January 26, 2015

Liv's Playboy Mansion Party...

Doesn’t that sound adorable?  (I’m vomiting in my mouth a little).  Have you heard about the “Poway Playboy Daddy, who threw a “Playboy” themed party for his18 year-old daughter?  According to several sources, there were 200 kids, and a large portion of them came dressed in “Playboy Bunny” attire.  (see pictures on Instagram).

I just have to ask: Who in the hell has a Playboy themed party for an 18 year-old unless they’re some type of pervert?  I’ll go one step further – what type of parent let’s their daughter attend a party where she has to show up in a little teeny bunny outfit?  What parent possibly thinks this is okay?  Sometimes I forget that we are living in a “Kim Kardashian world”.  Translation – body image, big boobs, round tushies and selfies are the name of the game.  Why wouldn’t a teenager want to attend a party flaunting her sassy self and then posting it all over social media?

So here’s where the party gets especially egregious.  The dad was serving minors alcohol.  If you don’t believe me, you can see the beer cans in their yard (again, those smart teens posted pictures all over the web).  I hope you’ve read enough of my articles to know that by smart, I mean entitled, dumb, and arrogant.  Not only does this dad have young girls running around his house with their cleavage hanging out, he’s mixing and serving the kids alcoholic drinks.  I’m shocked that any parent would put a kids’ life in danger like this.  I honestly cannot wrap my brain around serving alcohol to minors.  Our daughter just started high school and if I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it a thousand times – “Randi, you know that you have to lock up the liquor cabinet once your kids start high school.  You will find yourself doing things like marking the bottles, and you won’t be surprised when the lines moves.  No matter how well you think you know the kids, or how good they are, they will drink your liquor”.   I get it kids make bad choices.  But a 48 year-old father has to know better, right?

I love it when parents argue that they prefer if their kid drinks at home where they can contain and monitor it.  But we aren’t talking about a sip of wine or a taste of beer.  That’s amateur hour compared to hosting a “teen rager”, serving kids, and then letting them get in their car and drive home. Did this dad have any understanding at all, of how detrimental and serious the consequences are of trying to be the “cool parent”? 

The “mom” was the former PTA president as well as participating on a MADD committee  – and here’s her tweet to her daughter, “Happiest Birthday to the baddest b**** in town.  Now don’t get arrested.  Love you madly.  #liontamer.”  Are you freaking kidding me?  Is this nut job re -living her high school years?  Her horribly entitled daughter, Liv then tweeted out, “Huge thanks to everyone who was able to be a part of last night! I hope you all had a damn good time and that you’re all okay and safe.”  And this is after her father was brought in and faces 6 months in jail. Nice empathy for her dad?  This family is one hot mess, and a very sad representation of our society.  And who came up with the 6 months?  I don’t think 6 years is enough.  Any parent that serves alcohol to a minor should pay big.  They should put a scarlet letter S in his yard for STUPID.   They should tattoo the letter S to his forehead so he can look in the mirror, everyday, and remember the night he almost killed 200 innocent kids whose lives were in his hands.  Playboy Daddy, did I mention he’s an attorney?  If someone can come up with a way to dole out common sense, please tell me.  We have really hit rock bottom when this becomes the norm.

What say you?  Email me at www.randiccrawford.com.

January 13, 2015

Aspen, then and now

Our family went to Colorado for Christmas, and had one heck of a time getting home.  The irony of our travel ordeal is perfectly wrapped around what made the trip feel so different this year.  Growing up, skiing was a very different experience.  The lifts were for 2 people and went extremely slowly up the mountain. The lines to get on the lift could be as long as an hour and so most of the adults wore those leather Bota bags filled with red wine around their neck to stay sane.  It was a much more social experience.  We had a family of 5, and therefore, someone always had to ride “single”.  My older sister loved going with strangers, and somehow she knew their entire life story by the time they reached the top of the lift.  I loved skiing in big groups of people that we met and accumulated on the lift line. My father worked around the clock, so when we took a family vacation, we were the first people on mountain, and the last one’s off.  We took 2 twenty- minute breaks for hot chocolate a Hershey bar, and fries.  There was never any democracy about which run to take, or how long we should stay out. I hesitate even calling it a vacation!

