Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

A Different View

Even the coolest of parents will always be old fogeys

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It should have surprised no one to learn that Facebook will soon be the new Bebo, consigned to the refuse tip of technology because its primary market – teenagers – don’t want to be seen using the same social media site as their parents.

It’s not just the notion of their parents accessing photographs of them drinking Buckfast through their noses or displaying their backsides to the world at three in the morning – it’s simply the fact that their parents are able to use the same forum as they are.

And that’s the same as it ever was – because if anything is popular with your parents, it’s simply not for you.

We like to think we’ve drawn on the experiences of our own youth to make us cooler mothers and fathers than our own were. But the reality is that your own kids look on you in exactly the same way that you looked on your own parents a generation earlier.

We may think we’re still ‘with it’ – even the use of the phrase betrays our ages – but the reality from their perspective is that we’re actually portly, balding, cardigan wearers whose heyday was somewhere between the seventies and the eighties.

When they look at us, we need to remember what we saw when we were their age looking at our parents 30 or more years ago – middle-aged people wearing Farah slacks paired with sports jackets with leather elbow patches.

We’re part of a generation they now study in history, contemporaries of the old guys they give a passing glance to on Reeling in the Years.

And perhaps later in life, when everyone is an adult and ideally a parent in their own right, you might move onto an adult friendship of sorts, a conversation among equals and a time when you aren’t a constant source of acute embarrassment through their every waking minute.

But for now, the notion of them liking the same things as we do is absurd; they don’t want you talking about new music or movies or websites. They want you to read your books, correspond with people via the telephone and stay away from cool sites you know nothing about.

A friend of ours recently told her son that his new chinos were cool (mistake number one) and that they were exactly the sort of trousers his father would buy (mistake number two), which only ensured that said pants were given one outing and then left at the bottom of the wardrobe.

No self-respecting teenager wants to wear the same sort of clothes as his dad, no more than they want to double up for shopping trips to Jack & Jones.

Dads shouldn’t wear football shirts anyway – unless they’re actually playing football – but there’s no way that the teenagers want to look like some Liverpool version of Little and Large in their matching Standard Chartered strips.

Parents are embarrassing enough in reality without actually taking their nonsense onto the World Wide Web; there is some consolation if they can confine their mortifications to the house or at least their immediate surroundings.

But putting up their pictures on Facebook – and in particular pictures of their children accompanied by some gushing explanation – is a different level of humiliation altogether.

Which is why this teenage exodus should surprise no one – and the moment of departure is normally minutes after your mother requests you to become her friend.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Grandparents are the glue that became unstuck during Covid

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

IT goes without saying that lockdown has been hard for everyone – with the possible exception of hermits – but few have felt it more than grandparents, confined to barracks and deprived of those hugs from the grandchildren.

Looking at them through windows may only have made it worse, because little kids don’t understand why nana and granddad won’t come out; they don’t realise they want to, more than anything in the whole world.

This pandemic has given us plenty of time to reflect; a chance to remember what is truly important and what we should cherish instead of taking for granted.

And arguably, grandparents should be on top of that list.

You’ll have heard it said that being a grandparent is like you’ve been given a second chance; an opportunity to spend time in retirement with the next generation that work deprived you of when it came to your own.

There’s also a notion espoused by some of those grandparents that you love them more than your own kids, because this time, when you’re finished playing with them, you can give them back.

I never knew any of my four grandparents, because they were all dead before I was born. My own sons never knew my parents because they too had long departed before the next generation arrived.

But thankfully they did grow up with two grandparents as an integral part of their lives – and not just minding them, which they did with a commitment for which we will be ever grateful.

The measure of success in this department is that your children see your parents as just a part of the family; there’s an easy familiarity every time they meet, just like picking up the pieces without a second thought.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Home is still full of memories even when it’s an empty nest

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

We’ve all heard the phrase – and perhaps dread the concept; the empty nest, after the fledglings take flight and you’re left rattling around in a quiet house with just memories of those days of pandemonium and noise.

The social policy-makers would tell you that this is the time to downsize; save yourself the steps of the stairs and the cleaning, and cut down on the heating bills to enjoy your autumn days in accommodation more appropriate to your reduced needs.

And from a purely economic perspective, there’s merit in that. You have a house that’s now too big for you, and others can’t find a home of any size, let alone one sufficient for a full family – but that’s only one side of the argument.

The other is that your house is your home, and not because of its size – it’s because of its location, and your familiarity with its every nook and cranny. It’s also where those fly-away chicks still see as home, even if they’re now no more than occasional visitors.

As you grow older, familiarity is more important than ever; without the beautiful distraction of children, you grow even more dependent on neighbours and your community and the facilities you know on your old doorstep.

You know how long it takes to get to the shops or to the pub; you know you to give a spare key to in case you’re out when a delivery is due – or later on, if there’s a fear you might have a fall.

Your lifetime’s treasures – except for the children – are in your home; the sort of stuff others might see as clutter, but to you they are memories of holidays or graduations or births or marriages…those glory days that marked the chapters of your family life.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Authors’ pot luck – or insight into predicting a terrible future

Dave O'Connell

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It’s eerie how some people can appear to have an ability to see into the future; forecasting an event or a phenomenon, years – sometimes even centuries – before it comes to pass.

Much was made this year of a number of books and movies that anticipated what we now know as the Coronavirus pandemic; predictions that even led to renewed interest in publications like Daniel Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year that goes back to 1722.

Edgar Allan Poe described a fictional epidemic at the centre of his short story, the Masque of the Red Death.

“No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its avatar and its seal—the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains and sudden dizziness and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.”

More recently, Albert Camus’ the Plague explored the human toll of epidemics back in 1947 – and of course, the end of the world has been the subject of more movies than almost anything else.

But that’s not really suggesting they have some incredible insight into the future; Dystopian plots or backdrops are almost standard fare, and the spread of some toxin or virus is the easiest vehicle for writer’s to plot.

That doesn’t mean the reader or viewer isn’t stopped in their tracks when they come across a piece or a film that appears to have predicted the future.

One such slim volume that fulfils that brief is really just a long essay, entitled Here is New York.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement

Weather

Weather Icon
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending