03 June 2007

The privileged many

Over the last few days, people with children have really been working my nerves. Actually, some specific people with children, but enough of them that when you are out running errands, you decide that pre-coital genetic screening would be a good thing.

Example: SHG and I were at the Cingular megastore in Houston taking care of a few things, leading to my nightmarish customer service experience with The Brick and it's text messaging inabilities. (fixed!) While we were there, SHG observes this little girl playing with / tugging at a big sign hanging in the window - bigger than her. It fell on her. She cried. Mommy arrives, no scolding, just a "oh my poor pumpkin!"

If I had done that when I was a kid, I would have been sent to Siberia because I was raised such that I would not have even done it! Bad parent. Irritating parent raising an irritating child.

Children in many ways are like dogs. There are few bad dogs - but many bad owners. Some dogs are just untrainable, too headstrong, etc. Same with kids. Exactly the same. The child generally behaves as it was raised. Amongst all of my friends, and we are all in our 30's & 40's, would never have behaved that way - our parents all generally had the fear of God in us. Yet if that is the case, why are so many of our peers raising brats? Is it some a skewed sample? I don't get it. We're a cross section color, religion, $, sex, straight/gay, etc.

So what are they producing? Well it turns out that teenagers and college kids are coming out in need of much praise in school and at work. I heard on NPR that at one company, a manager feels like she spends excessive amounts of time praising and rewarding her young employees to keep their morale up.

Morale up? You have a morale problem? Work your ass off so you do not get laid off. I like praise like anybody else, but in my 10+ years of working since finishing grad school, I can count on less than 10 fingers the number of times I have actually been specifically reward.

Of course it's no wonder when you're a kid and you pull the sign down and mommy checks to coo at you, and mommy herself acts all privileged by virtue of your mere existence.

Example: One of my dogs has a yeast infection in one of his ears (how on earth you get a yeast infection in your ear, I dunno), and we were at the vet Friday in the late afternoon to go for a follow-up visit after I have been doing the cleaning and all that for a week. We are waiting there, and this woman in her workout clothes comes in, and stands there holding the door open. She tells the staff she needs a big bad of such and such dog food, do they have some back there? Door still open of course.

Now, it is Spring in Houston, which means that sometimes it gets to maybe 90 and humid. This day it was warm and humid, and so humid, warm air is pouring into the office.

The woman keeps looking outside as the staff scurry to get her two bags of food like the ones sitting next to me. It turns out that she has left her two kids in the back seat of the white Vulva wagon. She tosses the credit card on the counter "sorry, I am watching my kids". The staff bring the food out to her car for her.

I was fit to be tied. Don't run errands like that with kids in the car if you are too fucking lazy to bring them in with you. It's just that sense of privilege that I hate: "I have reproduced, get out of my way" that works my nerves.

So we have the parents setting privileged-mindset, I am special, you are special, examples, producing kids that have a hard time functioning outside of it. And the people producing them are my peers!

I could keep ranting, buit I won't. There's so much fodder out there. I will leave you will the juciest one, though: The person driving like an idiot, nut, or crack head with a kid in back and a "Baby on Board" sign.

Ugh. I need another drinkie. Stewardess?