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The Marine recruiter is coming by tomorrow; once in the morning to take Andy to get his Social Security card, and later at night to present Andy and I with his “Welcome Aboard Package”.

The contents of this package are on the web, including the spiel Marine recruiters should use in presenting it, and why Marine recruiters are given a quota of three new recruits every month. It’s all on the web. I found it in a few seconds. The last generation that remembers what it was like to not have all human knowledge worth knowing instantly available has already been born. Fruity will never know that world. We won’t understand his or her life.

Anyway, anything the Marines give him will be a big improvement over what he does now, playing Xbox Live with teenage boys from 8AM to 11PM, every day.

He said again that he wants to be a sniper, that the Marines will laser his eyes back to 20/20, and make him a sniper. I think he will need to be a fantastic shot on the range for that to happen, but no, that’s his plan for life. I’m not sure what the market in the real world is for snipers, since they stopped with the slow moving presidential motorcades back in 1963, but that’s his dream.

If he had ever shown the slightest interest in guns and shooting in the real world (and thankfully he did not, really), I’d think he would have a chance. But his entire plan has been, as far as I can tell, in pretending the Marine Corps is like a phone booth.

And he is Clark Kent.

He’ll rush in there, go superspeed for a second, and come out in blue longjohns with a red S on his chest, able to have adult goals and have life be like a real-life videogame. And won’t the twelve-sixteen year olds who spend all their days on Xbox Live envy him then, with his laser vision, super strength and ability to fly.

I wonder if he will ever have an adult experience.

And should anyone mention my love for games, remember that when I was his age, I was supporting myself, had a good job, a lot of real life friends, was living on my own, continuing my education part time at UNH, had been in a band, designed two board games (one of which was fairly good, I thought), and was engaged.

So yeah, I liked games, just like he does. And yet I still enjoyed a real life. It’s about time he does as well.

He hasn’t even had a single date. It’s bizarre. He needs a good dose of grow-up, and if the Marines can do that for him, I’ll be happy.



  1. I think the big difference btw. you at Andy’s age and Andy (though not only difference) is that you were operating under the “sink or swim” set of circumstances. Andy has never experienced a time where if he didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done. At least with the basics like food and shelter. I was also living as you were at Andy’s age – sink or swim – not a great situation to be in but it certainly teaches a hard lesson.

    I think that the Marines will definitely be a good thing for Andy. A structured environment with high expectations. This will give him a chance to stand up on his own two feet and he only has himself to rely on re: doing well. And he is able to test the “waters of independence” in an environment that if he isn’t doing well he doesn’t have to worry about becoming homeless or not having money to put food on the table.

    As long as he doesn’t get sent to Iraq, I think this will be a great experience for him and do him a world of good. Even if he doesn’t make it to snyper.

    Actually – Jazzmin’s dad joined the Marines to be in the sniper unit. They recruited him out of military school and he was one of the best snipers in school. But when he found out the recruiters pulled a bait and switch re: him being a snyper – he quit the marines. His mother got him out of it somehow.

  2. I’m having to push him to learn to DRIVE! I got my license on my 16th birthday. I had life goals. Maybe not the best ones, but they were mine and as much as I regret the way I have lived my life, at least I was out there living it.

    I just can’t figure out his entire lack of ambition.


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