February 08, 2012 - (Here's a Re-run of this Jim's Jottings which first appeared in print on June 14, 1973.)
I sometimes feel like I was cheated out of being 18-and 19-years-old.
This feeling is especially prevalent now that our son is nearing 19. It's not that I want to be 18 or 19 again, someone might start another war and I'd be right back where I was in the mid 40's.
My live was regimented. Some guy with his hand on the light switch and another with a horn or whistle covered both ends of my day, while in between we followed the rules of ALNAV 101. For you landlubbers, ALNAV is "All Navy," and their rules covered everything.
Son Jim sort of comes and goes, checking in for showers and change (clothes change, not money change). He does leave the house for work. I'd have to talk to his boss to see if he actually works when he gets there.
Like many others in his age bracket, he'd much rather not work or at least not get up. I think he'd like to work, between 1 and 4 p.m. for a day's pay, if his 3 hours counted as overtime.
I feel I've accepted his being legal age more than he has. Whatever trouble he gets into is legally his trouble. He might like to have a crutch or place to reach for help, but the law says he has the responsibility.
We can give help and guidance, maybe even suffer with him, but the majority decided 18 was an adult age.
Starting a month before I was 18, I didn't have to reach for guidance. It was spelled out in an ALNAV bulletin. Son Jim, at 18-19, accepts guidance about the way I would have, begrudgingly.
It's an age when both boys and girls have all the answers already.
At 18-19 our son does what we used to call carousing around, and our parents called it sowing wild oats. We seldom see him for meals, evenings bring traffic jams as plans are made and we only hear him at night when those great, huge heels hit the steps leading to his room.
Too big to spank, too old to discipline, too mature to sweet talk, too immature to make "right" decisions, lacks desire, enthusiasm and willingness to work at the things I know are good for him.
Probably a little of what I feel for the 18-19-year-old boys is envy. Imagine being able to goof off in college for six months, then live it up with only minor restrictions at home for six months?
A beer. A gal. And, a car at 18-19. Wow!
What I missed!
Doggone that Hitler and those Japs.
* I know exercising, like walking, is supposed to be good for me, so why do I park as close as I can to entrances to whatever?
* A talking head on television said technology, more than anything else, has created most of the unemployment. When I mentioned that to friend, he asked, "So I guess inventing the steam engine was a bad thing?"
* Same idea. A car company is telling us to buy their car because over time it will save us money.
* Postage stamps put on envelopes upside down during WWII meant "I love you!" I never got any of those.
* This ain't right. Some are raising burial costs because of the rising cost of living.
* Some Uppers think fast food is hitting a deer at 65 miles an hour.
Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.