10 Beautiful Tweets That Will Make You Book a Trip to Hydra, Greece Right Now. Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | www.goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece | Please contact us at [email protected] for feedback, writer and advertisement requests. For those that are unfamiliar with the Greek Islands — “Hydra” is one of the […]
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally Blog | www.goombaytally.com
As a Civilized Society, Please Stop Posting These 5 Things on Social Media.
As we all know, social media is an awesome venue for sharing important life events with family and friends who you would normally not speak with on a regular basis. Heck, a social media site that allows you to reconnect with a friend you haven’t seen since first grade, can’t be all bad right?
But we all know that some people tend to “overshare” their lives and put us all in the awkward position of having to either avert our gaze, swipe our way through their posts, or simply stare in amazement or horror. Yes, we all have that friend that essentially uses Facebook as their modern day dairy; the only difference is that this diary is instantly read by 700 people and not hidden under your bed and away from your nosy little brother.
Let’s face it… the majority of them are casual friends — some they know very well, some we know of and some we really don’t know at all.
I recently heard a comedian joke about one of his Facebook friends who abruptly posted, “I NEED A GOOD LAWYER RIGHT NOW!!” Long story short, the premise of the joke was that too many people are replacing God-given common sense, self-initiative, and independent research and thought with a sad and unhealthy dependency on social media.
My favorite posts are the uber passive aggressive ones that rant about the transgressions of total strangers that they encountered in town that day. They sound something like this: “Thank you (dude driving the black Hundai) for taking my parking spot today at the Panera Bread off of Monaco and Main Street… I hope you choked on the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt you bastard!”
Now, I think I can speak for everyone of your friends when I tell you … unless you barreled out of your car in the middle of the street and yelled those very words at the rude parking spot thief, we’re really not interested in your uber passive-aggressive diatribe.
Don’t let yourself become one of these people. Read on to learn more about the top five things that should never be posted on Facebook.
1. Puke-worthy Injury Photos
For some reason, there are people who have injured themselves on the job or at home and somehow find it necessary to post photos of the gruesome aftermath. This is especially problematic, since there is a good chance that some poor, unsuspecting browser will happen upon these sickening photographs against their will.
And those who feel the need to share photos of other people’s gruesome injuries are even more wrong, since they are taking pictures, instead of getting the person the necessary medical attention. Mind you, taking some injury or infection photos may serve your doctor or medical staff well as they examine the progression of the site, but trust me, most of your Facebook buddies will not appreciate the details.
2. Dirty Bathroom Selfies
If you have seen one bathroom selfie, you have seen them all. There is nothing new to be added to this particular genre of Facebook posts. And worst of all, there are a wide range of people who don’t seem to realize how dirty their bathroom is until after someone points it out in the comments. There’s really no circumstance where anyone is going to want to see your muscle man pose in the mirror or your picture with your boobs strategically placed in a position to elicit likes from the men in your feed. Hey, by the way, did you see the chick who took a bathroom selfie but forgot to flush the toilet that was positioned behind her. Yep, after one of her friends pointed it out, it quickly became a (disgusting) Facebook legend.
3. Medical History
Your medical history should be one of the most private aspects of your life, but with social media, the lines between public information and private information have been blurred. There is no reason to subject your family and Facebook friends to your private medical history, so keep this between you and your physician.
I have a family member who frequently posts about her frequent sinus issues and … even better … updates her 1,200 friends hourerly
If you can’t resist posting pictures of your bloody, dangling appendages — do us all a favor and at least post it after breakfast.
4. Your Vacation Plans
We’ve seen it before: this person lets all of Facebook know when they are going to be on vacation, person comes back home to find out that their house has been ransacked. Don’t leave this kind of sensitive information in the hands of your Facebook connections. Most of us have friends on our page that we have not spoken to since high school and we never know what someone could be capable of until it is too late. Let’s face it, that seemingly nice guy you “sort” of knew from high school Geometry class, the one that you recently friend-ed, may be secretly collecting human skulls and index fingers in is mother’s basement now.
Don’t be his next victim.
