Your Grrrs: May 11, 2006

Your Grrrs, and don't forget to play Spot the Oblivion below...

David S. writes: I completely aGrrree with you. Too many of our politicians and celebs get off without taking responsibility for their own actions. It's a classic Freud blame-game mentality. I'm sick of it. Too much of our society has abandoned any relationship between actions and their consequences. Another similar Grrr of mine. It Grrrs me to no end when I hear a qualified apology. "I'm sorry if my _____ offended you." Forget the "if," buddy. Just apologize and don't do it again. It did offend someone. Keep up the good work. I'll try to not just sit in the left lane.

Carolyn B. writes: Just wanted to comment on Robert P.'s agreement with the "everybody wins" mentality. He says that the most important thing for young children is building their self-confidence. I guess I don't understand how receiving praise or a little trophy or whatever when you didn't play the sport/sing/play an instrument well boosts self-confidence. It plants the seed for the entitlement mentality that is sweeping our nation. What boosts self-confidence is doing something well. If your kid isn't good at something, keep looking until you find something they are good at and that they enjoy. Not that your kid has to be good at something to enjoy it, but everyone has their own talents. Also, learning to overcome disappointment is important for good character development, too. Losing gracefully is such an attribute, but it can never be taught if everyone always wins. Your kids learning about teamwork and playing with each other is a great thing, but if they are taught early on that you get the prize just for showing up, then later in life, they may do that ... just show up.

Jenn B. defends herself: I have absolutely no issue with single women adopting. I'm not as narrow-minded as you may think. What I don't agree with is Jessica Simpson expressing interest in adoption, then Halle Barry. And I'm sure the laundry list continues in Hollywood as we speak. I'm not finger-pointing at the likes of yourself. I'm sure you don't live every minute of your life with camera-snipers stalking you. I just happen to believe strongly that "intentional" single parenthood in Hollywood is destructive. In a world where two parents in suburbia hardly seems enough, go to a lifestyle that is 10 times worse with one less parent. It all goes back to that self-indulgent lifestyle I referred to initially. Do you really think Jessica Simpson wants to be a mom or do you think she is more interested in doing things that will further her career now that the "Newlywed" machine has fallen apart? It's these kind of stunts that get 'em back in the headlines, not maternal instinct.

Jeffrey C. writes: Your thoughts on addiction are exactly what most non-addicted or uninformed people believe. Certainly some "make up the excuse," but real addiction is a horrible and life-threatening condition where the addicted needs empathy, support and guidance. I hope you or ones you love never experience it, but the statistical fact is addiction will occur in your immediate family or to a close friend. When it does, please research it rather than take the uninformed opinion that you currently hold.

Wilma S. writes: My biggest Grrr is about drivers who follow other cars too closely. I don't go through a single day without looking into my rearview mirror and clearly seeing the driver behind me because he or she is too close. I maintain the speed limit or exceed it slightly, so why do I have to suffer the fear of a collision day after day? The amazing thing is that the faces I see in my rearview mirror have a glazed-over look as if they were looking right through my car to some better place down the road. Sorry ... you're in the same traffic back-up that I'm in. My car has been rear-ended several times in my life and luckily I've never been hurt, but I am just a bit paranoid of these drivers who feel the need to cling to the back end of my car.

Bryan D. in Milwaukie, Ore.: Grrr! To the many stores that leave their neon "open" sign turned on overnight when they are closed. Grrr! To bicyclists who use the newspaper coin-operated rack as a bike rack to secure their bicycles, blocking the stand and preventing one from grabbing a newspaper.

Chris W. on GymPortant: I like that. I am a competitive powerlifter. I have been working out on a particular lift with the bar loaded from 200-400 lbs., and my equipment, belt, wraps, towel, etc, draped over the bar while I rest between lifts. Up comes Mr./Miss GymPortant and he or she proceeds to strip the plates off the bar, then load it with the 25 or so pounds they want to work out with. When they notice my equipment on the bar, they get a confused look. I then tell them that I am not done working with that weight and would they kindly put the plates back on the bar. I have had people take the weights off the bench press bar right when I am attempting to lift it or they reach over and lean on the bar. The air does get a bit "blue" when this happens as severe injury can result with the weights I work out with. So, if you go to a gym, pay attention to your surroundings and lift safe.

