Sunday, May 09, 2010

On Busybody Moms

Today being Mother's Day, while we're all focused on the sainted ideals of motherhood, I'd like to give those Mothers who deserve it a round of applause; Motherhood is not an easy thing, and the successful mothers (defined as having raised anything that doesn't put safety pins through it's cheeks, doesn't screw daschunds, doesn't go on a killing spree, doesn't live on the public dole, and has at least earned a GED) deserve much credit and respect.

The Unsuccessful Mothers (defined as someone who simply happened to be in the room at conception and carried to term, but otherwise bore no responsibility for or towards her offspring) should be taken out and shot. Of course, that won't happen; to suggest it would have me identified as a sexist, and we know what happens to men who get the "sexist" label -- ugly, mental chicks and militant lesbians will refuse to talk to you, and might even call you names. This rather bizarre form of "punishment" almost invites more sexism, but most women were never exactly noted for their linear thinking skills (oh dear...I've gone and done it again!). I digress...

I would like to reserve a special brand of approbation, however, for a specific class of Mothers. Everyone knows one of these women...and secretly hates them. In fact, we harbor dark dreams about their untimely demise, or perhaps we have disturbing mental pictures about what we'd like to see happen to them (admission; the one I'm thinking about right now is the source of many a snuff dream!). I'm talking about the Busybody Mom.

The Busybody is into everyone else's business and uses her concern for her offspring as her justification. She does this because her own life is probably lacking in purpose beyond her children, or she's horribly stuck in the present, or she just needs a hobby. The worst sort is the Busybody Mom who turns this particularly horrible trait (i.e. annoying others by making impossible and ridiculous demands upon them) into a career.

To illustrate the point, how about a woman who decides that the local library is peddling smut to children, and having gotten no satisfaction by asking the library to engage in an act of unofficial censorship by pulling the "offending" books (or making certain they don't fall into the clutches of children) decides that the best thing to do is to check the books out of the library herself... and then never return them.

Problem solved, right? Well, no. The question of whether or not something is "smut" has already been answered; The Supreme Court of the United States basically said that one woman's "smut" is someone else's "Free Speech", unless it's so outrageous as to cause reasonable people to come to a consensus about it's potentially harmful effects. Now, as to the logic behind stealing library books I suppose it is better than burning them in the public square, but it is theft, and it presupposes that other parents and readers are unable to cope with the implications of a book that someone else has deemed inappropriate for them. She (the thief) presumes to speak for society based upon her own internal belief system. The example she's setting for her children -- that sometimes stealing is okay, so long as you use God or the cause of decency as your justifications -- somehow eludes her in her single-minded quest to make sure her pre-teen daughter doesn't read Judy Blume or something.

Usually these cases (the one above is a true story, incidentally) get some media attention; and the asshole who steals library books manages to turn her personal crusade into a career. She turns her new-found media stature into a gig as an overnight-expert on "smut" and library censorship, and then she gets it in her head to start a Foundation or Council or Commission -- which usually has the word "Family" or "American" in it -- so that dopey religious freaks, or ultra-left-libtards who both see it for the totalitarian organization it's really intended to be -- will fund it to the hilt, depending upon which side of the issue she's on. Thus, her momentary panty-bunching over a book becomes a lucrative career that doesn't result in much of a useful product or service.

This is but one example. There's a host of others, like the woman who continually shows up on FoxNews (Meme Roth. I call her the Sugar Nazi) to decry the outrageous amounts of salt, sugar, caffeine, MSG, cardboard, Styrofoam, rare earths, plankton and non-ferrous metals in everything we eat. This woman drives me absolutely batty because her answer to every question of good nutrition and better public health is either to outlaw something, or to put it under government control. It wouldn't surprise me if she was in favor of registering every Hershey Bar in America as a deadly weapon. She believes that because her ideas about health and eating are superior to everybody else's that the rest of us should be compelled (by law, if necessary) to follow her example.

I'd like to force-feed her Twinkies until her eyes burst from her head, personally.

