Friday, January 19, 2007
Origin Of The Species
Not too long ago, I got a request in the comments from Bucketeer Emeritus the lovely and talented Rita that I should update you all on the status/happenings/general adorability of my children.
First off, let me just say that I encourage any and all of you to go ahead and submit requests for post topics. Desperation tends to make me shockingly open to suggestion. It also has the further bonus of allowing me the opportunity to exert what tiny sliver of personal power this blog affords me should I be so moved--by restrictions for space, pre-emption by news of the day, petty dictatorial whim of cruelty--to reject your request.
Odds are, however, that I will get to it eventually. You know, once the important current events are all covered. Like that thing yesterday about the Jolie-Pitt family. In the end, the editorial judgment was reached--and I think you'll agree with me here--that their children would be decidedly more interesting than mine. They are our rich, jet-setting, famous betters-in-training, none of whom have ever vomited on my carpet. Most of the same cannot be said about my children.
Secondly, it's taken me this long to get to it because as I would sit down to contemplate who my children are and what about them warrants saying publicly, I kept reaching the same disturbing conclusion time and time again:
My children are assholes.
Now, I know that sounds harsh. And to my kids, if your future literate selves are reading this, please, I encourage you to review some of the video evidence that is no doubt available to you if you doubt me. You will notice that as you aged, there is less and less of it to be had, but that only underscores my point: who wants to videotape the every activities of someone who is an asshole? Do we really need that on recorded media for all of posterity? Isn't it bad enough we already have Bill O'Reilly?
This may surprise most of you, but it doesn't really bother me that my children are assholes. Yet. There are two reasons for this:
1) Genetic destiny. There's an illustrative analogy here to be made about apples and trees, but I don't really think it's apt. How many apple trees do you know of that tip restaurant wait staff solely on a complicated algebraic of their physical attractiveness weighed against their receptiveness to its flirting? I haven't left a tip since 1998. Apples or otherwise, that's Sisyphusian genetic load for anyone to bear, let alone a defenseless child. There's an argument, I suppose, to be made for nature vs. nurture, but that only supposes I am this way because of the way I was raised, which suggests that my parents were assholes themselves and there, we're back to genetics.
2) All children are assholes.
I know, parents out there, you immediately gasp and clutch your pearls and wail "No! My angels, my angels, my precious angels!" to which I must reply, first of all, pearls? Dude, seriously? With that frock? And secondly, if you were being completely honest with yourself and not blinded by the fact that they look like you, you would agree with me.
A lot of Child Asshole Syndrome is the parents' fault, and I accept that. As I said, they look like us and we assume (wrongly) that when they grow up they will in several ways, well, be us. If you're out there reading this and you're single and/or childless, don't let any parent fool you about the selflessness of the job. After blogging, reproduction is pretty much the most narcisssistic endeavor in all of endeavorhood. Seriously, little copies of yourself? Because the world needs more of you? Please.
And I did it three times. Read into that exactly what you should.
Think of all the grown up people you know who are assholes. What is it they do that makes them assholes? It's because they are petty and small-minded and ill-tempered and selfish and arbitrary, given to fits of cruelty and petulance and anger all out of proportion to any given stimulus and they can't parallel park for shit. To whom else does this exact description apply? All children everywhere ever.
Why don't I worry about the fact that my children are assholes? Because the oldest is only seven. They all still reside, age-wise, in that Get Out Of Jail Free zone of common American assholery. If they don't share or forget their manners in a public place or bury a dude up to his neck next to a hill of red ants, you can still go, "Well, look at that scamp. Rambunctious McShortpants, that one is!" all in your best Dickensian street Cockney. But if they're doing the same thing when they're twenty-four, well, then the corner may have been turned and you may be looking at a lifetime stuck with a handful of asshole.
The point is that, for me at least, it's too soon to tell. Are they assholes because they are children or is their penchant for assholery more of a nascent assholosity that will ripen into complete and utter douchebagness after puberty?
I honestly can't say. I don't know what the cut off is. I guess it's probably about the same time their sociopathic behavior becomes legally actionable. I suppose the first time I get a call from the police to come pick one of my kids up because he'd been attacked in a bar somewhere is when I'll know. I'll go and I'll post bail and I'll pick him up and take him home to his mother. And then, when he's out of the room, Mrs. Pops and I will look at each other and we'll make the determination: did he probably have it coming?
If we can honestly answer no, then we'll know that the Asshole was a temporary phase of adjustment to the crippling pace of living amongst humans. If we either can't be sure, or worse think "My God, it's about time somebody laid that fucker out," well, then we'll know:
It's my mom's fault.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 10.0