July 30, 2007
No Fun Monday for me this week. Amy over at A Family Story is the host and wants to see my fridge. That’s not going to happen. We have been cutting down trees and shrubs all day and I’m wiped. I opened the fridge and asked if she was ready for company and she said not without a once over. I agree. So to see the other Fun Monday posts, head on over to Amy’s and she’ll send you on your way.
This challenge reminded me of a keynote I heard recently by Dr. Will Miller. He is an excellent comedian among other things. During his presentation he physically shifted from the teacher – counselor – therapist persona to the comic, stepping to the side of the podium and then back again. I don’t think he lost the audience once and nowadays that’s quite an accomplishment. It was good to belly laugh and we all did.
Anyway, he talked a little about Refrigerator Rights and who has them. Who can open your refrigerator without asking? Can you open theirs without asking? He said that those friends who are comfortable raiding your fridge are close enough to be family and in this day and age they are few. Because we do not form the type of relationships that afford refrigerator rights, the day to day emotional and social support systems are missing.
He attributed this in part to our mobility and technology. We tend not to stay in one place very long and although we are connected through electronic media, we know more about the television personalities than our neighbors. Acquaintances do not become friends of the refrigerator rights kind.
He ran us through a little exercise where we shouted out the names of all the characters on the Jetsons. We didn’t miss one. We didn’t do so well when it came to numbering those in our lives who have refrigerator rights. Interesting.
Living in the same neighborhood that I grew up in, I can see a dramatic change. I can tell you who lived in many of the houses 40 years ago, and all of the members of their family. I may even be able to tell you the names of their pets. I’ve been back now for about 10 years. We wave at our neighbors and exchange pleasantries, but only really know two by name. We are friendly, but don’t come anywhere near having refrigerator rights.
Back in the day, when a family grieved the neighborhood pulled together to make sure they were taken care of. We had an annual picnic at the big park and if you weren’t there we all new why, or worried because we didn’t. All of the kids in the subdivision were in the 4-H club and at Halloween we had a progressive dinner where we walked from house to house for different parts of the meal that all the moms had cooked. If Mr. Dugle was out of town for the night, everyone watched out for his family. There was a sense of responsibility and caring, and it is different now. Do you see it too?
On the other hand, I’m not letting anyone in my refrigerator today.
No refrigerator rights for you at gawilli’s. Nope. None.
So it may be just me.