Tag Archives: video games

Family Time..

Just isn’t what it used to be…

I am a waitress. Have been for, well, a very long time. 

A few days ago, a mom came in with her boys – about 10 or 11 years old. They ordered their drinks and she asked if we had a drink menu, she needed alcohol.

I could relate – I mean, I do have two children after all…

I looked at the boys and grinned –

“Ok guys – what did you do?”

Mom- Them? Not a thing – this is the best part of my day.

I was thrilled to hear that.  It has been such a long time since I have seen a family out to dinner really interacting with each other. It is a very rare sight.

People come in with their children, of all ages. They immediately set up a tablet with cartoons or something for the toddler to watch. The 6-year-old or so is given one to play games on and the tweens and teens are staring at their phones – Facebook, snapchat whatever it is these days.Then the adults pull out their phones. They stare at their phones or call someone and talk to anyone but their family. 

Aside from the pain in the ass this is for a server – 

“Hi, how are you guys doing today?”

((( crickets)))  

“Can I get you all something to drink?”


It’s crazy. 

When I was a mom to younger children, we all talked. We used the crayons and that activity sheet/ kids menu all restaurants seem to have. We begged the toddler not to throw his pacifier on the floor again. We laughed at the faces made by the 3-year-old when we gave him a lemon.

 Now? Parents don’t even realize that the kids menu is on that paper. The crayons don’t get opened. The paper ends up on the floor. The child throws his pacifier on the floor and no one notices. 

When did this happen? 

The DirectTv commercials…cell phone companies – they offer the ability to “take your tv with you” and show families camping ..sitting around a fire with their tablets and phones watching television. Why even bother going anywhere? Isn’t the point of going somewhere to do something different?

I have quit taking my phone into the restaurant when we go to dinner. There is nothing going on that I need to interrupt my family time for. There is no one I can not call back in 30 minutes when I am finished eating. 

I wish everyone would. I am tired of trying to talk to people who can’t look up from their phones… or talk mumble while looking down at their phone and expect me to hear them. 

This is the modern family –

I do realize that all families are not like this – I wish none of them were. 


Video games the cure for the common war?


(I truly hope no one is offended by this post…)

The conversation was prompted by Kim Komando Show (http://www.komando.com/) that Reese and I had been listening to yesterday while running errands. She spoke of the new video game coming out, Medal of Honor’s latest, that takes place in Afghanistan. It allows players to either be US Soldiers (OORAH!) or members of the Taliban.(www.aolnews.com/nation/article/new-video-game-will-let-you-play-as-the-taliban)This really struck a blow to me, but the guys don’t seem to have much of a problem with it.

I asked Goose what he thought.

So? You can be German’s in (whatever) game. You can be Russian’s in (whatever) game, so why not?

Ok, that’s a good point, I suppose. I guess I am more offended by this because this is the war of my generation. However, the conversation moved on from here to a bit more serious topic.

We began talking about terrorists and how they become this way. Some are raised this way, we told Goose.

Raised this way?

Some children are taken as children, younger than you even, and they are raised with their ultimate goal in life to strap a bomb to their chest and blow up as many people as possible. They think they are doing this for the greater good and they will die a martyr.

I recognize that racism is a learned behavior.  No one is born a racist.  We are all the same in a child’s eyes. It is the words and actions of those around him that shape his view of others.

I must share this story – Goose was born in South Carolina, and the particular area we lived in was predominantly white. We moved to Georgia just as he turned one and was beginning to talk. One morning, we were at the pediatricians office, and the area our pediatricians office was in was very diverse (Forest Park, GA). This would be his first experience around ..geeze. I HATE political correctness – so, this would be his first experience with a black family.

(So, 2 year old Goose) “Mommy, is that a chocolate baby?”

OMG – I turned beet red and shushed him.

But mommy, why? Is he a chocolate baby?

No, honey, he is not a chocolate baby.

But he’s brown like chocolate.”

Yes, but he isn’t chocolate. He is just a baby. He is the same as you, just a different color.


That’s how I hoped my son would see everyone throughout his life. The same as him, just a different color. The state of the world, though, just won’t let that happen.

Shortly after this, we were no longer to walk back to the gate with his dad to wait with him until the plane took off. We couldn’t go play on the moving sidewalk at the airport while we waited on daddy’s plane to come in.  After the World Trade Center, everyone walked – still do – on eggshells around people of middle eastern decent, and that is terribly sad.  It is the same to me as, say, assuming that all black men  are going to be rapists and murderers because a few do. White men do too. Society is so screwed up sometimes.

We discussed these things with Goose, that all Muslims weren’t bad people. That they all do not want to hurt American’s or Christians..all black people aren’t bad people – admit it, watch the news – does it not seem to be a disproportionate number of stories on the crime statistics? Heck – the stereotypes are everywhere and we all comment on them – we all have these opinions to some degree – Japanese people can’t drive, Jewish people  are cheap, people from Alabama marry their sister’s (oh, wait…) – whether or not you can admit it or not, well, that depends on how honest you are with yourself. However, that is not what I am speaking of here.

Racism is a learned behavior. The Klansman wasn’t born racist. Someone taught him the “N” word. Someone put the sheet on his head. Someone put the hate is his heart. But people can change.

Goose told me  he knows  all muslims are not bad people, and that, even though he says that nuking Iraq and Afghanistan sounds like a good idea, he knows it would be wrong, because all of the people there are not bad. (Anyone who knows my Goose also knows that the first thing he says is a solution to anything is to kick them in the balls…impulse control issues..so this statement from him was profound in my eyes)

I told him that our generation have really gotten most of it wrong. The generation before us..and so on..hopefully his can get it right. There is no need for all of the violence and hate and killing. War is not the answer. We are all the same under the skin. We all want the same things. To be loved, to be happy and healthy – ok, and I want a Mustang and a house on a hill..but, I’m good with happy, healthy and loved.

Maybe video games are just what we need. Instead of physically fighting, we give everyone a PS3 and let them do it that way?