Travis K. writes on GymPortants: Every day I go to the gym it's a workout just getting annoyed by these idiots. One of my other personal favorites is when these people set up their own personal mini-circuit and have weights on three or four machines and if you DARE try to use one of those benches while they are on another machine you get the dreaded stare down. Oh, scary! I also love it when they finish with a bench and leave their 900 pounds on the bar. I don't know how many times I have had to help some woman get all that weight off the bench. Even better are all the personal trainers who work for this place, see this stuff happening and never do a thing about it. There are signs everywhere telling you not to drop weights and to put the weights back in their place when you are finished with them. Why is that so difficult for people to do?

Amanda M. writes on crime shows: I am so sick of turning on the television at night and seeing advertisements for "Law and Order" and the others with the booming announcer crying "ripped from the headlines" repeatedly. I watch the news, I know the stories that are going on and a lot of them are stranger than fiction. Why, oh why do TV studios pay high-priced writers to write stories that are "ripped from the headlines?" This is the very reason why I don't watch those shows at all … they're all reruns. I'm waiting for them to rip something from our local paper … "ripped from the Headlines: a gray calico cat is lost. Can she be found in time to get her rabies vaccination?" Oh, riveting.

Jacki in Va.: Mike, I just want to say Grrr! to the parents and students in N.Y. complaining about the ban on cell phones in public schools. These parents wonder how they're supposed to get a hold of their kids in case of an emergency. Call the school! That's how it was done before everyone and their brother had a cell phone, and it worked just fine. Most schools will not allow a student to just "leave" without being signed out anyway. Another Grrr is in regard to something that happened a couple of years ago. One of the universities in the country decided not to schedule any classes before 9 a.m. because the students complained that was too "early." Welcome to the real world. My workday starts at 0700 and ends at 1600 (I'm military). It's called time management. Most of these students were tired because they had gone out to a kegger the night before. Here's an idea: Don't party the night before if you have an early class the next day. What are they going to do when they go into the work force and work starts at 8?

Katie in Boston: In response to ROK in Goatneck, Texas, the problem Mike was trying to point out is that the problem with the "Everyone Wins" scenario is that no one fails. And the problem with your "Everyone Loses" scenario is that no one wins. Neither is a proper way to prepare a child for how the world works. Some people win, some people lose. If you don't know how to fail and fail gracefully, you end up spending your life waiting for someone to bail you out, and blaming everyone but yourself for your failure. That is what will happen to these kids who will grow up never having failed or having their parents bail them out of failing (probably by suing) and expecting to get something just for showing up. Growing up with a sense of entitlement, and no sense of responsibility, is the problem with the "Everyone Wins" mentality.

Tammy T. in Washington, D.C.: This Grrr is for the moped drivers who think that they don't have to obey traffic laws. I live in a metropolitan area, and I have seen way too many near misses between mopeds and cars. It is not an understatement to say I see this nearly every day. We've all seen those "Look Twice" bumper stickers, and I agree that auto drivers should be on the lookout for them, but moped drivers are hands down the worst traffic offenders I have seen. They weave through traffic, drive between lanes and cars when traffic is stopped, don't stop at red lights, go down the wrong way on one-way streets, etc. This morning, I watched a middle-aged man lay his moped down in rush-hour traffic, right in front of my car. He was trying to weave through slow-moving traffic. The driver in front of me was attempting a lane change just as he was weaving around. I am glad he was not hurt, but it would have been a non-incident if he had been obeying the traffic laws. Maybe you should add Mopediots to your Lexicon.

Becky Y. writes: Don't forget, murder is due to playing video games or watching movies. Child abuse/spousal abuse is due to some abuse during childhood. It sickens me that so few people take responsibility for their actions. Maybe we can have a court for the "victims" of excess/abuse and hold them responsible. Oh. Wait. Nobody would belong there. It's not their fault.

Rita in N.C.: My Grrr is the problem we have as a nation becoming either R or D. What about first off being an American. I lived in a time when that really counted. So you are either an R or D. Try just to hear what each is saying and make an informed decision from that. No one is always right. We have both good/bad ideas from both parties. The difference is that for some reason we have decided that if it is not coming from "my party," it has to be wrong. Not so.

Spencer writes with Suits 101: A 41 short suit comes with a 35 short pant and should be easy enough to alter without any problems. The problem is in the quality of tailoring. You must not simply take in the waist in the back (belt loops too close together) but in a combination of seams. Also, a reputable store should be able to order you suits made to measure from a number of sources for the same price or even less than you are paying. As for the tailoring, it should be included for any suit purchased with less than a 50 percent markdown.

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