4/9/11

Didn't Your Momma Ever Teach You Anything?

I get into my car (the one my 16yr old drives all week) to go to a childcare food program training and the gas tank is on Empty. Big surprise. Short on time, I go to our corner WagABag for gas. I pull in, park, get out and realize the gas tank is on the other side of the car. Now remember I just bought this used car a while ago, so don't laugh. So I hop in, pull out and pull into another one. A truck pulls up with two young men and the driver is telling me something. I can't hear him so I walk over to his window. He tells me this one (that I am at) is the only one with diesel fuel (as well as the other types). He asks if I will pull out. Um, what? I laughed at him and said, "Whatever happened to Ladies First? Didn't your momma ever teach you anything?" His friend began to laugh at him too. I patted the driver on the arm and said, "You can wait a couple minutes until I'm done." I put $20 in the gas tank and headed out to my meeting, laughing the whole way there. I wasn't mean or hateful to him, just matter-of-fact.

I'm amazed at how self-entitled young people feel these days. Yes, I realize that makes me sound ancient. But it really is true. So many of them have been overindulged by parents who spend money instead of time on their kids, that the children grow up expecting it from everywhere. My parents took excellent care of me. My dad worked hard, and my mom stayed home and raised the family until my younger sister was in her teens. I have three sisters and I can say that we never really wanted for anything, although there were plenty of things we wanted. My parents were not afraid to tell us no. They took us to church regularly and were very good examples of living within their means. As I got older and began working, I took over paying for most everything and when I moved out, there were only a few times throughout my entire life that I was so desperate I called my parents for financial help.

The economy was booming while I was a young adult. Jobs were plentiful, credit was available, and even as a single parent, I was able to buy a small house. I had two young children and worked hard to finish my college degree and start our life. I struggled but gave them as good a life as I could. When my younger child was four, I married Johnny, the man of my dreams and we have worked hard together to build a good life. We have tried hard not to produce children who feel entitled to everything but hope they feel we've raised them well. Manners is such a simple thing to teach and it goes so far in life. I feel sad for the young man whose mother never taught him "ladies first" and hopefully how I reacted will change his future behavior towards women.

What examples of self-entitlement have you experienced lately?

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