The humor of asking for advice on the internet

Social networking can be many things – fun, helpful, frightening and weird – but sometimes it’s just funny.

I read a lot of parenting sites to look for gems to share on PARENtEEN, something I started for Christian parents of teenagers some years ago.  Yesterday, I decided to solicit from advice from other moms on one of these sites.  I don’t usually do this, but I needed a place to get my creative juices flowing after beginning the annual search for the perfect Christmas gifts.

When I asked my 20-year-old daughter, Kelsey, what she would like this year, she told me she didn’t want any more “stuff.”  She said she would rather have experiences at this stage of her life.  What a smart girl!  It’s the perfect time in her life to pursue new things.  However, as I thought about it, I was stumped for ideas.  Most of these “experiences” are pretty costly.

So I posted my question on the parenting site.  I did indeed get some great ideas.  (Sorry, I won’t share them on here because I suspect Kelsey will read this blog post!)  I got some really goofy suggestions too, but mostly, the ideas were just plain funny because these complete strangers don’t know my daughter.

For example, they have no way of knowing Kelsey has a sensitivity to heights.  Thus, I have to rule out a hot air balloon ride, flight lessons, sky diving (both indoor and outdoor), ziplines, and helicopter rides.

They also had no idea how much Kelsey hates cold weather, in spite of growing up in the upper Midwest.  Somehow, I don’t think she would enjoy skiing or ice skating lessons.  And, since she froze while camping at a music festival (in the middle of summer), I believe I’ll toss out the idea of getting her something to use for camping.

Someone said I should send her to a local festival.  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that person doesn’t live in Wisconsin.  For those of you who don’t, every little town for miles around has a festival.  Our town has Kornfest.  Yep.  And it’s not a celebration of the band Korn.  People eat corn and drink beer.  No kidding.

One person suggested giving her a class at the local technical school.  Since she’s enrolled there, I don’t think she would find that to be the kind of experience she was looking for.  Another person recommended a YMCA membership.  Sorry folks, she works there and already has one!

Kelsey has an aversion to video games, so I’ll pass on the gift certificate for a gaming place.

Some of the ideas were funny just because I have a hard time picturing Kelsey doing these things:  rock climbing, shooting a gun or bow at an indoor range, or car racing.  Maybe that’s not fair of me, but I’m sure Kelsey will let me know if she’s interested.   That includes arranging a ride along in an ambulance on the off chance she might be intrigued by a career as an EMT.

However, this was my favorite and the funniest, by far:  find a farmer to teach her how to operate a tractor, forklift, or other large piece of machinery.  Really?  That’s a gift you would give your 20-year-old daughter?  Living in a hick town in Wisconsin, that one tickled me pink.

On the internet, I guess sometimes you get what you ask for.  Lesson learned!

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One Comment

  1. emmila2015
    Posted October 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    some of those things in beginning kinda sound fun to me lol

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