You can usually tell the Busybody Mom from a distance; she's the one who's overly enthusiastic...about everything...and who is easily carried away by her own (one or more of the following): doubts, fears, ignorance, desire for complete safety, desire for attention, feelings of inadequacy, and total lack of anything more constructive to do. She's all about controlling your life and behavior from a distance for her own satisfaction and comfort. She hides all of this behind a veneer of apparently restless energy which is directed into campaigns "for the children". She's the Stepford Wife on Crusade. She seems reasonable, if over-enthusiastic, but you somehow "know" that behind closed doors she's probably this-close to taking an overdose of sleeping pills, and her husband is probably thinking about his secretary, the chick at the Coffee Shop, or basically anything with breasts and a heartbeat -- and maybe even other men -- so long as it's anyone who isn't his pre-occupied and perhaps-insane wife.

The Busybody Mom typically ruins her child's life in the process of trying to make it better. Mostly because she's a smothering presence. She's not only successful in imparting her neuroses into her own children, but in transferring them to other Mothers who will implant them into their children, too. If that wasn't enough damage done, occasionally these idiots happen to achieve a power far out of proportion to their actual importance, and get a law written, or changed, or even manage to have a government policy redirected to suit their tastes. Because one Mom might have an issue with her child drinking soda, now millions will have to suffer for it as she manages to get the government to put taxes on it, or worse, starts dictating to the soft drink industry what can and can't be in a can of Pepsi. If Pepsi should happen to go bankrupt in the process because they produce an inferior product no one will buy afterwards, or from lawsuits, a "greater good" will still have been served, and "Children" will have been "protected" from "poison".

And the world becomes a little less enjoyable and colorless for the rest of us, but it was never about us in the first place, so who really gives a shit? Nosey Nancy got her way.

The Busybody Mom also can't shut up. About anything. Even things she obviously knows nothing about. Not only is she an "expert" on whatever her pet peeve is, she's an expert on everything else, too, and just can't help but add her two cents to every conversation within earshot. I met one of those yesterday and I'd very much like to crush her skull like a ripe tomato. I'm pretty sure something resembling the jelly-like-seedy-pulpy mess that comes out of a tomato is probably the only thing keeping her own skull from caving in.

This woman's pet peeve was skateboards and scooters. She went on and on about them, telling me how, despite the fact that her child wears a helmet, knee-and-elbow pads, and probably five layers of bubble wrap, he still managed to fall off the skateboard twice, breaking bones in both instances. Instead of realizing the obvious -- her kid is a fucking klutz -- she's been lobbying to get the skateboard and scooter manufacturers to add "safety features" (short of training wheels what safety feature could you put on a skateboard? Seat belts? Air Bags?), but more than anything else, she's been lobbying YouTube to stop allowing people to post their skateboard and scooter videos -- because that's what inspired her son to go out and break his leg and his collarbone.

So, not only is he a klutz, he's probably a moron, too. Imitating the death-defying stunts on YouTube that require a lot of dexterity, nerve, and a high pain threshold is probably not the best use of your time, nor is it a test of genius. But now, according to his Mom, everyone else should have to suffer for it -- those who enjoy skateboarding and scootering, those who watch YouTube, those that design, buy and sell skateboards, scooters and the safety equipment -- all because her son is a fucking retard with less-than-optimum motor skills and no self-preservation instinct. The real solution (take the skateboard away from the kid) might cause him a trauma (and paint her as the bad guy in her child's eyes), and so the only "fair" answer to her dilemma is to fuck up everyone else's life and livelihoods so that her brittle-boned-uncoordinated-would-be-daredevil doesn't have his precious self-esteem damaged. In reality, he will be damaged because he'll be embarrassed and humiliated by a mother who continually overreacts and leaps to his (imagined) defense at the drop of a hat.

You'll be happy to know this particular woman is also an expert on ice hockey, terrorism, heart disease, interior decorating, home improvement and construction, and chemistry, because all of those subjects came up in polite conversation as well, and she always had something to say on them, too. None of it made any sense, but you were expected to take her word as Bible-Truth, in any case. Oh, and she had that vapid, vacant smile, and the most annoying laugh -- being half-screech-half-snort -- that would be considered a justification for murder in about 11 states.

So, to the Busybody Mom, I raise not my Champagne flute in homage, but my middle finger in rebuke to you this Mother's Day. And I would like to remind you that life is much easier for all involved when we all learn to mind our own fucking business.

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