Guess What? I’m a Facebook Creeper!

Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons. '''Photographer''': ''thesaint'' a.k.a Matthew Bowden

And if you’re a parent with a son or daughter on Facebook, you’re probably creeping right along with me.

That is, if they ever even accepted your friend request.

The parent/child Facebook friendship has been explored to death already.  As parents read articles such as “How Not To Embarrass Your Child On Facebook”, they’re told helpful hints such as “don’t comment too much on your child’s activity”, ” don’t share too much information that your child doesn’t want to know”, “don’t tag them in old baby photos”, “don’t remind them of chores”, “don’t friend all their friends” and “don’t try to be cool – you’re not”.

Meanwhile, our offspring are submitting screenshots of our most embarrassing interactions to websites such as “Crap, My Mom Just Sent Me a Friend Request” where you can see parents completely shattering their child’s cool online persona, talking about “the runs”, reminding them of chores, questioning relationship statuses, and using Facebook as a glorified brag book.

My creepiness came to light because I commented (verbally, mind you) about a Facebook message thread.  At first I thought I was being called a creep.  Now that I know I’m just a creeper, I can relax, because it’s my job.  But if you think I’m going to go all parental here and talk about our responsibilities as a parent to monitor our children’s’ activity, limit their usage, check out their friends, lay low and take it all in, blah blah blah…I’m not.

But I do think it’s important to draw the line between acceptable Facebook usage vs. Facebook creeping.  And I’m not just talking about parents.  No, this goes for everyone.  I even consulted Urban Dictionary on this, because that’s the place to go for knowledge on hip and happening terms, as long as you’re willing to insert your own grammar and punctuation.  With that said, please humor me with the following little self-help quiz:

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Yes, Generation, We Have A Gap.

A while back, my teenage daughter and I had a disagreement that sent both of us sulking to our respective corners.  Was it about curfew?  Dating?  Grades?  Nah, we wasted a perfectly good argument on our opposing views of music.  I know, I know…you’re supposed to pick your battles, but this is one I felt passionate about.  And like her mother, so did she.

It started when I ridiculed a song she was playing and apparently was enjoying.  You may have heard it…”Don’t Stop Believing”.  Great song, right?   Absolutely.  The sound of Steve Perry, aka The Voice, bellowing this beloved classic gives me chills even today.  I can still picture him belting it out on stage as he brushed back his perfectly feathered hair that I secretly envied.

But this was not your Mama’s version of the song.  It was the “Glee” remake, sung as a duet by a young couple, who as far I’m concerned, ripped the song to shreds.   What?  A Journey song without Steve Perry?  Or the guy who replaced him?  Or the guy who replaced HIM?  Such a travesty!  “You can’t remake a Journey classic!” I blurted.

A big Glee fan, she kind of took offense to that.

We went back and forth as I explained that I have nothing against Glee, but there are certain classics you just don’t remake.  As Simon Cowell repeated every week to American Idol hopefuls who mangled Stevie Nicks, Whitney Houston, and even Kelly Clarkson music, I agree that a song should not be remade unless you can top the original or bring something different to the table.  Each song title I rattled off as untouchable, however, was met with “they did that one too”.   I’m talking “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Shout It Out” by Kiss, you name it…it’s been tampered with.  Untouchables, as far as I’m concerned.

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I Want To Be A Real Housewife

Yes, you read that correctly.  I want to be a housewife…a “Real” housewife.  I’ve been watching the Real Housewives of New York, Orange County, New Jersey, DC, and Beverly Hills for some time now.  I’ve loved the glamour, the cattiness and the all-out brawls of these women from all regions of our country.  And while Jersey may give us a run for our money, South Carolina represents a slice of life that has yet to be portrayed.  I can fix that.

I know what you’re thinking.  What could possibly be entertaining about watching some Carolinian Housewives who aren’t rich, glamorous, or scandalous?  Well, I haven’t gotten this far in my seasons of faithful Bravo-viewing to not know that there are certain unwritten Bravo rules that I and my castmates would have to abide by. 

First and foremost, we have to fit the stereotype that people would be expecting from a South Carolina native.  I’m quite aware that the rest of the country may look at my beloved home state and expect to see a cast of uneducated, toothless, Walmart-shopping, redneck caricatures.  And maybe there are a few fitting that description in these here parts.  But seeing that reality television isn’t always so “real” and everybody needs their 15 minutes of fame, I’m willing to cast my dignity aside to play along with that caricature…to a point.  In short, it’s time to bring a little “redneck” to the Housewives franchise.

I present my case.  Bravo Andy, are you hearing me?

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What? No Wire Hangers?

By now, you might have heard about the two adult Illinois children who brought a lawsuit against their mother.  Yes, a 2-year legal battle began when Steven Miner II, now 23, and Kathryn Miner, now 20, filed a lawsuit against their mother, Kimberly Garrity in 2009. 

According to Illinois court documents, Garrity and her husband, Steven Miner, Sr.,  had divorced in 1995, and the children had been living with their father.  The father had reportedly “tried” to talk Steven II and Kathryn from pursuing the lawsuit, however, he was one of the three attorneys who handled the case.

The basis of the lawsuit?  Bad mothering, negligence, insensitivity, and basically being a mean mom.

The suit cited examples that allegedly caused emotional distress to the siblings, including :

  • Making the then-7-year old boy wear his seatbelt with the threat of taking him to the police station
  • Failing to buy toys
  • Sent a greeting card the son didn’t like (with images of tomatoes, one special one with craft-store googly eyes, and probably not enough hugs and kisses).  Oh yeah, and there was no cash or check enclosed. 
  • Haggling over homecoming dress costs
  • Insisting the daughter return the loaned car by midnight on homecoming night
  • Refusing to take the daughter to an auto show and a car race
  • Insufficient/infrequent college care packages
  • Threatening to call the police after the boy took back a homemade jewelry box he’d given her as a gift, alleging he stole a diamond necklace that had been in it. 
  • Once smacking the boy in the head, giving him “recurring headaches”
  • Changing her name after her second marriage which caused attention for her daughter at school events

    Damages?  $50,000 to make all the emotional distress go away. 

The point was to make Kimberly Garrity accountable for less-than-perfect parenting.

The suit, however was dismissed by Cook County Judge Kathy Flanagan, although the mother is forced to pay her own legal costs.  The judge referred to the siblings’ allegations, while erratic and sometimes spiteful, as “petty grievances” and “not outside “all possible bounds of decency”.  It was also added that such a lawsuit would open the floodgates of lawsuits against parents.

Now I’m sure there must be more to this story, but I think we have all the facts we need to say… 

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