...I can always hate their parents more.
This was an epiphany that came to me as this horrid group of families got on the subway one afternoon and these spoiled little shits kept whining incessantly and basically acting horrible. I found myself giving this child my meanest angry-school-marm look and wishing just for a second to catch one of the little brats' eyes so that the venomous glance would not be wasted on the back of his head. Then I remembered that he wasn't riding alone, not acting a fool in front of a bunch of strangers with no one there who knew him or could appropriately discipline him; he was with his parents. His lazy, obnoxious parents who were shaping this awful child to be an awful adult.
Now I take no crap off of kids and have no illusions about their naturally sweet angelic little souls. They are often wretched little beasts and are all chemically imbalanced ignoramouses who need boundaries and encouragement from adults in their life. But by and large, I like kids. I've spent a significant portion of my adult life working with kids and enjoy much of it, but man there are some awful parents out there and please don't get me started on the education department or foster care programs or juvenile detention stuff.
Anyway, I thought of this again when Coach Carter inexplicably picked up the bad habit of changing the channel after America's Next Top Model to MTV to watch Super Sweet Sixteen (sss). sss is horrible to watch and whoever created it should be ashamed of their life. If you haven't seen it, the concept is that you take nouveau rich trailer (not necessarily white) trash and film them throwing a sweet [sic] sixteen party for their wretched offspring so we can watch their spoiled kid act like an asshole on tv and all their friends act like desperate retards while all the adults run around with their heads up their asses.
This isn't some Southern coming-out ball, where a young lady is presented to society. Instead we get a few parents with money and no manners or class standing around in a sea of children who mistakenly think cleavage = maturity. It is a celebration of excess, pointless excess, trashy excess. It isn't that someone couldn't throw their daughter a sweet sixteen party that was the event fo the season and it could even be good television, but this show basically is just a prolonged episode of the jerry springer show, just without any life lesson at the end. How not to dress, how not to act, how not to treat others.
But again, through it all, I found myself being reminded that no matter how much you can hate the children (and believe me, you can), you can always hate the parents more. Anyparent who gives in to their children's whims and whining like that needs to be reminded and know that when they are dealing with those tantrums and fits and pulling their hair out: you made this little monster; you have the child you deserve.
Almost as bad, after it comes Tiara girls. Having begged for the channel to be changed through sss, I stayed for maybe ten minutes of tg and went in search of a drink. If I wanted to listen to evil, self-absorbed Southern women backstab each other and talk smack with their trailer-park sqwawks, I would have stayed in AL. There were plenty of that kind of beast down there and I avoid them like the plague. One thing that I did walk away from the shows feeling absolutely certain of was that going to a bar and drinking was a far healthier and more productive activity than watching either show. For a moment, the nagging voice in the back of my head that constantly reminds of future plans and possiblities and questions the productivity and usefulness of my every action shut up for the evening. Having seen what some other people do with their lives, what other people work to put on televisions, I could go sit and enjoy a beer, satisfied in my certitude that no matter what I do, what crimes I may commit in the future or have in the past, I'm never going to do that. I don't relish others falling short or the pain which some folks find themselves living in, but for a brief moment I let myself relax and be happy I was not like that, that my parents hadn't been like that, that if I ever have children they won't be like that.