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The things I’d never write

The things I’d never write

Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2009 8:01 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

With the children out of school for summer, lots of people have hit the road and gone on a little vacation. Others are busy outside keeping their lawn manicured to perfection, watering their tomato plants, swimming at the pool or making sun tea.

SO, I think early June is the PERFECT time to write the column I’ve always wanted to write, but have been afraid to write. I mean, after all, no one’s reading newspaper columns right now, right? Right. Perfect time for me to say all the things I’d never say out loud.

Here are all the little things I’d never really write in a newspaper column:

I don’t like it when little girls wear make-up in public. I’m sorry. That gives me the creeps. People who are checking out a whole cart full of groceries should let the person behind them go first if that person has only two items. I think it’s odd when adults are willing to spend all their time and energy living through their children’s activities. I think it’s healthier to live a purposeful adult life and give the children a bird’s eye view into that adult world.

I don’t like beauty pageants for little children. You’re supposed to take your cap off indoors, especially at the dinner table. A young man who sits on a bench while an old woman is standing up should be sent to do community service. Giving children everything they want is a socially-acceptable form of child abuse.

I understand that some people can’t spell. I have no problem with that. But if you’re a non-speller, DO NOT take charge of the church sign out front. Tanning beds make sense only if you believe in cooking human beings. The word “your” refers to something a person possesses. Your purse. Your life. Your sanity. The word “you’re” means “you are.” You’re a nice person. You’re driving me crazy. You’re going to regret reading this column.

When a doctor’s office is decorated with expensive leather furniture, I check my bill more carefully. I don’t think every child in America has to have braces because perfect teeth are not a necessity in order to live a fulfilling life. If organized sports were the only way children could learn teamwork and leadership, America could have never produced an Abraham Lincoln or a George Washington. The person who wrote my fourth-grader’s social studies book should be put in prison for making the excitement of American history read like the ingredients on a cereal box.

Our entire culture has tried to think up more and more ways to entertain my child, which is ironic considering the fact that self-esteem is best built through hard work and the sense of accomplishment that hard work brings. People who think they’re better than other people are insecure and childish. Food snobs make me laugh because the thought that sushi is somehow more sophisticated than cornbread is a figment of one’s imagination. Picky eaters need to travel to a third world country. People who tell me how wonderful they are … convince me that they’re not. A lover of things will never be satisfied.

Oh, and there’s one more thing I want to make perfectly clear. If you’ve managed to read this whole column, I’m sure you’ve figured it out already. Writers tend to be impulsive and emotionally unstable.


Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. Her book “The Smartt View: Life, Love, and Cluttered Closets” is available at The Messenger, The University of Tennessee at Martin bookstore or by mail for $10, plus $2 shipping. Send checks to Lisa Smartt, 300 Parrott Road, Dresden TN 38225. She can be reached by e-mail at

Published in The Messenger 6.3.09


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