Embracing my inner grouch


You hear all the time about embracing your inner child, but what if what you have is less an inner 8-year-old and more an inner 80-year-old?

So to speak

I was kind of mature even as a kid, downright stodgy even.

Take grammar for instance. There is an attempt by “kids these days” to embrace the idea that how you speak, spell, and present yourself verbally “don’t matter anymore.” I am here to assure them that it does. It really, really does.

Simply proclaiming yourself to be “as smart as the next guy,” when your every utterance or presentation of yourself in type says otherwise, will not convince the world at large of your fitness to engage in proper debate.

In short, if you wish to be taken seriously, you need to take how you present yourself seriously. Consider the old adage, “If you want to have a battle of wits, it is wise not to arrive unarmed.”

The best type

Educationally, I am definitely “old school.”

I am a regular curmudgeon on the subject of many schools doing away with typing class. Remember typing class? At one time, every practical parent encouraged a student to take typing.

It was something to “fall back on” if your ironclad plans to become a cowboy or ballerina didn’t pan out. If nothing else, it came in handy for all those term papers you inevitably would have to type.

Accordingly, as students in the dark days when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, we spent hours pounding the keys of a typewriter with sheets of notebook paper across the back of our hands to hide the keys from our own prying eyes.

Touch-typing was de rigueur. Now, we are told, kids learn to type so early via cell phones and computers that by the time they reach school age they’ve basically taught themselves.

Really? How is that working out?

I’ve seen how they type. Apparently, vowels and punctuation have fallen out of fashion these days. When all the cool kids are texting “BRB” and “IDK” (a.k.a. “be right back” and “I don’t know”) I cringe in horror at “text typing.”

What next? Self-taught algebra?

Granted, this opinion immediately catapults me into the realm of “cranky old person,” but, as it turns out, I’m fine with that.

Going under

I may not have been born old, but I came by it honestly. I spent a considerable amount of my early childhood with my great-grandmother.

She was a capital “L” lady and hailed from the days when the title was earned and not simply bestowed upon any old pop star that appeared half-naked in public (Lady Gaga anyone?).

My great-grandmother was born in 1902 and, as such, I absorbed from her a lot of quaint, early 20th century conventions. I don’t doubt that it is due to her influence that I firmly believe that Emily Post is a minor god and that, all trends aside, your underwear should never appear in public — well, only if you are dead and then it better be clean.

There is a reason the term “under” is so prominently figured right there in the very definition, after all.

I further believe that no matter how passionate your attraction, the phrase “get a room” should never need aimed at you or your partner in public.

I believe with all my heart that failing to RSVP for a party should be a capital offense and that failing to send thank-you notes for your wedding gifts, within the prescribed period of time (It’s a year by the way, a whole YEAR!), should mean I can come get my toaster back, no questions asked.

Finally, I believe life needs a little more mystery. I believe that people don’t really need to know the nuances and details of your latest surgery, break-up, or therapy, particularly people you have only just met on the bus.

In short, I’m an old-fashioned girl in an increasingly modern world.

Will I someday look back and laugh at how “old fashioned” we seem even today?

IDK but if we do I guess we’ll all just have a good LOL @ that.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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