Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Most Unexpected Mentor

(Kill me.)
I have been away from the mind-numbing world of corporate America for a little over a year now, and although many changes and lots of bad things have happened during that year, I have come out on the other side of it happier than I have been in a very long time.  The mere thought of going back to a world where I work inside a windowless office or a cubicle makes me nauseous.

Of course, financially, I was much better off playing the role of a corporate accountant, a role that I could never entirely throw myself into with gusto.  Not that I am struggling to find money for food; you can look at me and see that I am earning enough coin to eat, and eat well.  But, when operating your own business and a family business in need of renewal, you are not always sure that when payday Friday rolls around, your name will be on the payroll register.

On the bright side, according to, I have earned $9.54 with the stupid ads that I have allowed them to put on my blog page.  I guess someone can't say that he has never been paid for his writing anymore!  How one would even go about actually receiving the $9.54 is a mystery, and if I knew enough about the mechanics of, I would turn the ads off because they annoy me.

That being said, this week I read that Bristol Palin, daughter of, you betcha, Sarah Palin, made $262,000 in 2010 for public speaking.  About teenage pregnancy.  Bristol Palin. Teenage pregnancy. $262,000.  Here is the link to the story : WTH?

(Same Candie's as the shoes)
The Candie's Foundation is the group that shelled out these big bucks.  I looked them up, and this is the first sentence on their website, Candies : "The Candie’s Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to shape the way youth in America think about teen pregnancy and parenthood."  

(Typical teen mom)
Oh, OK, I get it.  Perhaps this foundation is FOR teenage pregnancy or, at least, out to show teens both sides of the issue?  They are "shaping the way youth in America" should "think about teen pregnancy and parenthood" by having Bristol Palin, serve as an example.  When Bristol was 18, she and her then boyfriend got pregnant.  Because her mother was a candidate for Vice President, Bristol immediately became a media sensation.  She then broke up with her boyfriend, was invited to be a contestant on the television show "Dancing With the Stars," and hit the professional speaking circuit.  What I gather from all that: "Look, teenage girls!  You can be like me!  I had a baby, my boyfriend dumped me, and I am now on television, making more money than probably 90% of your parents, and I am famous!"  Is this the message that the Candie's Foundation is sending? 

(A good message from the foundation.)
I continued to read on the foundation website, and realized I was wrong.  The foundation is, indeed, against teenage pregnancy and also advocates empowering teens with knowledge.  They also blame the media for their portrayal of teen pregnancy and parenthood (talk about mixed messages).  Apparently, the message that Bristol is to give to the impressionable, young tweens and teens, who have probably only seen her dancing in a ballgown on television, is do as I say not as I do.  But I have to wonder how many in her audience actually picked up the subtlety of that?  I wonder how many instead thought that if the pretty girl speaking to them had a baby when she was teenager, then became successful, rich, and famous why couldn't they?  The girl speaking to them was not thrown out of her parent's home, forced to quit school, reduced to applying for government assistance, and all the other horrible things that their parents and teachers and ministers and counselors  have been saying to them about getting pregnant.  What a refreshing change!

(Look how cool this teen mom is!)

If this "do as I say not as I do" method is widely accepted among professional speakers, then I am going to throw my hat into the ring and start talking.  I have made so many bad decisions, I could book myself for as many appearances as I wanted.  $262k would be a drop in the bucket.  My money troubles would be over!  I could speak to driver's education classes or traffic school students about the dangers of pumping your own gas (See Pump #5), to etiquette classes on being sure they know the work of the artist before meeting him or her (See Song of Bernadette), or even at fitness conferences on the benefits of hot yoga (Hot Yoga) or proper bathroom procedure at the gym (Gym Bathroom Incident).
(This could be me.)

As the article about Bristol said, the Palins truly are the gift that keeps giving.  Who knew have guessed Bristol would end up being my mentor?  Certainly not me.

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