Sunday, May 15, 2011

When Good Parents Grow Old...

It seems that I have come to that stage in my life that I have to face my parents’ growing old head on.

I have always just expected my parents to always be around. When one is young, you tend to think that your parents are invincible.

Even later in one’s life, you think that your parents will still, for some reason or other, be around forever.

However, now, I have to face that my parents have become grandparents to a few grandkids, and therefore have been growing older.

I don’t know if everyone does this, but I do at times think back on my life. It hasn’t been a very long life, but I do think about my growing up years.

I have, since recently, been thinking a lot about my growing up years. I realize the amount of sacrifices that my parents had to make to give me the life that I had. Fair enough, I never got everything that I ever wanted, but I had everything I needed.

I think, at the end of the day, that was what mattered. I had what I needed. The parents bent over backwards to provide for me what I needed. "Wants" be damned.

At the time, though, I wasn't extremely pleased about it. However, some years later I am not only pleased, but grateful.

That was not the point though. There was a point. Somewhere.

The point is, that after an undisclosed number of years on this planet, I have to face the fact that my parents are getting older. Granted they are both in better condition than most of my friends' grandparents, but time is ticking away.

A very good friend of mine's grandmother turned 70 this week. My Dad turned 71 last month. Looking at the grandmother, she's ready to give up. My Dad is still going strong. Doesn't look a day over 65, in my opinion.

The difference is that one kept busy and the other is waiting to die.

I have in my own way made my peace with the fact that my parents won't be around forever. It's not a feeling I relish. However, it is something I will have to deal with at some stage.

I realize that every mother and father's day, everyone thinks they've got the best parents on this planet. This despite badmouthing their parents every other day of the year.

I know that I have had my moments with my parents over the years. Even now we have a few moments. The difference now is that I know, to a degree, what my parents have gone through.

I know I do not always give my parents the credit they deserve for raising me. I am pretty sure I'm the only hell my mother ever raised, but I digress again.

I wish I was in a position now to provide for my parents as they provided for me whilst growing up. Then I ask myself "Do I really want my parents to grow old in this country?"

Admittedly, growing old is inevitable. Growing old in a shitty third world country is entirely optional. For some it is optional, at least. Fingers crossed and gods willing that my parents will grow old(er) in a first world country.

At the end of all of this, have I made my peace? I don’t think so. Will I be ready when it happens? Not a fucking chance. But…

I will make my peace whenever. But, I would still like to feel that the Parentals are immortal. And by mere association I may be immortal as well. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Simple Rules for Sending Me Messages

In the past few years I have been the victim of some rather shoddily written electronic communications. This is pretty much the same for personal and business e-mails.

Therefore, I took it upon myself to put together this handy print out and keep guide for any person wishing to communicate with me.

Greetings and Salutations
The first thing I see when I open an e-mail is the salutation. Alright, the second thing after the subject line.

Do not, under any circumstances start an e-mail with the greeting “Elo”. The last time I checked ELO was a British band formed in the 1970s. When I read a salutation like “Elo”, I’ve already pre-judged the rest of the message. Regardless of what the contents might be.

Acceptable salutations are “Hello”, “Hi”, or for very close friends: “Hey”.

Take the time to write a proper salutation, and I might even take the rest of the message seriously.

Spelling and Grammar.
Bad spelling has to be the biggest bugbear of my existence. I have in the course of however many years I have been receiving e-mails, read many, many misspelled words. Some of the worst offenders have turned out to be so-called “professionals”. Project managers are some of the worst culprits.

Just recently I have received messages where the person correctly spells “discussed” in one sentence, and in the very next sentence spells it wrong. I need to say however, bad spelling makes me “incomfotable”*.

Nearly as bad as bad spelling is the bad grammar. This goes for certain “professional” project managers and other esteemed colleagues.

This includes using present tense instead of past tense. Misplaced apostrophes is one of the most common crimes. Remember, boys and girls, apostrophe denotes possession.

Sentences and Paragraphs.
If you have trouble with sentence structures and paragraphs, then don’t even bother sending me a message.

I just recently had a message sent to me that was one long paragraph. I received it on my phone, since I was nowhere near my computer at the time. After scowling at it for five minutes, I gave up. I could only read it properly only the next day.

In order for me to make sense of it I had to copy it into Word, and insert paragraph breaks where I saw fit. Not to mention doing a spell check so I don’t throw up in my mouth while reading it.

In conclusion I just want you to know this: If you want me to take any electronic communications from you seriously, then follow these simple rules. In all honesty, they are not even my rules. We were all taught these at school. That is if you went to school somewhere between the eighties and nineties.

Call me anal or fussy, but grammar rules were not meant to be broken. If you break them I will think you are an idiot and mock you.