i've always been a pretty good communicator. my biggest problem, growing up, was that my mom told me that no matter what i was thinking, she could read it on my face. she used to laugh........even if the words were coming out out one way, my face told the real story. i've also always been pretty good at reading people....not mind read....just notice some of the "cues".
for example, in my teens, i was out with my mother.....we were out and about and stopped at the gas station, back in the old days when gas stations had english speaking attendants, who wore shirts with their names embroidered and took cash.....just cash.......my mom and i were waiting for "ned" (i still remember his name....he owned the mobil station!) to fill up the tank. while we were waiting, i noticed that my mom seemed to have a very serious, kind of bothered look on her face. i asked, "what's the matter mom?" she answered....nothing was the matter....i persisted...."are you sure?"........she was truly perplexed. i told her about the impression i got......from my visual.....i continued, "so you're really fine?"........."oh....then it just must be your gas station face!" we got hysterical! it became code.
the "gas station face" lives on.....and it isn't necessarily used only in the gas station....that same pained look may show up anywhere....unknowingly! thankfully, my husband also found the term to be kind of helpful and a bit endearing.....rather than saying, "hey! what's wrong with you? that's a horrible face you're making!" a simple reminder...."ahemm, gas station face!"....is way more subtle and always seems a quick reminder and it ends in laughter.
my kids also use "gas station face"....just as a kind reminder,,,to perk up....or question my state of mind. it's funny....i guess, teenagers pretty much have a mad face, a sad face, a happy face and an exhausted face......it's so much more clear cut........they have way more emotional swinging to do, so they help us adapt by spelling it out for us....on their face.
as an adult, we have alot of stuff to think about.......stuff, like taking care of everyone else........and their swingsand their faces.......or at least, living through them without a gas station face! as the parents, we try to keep a few notes on their faces....just so we are prepared for what may occur next......it's all there, on their faces.
they do trick us though. now, because of texting, they don't ever really have to look up. they can walk and text, eat and text, go online and text on their phone and the computer. the other night i was texting on facebook......i thought it would be nice to talk to my daughter about it......not because she would care or God forbid, think i was cool.....but because i thought i might be able to impart some motherly goodness, in a "teachable moment", as they say....whoever "they" are.....you know, the ones who put "teachable moment" into our sensitive, new age vocabulary.
my "teachable moment" was just beginning,..... telling an account of the friends i had "texted" on facebook. i was telling my 14 year old about the friends, from high school and college, who i had been "talking to" on facebook "texting". my husband and i always try these teachable moments......they can smell them a mile away.....i must have a "teachable moment" face....because i can hear them yawning and rolling their eyes......and yet, because we are taking the sensitive new age teachable moment route, we are proud of ourselves....because, that means we're not "lecturing".....because "they" say that we shouldn't lecture because kids wont listen! well, i've got news for "them"......they don't listen anyway!
teenagers won't have to worry about losing their hearing when they get old.......they won't need their hearing....because they'll all be typing....and on facebook, i'm told, it's "chatting"......my teachable moment was out the window, simply because i said that i was on facebook, "texting"......i couldn't even hear my teachable moment.....about how great it is to stay friendly with lots of the kids you know, because throughout the years you never know when you'll meet again.....more laughter.
like when i went to college, the first day, i saw my best kindergarten friend.....who knew..... that when i was sharing a swing in kindergarten with a friend, that i would meet that same friend years later. when i left one job and interviewed for another, who knew that the guy interviewing me would be a great acquaintance from the old job. my teachable moment was kind of a don't" burn your bridges" theme.....the old brownie song, "make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold"kinda story........it got lost in the loud laughter.....laughing at my "lingo".......actually, teenagers won't have to worry about keeping in touch or burning bridges......they'll have millions of friends on facebook....and all they have to do is click a button and "POOF"....they are friended......i suppose, with the click of a button, there will be millions "unfriended" too........my story is lost..... usually because of my lingo.
some time ago, when my daughter was 13.....she was having a bad day....her life was miserable and bad and i wouldn't understand.....she told me that i wouldn't understand, ever, since i had a nice mom growing u[and i couldn't know how bad life is with the parents she has.......i felt her pain....i wanted to help.....she told me i wouldn't and couldn't help. finally, i said, emphatically, "grace, sometimes, when you're 13, life just sucks!" i thought, for sure, the word that i really did not like, would catch her attention....she would finally hear me and know i understood. she looked at me with great pain and regret, she said, "mom, just because you used that word to be cool.......and you're trying to be cool......
don't even think you can help.....because, YOU ARE NOT COOL!" lingo problem, again.
last night, my son, 13, informed me that he found a picture of our sweet golden retriever on google.....he said that he google'd or google'ed "funny animal images".......and up popped our dog! i couldn't believe it! i said, "t.j.! someone got that form my blog"....he mimicked me and he informed me, "no one reads your blog, mom! that picture is not from your blog!".......i insisted...i knew it was my picture...."well, t.j., then someone got the picture from my facebook!".........."oh mom, this is too wierd......google, blog, facebook.....nest you'll be on twitter and you'll be tweeting.......mom, you're embarassing!" i told him that i did have a twitter account because i opened it when i started my blog....i assured him that i hadn't used it yet. lingo.
then, while all of the family was together, i asked, "does anyone have an idea for my online business name?".........."mom, you don't have an online business...why do you need a name?"........i answered, "because i'm going to sell my beaded jewelry and vintage things on line.....on "etsy".....i just need a name........should i use littlemarymixup?"......my son fell to the floor, moaning! my husband asked him to be supportive....."you know mom can do anything, t.j.".......my husband mentioned, to me, that it might not be such a great idea to call a business, "littlemarymixup"....since, people might not want to buy handmade jewelry from a business named "littlemarymixup".....point well taken.
while discussing ideas, for my business name on "etsy", with my husband.....my son handed me a yellow sticky note.........he said he had a name for me.......on the yellow sticky note.....it said, "IF I'M GOING TO MAKE A STORE, I WON"T TORTURE MY FAMILY WITH BAD NAME IDEAS"
i wonder if that's too long a name....being a sensitive new age parent, wanting to create teachable moments, i wouldn't want to "squash" his ideas or "discourage his honesty"........i wonder if i had a gas station face?.....lingo.