Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Carly Rae Jepsen Should Call Me & There's No Maybe About It

One downside of raising my children in Los Angeles is that they are unlikely to grow up with a finished basement.  I have so many memories of mine from a childhood back east.

Endless games of Sorry and Electronic Battleship were my foundation for learning Mom's #1 Rule.  When you start a game, you finish it, no matter how badly you are losing.

(She, on the other hand, should have quit while she was ahead.)
In 1980 our basement flooded, forcing my toys to seek refuge on an 8 foot tall train table that I'd ultimately fall from, breaking my elbow and arm, leaving a nasty several inch scar that remains today.

And then there were the cold headaches.

But if a soundtrack existed for those years, it wouldn’t be my favorite New Edition album or a whiney “Mooom, Scott farted on me (again)”, but rather the synchronizer-based ditty that accompanied this staple image:

My first lessons in both technology and economics were learned on the 1984 Apple IIc game Lemonade Stand.  Each night, you’d guess how much lemonade to make and what to charge per glass the next day.  Then click “enter” and a daily forecast would appear.  A sunny day and you were the kid with the coolest Swatch on the block.  Thunderstorms, and you were screwed.  Eat your heart out, Al Roker.

Today, my knowledge of economics and meteorology don’t extend far beyond what they did three decades ago.  Just last week my daughter asked me to make “real” lemonade.  We headed not to a computer or pantry, but to an awesome lemon tree and got to work.

We didn’t sell the finished product, but we should have, and quickly.

In recent years, law enforcement has been shutting down kids' lemonade stands and fining parents for not maintaining the proper permitting.  (True story.  Check out Lemonade Freedom for more info.)  

Now, I am apolitical to a fault, but this is insane to me- partly because it seems the world's greatest waste of time, and partly because I want my girls to maintain even the slightest chance of spotting Ben Affleck at an illicit neighborhood lemonade stand.

We live in a society where important issues often lack deserved attention until an even semi-relevant celebrity sheds light (or darkness) upon it.  Demi Moore's drug-induced 911 call made people question the ethics behind such calls being released.  Junior Seau's tragic suicide brought attention to the controversial study of football-related concussions leading to depression.  But by that point it's too late... or is it?

I've learned that sometimes all we need is a catalyst.  The key is not to wait for one, but to be one.

So the next time the girls and I make lemonade, I am inviting Carly Rae Jepsen to sell it with us.

Carly Rae, call me.