A friend of mine recently bought her son a new car. A super-shiny, sporty, expensive, NOT used, brand-stinking-new car. Her son is in high school. Give me a break, okay?
That event, by itself, would probably just have been one of those things I try not to dwell upon, because envy isn’t a pleasant trait. I mean, people buy cars for their children, right? This is America. It’s pretty much expected that at age 15, kids learn how to drive. Then at age 16, kids get their license. If the kid comes from a moneyed family, there’s a car waiting in the driveway. Otherwise, the car comes as a graduation gift. One way or another, the kid gets a car. Period.
Dude, I’m here to tell ya — I didn’t get a fucking car for any birthday ever. My son is about to turn 19, and he certainly hasn’t ever received any cars for any of his birthdays, either. Hence the need to bite my tongue and swallow my green monster.
And like I said, I could have gotten past it with minimal bitterness if something else hadn’t come up along with it. Wait for it. Here it comes.
Upon posting this wonderful status update on FB, someone casually remarked, “You’re such a good mom.”
Then some other latte drinkers chimed in agreement. There was a general consensus that, yes, this bitch is a good mom. I want to stab her in the eye now. With a plastic butter knife.
This lady is a really, truly spectacular example of motherhood. All her friends say so. And all she had to do was buy her kid a car.
I take some fucking umbrage to that. Because, the implication here is that if you DON’T buy your kid a car, you must be a pretty shitty mom.
I have not bought a car for my son. Ergo, I am NOT a good mom.
What about all the wonderful things I have taught him? What about how he is selfless and generous and kind; driven and intelligent and forgiving and understanding; taking care of himself and pursuing a future in spite of all the odds?
You’re telling me NONE of that matters? Just… I didn’t buy my son a car. What a strange planet I have landed upon. Its people’s priorities are pretty jacked up.
While I’m over here ranting anyway, let’s talk about kids and cars. Our current laws allow children who aren’t legally responsible for their actions, who have no choice in political leaders, who often can’t read or perform basic math, to be in charge of death machines.
And it’s just expected. That’s just the way it is. No one even questions the craziness of allowing kids behind a wheel. Society has deemed it okay. Therefore we go through the motions without even stopping to think about the repercussions.
And it’s getting worse, because the current generation of drivers has grown up with smart phones and technological devices, so are unable to imagine a world without them. That isn’t so bad, except that they chat and text while driving.
My mom and my mother-in-law both do this, and it scares the piss out of me. They are both shitty drivers who probably shouldn’t even be on the road, much less with cellular distractions. These are grownups — people who should know better — people who lived before texting was anything more than a science fiction dream. Our parents have accepted the new technology like it was always there, and can’t fathom how my family does without it.
So. You’re a good mom if you give your kid a car. And, from what our parents tell us, I guess you’re also a good mom if you give your kid a cell phone.
Am I a good mom if I give these things to my child and he kills someone because of it?
Are you a good mom if your asshole teenager kills my child because of it?
Most importantly, though, I’d really like to know this: Are there any other items of which I am unaware that are necessary to give my child, in order to obtain the lofty title of “Good Mom”?
Like, donuts. Where do they fit into the grand scheme of things? Am I a good mom if I make sure my kids have donuts once every couple weeks?
YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO SAY YES, ASSHOLE.