March 21, 2009

They Are WHO?

Roses has a post up that I thought was interesting... regarding looking up parents on the internet.

She's the second person I've heard of that does this and its really making me think. Its not something I've done, but part of me is thinking this is rather foolish of me. I mean the internet is right here at my fingertips and I've not bothered to check on people who coach or teach my kids?

Her post shows how seriously, we should be considering it.

But this brings me to a rather funny story.

There is a Mom at our school who is from Ireland. I don't mean ancestory, I mean 'right off the boat'.

I don't know her well, but from what I know, I adore. She is smart and absolutely hysterical and... she calls it as she sees it and Good Lord who can't love a woman like that?


Thick thick Irish brogue, she has, it makes me laugh all the more when she tells me stories, not at her brogue, but because the way words are accented, it makes the stories that much more... life like.

When I saw her last, she had just come back from Fort Lauderdale as she is a singer and was performing. She has a baby, just a few weeks older than The Flambina, and she is a beautiful child... I love seeing them together as it is something that artists would paint.

It is that sweet.

And so we were talking and she said she'd just come back from Lauderdale where she thought it was quite lovely as it was a big city and people were varied and independent and also helpful.

And she said to me, holy crap, "And here we are up in XYZ, where every woman looks like a Stepford Wife" which came out, "StAIpford Wiiife" and I laughed because I swear on my three boys, I have actually said that to people, but without the accent.

It is what I hate about where I live... all the blondes with fake boobs, Lily Pulitzer type clothes, hair always perfectly coifed, make up as if they just put it on.

I laughed really hard when she said it, told her that I thought the same, and then laughed again because if she was telling ME this, I most definitely didn't look like a Stepford Wife, with my hair up in a pony tail, make up smeared from rubbing my eyes at work, jeans and a button down, and comfortable shoes.

I most definitely have the lived in look.

So we went on talking, the first really long conversation I'd had with her, she was nursing the baby, I stroked the babies toes, and we laughed at the absurdity of that around us when she said something like....

"And have you ever looked up some of these parents on the internet? Oh Good Lord..."

Say that to yourself with a heavy Irish brogue and you get it.

I kind of looked bewildered as I'd truly not given thought to looking people up.

She continued, "My girls, they are very active in sports. My husband and I, we want to know who is looking after them, so we look them up..."

Hand to her chest, as if somewhat breathless she said, "And you would not believe what we have found... convicted felons and what not..." and then taking her voice to a hushed tone, nearly a whisper, "some of the coaches... they are Swingers..." and it came out "Swangers" which for some reason made the whole thing that much funnier.

Actually, I had heard about these swingers at another function I was attending. A bunch of us Moms were sitting around at our big school fundraiser, just talking during downtime, when someone mentioned that one of their neighbors, a couple, were swingers.

Of course the rest of us looked at each other and did a collective, *blink*, as we are mothers who 1) are not Stepford Wives and 2) kind of live under a rock.

Soon phones with internet access came out as they looked up the 'club' one of these parents owned and it just deteriorated from there.

I don't know who this couple is. I kind of tuned out the name, but I will say, when I met someone from this Mom's neighborhood the other day I found myself thinking, "Whoa? Swinger?"


Anyway, I just thought it was funny. The things the internet makes us aware of...

Posted by Boudicca at March 21, 2009 07:30 PM

It's spooky to realize that some of the folks you know from your kids' schools may be sickos. Our youngest son installs solar water heaters. A few weeks ago he informed us he'd just completed a job at a nudist colony. (I had no clue anything like that even existed here in the buckle of the Bible Belt -- and it's right up the road not forty miles outside Fort Worth.)

Anyway, Ben shared: "All these nudists are a bunch of old farts. I'm mean, they're like your age, Dad!"

"Wow, that old, eh?"

"Yeah, and the weird thing is, a bunch of them are school teachers."

"Anyone you knew, Ben?"

"Naaah, man. That would be so twisted. I just took the word of the guy we were working for that a lot of them teach school in the DFW area."

Personally, I'm just glad I was so clueless back when our kids were in school. My imagination is just too vivid to face another parent day with the knowledge that some of these folks would rather be teaching in the buff.

Posted by: Bob at March 21, 2009 10:43 PM

Great. Now I have that John Anderson country song from the 80's in my head.

"Just a swangin'..."

Posted by: Roses at March 22, 2009 01:12 PM

Bob- I know that everyone has their own life outside of children, but wow. Maybe I don't need to know. Heh.

Roses- Oh no. That was in my head too. As soon as she said it. It may have been more like Swahngers... or Swaihngers, but it definitely reminded of that song.

Posted by: Bou at March 22, 2009 07:43 PM

I very rarely google anyone anymore.

I did, however, meet a woman a couple of weeks back. Asked her out, got her number and my phone didn't save it. I had only her first name and the fact that she worked at UT. Not her exact job, just somewhere at the University of TX.
Still, I managed to find her facebook, flicker account, linked in account, last name, daughter's name, pictures of her (and her friends), her work number, her work email, and videos she had posted on you tube. The good news is that I called her at work and saved the date.

Me, I'm 99.9% ungooglable. Even if you know my full name and where I'm from. You will find 1000x more under K-Nine, than my real name.

Oh, and I have noticed that most of the people into swinging, are not normally people you want to swing with.

Posted by: K-Nine at March 23, 2009 06:59 AM

For some reason, you bring up swingers and I think back to an old episode of All In The Family where Edith invites a couple of swingers over, not understanding exactly what the modern definition of "swinging" meant.

Posted by: diamond dave at March 23, 2009 03:50 PM

Here is where I should warn people...

Think of this information in the same way you do info in the newspapers. What you find on the net about people is not always true. For that matter it is FAR easier to put up lies and innuendo on the web.

There have been any number of people who have "cyber stalkers" people who are tech savvy enough to put up disinformation about someone they hate, up to and including terrible web sites with photoshopped pictures.

So if you run across some information about someone and you have no way to double check it to be sure it's true (and that would NOT be talking to another person who might have seen the same stuff online) take what you find with a big grain of salt. Confirm, confirm, confirm.

One has to even be careful of law enforcement web site information. There are many people with the same names, in the same towns, and there are often mistakes made. One of my friends is married to a guy who gets stopped at the airport every time he flies because he has the same name (and lives in the same town) with a "troublemaker". Even though he is fine and has never broken the law, that doesn't matter, the computer stops him every single time. He has even been harassed when he's gotten a ticket.

It's still the wild west out there. Skepticism is your friend.

Posted by: Teresa at March 23, 2009 05:24 PM

OMG - "StAIpford Wiiife" is soooo going into my vocabulary. RIGHT NOW! That is awesome!

Posted by: Richmond at March 23, 2009 05:55 PM