5. Your Daily “Comings and Goings”
It’s always fun to let you friends know that you are at the movies getting ready to watch Star Wars, The Force Awakens or at the Denver Broncos game, but don’t be like the guy who called in sick for work and later decided that it would be a good idea to post on Facebook that “my jackass boss thinks I’m home sick with the flu…but the only thing that’s sick right now is my crazy Call of Duty skills”. Yeah, in case you were wondering, that guy was looking for a new job the next day.
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally Blog | www.goombaytally.com | Social Media Blog | Please share this post on Facebook/Twitter
Photograph courtesy of George Skordaras
11 Reasons Why Hydra, Greece Needs to Be on Your Summer Vacation List Now!
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally Blog | Goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece
Let me be direct: there are essentially a billion reasons why you should book your next vacation on the beautiful island of Hydra, Greece. I will only write about a mere handful of them in this article.
For example, if you really only needed one (solid) reason to vacation in Hydra this summer, consider this: If you are one of those health-conscience, “I have to watch my figure” tourists who constantly worry about indulging a little too much on the local cuisine during your lavish summer vacation and consequently, needing to sheepishly request a lap belt extension from the airline flight attendant on the plane ride back home; please consider planning your next trip to a beautiful island in Greece called “Hydra” (pronounced ‘Eee-Dra’).
There are no cars, buses, planes, or trains on the island of Hydra. That means you walk everywhere, and the last time I checked, walking was really good for your health.
Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece and located in the breathtaking Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf. If you are anything like me, the only thing I really knew about Greece was what I vaguely remembered in the middle of intense daydreaming sessions during my Western Civilization class back in college.
“There are no cars, buses, planes, or trains on the island of Hydra.”
Here’s the deal: I was initially ignorant of the fact that Greece was such an awesome vacation destination.
So Hydra’s general layout is pretty simple. For example, there is one main town, known as “Hydra Port” with a population of about 1,900 people. However, Hydra’s stunning harbor is arguably one of the most beautiful and picturesque in Greece. To add to its Renaissance-like charm and simplicity; and as mentioned previously, Hydra has no cars on the island. O.K., with the exception of one small garbage truck and one ambulance vehicle hidden away for medical emergencies, Hydra has virtually no vehicles or traffic. That means you don’t have to worry about the kiddies running into busy streets and dodging wild speeding taxis.
In fact, on Hydra, teams of donkeys really serve as the island’s Yellow Cabs. Donkeys are used to transport luggage, groceries, supplies, big screen T.V.s, washing machines, and sometimes “people” up the winding cobblestone steps.
Simply put … Hydra is a gem of an island in Greece that despite its WiFi-enabled cafes and ATMs, has successfully managed to meticulously and thoughtfully preserve its old world beauty and charm.
So what about the beaches?
There are a number of beaches on Hydra for your summer enjoyment but I must warn you that most of them are not your traditional “white sand” variety that you are familiar with in the Caribbean, North America, South America, or elsewhere. I’ll be frank, Hydra has a lot of beaches with small rocks and pebbles that may be somewhat of a turn-off for die-hard “beach bums.”
The Awesome Beaches of Hydra!
Having spent a lot of time in Florida and Central America, I do have to admit that it took me a while to truly appreciate this aspect of Hydra’s beaches but trust me, with the incredible turquoise-colored water, spectacular hillside backdrops, and warm and inviting sun, you will ultimately enjoy Hydra’s beaches regardless.
Personally, I love Kamini, Bisti, and Saint Nikolaos Beaches because of their food and snack service, incredibly scenery, and magnificent, crystal clear water. Both beaches are approximately 30-45 minutes by boat from the harbor…but well worth it.
The majority of Hydra’s commerce, entertainment, and general day-to-day “hustle, and bustle” occurs in its unique, crescent-shaped harbor. This is where you will find your traditional Greek stores, jewelry shops, markets, banks, galleries, night clubs, cafes, and of course, restaurants.
O.K., What About the Food?
Let’s talk about Hydra’s restaurants.
Simply put, “I love to eat.” I am not a fat man mind you, but I do love to stuff my face with food like an ancient Pompeii degenerate.
More specifically, I enjoy walking down to the harbor with my family around 9:00 AM for breakfast as the sun starts to beat off of the cobblestone streets and through the winding alleyways.
In the evening, we would walk back down to the harbor around 7:00 PM as the sun began to set in the distance and we decided which traditional Greek dish we wanted to try that evening.
I honestly cannot say that I’ve had a horrible meal on Hydra during my three trips there. Yes, (just like any other vacation spot) you will find the elite few that just “knock it out the park” in terms of quality, wait staff friendliness, attentiveness, presentation, and ambiance.
“I honestly cannot say that I’ve had a horrible meal on Hydra during my three trips there.”
However, I do recommend visiting Sunset Restaurant which offers a number of traditional Greek salads, fresh fish dishes, Lamb chops, Feta in crust, and fresh vegetables.
A few more recommendations.
Before you leave the island, you also have to visit Gatto Nero, Cucina Italiana. As you can tell by the name, this restaurant specializes in “Italian cuisine,” but trust me when I tell you, the food is phenomenal and the service is obscenely superb. Just in case you were wondering if you can get some wonderful Italian Gelato at Gatto Nero, the answer is “Si.”
Here’s one more. When you’re in the harbor waiting for your next boat (taxi) to your beach of choice, also visit a lovely cafe called Tassos and order an incredible cheese omelet, toast, and English tea. Ask for “George” while you’re there. George is part of an exceptional staff who will ensure you are well fed before starting your daily adventure on Hydra.
I could write all day about the incredible food experiences on Hydra but I will go back to the weight loss sale that I pitched to you early in the article. Honestly, the only occasions that I’ve actually gorged myself while on vacation, yet came back home weighing at least 5 to 7 pounds lighter, has been after our summer trips to Hydra.
Here’s the secret: Hydra’s cobblestone alleyways, and steps are literally carved out of the mountain. So unless you reserved a hotel room in a hotel near or in the flat harbor, you will be hiking up numerous cobblestone stairs to get to and from your lodging destination; several times a day.
Hydra Can Be an Awesome Daily Workout.
My family was fortunate and blessed to be able to stay with my wife’s wonderful and generous parents who own a beautiful villa on Hydra. Lucky right? I must confess that the daily climb to get to and from the villa was approximately 214 steps. This served as a great vacation workout that we never had to formally schedule into our day.
To make things even more interesting, if you happen to have a toddler (like we do) who may need to be backpacked up and down the steps, get ready for your “intense” Greek-style “Stair-Master” workout. Yes, you will feel the burn in your calves and a sting on the back of your neck as your child occasionally smacks you and laughs hysterically.
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Let’s be real … you certainly can’t get this combination of cardio, sweat, grit, scenery, and entertainment at an overpriced health club back in the U.S., that happens to be blasting “Taylor Swift” and “Flo Rida” songs way to loudly over an annoying speaker system.
During your first few trips up and down the mountain, you (depending on your general health and level of fitness) will be hot, tired, sweaty, and a little fatigued. However, you will quickly get used to it and start to feel yourself getting stronger and more confident each day (I hope).
If for some strange reason you begin to lose your motivation, just observe some of Hydra’s more “senior” residents who seemingly spring up and down the steps on a daily basis and may indeed make “you” look like the 70-year-old.
Please don’t let Yaiyai (Greek grandmother) pass you up on the stairs. If she does, she automatically earns the right to heckle and berate you mercilessly (in Greek of course).
Seriously, after two weeks or vacation time on Hydra this year, I lost a total of seven pounds before we wrapped up the trip and made our way back to Athens, and eventually the United States.
Mind you, I was able to accomplish the same “dieting” feat 10 years earlier during a trip to Korat, Thailand, but this abrupt weight loss achievement was directly attributed to bad shrimp soup purchased from a popular sidewalk cafe and had absolutely nothing to do with a daily exercise regiment up and down a mountain.
Unlike my wonderful experiences in Hydra, I will have to spare you the horrid details surrounding that specific vacation.
In the interim, I highly recommend adding Hydra, Greece to your next vacation destination soon. Enjoy the incredible food and please take advantage of the opportunities to come back home in way better shape than when you left.
Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | Goombaytally.com | Hydra, Greece
10 Reasons Why You Should Never Date a Horse Chick!
Written by Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | Contact us below or at [email protected] for comments or writer requests.
If you are a bro who has an affinity for anything equestrian, please stop reading this post and move on to another blog or website like “HorseAdvise.com“, “Spin to Win: Rodeo Magazine” or whatever you guys read to keep yourself inspired. This post is not meant for you. It would have no substantive or preventative value for you at all. This post is actually a warning to single bros who are still actively playing in the dating arena and have an opportunity to avoid running into, and potentially falling for a relatively small community of women in this country I affectionately call: “horse chicks.”
What is a Horse Chick Anyway?
Horse chicks are women who eat, sleep, dream, and talk about horses 24-hours a day, seven days a week. These are “lovely” ladies who diligently prioritize their lives around the care, well-being, performance, and general health of their horses and the equipment that supports them.
Don’t worry, these women will be easy to spot. They will be wearing a baseball cap with their barn or trainer’s commercial logo embroidered on the front and their ponytail will be pulled neatly through the back. In the winter, they will be wearing a riding jacket with probably a Dover Saddlery embroidery or patch somewhere on it, along with sleek riding breeches, black riding boots, or worn jeans and cowboy boots. Believe me, it will be the riding breeches that will cause you to slip up and become weak if you are not careful. Warning: horse chicks are incredibly hot! My advise: be strong when you see them and “for the love of God,” don’t look down.
According to the American Horse Council, if you happen to live in the state of Florida, the horse industry has about a $5.1 billion impact on the state’s economy when the multiplier effect of spending by industry suppliers and employees is taken into account. Additionally, the horse industry provides nearly 38,300 full-time equivalent jobs in your state. Moreover, there are nearly 440,000 Floridians involved in the horse industry either as owners, service providers, employees, or volunteers. So that means your probability of running into a horse chick at Target or Wal-Mart in Florida is exponentially higher than your bro’s in New York, where there are only about 152,000 residents directly involved in the horse industry.
Now that we’ve established the fact that there is a viable horse chick threat in this country. Let’s explain why you should avoid dating these women at all costs.
If You Haven’t Already Figured it Out … Owning a Horse Ain’t Cheap.
Well, let’s start by taking a look at the “costs” associated with owning and caring for a horse. For the unlearned bro, hearing a cute horse chick brag about “owning” a horse [only] registers to them as a fairly simple process with almost no long-term financial implications. Much like buying a German Shepherd puppy: you buy a bag of “Puppy Chow,” fill the water bowl routinely, walk him twice a day, visit the vet once or twice a year, and you’re out maybe less than $1,200. Immediately throw this perception out of the window when it comes to horse care. So here’s your equestrian care intelligence briefing for the day:
First, that horse chick you’re flirting with probably paid several thousands of dollars for her horse, and that price varies depending on the breeding, health, age, size, and performance ability of her big guy. But it doesn’t stop there dude, the initial cost of a horse purchase is only the beginning. Let’s begin with board. If your horse chick doesn’t own her own barn, she is probably boarding it in one of thousands of barn facilities throughout the country. Boarding costs could run anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 (or more) a year depending on whether she is “mucking” (basically cleaning out horse crap) out her own stall or paying some other poor guy or gal to do that for her. You’ll find that boarding facilities will “nickel-and-dime” every service out of her. For example, she will pay extra fees for blanketing the horse at night when he gets cold, feeding, administering vitamins, medication, hugging and kissing him good night, reading Black Beauty bedtime stories to him and so on.
Your little sweet heart equestrian will also fail to mention that she is probably paying anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 on tack and equipment. Oh, I’m sorry, “tack” is her fancy way of describing horse gear like the saddle, reins, bridle, harness, and stuff like that.
Additionally, she will need horse grooming equipment on top of all that to keep her “boy” clean and presentable. She will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on these items as well. Yes, add cash register sound effect here.
I think you get the point now but let’s not forget veterinarian and farrier costs: your little girlfriend will happily spend thousands of dollars a year for a farrier to stop by the boarding facility to trim the horses hooves and reset his shoes. Likewise, she will spend another thousand dollars or more a year for routine veterinarian care. Of course, that’s if her horse has no significant health issues or injuries to fix. Oh by the way, horses ALWAYS have significant health issues or injuries to fix.
