Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Everyone Puts Their Pants on One Leg at a Time

"Mommy, will Santa come in the bathroom to poop so he'll see my snowman night light?"

The whole idea of Santa is one that my husband and I had many "animated discussions" about when Sophie was a baby. I was raised in a family that treated Santa as any cartoon hero that you know doesn't really exist but look up to anyhow (for me it was the original black and white Superman show). Christmas was first and foremost about the birth of Christ (and then the presents). My husband was raised believing in Santa. Since we both ended up pretty much normal and well-balanced and my brother, who is a psychologist, told me to lighten up when we presented our case to him, I decided to go with the "let her believe Santa is real" option and just see what happened.

Last Christmas was the first year that Sophie truly understood the concept of Santa and she embraced it totally. Life began revolving around making sure Santa knew what she wanted, where he was working, if he was going to be able to get everything done, etc. I have to admit that playing the "Be good or Santa will see you," card was used a few times by me. Santa was

When we decorated the house, we put up a Santa night light in the bathroom so our young lady would be able to see where she was going if she needed to go potty at night. It wasn't until a couple of days later that the question about whether Santa was going to see our Christmas decoration in the bathroom was brought up.

After a good laugh and running to write down what she said before I forgot it, it hit me that even though Santa was bigger than life to Sophie, she realized that he still went to the bathroom. He does this HUGE job, but when the rubber meets the road, he's just a guy and he needs to poop too.

How different our perspective of those we hold in such high esteem would be if we first remembered that they have to poop just like us. Lately it's happened to some big heroes in various venues. The football world saw that Michael Vick poops; and in a different way the golf community saw that Tiger Woods does as well.  (Is it ironic that my daughter just walked by and let me know that she has to go poop?)

Unfortunately, there are those whose stars rise so high that even they seem to forget that they poop like the rest of us and when it happens, they do it in front of the world and the crash is one from which they never recover completely. Mel Gibson is one of those, as is Brittany Spears.  For me, the worst scenario is the ones who we hold so high even though we are well aware of their shortfalls (sorry, I'm getting tired of the poop analogy and I think you know what I mean by now). We are willing to turn a blind eye to the stink and only focus on the glitter and glam.

This was the case for me in 1982. The person in question was my favorite comedian and actor. He was very, very funny, especially with physical comedy. He was also a local boy who made it big; having gone to my high school. I actually met his older brother because his mother had worked at the same pharmacy as me and once the family moved to California, the brother came in to chat and tell us what the movie industry was like. My hero was John Belushi and he died in 1982 of an accidental overdose. I remember where I was when I heard and I cried my eyes out.

These popular icons seem unable to learn from their fellow artists, athletes, etc. Whether it's an accidental overdose, suicide or a different kind of fall (aka Rob Lowe and Hugh Grant), it continues to continue. Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, Anna Nicole Smith, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson....this list doesn't end.

I want my daughter to have heroes. I'd like them to include people of quality and character, but I am not that naive. So, when she has pictures of whoever replaces Lady Gaga by the time Sophie's a teenager, I hope that in addition to admiring the artist's style and voice, she still remembers that when it's all said and done, her hero poops just like she does. Human is human after all.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely narration and it is funny as well. Good job!


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