I was ‘born old’. Even my own mother marvels at how non childlike I was as a child. She actually has a Polaroid framed of me acting up. I asked her why. It was a silly picture where I have one hand on my hip and one behind my head in a deliberately exaggerated ‘I’m sexy’ pose. She told me because it was so rare that I goofed off like that much less capturing it. I couldn’t have been more than 15 in the picture.
I was one of those annoying kids who knew far too much for their age and worse yet could apply it to real life; complete with giving real life examples. Hell I had adults come to me for advise more times than I can count. I used to joke that I was a ‘walking confessional’ because of the amount of strangers that have confessed their sins to me. Knowing those sins is the main reason I didn’t go into the mental health field. I knew too much too young.
So I guess it’s no wonder that I have trouble identifying with the characters in popular fiction nowadays.
For someone who could read and write fluently by two, and who was pulling Shakespeare and Poe off the shelves of the base library at six, I guess it’s not too surprising that I don’t understand characters who don’t think before they act.
I’ll sit there and read something off of a best sellers list marveling at the stupidity of the characters. I honestly won’t understand why they thought it was a good idea to sleep with a stranger and then have the audacity to wonder that they woke up robbed; or beaten or abandoned, etc depending on the book. I’ll wonder why the hell no one in their lives does an intervention when a character is doing drugs or locks themselves in a room for weeks over a break up. Does the character’s family and friends care so little? Do they honestly identify themselves not by themselves but by who they’re dating?
There’s no joy in reading a book where you’re yelling at the characters to ‘fucking think’ before they act or are disgusted by their behavior. I find myself wondering; do people truly act like this in real life? Sadly I find myself answering yes. I certainly don’t have the patience to deal with them but they’re out there.
Are there enough to justify these sorts of books becoming a best seller on any list? That’s a scary thought.
I never had an interest in partying so I can’t identify with characters who lives seem to revolve around it. I’ve never been drunk and never desire to be. Why would I wish to give up control and most likely do something stupid or potentially damaging to my life? I literally can’t imagine sleeping around; often those characters have no other reason other than because their life is so meaningless to themselves that they think sex is the begin all and end all. I never was interested in drugs; life is hard enough without adding that hardship willingly.
I’ve seen these things destroy lives.
The divorces because one or more were cheating; too numerous to count in a military community.
The threesomes that become twosomes leaving out the couple ending in a failed relationship and hard feelings. If you feel the need to add a third party to the mix you might as well just end the relationship; something isn’t there that should be.
The drugs and booze that end in poor decisions and ruined lives. ‘I told you so’ looses its luster when your friend is being threatened to go back to rehab at only 18 or when she fishes a beer bottle out of a gutter hoping for just a swig.
Your classmate having a child at 16 because she had sex once. She lost her virginity and became pregnant all at the same time. I was one of the few who still spoke to her afterwards.
A coworker who broke down in tears when I told her I was pregnant. Her parents pressured her into an abortion when she was 15, it left her barren with postpartum depression.
Their mistakes don’t bother me as much as peoples unwillingness to learn from them. Mistakes are meant to be learned from; yours and others. The glorifying of these mistakes confuses and sickens me. If you’re going to write about a druggy write about what went wrong and why, don’t write about what an awesome ride it was. I’m sure my uncle who died homeless wouldn’t tell you what a great time it was to do drugs. He would regale you with cold nights and the aches of withdrawal.
As I flip though the latest best seller I wonder; has society always been this bad? My grandmother would tell you no. A survivor of the Great Depression and WWII she would tell it was more moral.
Have we lost our morality? Or have we lost our censorship of it?
In a place where life damaging activities are praised is a wonder that world burns around us?