While I waited for my daughter to finish her breakfast so we could begin another school day Monday, I sludged through page after page of beautiful men in the latest issue of GQ magazine, confounded that such beautifully airbrushed creatures actually existed on this planet. Whew! Quite an eyeful.
And then, BAM, it hit me, the editorial by Jim Nelson, editor-in-chief of GQ. Someone expressed in a wonderfully delicious, acerbic style, what I had been thinking for some time.
Let me connect the dots. An “old-school” song came on the radio as I was racing to pick up my child from school recently. Eminem’s “Slim Shady” song. Perhaps you’ve heard it, yes? I had a general disdain for the song when it was popular a few years ago, because I love music so much and his type of anger didn’t do it for me. But on this particular day, I was exhausted by the same ten songs on the radio stations, and I’ve given up on finding the stations that used to play Barbra Streisand songs (sigh), which have faded into endless nasal tunes by Rihanna. Hah! How often does that happen in one lifetime — a sentence that mentions Barbra and Rihanna. I’m on a roll…
cause I’m only giving you
Things you joke about with your friends inside your living room
The only difference is I got the balls to say it
In front of y’all and I don’t gotta be false or sugarcoated at all
I heard these lines, which I had never heard before.
And every single person is a Slim Shady lurking
He could be working at Burger King, spitting on your onion rings
[*HACH*] Or in the parking lot, circling
Screaming “I don’t give a fuck!”
With his windows down and his system up
So, will the real Shady please stand up?
Maybe I tuned it out when I heard the line about how every child will know what intercourse is by the time they’re in the fourth grade. It just may have been too much for me to handle then. And it’s so easy to tuck our heads down and plow along, in denial of what’s right in front of our faces, aren’t we?
My daughter is in third grade now.
I thought to myself, now that I’m 43, I feel like a “Slim Shady” because I finally stood up to the system, finally stopped playing the fake mommy game, finally stopped giving a damn what other people thought of me, expected of me, or saw in me. See, good Catholic girls who were reminded daily, Jonathan Edwards style, that Hell is just around the bend, learned how to be humble, how to adopt a Francis of Assisi state of mind…or else.
I watched the movie, “Antwone Fisher” last night and it reminded me of my “Slim Shady” thoughts again, as I considered how Mr Fisher had become so filled with anger that it spewed out of him like a geyser due to the incomprehensible treatment by his foster family.
Our childhoods are so powerful and etch deep grooves into our future adult personalities. Today it feels like a cloak, a heavy brocade and lined cloak, pressing on my shoulders, that I long to toss off in a very Hollywood Oscar nominated film kind of style, and proclaim, “This is who I am. I will not apologize or make excuses or say ‘I’m sorry’ anymore. I am Slim Shady too.”
The very image of that in my mind gives me butterflies.
Imagine my utter glee to read such a spot-on editorial by GQ editor Jim Nelson this morning.
In, “So Very Deeply Madly Sorry,” Mr. Nelson humorously delves into what he calls the “dawn of an apology culture — a strange, self-feeding loop of screw-up and regret that has us all riveted” (GQ 72).
It was brilliant. I laughed out loud when he said, “As a country, we’ve never been sorrier.” These words were so true. We suck up news pieces of government officials and celebrities who let their real thoughts slip, only to be forced into an apology by pressures from the people.
Consider this: if the federal government has task forces that spend millions of dollars chasing down internet pedophiles in this country, can we really expect that some of those pornography addicted men are not in public offices, and celebrities? I’m just saying.
It’s a great piece. If anybody in the world reads this blog, perhaps you should look it up yourself. Apparently this is the March issue of GQ, not February. I’m sorry. (Dope! — Homer Simpson voice).
Check it out.
Now, here are two terrible confessions, which I’m NOT sorry about, even thought I did apologize for one of them.
1. Whenever a new GQ issue comes out, I secretly toss the old one to recycling, because…he never really reads them anyway.
2. To my last principal, who is an incompetent ass, when I told you to shut up, it was because you are indeed insufferable, and I couldn’t tolerate another second listening to your programmed administrative drivel. And I’m not sorry, because, well, quite frankly, you deserved it.
Jim Nelson feels this new apology driven society has manifested from our “own issues about sincerity.” Think about it. Everything around us these days if superficial, from our Instagram feeds, to our Facebook posts, to our Snapchats. I watched a moronic mother at my daughter’s multi-cultural festival on Friday snapping pictures of herself, while student performances were going on, and it looked like she was getting ready to post to some social media site all about what a great mother she was, standing in the back of the auditorium to see her baby girl that she was so proud of. Yeah…to proud to put the damn phone down and pay attention to baby girl no doubt.
We’re obsessively driven to capture it all and it looks like we’re missing everything. When will the real Slim Shady’s please stand up? Please…stand up.