Once again, Facebook has managed to take what started out as a perfectly average day and blast it into a billion shards of depression-coated gloom. And not because someone posted an unflattering picture of me in a bathing suit or something (because we all know that I un-tag those bitches as soon as they go up. No, seriously).
Honestly Facebook, on most days you bring me great joy. Like when Molly and I exchange massive quantities of "Mean Girls" quotations via commenting on Sally's status. Or when Lara and Amber and I find personal satisfaction in stalking the profile of someone we mutually loathe for the sheer sake of giggling at pretentious pictures that are meant to make this person look "sexy" and "cool", but in actuality makes them look like a total dumbass. Good times, Facebook. Good times.
Although I'm sort of ashamed to admit this, I'll be totally honest and say that I've been keeping a very close eye on this whole "Jon and Kate" scandal thing. Possibly to a point that borders on unhealthy. But whatevs. It's a whole lot like a train wreck, except with adultery and not-so-cleverly veiled attempts at insulting each other on national television. What's not to adore? I will also be honest and say, however, that it's a little sad; both because we as an audience (myself definitely included) are so entertained by their heartache, and also because a family is dissolving. And that is always sad, regardless of whether certain people choose to complain about the media firestorm that they invited in to their lives or not.
Sidebar: Yeah, I know Kate comes off as a bitch. But 1). that does not give her husband the right to cheat on her. Even if she beat him with barbed wire every single night, that doesn't mean that Jon's allowed to go out and get some from someone else. It doesn't work that way. You get a divorce, file a restraining order, and then sleep around. And 2). the woman has eight kids, for crying out loud. Do you have eight kids? I don't have eight kids. I don't even know anyone who has eight kids. And even if I did, I am most certain that two of them would be one age, and the rest of them would all be another. Even the other crazy woman on TLC that has 18 kids doesn't have six of them that are THE SAME AGE. Ergo, we as observers cannot say how a mother would or should act in this situation. All the icky tanning and weird haircuts and free shit and diva-like behavior aside, Kate might be allowed to raise her voice once in a while. Mmmkay?
So anyway, due to my present state of overdose on TLC (whom I wholeheartedly thank for running a Jon and Kate plus 8" marathon all. weekend. long), anything realated to the TV show catches my eye. Case and point: I currently have not one but THREE different trashy magazines with the cover story sitting on my counnter at home. No joke. It's becoming a problem.
During my ritualistic perusal of Facebook every ten minutes today, my newsfeed informed me that one of my "friends" (read: person I went to school with and do not necessarily dislike in any way, but never see in person) took one of those stupid quiz deals where it's supposed to tell you what kind of "something" you are. Normally, I just breeze right over in favor of discovering who is "no longer liste and single" and who "ended their relationship." Oh, and also because I don't really give a shit about what kind of Greek God you would supposedly be based on a series of overly-banal questions. But this particular quiz...this particular quiz was entitled "Which Jon and Kate plus 8 character are you?"
I have several issues with this in that these are not characters, THEY ARE ACTUAL PEOPLE...but...you know. It's cool. That and the fact that isn't it a little demeaning to the individuals themselves to reduce them to definitions consisting of options A through D and Yes or No questions? Not to mention pretty pointless.
But alas, Jon, Kate and their 8 beckoned me, so glance at the results I did. This person was supposedly Mady. My first reaction was "oh my god I can't stand Mady," which is true. The show portrays her as needy and selifsh and kind of an attention hog (notice I didn't use the traditional word "whore" here, as I felt that it might be in poor taste when talking about a seven year-old. See? I do have morals). Just annoying and dramatic in general.
And then, in a momentay lapse of sanity, I considered where I would fit into the mix, were I in fact a child and a pre-existing one belonging to Jon and Kate. It was in this brief, fleeting moment I came to this realization: I would totally be Mady.
It would be at this point in my diatribe that I allow myself to choose whether I want to be the pot, or the kettle.
My sister will be the first to tell you that I was a *tad* bit dramatic as a child. And needy. And selfish. And an attention WHORE (see? Appropriate usage here because I am not seven). Also, annoying.
I would be the second person to tell you all those things.
There might even be a video somewhere that involves me in a tutu, spinning and singing for the camcorder, my brother interrupting me by trying to get my mother (aka the cameraman) to pay attention to him, me shoving him off-screen and yelling "get out of my SPOTLIGHT."
Oh, how I wish I were kidding.
I like to think I've matured a little bit since then, but I still see shades of my former brat self now and again. For example: umm....this blog? But I've also gotten to the point where it doesn't send me into a heinous downward self-esteem spiral when someone focuses on something besides me or what I'm doing. In fact, I kind of like it sometimes. Go figure.
Maybe I thought that I was so far beyond my former self that I had the right to judge others with the same afflictions. Clearly, this is not the case- I am neither totally uninhibited by my center-of-attention-ness, nor do I have the right to judge someone else who exhibits the same habits. Least of all a child who lives her life around television cameras and paparrazi.
I read somewhere once (maybe my AP Psych textbook...hey Ms. Rosenthal! I was paying attention that day instead of flirting with the boy behind me) that the reason we dislike the people we dislike is because they display through mirrored-image the traits that we most despise about ourselves.
I'll try to remember that next time I'm judging someone.
The operative word here being, of course, *try*.