Thursday, November 30, 2006

Kids that ruin your life

So the other day I'm eating lunch and overhear a conversation between two women who are mothers. One of them tells the other that Christmas is going to be really hard on them this year because the kids just want everything. Its not enough that last year they spent all that money on the latest Play-Station-Xbox-Game-Cube-Super-Mario-Wii-thingy. Now this year they want everything else that's come out in the meantime, as well as all the newest games to play on last year's contraption as well as this year's brand new contraption they don't even have yet.

The other mother tactfully tried to talk some sense into her friend. She said she understood, and then shared that she and her husband decided to tell the kids that the fact that they were not getting everything they wanted for Christmas did NOT mean that the parents (and Santa) didn't love them. Rather, it simply wasn't practical to give them everything at one time during the year. They wanted to spread out the gifts throughout the year.

The first mother confessed to the second that she felt a bit inadequate, since all the kids' friends were getting or had gotten all these things for Christmas this year or last year. She didn't want her kids to feel "left out". The second mother then said that even if they had the money to buy the kids everything they wanted, who had the time to do all that shopping and wrapping? Afterall, there are 30 or 40 other people for whom she also had to shop and wrap.

It took nearly all my self-control to keep from marching over to their table and slapping the both of them. "Do you realize your kids are ruining your life?" I wanted to ask them. "Do you really think it matters whether kids have everything they want or not?" I begged to implore them. "In your heart of hearts, do you really think your kids will be happier because they got everything they wanted for Christmas, rather than a few of the things they wanted?" I needed say. But I didn't.

The very next evening I was eating dinner in a restaurant and saw a couple with their young daughter walk up to the counter and place a take-out order. The parents stood near the bar and watched the TV mounted on the wall, while their daughter (who was probably no more than 5 years old) explored the small restaurant unattended. She walked over to the table by the front door and began raking her hands threw the large bowl of candy. 'Nice,' I thought to myself. 'God only knows where those hands have been'. I looked at the parents to see if they were rushing in complete horror to restrain her, but they weren't. Their eyes were fixed on the TV.

After contaminating all of the candy, she began walking around a long row of tables where diners were celebrating someone's promotion. The walking turned into running, which quickly resembled a Nascar race, with dizzying laps around the large oval 'track'. Just like you knew was going to happen, the little girl eventually slipped and fell to the hard tile floor. Several of the people dining inside the 'race track' looked over to see if the little girl was alright. Although she wasn't crying, I expected her embarrassed parents to realize their neglect and quickly scoop her up. But they didn't. They were still watching TV.

Finally, as the little girl ran as fast as she could up and down the aisle, bumping into a waiter with a large tray of hot dinner plates, the parents finally noticed their daughter. "Come here!" the mother shouted to her. "Noooooooo" the little girl responded, with a giggle. The mother walked toward the little girl, who then walked around to the other side of the long row of tables she'd been circling earlier. The mother changed directions, thinking she'd intercept the little girl. But this had apparently happened before and the little girl as onto the mother's not-so-clever tactic. The mother went left; the little girl went right. The mother went right; the little girl went left. The mother then decided the only way to end the game was to threaten the little girl with 'no TV'. Notice, it wasn't a threat of a spanking, which is still completely legitimate for a 5 year old. No, it was the threat of no TV. All the while, the father is still in a TV-induced trance.

I wanted to confront the parents. "Do you realize your daughter is ruining your life?" I think you know where I'm going here. But I didn't. I kept my mouth shut and thanked my luck stars that I was gay and that there was no chance that I'd accidentally produce a child who would ruin my life.

Drag Queen name of the day: Penny Loafer

1 comment:

cb said...

Dude, you missed your opportunity to walk up to the child and say in a deep, menacing voice:

"I'm going to steal you from your parents!"