Saturday Story Time: Social Norm?
October 15, 2011, 10:50 pm
Filed under: blessings, homework, humor, love, Parenting, Teenagers | Tags: , , ,

Saturday Story Time:

Scott was in seminary full-time to finally finish his Masters of Divinity. We were living in my sister and her husband basement apartment. They were so kind, and so generous, to let us live there and we were constantly trying to think of ways to thank them. Kathi’s husband who we lovingly call Bubba shares my husband love of a good beer. One of the ways Scott eased his debt to Bubba whenever he came down the stairs to our place by asking if he wanted a beer. Isaac was almost two, heard this over and over. One time Bubba came down and Scott was not home, Isaac knew just what to say. “Bubba, wanna beer?”

This was all fine and funny and a great family story. Then Scott got a job at a fairly conservative church. We had a very open home and people would stop by freely. One morning an older gentleman who was helping me with some gardening stopped by. He leaned down to say hello to Isaac. My preacher’s son looks up at this nice man and says “Wanna Beer?”

Isaac loves to win, he loves to compete and he loves to make up games. One of the games we would play would be to race on the sidewalk to the front of the grocery store. One time I was not feeling so mommy generous and I did not let him win. He got to the front of the store, grabbed my hand and yelled “Don’t beat me mommy, I hate it when you beat me!”

He is now about six and we are at the airport. It is very busy and we are playing games to keep him entertained during our wait. Scott loves words and would often play word games with Isaac. This day they were rhyming. Scott said “What’s up Skitch?” (which was a line from a movie and the current slang of the youth group we were working with) Isaac, thinking he is so cool,and very proud of his ability to rhyme says very loudly and clearly “What’s up BITCH?”

This past week Isaac was asked to do something out of the ‘social norm’ for his AP psychology class. He had difficulty doing it, and I had to laugh. This is the same child who has put me out of the ‘social norm’ more times than I care to remember. This is the same child who is now seventeen, and wants to just slide under the radar. Well Isaac, I think to my self with a small grin. This ain’t nothing, wait till you are a parent!
Here is his paper:

Should a junior in high school be responsible enough to tie their own shoe? Would it feel awkward for someone who is seventeen years of age to ask a stranger to tie their shoe for them? These questions were going through my mind when I set out on my project to break a social norm. Safeway seemed to be a prime location to begin my quest. Pulling into Safeway I untied my shoe and got my self mentally prepared. I walked up and down the aisles looking for someone to ask. Looking down one of the isles I saw a middle-aged man looking at cereal boxes. I walked closer to him and he bent down to pick up a cereal box. I walked up to him and said, “While your down there, would you mind tying my shoe?” He looked up at we with a “who the bleep are you” look. At the same time I’m thinking the same thing, “What in the world am I doing?” It was humiliating. He stood up awkwardly, still giving me the look, and said no. As he walked away I wanted to tell him about the experiment and say that I was sorry because I felt so weird about doing it, and felt bad putting him in that situation.

Still, I pressed on. Next I spotted a women In her mid to late 30s in the fruits and vegetable section and I thought that maybe she would tie my shoe. I approached her as she was picking out a ripe tomato. I said, “Excuse me, would you mind tying my shoe?” I felt even more ridiculous than I did the first time. I had a hard time keeping a straight face. She gave me the same look as the guy did but then saw me smiling, and thought it was a joke. She politely said no and continued to examine the tomatoes.

I left Safeway hoping that I would never see those people again. I also left feeling uncomfortable, as though I had done something bad. According to my project, breaking social norms was not appreciated, acceptable, and certainly not well received.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I am laughing so hard right now. Way to go Isaac, I don’t think I’d have the guts. And, I’d tie his shoe!

Comment by Melissa

I know right? He is such a crack up. Love that boy. I can not believe he will be going to homecoming for the first time, ahhh where are the years going?

Comment by Kari

Comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: