Recently, a friend asked if I could collect her DD from school and drop her off on my way home. My munchkins were super excited; anything to mix up the norm, and push the boundaries of car etiquette (not that there is much of that in my car, despite my attempts!).
The first few KMs were filled with the usual high frequency chatter which only those 8 and under (and dogs) can compute. Turning up the volume on the radio, I tried to tune out the squeals…but it seemed these car creatures thought it was a ‘who-can-squeal-the-loudest-most-piercing-squeal-ever competition’. I lost.
Then came the ‘boys v girls’ chat, a two-aside battle of the ‘gob’. It was surprisingly evenly matched. The boys challenged with ‘fart’ and ‘burp’ power. The girls responded with wicked (and by that, I mean ‘clever’) put downs, and shrill, superior cackles.
As I once again reached for the volume knob on the radio, our guest piped up with something that was not offensive to my nasal or aural senses. Her little face suggested her message was an important one. Keen to hear what she was saying, I turned down the volume on the radio.
‘It is not good to meet someone online who you have never met before in life’ she shouted from the 3rd row of the car!
I thought I heard her talk about safety issues when using the internet, but given her tender age of 7, I wasn’t quite sure a 7 year old would have knowledge about such things. I asked her to repeat what she said, and sure enough, I had heard right. Apparently, the words of wisdom were passed down from her older, young teen sister.
I got to thinking about the sense of teaching kids about the potential dangers of 21st century technology. Maybe adults could take note.
At work, a secretary has met someone through an online dating agency. He lives in an unstable Middle East country, and unlike her, is not Catholic. In the 2 months they have been emailing, Facebooking, Skyping, they have planned their wedding for early next year! They have not met in person. She has a daughter under the age of 10. Her 18 year old is back home. His parents are pushing for marriage as soon as possible. She wants time to plan the meringue dress, tiara and party. February has been decided as the more appropriate date.
Most at work have offered their blessings; others have not, going so far as to try to talk her out of it in the most blunt of terms, just as a responsible parent of a love-struck teen would. Marrying a muslim in a muslim country is not as straight forward as marriages in other countries. Marrying someone you have never met brings with it a whole other raft of problems.
To her credit, she has listened to both sides, and decided that should it not work out, she will walk away.
Perhaps she needs to consult DD’s 7 year old friend. If she did, she might find out that it is not so easy to ‘walk away’ here.