“Too soon?” Yes. It is too soon and you’re an asshat.

On Saturday, Paul Walker, actor in The Fast and the Furious franchise, died as a passenger in a single car accident, on the way home from a charity event. We, as a country, responded in one of three ways:

1. Appropriately sad
2. Somewhat unhealthily sad
3. With giggles

The first response is obviously the one I favor. These people may have posted something on social networking sites addressing Walker’s age or expressing best wishes for his family. They may have mentioned their love of his films or the fact that they just got them all on sale on Black Friday. They expressed remorse and went on with their lives. Perhaps these folks watched She’s All That and managed to not angrily scream “WHERE IS THE ADMINISTRATION?!?!?!” during every high school scene. Normal.

The second response… is weird. I’ve really never understood the total devastation someone can feel over a celebrity death. If Pope Frankie (as my cousin, Mitch, likes to call him) died tomorrow, I would weep for the Church. I’ve never met the man, but he’s an influential leader and, in my opinion, a truly good soul. If Barack Obama died tomorrow, I would weep for the country, because he’s a political leader and that would leave our government in uproar during a tenuous time. If Leonardo DiCaprio died? I’d comment on his age and watch Titanic, failing to not angrily scream “HE’S A VAGRANT, YOU IGNORANT COW!” during every romantic scene. I would not cry… because his life in no way affects me or anyone I love and I don’t feel I have that right. My Gramma cried the day Elvis died. I know many who cried when Michael Jackson died. I just don’t get it. However, it’s not an offensive reaction. I realize that other people (who are wrong) don’t necessarily scream “Emotions should be hidden like the last fucking Horcrux!” every time their eyes water. Maybe they’re the healthy ones. I don’t know. Regardless, no harm done.

The third reaction? This one is deeply disturbing.

Facebook status on Tuesday:
So a car just freaking exploded and was engulfed in flames right next to my apartment building. This is one of the most insane things I’ve ever witnessed

Comments:
– Paul Walker came over? To soon?
– ok guys that’s a bit fast with the Paul Walker jokes. I’m furious.
– haha I think it’s time to hit the brakes with the jokes.

 I am not contradicting myself here. I realize that I’ve made many inappropriate jokes in my day.

::in the car, waiting for my dad and step-mother to bury my grandfather’s ashes, inJuly::
Me: “Ugh. It is a thousand degrees in here. They’re gonna have to bury three more piles of ash if they don’t hurry the hell up.”
Cade: “It would be awesome if the window was open and they could hear you.”

So, what’s the difference? The difference, is that my grandpa used to drag my brother and I to church on the weekends that we went to the lake, because vacation was no excuse for missing Mass. The difference, is that every Christmas he bought us shitty gifts, filled with love, because it’s all he could afford. The difference is the cherished rosary he wanted me to have. The difference, is that he was my family and saying goodbye was hard, so humor was my crutch, because emotions belong with the last fucking Horcrux!!!!!

Paul Walker was only 40 years old and his father had to bury his baby boy. I don’t even have kids and my relationship with my dad has shown me that a child never stops being his parents’ baby, whether they’re throwing up at age 10 or crying on their doorstep at age 23. A woman watched her son lowered into the ground forever. His parents won’t be able to give him the Christmas presents they’ve already bought. There’s a couple out there weeping over high school graduation pictures from the early 90’s. Paul Walker wasn’t an only child, either. Bo may be a redneck bigot sometimes, but if my big brother died, I would be inconsolable. Most tragically, there’s a 15-year-old girl out there who was just getting know her daddy and now his light is gone from the world.* He’ll never interrogate a college boyfriend or walk her down the aisle. That is heartbreaking.

Paul Walker’s death was no more tragic than that of any other 40-year-old man with a family and full life. It also, however, was no more uproarious. If his family and friends choose to use humor as a crutch, more power to them. We all have fucked up coping mechanisms. Whatever gets you through hard times. Everyone else? No. We don’t get that crutch, because it’s not a crutch for us. It’s insensitive and cruel, especially when published on a social networking site where the man’s name is tagged and his family is guaranteed to see it. Remember when your dog was hit by a truck when you were fourteen? How much more awesome would that have been with strangers making lame-ass jokes?

“What’s black and white and red all over? Your dalmatian!”

