Friday, January 28, 2011

Facebook Status: Taking A Bullet For Junior

I'm amazed on a daily basis how schmaltzy and sentimental people are on Facebook.

Each one has a dead dog waiting for them "in Heaven", or a child; it's nauseating. Of course family still here on Earth get a lot of tributes. Each week it's Daughter Week, Son Week, Mom Week, Dad Week, or something. But there doesn't seem to be any organization behind these designations, since I know I've seen Daughter, Son, and Mom Weeks roll around with some frequency.

I'm also wondering, Are the people in my life (or formerly in it) really this sentimental in their everyday life. Are they really going around with tears in their eyes singing "Wind Beneath My Wings" to one another? Or slowly thumping their fist to their heart while staring meaningfully into one another's eyes?

Here's one that's a tribute to our children in general:

Parents think about their children day and night. Parents love their children in a way that they will never understand. Parents will be there for their children when no one else will. Parents would take a bullet, jump in front of a train, or ask God to take them instead of their child--I know I would! If you have children you love as much as I love mine post this as your status

That's probably true, parents think about their children a lot, and they love them in a way they will never understand. And I would guess that parents would be there for their kids when no one else is. If you're talking just about the way normal life is, it's tough to "be there" for every person you see unless you have some kind of deeper relationship with them. Being a parent meets that criterion. It's like being the home team.

Then we find out that parents would take a bullet for Junior. Well ... I don't know. I'm presently reading a book on Al Capone, and there's a picture of his mother and sister (Theresa and Mafalda). The caption says they were "part of a large, tightly bound family." I haven't read far enough to know if Theresa Capone ever took a bullet for Alphonse. But who knows? Maybe she would've if she'd've been there when the bullets were flying.

Parents also would "jump in front of a train" for Junior. I wonder how often it happens that you need to jump in front of a train for a kid. But look on the bright side, it'd actually be better to jump in front of a train than some lesser vehicle. Because you could jump in front of a lesser vehicle and end up crippled (differently disadvantaged) for life, but a train's going to kill you outright. In the first case, Junior comes to resent you because now he has to pay for your medical care for life, since you were trampled when you ignorantly jumped in front of an ox cart and slipped, thinking it'd be a great way to show your devotion to your child. But if you're run over by a train and killed outright, Junior gets his inheritance and you've won big respect points forever!

The next thing is parents will ask God to take them instead of Junior. To which I have to ask, Is that really the way it works? Seriously, I have problems with the idea that we're all on a number system, that we're all in line to die, and that somehow, with enough pleading, the order can be switched. My kid's about to die of a rare lung fungus -- a lungus -- so I rush down to the hospital chapel to pray: "Please, God, take me instead of Junior!" The next thing you know, you're coughing up blood and that's a good thing...

The sentimental status writer ends with a challenge to parents everywhere. "If you love your little brats as much as I love my spawn, post this as your status." Parents everywhere are out there blubbering, crying their eyes red, even sacrificing their time to type this out character by character rather than resorting to the lazier CTRL-C, CTRL-V. If you're going to take a bullet or jump in front of a train, you at least should have the devotion to type it out word for word!

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