea during a battle. His servant came up to him and the captain said, "bring me my red shirt".

    So, the servant did as the captain said.

    After that the servant came up to the captain and said, Why did you say bring me my red shirt"?

    The captain said, "Well if i get shot they won't see the blood.

    The next day the servant came up to the captain and said, "There are 50 ships on the horizon."

    The captain said, "Bring me my brown pants."

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  164. Can I get in on this? :-)

    A tiger was walking through the jungle one day and saw two men relaxing under a tree. One was reading a newspaper, and the other was working feverishly on a manual typewriter.

    The tiger leaped on the man with the newspaper, and ate him. The tiger didn't bother the other man at all. Why?

    Because any predator knows that readers digest but writers cramp.

    Get it? LOL! :-)

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  165. I do not know many english jokes...

    A boy was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess". He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket. The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week" The boy took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket. The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the boy took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket. Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?" The boy said, "Look I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."

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  166. LMAO!!! I'm in such a good mood thanks to all of you!

    @sorei your joke was awesome!

    @Tom the Sherlock Holmes joke is one I've heard before but is still a favorite.

    @Freely Zooming very cute.

    @Steven yours made me snort when I laughed!

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  167. LMAO! Excellent lunchtime reading!

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  168. Here's a good one...
    HOW TO POOP AT WORK

    We've all been there but don't like to admit it. As much as we try to convince ourselves otherwise, the WORKPOOP is inevitable. For those who hate pooping at work, following is the Survival Guide for taking a dump at work.

    CROP DUSTING:

    When farting, you walk briskly around the office so the smell is not in your area and everyone else gets a whiff but doesn't know where it came from.
    Be careful when you do this. Do not stop until the full fart has been expelled. Walk an extra 30 feet to make sure the smell has left your pants.

    FLY BY:

    This is the act of scouting out a bathroom before pooping. Walk in and check for other poopers. If there are others in the bathroom, leave and come back again. Be careful not to become a FREQUENT FLYER. People may become suspicious if they catch you constantly going into the bathroom.

    ESCAPEE:

    This is a fart that slips out while taking a leak at the urinal or forcing a poop in a stall. This is usually accompanied by a sudden wave of embarrassment. If you release an escapee, do not acknowledge it.
    Pretend it did not happen. If you are standing next to the farter in the urinal, pretend you did not hear it. No one likes an escapee. It is uncomfortable for all involved. Making a joke or laughing makes both parties feel uneasy.

    JAILBREAK:

    When forcing a poop, several farts slip out at a machine gun pace. This is usually a side effect of diarrhea or a hangover. If this should happen, do not panic. Remain in the stall until everyone has left the bathroom to spare everyone the awkwardness of what just occurred.

    OUT OF THE CLOSET POOPER:

    This is a colleague who poops at work and is damn proud of it. You will often see an Out Of The Closet Pooper enter the bathroom with a newspaper or magazine under his or her arm. Always look around the office for the Out Of The Closet Pooper before entering the bathroom.

    THE POOPING FRIENDS NETWORK (P.F.N):

    A group of co-workers who band together to ensure emergency pooping goes off without incident. This group can help you to monitor the whereabouts of Out Of The Closet Poopers, and identify SAFE HAVENS.

    SAFE HAVENS:

    A Safe Haven is a seldom-used bathroom somewhere in the building where you can least expect visitors. Try floors that are predominantly of the opposite sex. This will reduce the odds of a pooper of your sex entering the bathroom.

    TURD BURGLAR:

    This is someone who does not realize that you are in the stall and tries to force the door open. This is one of the most shocking and vulnerable moments that can occur when taking a poop at work. If this occurs, remain in the stall until the Turd Burglar leaves. This way you will avoid all uncomfortable eye contact.

    CAMO-COUGH:

    A phony cough that alerts all new entrants into the bathroom that you are in a stall is called a Camo-Cough. This can be used to cover-up a WATERMELON, or to alert potential Turd Burglars. The Camo-Cough is very effective when used in conjunction with an ASTAIRE.

    ASTAIRE:

    An Astaire is a subtle toe-tap that is used to alert potential Turd Burglars that you are occupying a stall. This will eliminate all doubt that the stall is occupied. If you hear an Astaire, leave the bathroom immediately so the pooper can poop in peace.

    WATERMELON:

    A watermelon is a big poop that creates a loud splash when hitting the toilet water. This is also an embarrassing incident. If you feel a Watermelon coming on, create a diversion. See CAMO-COUGH.

    HAVANA OMELET:

    A case of diarrhea that creates a series of loud splashes in the toilet water. Often accompanied by an Escapee. Try using a Camo-Cough with an Astaire.

    Hope the Survival Guide helps, as the WORKPOOP is an inevitable part of life.

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  169. For everyone who has ever had an evaluation - just remember, it could have been worse. These are actual quotes taken from federal government employee performance evaluations.

    1. "Since my last report, this employee has reached rock-bottom and has started to dig."

    2. "I would not allow this employee to breed."

    3. "This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definite won't be."

    4. "Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."

    5. "When he opens his mouth, it seems that it is only to change feet."

    6. "This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

    7. "He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

    8. "This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."

