rules, rules, rules

Every family has to have a few rules.

Most kids aren't allowed to swear or eat sweets until their greens are gone. But each family also holds their own house rules that reflect their values.

A few that stick out of from my childhood:
1. Hate and shut up are cuss words
2. Pepsi and Purdue are also bad words (in a different sort of way)
3. You always have to take a no thank-you bite
4. You have to rub your parents feet for thirty minutes every night before bed...

OK, the fourth one is a lie. Obviously.

But these rules provide insight into my family. We're Hoosiers, not Boilermakers. We love each other and would never ever use the H-Word. These are a small representative of our values.

Yesterday, when I was babysitting, I was momentarily shocked at how much the values of parents are impressed upon their children. I was babysitting Riley, who is six years old. While we were playing soccer in the front yard, she stopped and said, "Who are you voting for?"

Another house rule that I learned at a young age was that you never, ever ask someone this question (or, obviously their age). So, true to my roots, I avoided the question, "I'm not sure yet..."

"Well, I'm voting for Obama," Riley told me. "Well, actually, it's so funny because I cannot even vote. Did you know I can't vote? But I'd vote for Obama."

Apparently, Riley's parents must have been talking about politics in front of her, which led her young mind to adopt their ideas as her own.

I wondered if I had said, "Oh I hate Obama!" or "I'm actually doing a write-in, I'm hoping Bush will go for round three," if Riley would have changed her mind about me as a babysitter.

I mean, really, I know how I used to (sometimes still do) feel about Pepsi drinkers. It's just wrong!

Riley's shocking proclamation made me happy that I'd been raised among a bunch that doesn't frequently talk politics in public. While I admire those who are strong enough in their opinions to speak openly about their beliefs, I find that I'm often too uncertain and too uneasy to divulge my own thoughts.

However, when I saw that Medusa Hair Salon is now offering the Palin hairdo, I felt a little confused. The salon will do your hair like Palin and donate $75 of the expense to Obama's campaign.

I mean, no, you don't have to look like Obama because you're supporting him (though I do support anyone trying to emulate Jackie O, so Michelle Obama might be a suitable alternative). But, it seems a little funny to dress like the enemy...

I'd imagine it might send mixed signals.

"Oh, you look a lot like Sarah Palin."
"Oh, ya, I did my hair like her because I hate her and want to show my support of Barack."

It's just unnatural.

I mean, I wouldn't walk around carrying a Diet Pepsi while wearing a Purdue shirt (though this does describe my best friend Katie...) in order to prove that I love Diet Coke and IU.

But, of course, in my family, another rule is that you have to remain loyal (to your country, your state, your products). So, if that's how they want to support Obama, more power to them.