Thursday, June 7, 2012

Respecting Privacy

My best girl texted me recently to tell me that her husband is an asshole. She told me why he was an asshole, knowing full well that when texting the Ice Princess such information, the response could go either way. I might have sided with my girl and agreed that he was a full-blown asshole, or I could have said something like, “Maybe he’s having a rough time at work.” My response depends on the situation at hand. I generally side with the girlfriends, but occasionally need to make excuses for a man behaving badly. I do this when my male friends complain about their wives too. I’m an equal opportunity listener like that.

In this case, I agreed that said husband was an asshole. What happened shortly thereafter confirmed that fact to me. Five minutes after I texted my affirmative response, I get another text from my friend. Only this time, my friend didn’t write it. Her husband picked up her phone, read our exchange and texted me to tell me that his wife is a big whiner.

Where do I fucking start?

Oh, I know… respecting privacy. I’m a freak about this. I’ll freely admit it. I had a sister who stole stuff from me and went through my room on a regular basis. Make-up, books, jewelry, cassettes, ANYTHING would go missing at any given time. In fact, one time a friend of hers came over wearing my ‘cute butt’ jeans. I made her drop trou right then and there and took my shit back. I’m still bitter about a super cute pink jean jacket with bows (circa 1989, folks!) that went missing. Of course, no one ever owned up to taking it and it was probably my fault anyway because I didn’t lock my door.

What’s that, you ask? Yes, the way my parents solved the issue of my sister’s sneaky, thieving behavior… they installed a lock on my bedroom door. When she figured out how to pick the lock, they threw up their hands and said, “We don’t know what else to do!” Three words people: electric shock collar.

It doesn’t take years of psychotherapy to confirm that is why I am a stickler for privacy in my house. The girls should be able to keep items they treasure safely in their rooms (food and live animals excluded). They should not have to worry that their sister will come in and take their things for any reason. What is in their bedrooms should not be touched by anyone but themselves. As a parent, I reserve the right to enter their bedrooms and take inventory of the current state of their being.

I have argued with girlfriends and I have argued with EN about this: everyone deserves some level of privacy and I will NOT snoop through my children’s’ things UNLESS I HAVE REASON TO BELIEVE THEY ARE IN TROUBLE OR CAUSING TROUBLE. I am of the opinion that I am around my girls enough to have a pretty good idea of what’s going on with them. I don’t need to read their love letters or their journals. The moment I have an inking something isn’t right, I will be all over them like white on rice. Until then, privacy is to be respected.

Sugar is of the age that she’s asked for an email account and has a free texting application on her iPod. The first test of my stance on privacy. I have talked to Sugar about the need to be safe online, and I told her that I will regularly go through her email inbox and outbox, and I will look through her texts. I don’t read what she or her friends say, but I do make sure she’s not emailing/texting people she doesn’t know. At this stage, Sugar is still young enough that she will read me various emails and texts. In general, 11 year olds are not cool. Or funny. However, they think they are and I laugh along with their wacky jokes, just to keep the lines of communication open.

I have other friends that will look through their spouse’s purse, wallet, cell phone and email accounts. A friend once told me a conversation she had with her boss. Her boss had recently lost his wife and he was saying how he wished he would have told her he loved her so much he even carried their wedding vows in his wallet. My friend said, “Oh, if that’s in your wallet, you can bet she knew about it.” I was absolutely floored. Until that moment, it had never occurred to me to search through EN’s wallet. I ask permission before I even take a dollar from his wallet. And if I go into the wallet, I grab what I said I was going to get and move on. I know the passwords to his Facebook, email accounts, cell phone and have access to his bank account. I would never infringe on his space and snoop.

It’s my thought that if you go where you don’t belong, you aren’t going to like what you find. There will be something somewhere that will cause pain or sadness, and I’d rather live in a state of oblivion. Do I think EN is up to no good when I’m not around? Of course not. Do I think he tells me every blessed thing that he talks about all day long? Of course not. Do I think he’s taken the Ice Princesses name in vain a time or two? You bet your ass. Do I want to know exactly what he said? Hell no. He was obviously wrong anyway.     

That’s how we roll in my house. I also expect my kids and husband to treat my things with the same respect. Ask before you go into my purse. Yes, you can have my passwords, I have nothing to hide. Except maybe that time I called EN Assface for taking two weeks to hang up a bathroom mirror. Or the time I blogged Sugar’s runaway note.


Ice Princess

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