This isn’t a new issue, either. It’s not even confined to celebrity deaths. During the last natural disaster, I had a heated Facebook debate with that douche bag from high school who’s only on my friends list because it’s amusing to read about how much he loves himself. When I called him out on his insensitivity, he told me I had no right to be offended, because I wasn’t harmed. CHILDREN DIED. I’m sorry, but as an American citizen, a native of this state, an educator, I had a fucking right to be appalled that the bodies had barely been recovered and he was running the laugh track for his self-proclaimed cleverness. Furthermore, several people liked each and every comment I made, as I defended the fact that his being an inconsiderate prick, didn’t mean I didn’t have a sense of humor. I clearly was not the only offended party on the billboard that is Facebook.

Gaily’s daughter died at eight months old. I was Aunt Belle. I saw that little lady 5 times a week…. and sometimes we make disturbing up jokes about it, because it hurts not having her in the world. It’s how we deal and we know we’re broken. Where has the compassion gone for everyone else who’s hurting, though? I’ll admit, I don’t know what to say in times of heartache and I usually end up doing something really awkward…

In fact, the last time, I’m pretty sure I waited waaaay too many days to comment and then blurted “I’m sorry you’re sad.” It wasn’t perfect. Far from it. It also wasn’t a giggle. Had that been the alternative, it would have certainly been best to say nothing. This is a really easy response in social networking. You don’t have to comment. If you don’t have anything nice to say, shut your damned hole on a public forum.

I’m not even knocking offensive humor, as a whole. I, myself, have made too many battered wives jokes to count. I’ve also survived an abusive marriage. Just the same, generally offensive jokes, like those horrifying dead baby jokes that Gail and I made as teenagers, are far less appalling. They never pinpointed one tragedy or crying family. We were also kids and didn’t quite comprehend that that shit actually happens. The comments I’m reading and hearing about celebrity deaths, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and Sandy Hook? Those aren’t being made by kids, but adults who fully understand the pain and heartache of losing a loved one; and without fail, they always end in “too soon?” Yes. It is too soon and you’re an asshat.

i plane ny
This shirt fucking exists.

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/paul-walker-died-seconds-crash-coroner-rules/story?id=21098595

http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/12/01/the-sides-of-paul-walker-you-may-have-missed/

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Sometimes… I’m still a little broken.

daddy remember
When 10 family members like this post on Facebook…

So, this past week, I went on 1004 dates (blog entry both pending and a lot funnier than this one) and decided that my bias toward the free sites was unfair. There could be good men on there, if I’m patient enough to weed through all of the 28-year-old “students” living at home. So, as a tester, I reactivated my OKCupid account, since that was easier than building a new one on Plenty of Fish. Within just a few minutes I sent Gaily the following text:

Reactivated my OKCupid account. First Message:

Hey ur beautiful how r u doin? U look really nice n sweet n i am nice n sweet n wanna be friends?

She thought it was hilarious and I decided I’d deactivate again once the site would allow me to in a week. I wasn’t willing to completely delete the information of whom I’d been in contact with and whom I hadn’t.

In the meantime, I chatted with one guy who lives a few hours away (briefly, because he lives a few hours away) and giggled over the profiles of some obviously crazy people, which naturally led to… my ex-husband’s OKCupid account.

Upon seeing a picture of the man who… oh I can’t even outline his sociopathic tendencies again!!!!! I started to hyperventilate and immediately deleted my account forever. I was intensely freaked out that he might have had the opportunity to open my profile and read anything about my life. Everything about me has changed. I am unrecognizable both physically and personality-wise. The idea that he knows I like guns and college football and that I actually became a librarian? It has my heart racing as I fucking type the words.

So, naturally, I immediately turned to my human security blanket, The Great and Powerful Gail.

wizard of oz gail
Can you believe a female Wizard of Oz costume doesn’t exist?!?! No, seriously. I’m bothered by this. There’s a sexy Tin Man, a sexy Cowardly Lion, a sexy Scarecrow, and a sexy Glinda for crying out loud. Glinda was 55 years old in that movie! I fucking checked! What? A woman can’t be the leader of a magical city? Fuck you costume makers of America! FUCK YOU!

Ahem. See? I’m avoiding the point of the blog, because it’s making me nauseous.

Anyway…

As I was informing Gail of my e-run-in, I realized that I really wanted to know what my ex-husband’s profile said. I couldn’t quell the curiosity over what a man who refused to work for four years lists under “profession.” Gaily’s ex-husband, Shane, claims to be the manager of his parent’s pet store… as he did when he never went to work while they were married. Welcome to the Midwest, y’all: Home of the Commonplace 22-Year-Old Divorcée . I once texted Gail in regards to my ex:

Me: His Facebook says he has a job.
Gail: Hahaha. Sure. I’ll bet he was “hired” to burn down the pet store Shane “manages.” 

Given our oddly similar mental fractures from our previous marriages, Gaily was in full support of my creating a fake profile just to see what my ex-husband’s said. FYI, you don’t need a valid e-mail address to create a blank OKCupid account under the name Mobetterdogs and stalk people. I don’t know if it’s better or worse that I looked. I really don’t. I will say his profile name had both the word “nerdy” and the misspelling of the word “than.” His profile also included:

What are you doing with your life? 

“putting it back together after a tough divorce left me homeless, jobless, and pennyless.”


WHAT?!?!?!? 

One, Captain Asshat, it’s penniless, not pennYless. No wonder you failed senior English!

Two, Spawn of Hell, you were penniless and jobless the entire time we were married! That’s like saying our divorce left you fat and white! Also, you can’t talk about how you’re putting your life back together after your divorce 104 fucking years later!!!!

Gail: “How does a divorce make someone jobless?”

Three, Bag of Dicks, homeless?!?!?! You had months to make arrangements, because that’s how long you refused to leave after I asked!!!!! That’s how long it took for Jay to advise me to threaten to call the Sheriff and remind him of the WARRANT out for those checks you “didn’t write.” You were only homeless, because you were no longer welcome in the homes of your family after their shit went missing!!!!!! That’s quite similar to the reason you weren’t welcome in MY home anymore!!!!! It was, indeedMY home, since I was the only one paying for anything EVER!!!!!!  You even kept breaking into my apartment long after I kicked you out, so you could steal my shit!!!!!

Four, you Son of a Whore, “tough divorce”?!?!?! Try free divorce, since I’m the one who paid for it!! I went fucking crazy during said divorce and refused to sleep for two weeks while I threw out all of your shit and realized all you had stolen from me!!!! I found a card that proved that, after all those times you yelled at me for the implication, my wedding ring was indeed fake!!!! I still can’t watch Firefly because it reminds me of how you stole the boxed DVD birthday present from me when I forgot to pack it up with the valuables I had to store for safekeeping!!!!!! I LOVE FIREFLY!!!!!!!! How about my tough marriage?!!? I owe six digit school loans from living off financial aid when you wouldn’t work! You pulled roadrunner-esque schemes to FAKE JOBS!!!!! I lost 12 pounds the summer I worked at the movie theater, because free popcorn was the only food we had! I MISCARRIED THAT SUMMER!!!! You left me alone while I did, so you could go to a party!!!!!! 

Then I read his questions.

Do you like cats or dogs?

Both. As long as they’re trained and not pains in the ass. 

My precious little “pain in the ass” still cannot get through bathtime without my singing, because you used to beat him on the rare occasion you would bathe him, despite not working or being in school! He’s finally over his fear of men! YOU HURT MY PUPPY!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!?!?!?

Gaily was right. Under profession, it said “student.” Not only that, but the text of his profile actually clarified that he’s “planning to go back to school soon.”

That’s still unemployed! You were “planning to go back to school” when you got kicked out of college at 19. At one point, YOU FAKED BEING IN SCHOOL!!!! Higher education is not for you. Get a fucking job.

Yes. I feel validated. I won the divorce. Clearly. It’s been two and a half years and I have a Master’s degree and burgeoning career, wonderful friends, an adorable apartment. I’m also 100 pounds lighter and know what eyeliner is. I did everything I said I would and then some. Go me. Most days, I feel wonderful and free and blessed.

Then, there are other days, when I’m still a little broken. I say the name of the beloved cat that died in the unexplained fire that got my nineteen year old husband a bunch of cash the day he lost his job… and I can’t breathe. I open a DVD case with soot on it and that smell puts me back on a charred futon, crying into a burned, wet stuffed animal because my pets look like they’re sleeping on the front lawn. I walk down the baby aisle of a Target and know it’s for the best that he has nothing to do with a child… but it’s a child I lost. I look for a movie on my shelf and realize it’s one he stole when he was breaking in at night. I have a nightmare that I’m still married and I wake to a panic attack. I cuddle the dog and promise no one will ever hurt either one of us again. Most days, I’m an upbeat, happy Librarian with a thriving social life and a skill for random Pinterest crafts. On rare occasion, I’m a morbidly obese, 23-year-old, sitting in a judge’s chair, holding back the tears. Another person who was supposed to love me had hurt me.

ex husband okcupid
… but thank the Lord for good friends.

I’m pretty sure I’m done with the free dating sites. I also feel completely justified in my refusal to date anyone with the profession of “student.”

sexy tinman
Yeah. That’s a fucking thing.