I almost forgot to mention, if horse chick is a dressage rider, that means she invariably has a snooty trainer (probably from the UK or Germany) who is probably demanding a small bundle for a one-on-one lesson in her riding arena. Warning: the trainer will look agitated, annoyed, and rarely acknowledge your presence when you visit the barn with Ms. Equestrian. You will be greeted as warmly as Sheriff Bart in Blazing Saddles. Yes, she will see you as the help. Embrace that sentiment dude, it lasts forever.
Your girl will also want to compete in any number of horse shows during the spring and summer months. She will be riding in these horse shows in an attempt to score a 60.0 or higher in her ride in order to earn credit toward her next medal. Yep, you guessed it, if she rides dressage, she won’t be sporting old jeans and a “Life is Good” T-Shirt; she’ll be decked out in her show coat, riding breeches and helmet.
Oh by the way, she will be excited about these blue, red, yellow, and pink ribbons which will signify her placing in each riding event. Yes, she will spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to complete in these horse shows around the country every year but the ribbons she is so proud of are probably worth about $1.50 a piece (Shanghai, China). You do the math. In addition to the competition costs associated with the event, she will open up her horse-print purse and spend anywhere from $50 to $1,200 on tack, T-Shirts, grooming equipment, and other vendor merchandise while waiting for her next ride time.
I can blog all day about the escalating costs related to owning a horse but here’s the narrative: When you start dating this horse chick, you will quickly become involved in some way as a financier of some of these expenses listed above. Yes, that blood-curdling, primordial scream you just heard in the distance was your savings account.
She May Tell You She Loves You … But Rest Assure, She Loves That Horse Infinitely More.
O.K., we’ve run down the economic implications of dating a horse chick, lets talk about where you will stand in the relationship if you decide to disregard my advice and fall into horse chick’s diabolical bro’ trap.
If you pay attention to one thing in this post, please understand this: horse chick may tell you that she loves you everyday as she grabs her saddle pads and wraps before jumping into her brand new Ford F-250 that’s hooked up to a gooseneck slant trailer sitting in her driveway, but she loves her horse much, much, much, more.
Imagine you and her horse are stuck on a collapsing bridge with devastating flood waters racing below. Horse chick calls 911 and within fifteen minutes the fire department, police, and Army National Guard combat engineers arrive with their equipment to get you and the horse off the bridge. Unfortunately, the team only has enough time to haul one of you poor saps off before the bridge breaks apart and sends both of you to your demise.
The National Guard Captain turns to your cute equestrian girlfriend and says, “O.K. ma’am, I know this is going to be heartbreaking for you to hear, but we only have time to save either your boyfriend or the horse; which one will it be?”
Yep. Sorry to break this to you dude, but I hope you are a deeply religious man and your will is up to date.
Again, you don’t have to take my advice, but you do have to understand where and how you will be prioritized in her life if you date, or heaven forbid, ask for the hand of a horse chick in marriage.
Remember, every decision in her life, every item she purchases, every relationship she establishes, and the totality of the time she invests throughout any given day will be forever tethered to the care, maintenance, training, and happiness of her horse(s).
Remember, every decision in her life, every item she purchases, every relationship she establishes, and the totality of the time she invests throughout any given day will be forever tethered to the care, maintenance, training, and happiness of her horse(s).
Honestly, it will feel like she is cheating on you with another man brother; a man that she spends a lot of time with throughout the week. A man who lives naked and afraid in a barn, eats hay and oats, and poops about a million times a day. After your indoctrination has run its course, you will eventually, and inevitably find yourself mucking out her horse’s stall on a bitterly cold winter morning while she’s in the arena for her third dressage riding lesson of the week. You will look across the rolling meadows, you will shiver, you will stink, and you will eventually look up and think to yourself, “how did I get here?” It will be at that point that you remember reading this post, but it will be too late. Now cowboy-it-up and stop crying you pansy! You had a choice. You blew it. You’re in too deep now. That eerie laughter you hear in the distance is your soul turning to the dark side.
