Interviewing Britney

No, not that Britney!

I met Britney (a pseudonym), an 18-year-old young girl, on the chairlift on May 31, 2011 at Mammoth Mountain.  She wasn’t wearing a helmet and I gave her my usual helmet lecture (see “Parental Hypocrisy” column).  She ended up sharing a bit of her story with me. She was living on her own, supporting herself, homeschooling herself, learning to snowboard, and planning on working all summer – all with her parent’s permission.

Her situation was intriguing given that so many parents worry that their kids can support themselves, even after college, let alone finishing up high school without supervision. I had to know more so I invited her for coffee, expressing my sincere interest in her story. Following are excerpts, in her own words and vernacular, from my interview with Brittney. Please note that I rambled while I was interviewing Britney:

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Just A Guy Struggling With Whining Kids

“I HATE it,” or “I HATE my teacher,” or “I HATE that restaurant.”  Sound familiar.  When my younger son uses that word or is complaining or whining as much as he and his older brother do, I find myself going nuts on them.  “You HATE” such and such?  There are things to hate in this world, like terrorists, rapists, serial murderers, taxes, Britney Spears and Renee Zellweger, but an item of food, a less than terrific teacher?

This falls under the category of spoiled rotten.  I must’ve done something to encourage this behavior and my new wife always gives me “the look” when they act that way; the look that says, “well, where do you think they got it from?”  I then give her the look that says, “bug off,” and we go on to a fight from there.  Okay, just kidding.  Sort of. read more