Mike and Mike is a sports show that appears early weekdays on ESPN. I like it because the two hosts work well together and they are just as likely to talk about their favorite movies as they do sports. In other words, they keep sports in proper perspective.
This week, Mike Golic, a former pro football player is talking about his son, who is almost the same age as my Michael. Golic’s son, an academic all american football player at Notre Dame, sent his mother a mother’s day card in the US mail last year. Attached to the card was a notice for postage due-Golic’s son had only placed a one cent stamp on the envelope.
His son said that he used a one cent stamp because it was the cheapest stamp available. In other words, he had no clue about sending stuff in regular mail.
At first, I laughed.
And then, I thought, “Holy sh_t”. That could have easily been my Michael.
Now, Mike’s a real smart kid that graduated from a top university. So, it’s not like he has serious issues. But, as his best friend Martin said, more then once, “Mike’s the dumbest smart kid I know.”
So, when it comes to stuff that adults take for granted, I have some major concerns. I tried to think of times when Mike had to send us stuff through the mail, and I could not even think of one. Everything was done electronically. So, he might well be lost in an American post office.
So I had the opportunity to check. I went to visit him in new york city for father’s day and went out to lunch. I asked him how many times he had used the outgoing services of the post office in his life.
Obviously he was able to pay his bills electronically, and send messages via email , text messenger and fax.
I started thinking about my youth with regard to the post office. One summer, at the age of 14, I had a long distance summer love. Wrote her a letter every day for the entire summer. Wrote to other folks, too. Often researched long term school projects by writing to foreign government embassies, headquarters, and public relations departments.
Took weeks. Now it takes about thirty seconds on my phone.
But it’s not just the post office where I have been a negligent parent.
Recently, Mike lost his cell phone. Totally hopeless. Could not even begin to go about the process of replacing it ( I had insured it so believe me when I tell you that this was not rocket science). He had to call me on a borrowed phone and ask me to take charge of the entire replacement operation. At one point, I had to ask Mike what his work address was. Might as well have asked him to recite the periodic table of the elements. That task took several days.
I just don’t want to think about all of the other ways I have been the worst parent in the universe. No use thinking about obvious things he doesn’t know.
Won’t do me any good.
Anyway, he is finding a way to survive living in new york city without these critical life skills.
So, I guess he will be OK.