30 November 2010

Day 248: The Stupidest Angel

The Stupidest Angel: A Heart Warming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore.  ISBN: 9780060590253.

Another thing I think Christopher Moore gets right about the holiday season in the idea of Christmas amnesty. The idea behind it is that no matter how lax you've been with your correspondence, no matter how mad you are at someone for that stupid thing they did, if a person you once knew well shows up with a gift and says “Merry Christmas,” you ought to forgive them and continue the relationship more or less where it left off. I like this idea, because I'm somewhat of a social bonehead, and I think a little more forgiveness in everyone's life would be a good thing.

I don't think this rule applies to really stupid things like abuse, etc., but we all have busy lives and forgetting to call someone for a month isn't really that big of a sin when it's only a social call anyway, right? I would much rather pretend like that didn't happen than to lose a friendship. It might even be a great way to renew friendships you didn't even know were broken... assuming the offended party was willing to let go whatever it was that was bothering them so much they couldn't tell you about it.

Wouldn't that just make your holiday? To just let go of whatever petty anger there is about something that probably wasn't a big deal anyway? Wouldn't that fill your heart with Christmas joy to be able to renew your friendship with Mary Beth from across the street, even after she called your husband a lazy good for nothing because he didn't mow the lawn for a week when he had a gout flareup. Admit it, you missed your daily coffee/tea BS session, and maybe she had a point about your husband anyway.

I, myself, have almost no trouble forgiving people, especially after time has passed. I just don't have the memory for holding a grudge; I'd rather use that brain space for literature and search techniques for digital databases. There are some exceptions when self-preservation is involved, but those are pretty rare and in most cases being friends with someone who is slightly less than totally trustworthy and/or polite leads to only minor problems. Make someone's holiday, extend a little forgiveness.

That guy who cut you off this morning? Cut him a little slack, maybe he honestly didn't see you, or he was really concerned about getting to work because he needs to make extra money to buy his kid an inhaler. That lady with a screaming kid in the restaurant booth behind you? I highly doubt she really wants to have the kid along either, but maybe her babysitter decided to go smoke pot with friends instead of being a responsible adult. That babysitter who canceled on you and left you with a screaming kid? First off, don't hire her again, secondly please avoid taking your screaming baby out after 7:30, and finally, kids grow up too fast these days anyway. Forgive the kid for wanting to hold off adulthood just a little bit longer instead of choosing to take care of your child.

Breathe deep everyone. It's not quite December yet and the holidays are far from over. Let's try to remember that we're all human, and sometimes we are selfish bastards; let's not make it any easier to be selfish bastards by behaving like such more so than usual.

If you want to blow off some Christmas steam, might I suggest a couple of thematically appropriate horror movies? Santa's Slay and Gingerdead Man are delightfully irreverent.  Also, give The Stupidest Angel a read if you haven't already.

A beatifully short and well done review can be found at Un:bound.


  1. Oh man, I was so road ragey at a pedestrian today. Stupid kid crossed in front of me without even looking to see if he had the light. Then when I honked at him because I had the green light he had the nerve to give me the finger. Arrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhh. Okay, I'm done. I forgive him, but I still hope next time he does that he gets hit by a car. TAKE YOUR HEADPHONES OUT OF YOUR EARS AND PAY ATTENTION!


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