If this post still hasn’t successfully persuaded you to avoid contact with every hot and available horse chick you meet in the future, your fate is in your own hands brother. Good luck.
O.K., now that I’ve fired up thousands of good horse chicks around the country with this article, please know that I won’t have much time to read your angry responses and fiery name-calling; I’ll probably be at the barn helping my beautiful horse chick wife of 13 years diligently prepare for her next show. Relax, horse chick husbands like myself are often known for having a great sense of humor at times.
Written by: Scott McGinnis | Goombay Tally | Contact us below or at [email protected] for comments or writer requests.
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Criticizing Parents with Toddlers Will Eventually Earn You a Visit From Lady Karma!
Yes, I am an ex-single guy profusely apologizing to parents of toddlers all over the world for fighting the good fight and doing the best that they can to raise their little cherubs. Moreover, a truly sincere apology to every parent of a toddler out there that I have ever given the “evil eye” to during my wild and care-free bachelor years.
Yes, during that period of time I thought you were incredibly dysfunctional losers as I watched your little “Johnny” or “Jane” throw themselves on the floor in the middle of the toy aisle in Target and start the inevitable “jitter-bug” tantrum. I remember watching your child screaming at the top of his lungs and twitching on the ground like he was having an epileptic seizure. Apparently, what I didn’t know at the time was that the “big” parental infraction was Johnny’s mother telling him that he couldn’t have the new Legos Airport Adventure play set. Mainly, because he already had three at home already.
But as soon as you can say “OshKosh B’gosh” or “Yo Gabba Gabba,” all hell broke loose. Now sit back and watch the show.
I can still see his bright red face, the crocodile tears, the saliva drooling from the mouth, and the signature snot bubble inflating and deflating from the nostril like a creepy birthday balloon. He was traumatized by his parent’s “inhumanity” and he wanted the entire world to know about it. The world of Target shoppers.
Oh yes, I remember giving the “irresponsible” mother or father that classic look of disdain, the look of social scrutiny, censure, and loathing. “You’re a failed parent and a disgrace,” I would think to myself. “If you can’t control your little terrorists, don’t have them,” the barrage of unspoken thoughts of criticism would continue. Obviously these parents lacked the skills, discipline, and patience to raise well-mannered and emotionally stable children right?
As a single guy, I distinctly remember taking a crowded flight from Reagan-National Airport to Atlanta one hot summer morning. I sat down in seat 12-A and quickly sorting through my Jan Sport backpack to find my iPod, and my July copy of Men’s Health magazine that I picked up at the Terminal “A” news shop. With ear buds in hand and cellphone turned off, I looked forward to enjoying a relaxing flight; a flight finally free of the suffocating traffic in Washington D.C.
As the plane took off and the pilot eventually turned off the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign, I started my iPod Touch music selection with John Coltrane’s, “My Favorite Things.” Yep, I was in the zone. All of a sudden I felt a solid, deliberate, and direct kick in the back of my seat; coupled with a little annoying voice and laughter to follow. Little did I know, that kick would signal the beginning of an endless barrage of harassment from this kid, with the mother occasionally telling “Johnny” to “stop kicking the seat honey.” She obviously wasn’t doing a good enough job of convincing him that the nice man in front of him would eventually lose his mind and rip the tray from the seat in front of him, tossing it clear into the laboratories at the other end of the aircraft.
Eventually the kid did stop kicking the seat after I gave another furtive glance over my seat toward the mother who was now at her wits end and probably cursing the father who was probably just teeing off at some exclusive Golf course in Fairfax County. She secretly prayed that lightening would strike him down on the ninth hole.
Eventually, it became clear that “Johnny” really only stopped kicking the back of my seat because he was bored, not because he realized that it was annoying the heck out of the man sitting in the seat. To my chagrin, Johnny was now interested in the mechanics of the sliding window shade next to him since mother thought it was a great idea to put the child in the window seat. As you guessed, he began raising the window shade and slamming it non-stop for another ten minutes.
