Hang In There, Lori Loughlin

I have had so many emotions about Lori Loughlin lately.  And, I can’t believe that my three favorite things – kids, education, and celebrities collided in such a ridiculous and huge way.  

Like some of you, I have grown up with her. She found her way into our hearts on Full House – the pretty, innocent foil to Jesse’s bad guy. Blah blah. I guess from that, we knew that she was honest, hard-working, and loaded with integrity. Why? What is our fascination with celebrities and why on earth do we think they have any redeeming qualities? I am not saying all celebs are idiots (although there are so many that fit into that category). I am just saying – why do we care what someone thinks whom we don’t know. And these are people who make their living pretending to be other people. We really have no idea who they are because they have no idea who they are.

At first, I felt that she was just doing what she could do to help her kids. Walking along, making every decision with their future in mind. There are so many decisions to make. So many. How do you know which will be the “One” that makes it all go the right way or the One that sends everything down the toilet. While I know that it isn’t one decision – my high levels of anxiety will tell you, I can trace the decision back on every fatal decision. We all just want to do everything that we can for our kids that will help them on their way. I was sure that all of these women were making these decisions with that one goal in their minds – their children’s success and future happy life.

When I sat down to discuss this over a bottle of wine (okay, I think she was on her 2nd bottle, but I don’t judge – except she didn’t share that 1st bottle with me and I was way behind) I started the conversation by lamenting that I thought it was so sad what she did – she basically said to her two girls – you are so fucking stupid, I have to pay half a million dollars to make sure you get into college.

What?  That is not what that means! She argued.  Yes, yes it is. I have a friend named John Smith. When I asked him about such a plain jane name, he said his parents named him that because it would be easier for him to spell.  So, I replied, your parents thought you were fucking stupid before you were even born? Wow! Do they like you now? He’s a millennial.

She still argued – it had nothing to do with her kids – it was about how this was about her, how here ego and her need to say, my kids went to USC or wherever……

Wow. So, whether she is a mom who puts holes in her kids buckets and calls them stupid; or, she is so self esteemed, that where her kids go to college is important to her as a status symbol; or she is just a mom doing what she thinks is right for her kids – but, she’s stupid about it. It could be none of these things….but, I kind of feel for her. She made a ridiculous mistake and is paying for it – twice. She has lost her job (I’m okay with this – I understand integrity in business) but, her job is public – she can’t just slink a few blocks over and get another job. Her daughters had to be summoned from a private yacht (i found this to be the most disturbing part of the story – her mom paid half a mill so her beautiful teenage daughter could party on the old man creepos boat (he is high paying college professional with a fucking yacht – he’s crusty he’s so old – ick.)

I think we need to let her figure her embarrassment out. We don’t need to help her. She made a mistake. A parenting mistake. How many of those have you made? I think now what I think when Britney Spears was being vilified for hers, I am so very thankful that none of my parenting mistakes will ever play out in the media in front of everyone. How horrifying.

While the worst thing I think she did (aside from calling her daughters fucking idiots) is to teach her kids that if you have money, you don’t need integrity.

What bothers me most is that my kids are competing against these same kids in school. Well, that isn’t a true statement, is it? I have friends across socio-economic lines. I have friends (they live way outta my neighborhood) who think that graduating high school is the goal! College is never discussed. Never. While there was a time I would have done just about anything to get my kids into college – I have changed my tune a little lately. I would have done anything, probably. Short of committing a crime. And, if I had half a mill, hmmm was there a crime? He probably told her and she convinced herself that no poor kids will be kept out because of this. There are spots available like this and if you don’t take advantage, someone else will. Some things make sense after a few drinks or if you aren’t really thinking it through and someone is trying to normalize it to you. Would I have done this? If I could throw half a mill around? Maybe. Who knows. Isn’t that how we do?  

I would have hired tutors, specialists, etc. to help my kids improve grades, activities, etc. anything to make them look pretty on paper. Is that elitist? Is that over the line? My friends who are just trying to get their kids thru high school – wouldn’t they say if kids didn’t do well – maybe school isn’t for them. Cuz, high school is the goal.  Are they right? Am I right being more in the middle? I have friends who basically are paying for their kids to go to private expensive universities (and all of the things they paid for to get them there) . These kids are starting out with fantastic jobs that my kids wouldn’t be getting, let alone my undereducated friends.

We want what is best for our kids. We are going to do all of the things we deem necessary to achieve this. The bucket holes that some of my friends provide, make me angry. But, maybe those stumbling blocks prevent spoiled brattism. I don’t know.

We are going to do whatever we feel is necessary and within our means to help. And, we are going to make mistakes because there is no fool-proof parent manual. We are all just amateurs.

Several people involved in this case – probably getting death threats; getting fired, kicked out of school; public humiliation and ginormous lawsuits. Maybe we should all calm down and direct the ire towards the universities that allow this to happen  and to ourselves who can get so caught up in what we think is important, we do dumb ass shit. Maybe it is time to overhaul the whole system.

p.s. – I think my kids’ generation are already working that problem. They are opting out of expensive schools. Getting credits from more than one junior college before transferring to the four-year. They are not going to be the kids loaded down with debt if their parents don’t have that half mill. Wow, we raised some smart kids.