Friday, May 15, 2015

Another bitter old man post

I'm starting to feel the need to rant in this manner so frequently lately that I think I'll add a new sub-label:
"Uncle Oldie McNostalgia's Fables of How Things Were Better Whan He Was A Kid Because, Well, They Just Were, Damn It"

One Saturday afternoon, a long, long time ago when I was a wee kid, my grandmother took me and my sister to see "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". It wasn't playing at Benton Harbor's two-screen cineplex so that meant hiking it over to the one in St, Joseph. When we got there, the parking lot was jam packed and we could see a line out the door. Sure enough, the show was sold out. "Well, I guess that's that", said grandma, as she circled the lot before heading back out on the road to take us home. I don't know about my sister, but I was in the back seat fuming. "What the hell, old woman. You didn't think to pick us up earlier in order to deal with a contingency like this?" Of course, I said this only to myself.
This was as close as we ever got to any Golden Tickets
As soon as we got home, I expressed my frustration to my dad (who was probably at least as disappointed to see grandma's car pull into the driveway again so soon). "Things don't always go your way", he shrugged. Wait a minute. Is this a life lesson? What did I do to deserve a life lesson? It wasn't like I got caught trying to set fire to a school or teasing a blind kid. I just wanted to see a movie about candy. While his nonchalance and words of wisdom didn't ease my disappointment in the least at that time (I'm actually still kind of salty over it; I never have seen the damn movie), But it was a life lesson and a pretty good one because I survived just fine. So did my sister.
That actually happened. It wasn't a situation where it looked like there was a possibility that things might not go my way, that being enough to cause my parents to fly off the handle and freak completely the fuck out, even though it would eventually turn out just fine and I would get my way and their hysterical overreactions to protect my precious entitlement would be a complete waste of time and energy.
Grandma wasn't bothered enough about it to even get out of her car and yell at a manager. Dad wasn't inspired to take legal action. I don't remember where mom was during this whole thing but I feel I can comfortably say that she wasn't willing to give any more rat's asses than grandma or dad had offered, which was a big fat zero. In spite of this almost aggressive indifference to our plight, my sister and I both managed to survive. In fact, it could probably be effectively argued that this experience was actually good for us, in that it demonstrated that it is, in fact, possible to confront less-than-ideal circumstances, be disappointed with an unfavorable outcome and not die as a result.

The moral of this fable is that I'm better than your kids ever will be because you're raising them to be sniveling whiners by enabling them to believe that they're supposed to get whatever they want (which, if you're confusing that with love, is another stupid thing you're doing). Thanks for ruining America, jerks.


Michael Noble said...


Jeff Hickmott said...

Well said, that man!