07 May 2011

Oster Isn't Evil Either

"Do you want to go to a Moms group with me?"

I have a friend, let's call her April, that decided that attending a Moms group with me would be fun. She admitted never having been to this one before. She'd heard about it through the grapevine.

The Mom grapevine is pretty awesome. It has been a longstanding tradition and wealth of knowledge to Moms all over the planet: the best consignment stores, what wine goes best with canned cheeze and ritz, the best stance against a penguin attack, or juicy stuff, like instructions on how to effortlessly cheese off the PTA crowd.

Shouting out, "I OBJECT, YOUR HONOR!" (this is pure gold) in the middle of a heated debate over why students should be forbidden to wear band t-shirts.

This time, news of a Moms group came down the grapevine. A secret club held in a public place. Lots of moms. Seasoned moms. New moms. Stepford Moms. Realistic Moms. Moms who have developed an unfortunate interest in sensible shoes. Moms with SUV's the size of small countries (complete with sticker of a half, smashed-in baseball mounted on the back window).

This was women en masse needing a little break from the daily grind to partake of strong coffee, breakfast casseroles, and delicious gossip from the Mom grapevine. 

April is an amazing friend and I, trusting her judgement of all things Mom-Groupy, said I'd go with her. My kids are out of the toddler phase and in school. However, the draw was not the meeting in particular but hanging out with one of my favorite bloggy/oxygen world peeps. Coffee, breakfast, and meeting like-minded women were just a bonus.

I was quiet at this meeting because a)I only knew one other person, b)it's easier to count the available exits when you aren't engaged in conversation with someone else, and c)a closed mouth catches no feet.

I'm not one for big group meetings. The older I get, the more comfortable I am in my own skin which affords a nice balance of quiet and deeper friendships with those I do open up to. Friends like April who take me to Moms meetings and help me not to laugh outloud when someone says something we could turn into blog fodder.

It's rude to laugh at a group speaker. I think I learned that from the Mom grapevine...or Horders, or something.

I sat quietly and read the Four Bean Enchilada recipe in the Moms Group flyer while April inspected the contents of her purse. She was feeling a bit left out only knowing one or two other moms there. I brought her back to reality serenading her with a short rendition of the Space Ghost song, "I Love Beans". She then thanked me profusely for coming with her.

I did have fun. The two speakers were idealistic and conservative but to each their own. The ladies at my table were really great and asked how April and I met. We answered proudly, "Blogging!".

This is why the irony of the Moms Group topic was not lost on me: Technology. How to use our time with technology wisely, how technology can negatively affect our families, and how to free yourself from technology addiction.

Technology addiction? I don't understand those words together.

 I believe the general consensus was that Facebook is evil, the web is a tool (yeah, keep reading), Facebook is evil, you must give 110% to your family regardless of the impact on your own person, and that Facebook will ruin your life, waistline, marriage, etc...

It turned out that out of the 9 women at our small group table, nearly half of us had jobs or demands that required technology. A real estate job. Web developing. Online school. Web design. As April so sagely pointed out, technology is not going away.

She found that nugget of wisdom on Wikipedia.

I had to speak up at our small group table. When it comes down to brass tacks, no object is inherently good or evil. Man makes it good or evil. I pointed out to the women at our table that no matter your view on technology, the idea that the internet or smart phones, or videos are evil is missing the point.

The issue is lack of self-control.

For instance, you walk into your kitchen twice a day, pull out your Oster blender and make a giant chocolate shake.You gain weight and can't wear your skinny jeans anymore. Who gets the blame? The evil blender will not take responsibility for your lack of self-control.

One woman shared, "I was online every day for 30 minutes and my husband finally came to me and said, 'You have a problem.'"

(and here, you judged me for laughing just a minute ago)

If Mr Coffee ever did that to me.....no. I take that back. He would never be that opposite of smart.

This dude sounds like fun. Doormatty Wife fun. If I'm a stay-at-home mom and I have a clean house and my tasks for the day are done, why not go online or dive into a book.

Reality is this: to make myself happy and healthy for my family, I need some down time. Mr Coffee needs his down time. Alone time. Time out. Time for me.

My daughter says that even sharks and astronauts have alone time.

Well, yeah.

She's 8. She's really smart.

Another woman shared that Facebook made her have discontent in her life, "My girlfriends get together without me. Aunt Judy went on vacation to Hawaii. A friend got flowers from her husband. So-and-so got a new car... "

Facebook made her feel discontent. It MADE her do it. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg didn't just steal from the Winklevoss twins, he's now stealing your peace of mind through Facebook.

That Facebook is one powerful bastard.

The fact remains that indeed, a Facebook user may very well feel discontent with their life. Jealousy, envy, insecurity, and a covetous mindset has nothing to do with discontent. It's that that evil Facebook's fault.

Or you could just blame it on the blender.

~Bee is blaming New Balance trainers for losing weight
Listening to Brighter Discontent by The Submarines.


pshene said...

Everybody consistently strains for ways to feel better than others, including now bragging rights to not spending a whole 30 minutes a day on Facebook. (That hubby was a turd).

But I prefer to reserve that sense of superiority for the fact I'm ON Facebook, staying in touch with friends and family, showing interest in their lives, letting them reciprocate that and occasionally making the occasional person laugh or think.

That, and my despising Lady Gaga and the cast of Jersey Shore.

Shéa MacLeod said...

So, I guess that makes me devil spawn for being one of the ones CAUSING all the envy by flaunting my fabulous jet setting life style through the medium of (evil) Facebook. By embracing (evil) Facebook. By not being moronic enough to allow anyone to tell me I can't spend 30 minutes a day on(evil) Facebook if I want.

Man, I am going to a fiery hell.

Your daughter is incredibly wise. Sharks and Astronauts... I nearly spewed my coffee.

Skerrib said...

Brilliant! Come join my moms' group, please.

Dapoppins said...

and when that blender came dancing through my brain, followed by heavy cream, chocolate, some ice cream, and chocolate chips, I thought it was heaven sent! Now I know the devil is after me! Help!

Heffalump said...

I would have been tempted to bring my laptop to the next meeting...
It's all about how you spin something, and you are totally right...it's all about self control!
And now I REALLY want a chocolate shake!

mertle said...

I know, I'm really deep. Or just lazy. Yeah, that's it. I don't have time to type a whole comment, I have too many Facebook posts to wade through. Cuz I have to read them all, ya know! Facebook is the anti-Christ! :P

Mrs4444 said...

You're funny. Who needs a moms group when you have Blogger? I attend meetings regularly, get the same benefits. Plus, it's calorie-free!

Sarahgrace said...

Love this post, and definitely agree with your viewpoint as to humans making an object good or evil.

Millie said...

My car is evil because I used it to drive around while I was having that extramarital affair.

(OK, that was seriously just an example)

THANK YOU for pointing out how (not) evil Facebook is. Dang, I get sick of secretly technology-challenged people looking down their noses at me for knowing how to negotiate my way around social networking.

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