11 July 2010

Day 106: A Dog's Purpose

A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron.  ISBN: 9780765326263 (advanced reader copy).

"One day it occurred to me that the warm, squeaky, smelly things squirming around next to me were my brothers and sister.  It was very disappointing." Page 13.

*Sigh.*  I get this.  I can't tell you when I first started to realize that having a sibling sucks all sorts of balls.  Especially if that sibling is The Needy One.  Actually, I was pretty needy myself, but no grease for this wheel because I wasn't as good as my brother at needling my parents for attention (of any variety).  It probably would have been very beneficial for me to have had at least some time as an only child; unfortunately my brother was born first and he's spent the rest of his life trying to reclaim that  one minute of Total Attention from our parents (yes, we're twins).  I actually strongly believe in the One Child household model.  I understand that you can't help it if twins come along, or accidents happen, but the only childs (and yes that sounds weird to me too, but it is correct) I've seen seem well adjusted enough, and in some ways better adjusted than sibling-ed children.

You would think that being an only child would lead to entitlement issues and possibly difficulty in sharing (particularly space, such as a dorm room), but I think everyone has those problems.  In fact, I think that is more of a generational thing than it is only versus sibling-ed children.  Most of this is probably due to television, believe it or not.  Look how many sitcoms there are where siblings are yelling at each other to get out of MY room.  Stop stealing MY clothes, MY iPod.  Holy shit, what happened to sharing, you weren't even using that iPod 10 minutes ago.  As long as they don't delete any songs, burn any holes into the clothes, or muck up your room, why the fuck does it matter if they're using it?

Well, the answer to that is of course boundaries.  But it's kind of a circular logic argument.  We don't have any sense of communal property versus private property because there is no real distinction between the two.  We're taught to share, so we assume that everyone is okay with sharing, so we get grabby with other people's things and treat them like they're our own.  People might be a little more welcome to sharing if they refrained from abusing the borrowed property (you should see the things people do to REAL communal property like library books).  I am always very apologetic to someone when I borrow property without asking first, and I usually only do so if I have a good idea that they would be okay with it in the first place.

All I want to say is, if you drink someone else's six pack, buy a freakin' new one.  If you borrow someone's Kindle, for the love of god say thank you and keep your trap shut about the crappy library they have on it.  Be grateful that there is property that someone is willing to share.  But if they say no, don't get all huffy and upset about it.  It's theirs and you haven't proven yourself yet, or you have and are obviously not trustworthy.  Or they are completely uptight and that's between them and Benjamin Franklin* so STFU already and get over it.

*Neither a borrower not a lender be.

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