Today, skiing (and snowboarding) is entirely different.  There are 4 and 6 person, high- speed chairs all over the mountain.  Translation: nobody is waiting on lines for more than 5 minutes anymore.  No one ever has to ride “single” and meet new people because they are the odd man out.  You get in so much more skiing, that by noon you’re generally toast.  But here’s what you don’t get with all the new high speed lifts.  Nobody is sharing their wine or talking to each other on lift lines, because the lines go too quickly.  There is much less camaraderie on the mountain, because people come in big groups, stick together and don’t deviate.

This brings me to my travel day(s) from hell.  The entire week we were gone, it snowed (woohoo).  There was no visibility and the snow was fantastic.  The weather was so precarious; that most of the kid’s Christmas gifts never even made it to Colorado.  But the day we were leaving to come home, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and any concerns we had about leaving, were off the table.  (Travelling in and out of Aspen has always been an issue).  Apparently, so many planes were unable to get into Aspen the night before, that it pushed commercial planes out of their assigned “slot”.  What did this mean for my family? 40 private planes flew out of Aspen, while only 3 commercial flights took off that afternoon.  Nope, I wasn’t on any of the three.  I won’t take you through our 12 hours sitting on the floor of the airport near the men’s restroom so we could “juice” our cell phones, or our 2- day ordeal to get home, but this is the “new Aspen”. 

Here it is: Large groups of people fly in on their private jets; stay at private homes and have private chefs.  They shop at Gucci, Moncler and James Perse (all stores they could find in any major city), which have taken the place of the A frame stores that were unique to Aspen.  It used to be that even if you had money, you flew in on a commercial airline, first -class, but you were somehow connected with everyone else.  You saw each other on a flight, and then met them the next day on the mountain.  It was friendly.  Today we are all so isolated. 

What was once a very social community of like -minded people enjoying the slopes has turned into a place where people don’t want to be bothered with anything except how many runs they can squeeze in.  When people are at the lodge, all they do is look down at their cell phone, or stalk your table so they can grab a seat.  Call me old fashioned, but I’ll take the longer lift lines and a little more camaraderie.  I want my kids to connect with people around them, and each day all we do is become more and more distant from each other.  Skiing is just one of so many examples around us.

What say you?  Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmail.com.

January 5, 2015

Time for giving back...

How many times have you screamed at your kids for “throwing away” their dinner, without even touching it?  They claim to be full, or they don’t like what you made.  If you’re me, this happens all the time.  If I find one thing to cook (a protein), that both of my children will eat, I consider it a huge win.  But it’s when your children don’t even taste the food you’ve prepared, and they look you straight in the eye and tell you how much they hate your cooking, it can really piss you off.  And right now, I think you can guess how I’m feeling.

I recently had the opportunity to volunteer and help serve the homeless with my daughter and her class.  I knew everyone we served would be grateful for the food put in front of them and that nobody would complain and say, “Thanks but I’ll starve before I eat this crap”.  So naturally, I was curious to see how this might impact my daughter and her attitude towards my food.

When we arrived, the first thing I noticed was the sheer number of people in line waiting to eat.  There were people everywhere.  And just when you thought things were slowing down, more people were outside waiting to come in.  Next was the volume of food in the kitchen.  It’s hard to put into words, but the hunks of meat that needed to be carved were gigantic – I’ve never seen so much food in one place in my life...not to mention all the trays filled with muffins and cupcakes for dessert.  We were divided into 3 groups.  Some of us were making PB&J sandwiches, others were serving hot food in the front, and the rest of the kids were “on the floor” assisting the homeless with whatever they needed.  This was just one lunch, but these meals are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, three times a day, every day of the week.  In my opinion, this is something that everyone needs to experience at least once.  You hear about it, you read about it, but until you do it, you have no idea how many good people there are, and how much time and energy is devoted to helping those in need.