    9. "This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts the better."

    10. "Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it all together."

    11. "A gross ignoramus - 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus."

    12. "He doesn't have ulcers, but he's a carrier."

    14. "I would like to go hunting with him sometime."

    15. "He's been working with glue too much."

    16. "He would argue with a signpost."

    17. "He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."

    18. "When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."

    19. "If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he's the other one."

    20. "A photographic memory but with the lens cover glued on."

    21. "A prime candidate for natural de-selection."

    22. "Donated his brain to science before he was done using it."

    23. "Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming."

    24. "He's got two brains cells, one is lost and the other is out looking for it."

    25. "If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week."

    26. "If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you'd get change."

    27. "If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean."

    28. "It's hard to believe he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."

    29. "One neuron short of a synapse."

    30. "Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled."

    31. "Takes him 2 hours to watch 60-minutes."

    32. "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead.

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  170. The Purina Diet

    I have a Labrador retriever. I was buying a large bag of Purina at Wal-Mart and was in line to check out. A woman behind me asked if I had a dog? On impulse, I told her that no, and that I was starting The Purina Diet again.

    Although I probably shouldn't because I'd ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms. I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry and that the food is nutritionally complete so I was going to try it again. I have to mention here that practically everyone in the line was by now enthralled with my story, particularly a tall guy who was behind her. Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no; I'd been sitting in the street licking my balls and a car hit me. I thought the tall guy was going to need help as he laughingly staggered to the door.

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  171. So this latest digression started with...a poem. Right? LOL!

    @Peggy: I was little iffy on this one (public forum and all), but when I got to Astaire, Watermelon and Havana Omelet, I lost it! LOL!

    Speaking of LOL, @Christy just posted this on Google+:
    The acronyms "OMG" and "LOL" have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary; college professors nationwide say "WTF"...

    No joke. 'Tis a sad day for locution snobs...

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  172. @Steven OMG and LOL being added to the dictionary just makes me sad! :-(

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  173. @Steven I saw that article and it gets worse. They're also adding ♥. That's no joke either.

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  174. @Steven really? Who's in charge of the Oxford English Dictionary now? I'm guessing Justin Bieber from the new words that have been added. Ick!

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  175. LMAO! What @Christy wrote is funny. What the dictionary is doing isn't.

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  176. ...language changes, like a living being.
    Just remember that languages always changed. Our parents were shocked by some changes as well, whereas we found cool what shocked them (often)

    Change - in my experience - is one of the most difficult things to adapt to. ;)
    So: wtf...

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  177. Good point @sorei, but I think adding ♥ to a word dictionary is taking it too far. I'll give them OMG and LOL, but ♥? Nope.

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  178. @Betty Lou: They're also adding a bunch of weird slang, including pronouns, to the Scrabble dictionary. What's next? Cats and dogs living together? Verbal anarchy, I say! BAH!

    @Tom: No. No, no, no. Say it isn't so. I can barely remember how to even type ♥. In fact, I just cut and pasted yours. How do you type it? I guess I need to learn now. Yeesh.

    @Jana: Laughing my ass off! You're on a roll today, woman! (And suddenly it just seems wrong to use LMAO.)

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  179. @Steven; that joke was sent to me at work, makes me laugh every time; especially when I go into the restroom and certain people remind me of....need I say more.

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  180. Touche @sorei. You're right. Now I feel old. Especially after my Justin Bieber comment. :P

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  181. LOL! @Steven I always go to my FB page and copy one a friend sent me in a private message. I don't know how to type a real one.

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  182. @Tom

    Actually I find it interesting that a "picture", a symbol is added, a non-letter-word. Which is being understood no matter what language someone is talking. Like the egyptian "language".

    I do not know how to type it either. But I admit I would USE it. And like it. So if used and liked, it is part of the language, as far as I am concerned...

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  183. @Steven you're breaking my heart! Are they really changing the Scrabble dictionary to include slang? Why????????

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  184. Hmmm. I have to think about that @sorei. If we use it and like it, should it become part of the language as a symbol in the dictionary? I don't know, or IDK. LOL!

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  185. @Jana

    feeling old is ok (as in "normal"), but do not worry, you're not
    :-)
    And I KNOW what you meant. I have my old moments ;)

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  186. @Tom
    if it is USED it IS part of the language, like it or not ;)

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  187. one o'clock in the morning over here, good night everybody...

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  188. @sorei: That is a good point. I'm sort of appalled by LOL and OMG being added because they're acronyms (like FBI or CIA or NASA, even SCUBA), but then I think about fax and email. Those are acronyms (sort of) too. And they weren't around 25 years ago. The world keeps a-changin'...

    @Tom: The heart thingy is ridiculous. What's next? :-) or ;-) or ;-p? Symbols...aren't...words. Maybe someone needs to compile an emoticon dictionary. Some emo mouth-breather no doubt...

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  189. @Steven a separate dictionary would be the place for those, not the Oxford English Dictionary. But I'm just stating this IMHO.

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  190. @Tom what the heck is IMHO? I need that dictionary now! LOL!

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  191. LOL! Sorry @Betty Lou. It's "in my humble opinion".

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