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A Tale of Two Pities

Presented for your approval: a tale of two pities. One situation deserves your empathy. The other demands it, in spite of an utter lack of compassion, understanding, or common sense. It is the juxtaposition of dignity and victimhood, loss and entitlement. Which of them will you feel pity for? We have officially turned the corner into… the Twilight Zone.

A person of my acquaintance has a grandmother in the hospital. Her illness isn’t related to the coronavirus, but she’s not doing particularly well. Because of the strict precautions being taken, no visitors are allowed. None of her family can be there with her, to offer her companionship and love. No one can say what will probably be the final goodbye. This person that I know is sad, but understanding. They’re not bitter. While they will carry some regrets if their grandmother passes, they know that these rules are in place not just to increase the odds that she’ll pull through, but for the protection of all of the other patients that in turn have families that love them.

Another person I know is unable to go to McDonald’s, and they absolutely will not shut up about it. That’s it. That’s the entire story. They’re about to blow a gasket because they can’t get some fries. When people point out that they’re acting like a whiny little turd, the dive deeper into their own victimhood and proclaim that no one understands their suffering.

A Tale of Two Pities

Today’s Day 14 of Camp Corona. Somehow I’m tired of people even though I haven’t seen anyone other than my wife for two weeks. Oh, wait, I was tired of people before the pandemic, too. Never mind. I’m going back to writing now.

4 replies on “A Tale of Two Pities”

There was a Seinfeld episode this reminded me of – “The Understudy”. Gennice cries at various trivialities including dropping a hotdog. But shows no emotion when her grandmother dies. I am just reminded of the fact that some people just do not have a proper perspective of things. And like trying to teach a pig to sing, it’s not worth the effort to try to change them.

I used to have a bookmark folder filled with stories of people who overreacted in retail stores and fast food establishments. Like the woman who shot up a KFC drive-thru because they forgot to put a napkin and fork in her bag. Like, if you Google “woman shoots mcdonald’s drive thru” you will find several similar stories covering a multitude of locations. It’s always because they got the wrong sandwich or there was no bacon on the burger or they were told the location was out of something. It fascinates me because it’s not a one-off, it’s a pattern.

What I always find frustating on these cases is that it is never their problem. If the people that have this entitlement syndrome, for want of a better word, make some mistake themselves, it is never their problem. They were set up by somebody else, and that person is going to pay for this. Apparantly our society is geared to raise people who (think they) live in a perfect world, and any imperfection is reason to go overboard with their response. Measered does not appear to be something they are thought, in live or at school.

We start with a society that hasn’t been taught critical thinking skills. Certain things have to be the way they are, and are unchangeable. The Constitution says this, ignore the part where it can be amended. The Bible says that, ignore the fact that there are dozens of denominations that interpret different things in different ways. Tradition says this, ignore the context of why the tradition came about. Universal healthcare is socialism, pay no attention to the fact that every other democracy and developed nation has had it for decades. Things are the way they are, don’t ask questions.

Then you’re told that you can get Chicken McNuggets 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TV commercials are facts on par with the Constitution and the Bible, drilled into your head. Now you have all of life’s worries, a job you hate, financial insecurity, relationship issues, and all you want is the fulfillment of the promise that you can get some damned McNuggets at 2am on a Thursday. It’s your one little pleasure in an otherwise bad day.

They break the promise and tell you they’re out of nuggets. The covenant is broken. All of what you’ve been taught is immutable reality shatters. This cannot be. Were they lying to you when they made the promise, or are they lying to you now? Either way, you have been lied to. You have been played. You have been disrespected. Naturally, the only thing left to do is shoot the place up.

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