After working in the back making sandwiches, I decided that it would be more interesting if I went “on the floor”.  I was ready for some action.  Plus, I wanted to observe my daughter and see how she was holding up.  Frankly, I couldn’t have been more proud.  All of the kids worked their tail feathers off, constantly moving around bussing trays, and helping out.  None of them stuck their nose in the air and walked away from a person in need (and trust me, it got a little gnarly with the stench alone...some people were simply homeless while others clearly had much deeper stuff going on).

It almost felt strange driving back home to my beautiful neighborhood, with my walk-in pantry filled with food from top to bottom.  For me personally, it’s hard to imagine what it would feel like to go hungry and not know when and if my next meal was coming.  This was definitely a humbling experience and one that made me grateful for just about everything that I have.

But the truth is, you never know what’s in the mind of a young person, or what they take away from such an incredible experience.  Do they get it?  Do they see how lucky they are to have food on the table and in the pantry whenever they want to grab something to eat? Or does this experience just add another one of those much needed community service hours to check off the list so they can get into college?  If you’re wondering if my kids eat my food after volunteering, the answer is still no.  But I can proudly say that we do a lot more volunteering as a result, and no matter what anyone tells me, I know in my heart that it means something.

What say you?  Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmail.com.

December 11, 2014

Help, the grandkids are out of control!

Here’s how it all went down.  My mom came to visit for Thanksgiving, and stayed with my family this year.  I love having my mom around because she’s such a great cook (something I did not inherit from her), and when she’s here, we all eat really well.  Thanksgiving Eve, we were sitting around watching Remember the Titans, (A Crawford family fave), when my mother received a text from her girlfriend who was visiting her grandkids in Dallas. I happened to see the text, because the font on her phone is so large, and it read, “Help, the grandkids are out of control”.  So I asked my mother what that was about and she told me what grandma’s really think when they stay with us during the holidays. 

Apparently when your parents are in town visiting, they are observing the way we are raising our kids.  According to my mom, it’s a common thread that strings from the East Coast to the West Coast and the conversation is virtually the same amongst all the grandma’s.  I thought I would share.  Here is just a glimpse into Grandma’s Rants and what they really think about our parenting.

They are horrified that our generation has no family time.  This is especially egregious to her generation because the dinner table is where a lot of good conversations took place when we were growing up. (I vividly remember playing the “fickle finger of fate” and if it pointed towards you, then you had to answer the question).  The grandma’s are looking for some actual conversation with back and forth, and eye contact.  They are extremely offended when they see their grandkids texting during meals.  They can’t get over how much time is spent tooling around on social media sites and the negative impact that social media brings.

Another horror is when they witness the grandkids playing violent video games that we allow our kids to play, and wonder what would ever possess us to purchase a video game where our son is killing another person for pure joy.

They strongly believe that way too much time is devoted to sports and they seem to be dialed into the fact that every kid will not get into college on a scholarship, even if we showcase their talents nationwide.  They used to complain if we had an away game that meant they had to drive 15 minutes outside of their bubble.  I don’t think any of us knows the answer to when sports when from being local and seasonal, to year round and nation wide.

Here are some of their secret coping mechanisms:

1. Stay at a hotel or in their own RV to avoid the possibility that they will actually say something critical of their kids’ parenting techniques.  Apparently they are all afraid they will say something that will get them thrown out on this visit, or that might not get them invited back for another one.

2. They have formed a support system and make frequent calls or texts to each other saying "Help, I need to tape my mouth before something negative comes out".

3. When the grandkids talk back to their parents- grandmas all go into  “shut- down mode” so they don't say something like, “We would have hung you by your toenails if you ever spoke to us that way”!

4. Stay for 2 days max.

5. They pretend their hearing is getting worse and then ignore you.

6. And my personal favorite: They pretend to like your dogs and take them for long walks to get out of the house so they can call each other and complain.

This whole rant could be funny or sad.  We (all of us) don’t spend enough family time.  Who has time for family time anymore?

What say you?  Do “the Grandma’s” have it right? Are our priorities out of wack and upside down?  Email me at www.randiccrawford@gmail.com.