Friday, May 4, 2012


Growing up there were a few words we didn't utter in my house. We had the basic no-no's: the "bad" words that most suburban homes ban, at least while the children are around. But in my house we had a few other unwelcome words.
The biggie being "shut-up." It's as foul as any curse word if you ask my Mom. I remember that phrase crossing my lips one day when I was young, maybe eight or nine. My Mom got a stern look and said, "We don't use that word." Oh, okay - got it. A stern look didn't come out of her very often and when it did I knew she meant business. I don't remember ever saying that dreaded phrase again.
There was another word wasn't just banned in our house, it didn't exist. It wasn't until I made friends in elementary school that I even became aware of its place in the English language.
We just didn't say it in my house. What was bored? I didn't know. I was never bored.
Don't get me wrong, there was down time in my life. We didn't have a 24/7 circus or amusement park set up in my backyard. I didn't have a personal TV sitting in my lap during car trips. Instead I kept myself busy. I was a master player. Give me a salt and pepper shaker and I would give you Suzanne and Billy. As a kid, I could make play time anywhere and with anything. Ordinary objects were just toys waiting to be discovered.
Thinking back on those days, I'm beginning to question how my creative streak may have looked a little loopy to bystanders. Schizophrenic even? Oh well, at least I wasn't bored.
The other day I was in Marshall's when I spotted a new phenomenon. A toddler was in a shopping cart with a portable DVD player hooked onto a bar so she could have comfortable, easy viewing while her mother shopped uninterrupted. What happened to the good old days of whining kids and the term "are we done yet?" or "can I buy this?" Society is changing and I'm not sure if it's for the better. Instead of teaching kids to be better shoppers we are teaching them to check out of the experience.
Who will sustain our economy in the future? Come on, Moms. Step up to the plate. Teach your kids to snag a bargain, scour the shelves of TJ Maxx for the perfect home accents and find the missing size 8 ballet flat that has lost its pair in the shoe department. If you don't teach them these valuable life lessons, who will?
But this is beside the point.
The word bored is taking over. Kids everywhere are complaining that they are bored.
How could this be possible?
The world is full of exciting, interesting and worthwhile stimulation. All it takes is looking out the window to see something of value. Oh wait, kids don't look out the window - Dora is on the back of Mom's driver seat and, heaven forbid, the child miss a re-run of a magical adventure with sidekick Boots.
I blame the rise of constant technology for the explosion of "bored."
And it isn't just kids. Its adults too.
We, as a people, have become so plugged into something that if we lose the outlet, or the battery runs out, we are like lost sheep. What do we do?
I have some suggestions:
Go outside.
Take a walk.
Read a book (novel idea, eh?).
Clean the bathroom (or kitchen or living room or every surface of the house).
Break out your bike and give it a spin around the neighborhood.
Play Scrabble.
Or Candy Land if that's more your style.
Wash the car....or the dog.
Write a letter or a thank you card (a lost art).
Sit on the porch swing and watch the world go by while enjoying the gentle breeze of spring.
There is so much to look at, explore and experience in this world. You'll never be bored if you let life interest you. 

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