My kids were sick in turn for a total of twelve days. One day, I even had all three home sick at the same time. That is a lot of whine-listening, juice-fetching, broth-making, temperature-taking, fluid-pushing, and medicine-dispensing. Just call me Florence Nightingale.
Luckily, I have been well and healthy and getting progressively more well-and-healthy every single day. (As is often the case, it niggles the sick people, and the sicker they are the more annoying the others’ robustness.)
Sunday was the only day of reprieve, when everyone was simultaneously well enough to leave the house for the morning to attend parties, church, rehearsals, to teach, and staff tables. At midday on Sunday, I came home to fetch the dish I had prepared to help feed volunteers at church. The refrigerator was drooling profusely. The ice maker oozed chilly water into a growing puddle on the stone tile below. As he frequently does, my thirteen-year-old sprang into action, grabbing a towel and stopping the leak by stuffing it up the ice maker. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
I called in reinforcements. When my friend arrived, he went to examine the ice maker. He tugged the freezer door open. A dammed reservoir of freezing water splashed out, wetting him, the floor, and the entire contents of the freezer. This is my life.
On the upside, Orrin Hatch is now following me on Twitter. (Me, and 24,500 of his closest friends.) A friend says it is because he is a RINO (Republican In Name Only) and RINOs and DINOs (posers from the other side of the aisle) sometimes dance. (I don’t know what my friend means calling me a DINO—Them’s fightin’ words.)
Speaking of dancing, some of you have written wondering about Mr. Handsome German-named George Clooney-doppelgänger dude. No I haven’t called him. (Stop groaning, already. You knew I wouldn’t.)
Anyway, I have been too busy with Kim Kardashian. (I am finally getting to the point of this post—I’m sure you hoped I would soon.) Like many of the rest of you, I am so sick of hearing about Kim Kardashian. Even some of the people I most respect have written or posted or tweeted about Kim Kardashian—usually to ask why we care at all, or to make a point about marriage equality, but they are watching all the same.
Kim Kardashian is like a bad song that gets stuck in your head. Maybe it wasn’t a bad song at first, but at two a.m. when you are trying to sleep, it gets worse and worse and worse. Eventually the only remaining strategy is play to purge. Confession: I watched Kim Kardashian’s sex tape. I’m not the only one who did, either. On the day of her wedding and again on Monday, the day it was announced that she had filed for divorce, there was a spike in Kim Kardashian sex-tape traffic. If you haven’t already seen it, I would advise you to spare yourself—don’t click this link. It’s rather “dis-gross-ting.” Kim is attractive in an insipid porn star kind of way, sure, but this is a clip of a woman having sex with a man she is supposedly in love with, enough so to take off her clothes anyway, but which appears to be not at all. To my eye these aren’t passionate lovers but vapid garden-variety porn performers. After watching the clip which now has upwards of five MILLION views, I wondered how many of those viewers were in attendance at her nuptials? Whatever your opinion of Kim’s attributes and… um, talents, one thing everyone agrees on is that she is especially good at making money. (She’s a snappy dresser, too—I’ll give her that.)
A friend recently mentioned a study he had seen that psychopathy (sociopathy) is much more prevalent in society than previously thought. Researchers now believe that many among us are uncounted psychopaths, uncounted because they are rational. They avoid violating norms out of awareness of consequences, not because they feel compassion or anything that resembles it. If a dastardly act could be gotten away with, if no one were watching, such a psychopath would be free of the qualms the rest of us have. It has often been said that the measure of a person’s character is in what he or she will do when no one is watching and there is nothing to lose.
My friend suggested that Ex is exactly this breed of psychopath. He also expressed the view that psychopaths are soulless. As it would happen, I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of the soul recently. I don’t personally believe that any among us are truly soulless, though many seem to have lost their souls—which isn’t to say that they no longer have them. I am not, by the way, suggesting that Kim Kardashian is a psychopath—maybe she is, I don’t know—but watching her makes me wonder if she hasn’t, like so many others, mislaid her soul. I should add here that I have never met her, nor have I actually seen even a single episode of one of her shows. I don’t generally watch reality TV or much TV at all, except for a handful of programs enjoyed by various children in my household: Glee, Top Gear, Dr. Who, WildKratts, and Stewart and/or Colbert. Oh, and, yeah, anything with Nathan Fillion.
Kim Kardashian has most likely never had to worry about her ice maker flooding the kitchen. “What’s a kitchen?” you can almost hear her ask sweetly. (It often said a woman is only good in one room, and Kim quite obviously believes hers is the bedroom.) I look at Kim Kardashian, and good many of the glitterati, and I see a vacuousness that is wholly off-putting. Kim’s was a garish American version of a royal wedding with $75k in Vera Wang gowns for the bride alone. Now, a few short months later, our porn star next door has prematurely ejected her chosen one. With his broad shoulders and broad smile, didn’t her future former husband, Kris Humphries, look perfectly wholesome and all-American? (If he is for real, I feel sorry for the guy. Someone should really have told him that Kim was exactly the sort of girl his mother warned him about.)
The whole tawdry display offers up what feels like genuine proof that happiness cannot come from privilege. It cannot come from fragrances, watches, purses, and shoes, nor strikingly handsome all-American husbands. It cannot come from a mountain of riches, from lavish vacations, nor from the purchased company of other glitzy, superficial people. (Certainly the inverse is not true—much misery can stem from poverty and loneliness.)
Partly, we watch Kim, her family, and others like her smugly. They reaffirm the meaning of our own lives, and they confirm our intrinsic worth. We aren’t shallow or hollow. Somehow we’re better, and the soul-selling 1%—like Kim and company—live as proof. With all that embarrassingly conspicuous consumption, I’ll bet Kim’s slavery footprint much larger than yours or mine, or any other member of the 99%. I feel sorry for Kim with her meaningless marriages, with her let-it-all-hang-out life, driven by the want of fame and money; empty of what matters most: deep and meaningful connections with other human beings. (Love, you know; the real kind.)
Smug is unbecoming and uncomfortable, so I’m looking away. I’m through wasting time that could otherwise be spent doing almost anything else. Instead, I’ll use that time to engage my children to help them develop into decent young people, capable of keeping track of their own souls such that they can lead satisfying and meaningful lives.
Goodbye, Kim Kardashian. I am turning off your distracting noise. I am not watching you or your cute behind anymore.