June 10, 2009

Why Don't We All Just Clam Up?

I like reading all types of advice columns.  Some of them are useful, like "when should I change the timing belt on my car engine", or "when should I trim back my butterfly bush", but the best advice columns are those dealing with people's personal problems, real or imagined.  More often than not, you're transfixed at how totally unprepared some people are at managing their own lives, or how other people seem to have no grasp of common sense at all.  Most of the time, I'll breeze through these columns, sometimes snickering to myself or shaking my head, and then I'll move on to other things.  But this morning, I came across one that really made me think about how overly sensitized some people in this society have become.

It concerned Father's Day.  Let me veer off topic for a minute.  I guess Father's Day is this month, I'm not sure exactly when because I don't really care.  I think it's another made up day to counter whatever hard feelings some guys had because of Mother's Day, which if true is ridiculous.  No matter what anyone says, Mother's do all the heavy lifting.  Fathers, not so much.  Mother's deserve at least one day a year to be recognized.  Fathers?  Meh.  End of story as far as I'm concerned.

Anyway, back to my story.  In the column I read, a woman writes in saying that her husband died a few months back and she and her little boy were traumatized by the event.  Okay.  All's well and good here. Normal grief.  But ... her gripe is that she went to the grocery store and the bag boy asked her son how he was going to spend Father's Day with his dad.  The kid got this godawful look on his face and started crying and the mother got all pissed off at the poor sack dude because even though she'd never seen him before, he should have been more sensitive and also should have had Vulcan mind reading powers and known that her son had just lost his dad and what was his general problem asking a horrible question like that?

What the fuck?

Is this what we have come to in this world?  Where we are afraid to ask anyone we meet on the street anything that even remotely could cause another person to feel bad?  Should we refrain from saying anything more than hello or goodbye for fear of mentioning something that could bum someone out because "No, Uncle Bob is not doing well because he's serving a life sentence in Shawshank for dismembering his wife and daughter in a bathtub and selling their packaged remains as porterhouse steak".

I  mean, for chrissakes, if some people are that sensitive, then they should either remain behind closed doors until they feel better, or seek professional help from someone with more qualifications than "Dear Gertrude".   Mainly, they should just STOP IT! 

There, I feel better.  I think I'll go read some more advice columns.

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