Not being able to take too much more of the distraction behind me, I quickly glanced over my seat again at the kid, then at mother. At that point, Mom looked completely exhausted and ready to open the cabin door and free-fall without a parachute to her demise. I looked into her cloudy, light brown eyes and realized that her soul was no longer there; it actually departed her somewhere over North Carolina. But even then, I had no sympathy for Mom.
The kid behind me eventually fell asleep and yes, I was able to listen to my Jazz compilation in peace until landing in Atlanta. Even today, I believe the poor mother “drugged” her son with Children’s Benadryl to accelerate nap time, but I can’t confirm that for sure.
Now fast forward the clock eight years; I am now married and have a newborn and a overly-exhausted two-year-old daughter sitting in a seat by herself across the aisle from Dad. We were returning from a challenging vacation in Italy and getting ready to depart from Rome to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I knew there would be trouble when my daughter ceremoniously crossed her little arms in frustration as she starred at the seat in front of her. She slowly turned to Dad and said in the little toddler voice that you would expect to hear and said, “are we there yet Daddy?” Mind you, the plane was still sitting on the hot, steamy runway at the Fiumicino – Leonardo da Vinci Airport waiting for takeoff; and yes, the flight from Rome to Philadelphia was nine hours and fifteen minutes.
Well, as you already imagined, my daughter kicked the living crap out of the back of the passenger’s seat in front of her like she was practicing for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer team. I spent hours in the air preventing her from driving the other passengers crazy and profusely apologized for her throwing coloring books and “Goldfish” over the row of seats in front of her.
Then something miraculous happened.
The passenger sitting directly in front of my daughter slowly and calmly turned around and looked at my daughter. Expecting the evil eye that I delivered to so many parents during my single years, I was pleasantly surprised to see the wide an inviting smile of a young 20-something female (probably a university student).
Instead of sending a piercing and stern look my direction; lecturing me for being a “failed and pathetic” parent, she handed my daughter her cellphone with the app Candy Crush loaded up and ready to play. “Here sweetheart, give it a try,” she said in a warm and calming voice. My daughter immediately stopped her restless kicking and took the phone from the angel passenger. She smiled back.
The passenger gave a final smile and glance at me, and turned around. For the next hour my daughter was completely enthralled by the popular game Candy Crush and the rest of the flight was peaceful and quiet.
It was during that hour that I remembered my unfair anger and frustration with “Johnny” and the disdain I had for his poor mother for not stopping him from using the back of my seat as an Adidas soccer ball. Karma had finally come for me, and I knew it. But instead of helping an exhausted and frustrated young parent, I shamed her and added to an already stressful situation.
Yes, I felt like an jackass.
But it was also during that flight that I finally got it: 95% of those parents that you run into at Target who appear not to give a care in the world what their little brats are doing in public, actually do care. Unfortunately, they are just burnt out, frustrating, and completely out of energy to do anything about it by the time you see them. These are parents that understand that they have to fight the meaningful battles. They know that there are some battles that are less significant than others, and meant to be fought (and won) on another day. The day that you saw them struggling with Johnny, was not that day.
Right or wrong, I now understood the grand parental strategy, and I had become that strategy’s staunchest practitioner and doctrinaire.
Yes, I get it, there are truly horrendous parents out there in America who should be legally prohibited from ever propagating again. They are the ones that leave their kids home alone in bed while they get their “boogie on” at the local dance club. We read about these geniuses in the newspaper everyday. We see them being carted away by the police on the five-o-clock news; shielding their faces from the cameras using a dirty towel. These people will have to answer to the judge or society in general, later in life. I’m not talking about those folks. I’m writing about hard-working parents who really care about raising great kids, but also understand that parenting young children [the right way] is hard work and that some days are just more challenging than others.
So if Johnny’s parents happen to run across this blog in the future, I would like to sincerely apologize for calling you a pathetic, failed care-giver. I’m truly sorry for judging you. Consider us now card-carrying, battle-scarred members of the same club now. Please accept my apology in the spirit that it was presented to you or any other parent that I may have disparaged during the naivety of my youth.
Now please take a deep breath, smile, wipe that apple sauce stain off of your shirt, and we must never speak of these matters again.
Written by: Scott McGinnis | www.GoombayTally.com