“My parents were awesome” – The antithesis of People of Walmart

October 21, 2009

in this i believe

Ever since I was alerted of the existence of the website People of Walmart, I admit, I have been fascinated by the humanity found there.  The bizarre.  The weird.  The blunt un-self-consiousness.  The unrelenting in-your-face humaness.  As demonstrated not just in the people whose pictures have been stealthily taken and exhibited, but also in the amateur “photographers” who took the pictures, and in the commentators who openly expressed their disbelief, oftentimes with glee.

I admit: I stared. I gawked. I pointed. I picked up my jaw from the floor. I shook my head and lamented.

What’s wrong with these people?  What has the world come to?

Deep down though, I do feel guilty.  The guilt comes from realizing the fact that we are the voyeurs passing judgement, objectifying these people that we have marked as Other.  Elitism.  It also comes from the recognition of pure, primal, playground cruelty.  In practice, it does feel good to not be the object of ridicule. For once. I have to say. So that’s why the bullies get such a kick out of doing the things that they do? I get it now…  I think…

Funny how the universe finds its balance eventually.  Sooner or later.  In this case, it came sooner than I’d expected.  In fact, I was not even looking for a cure for People of Walmart.  POW.   (Ha. How fitting. Ok, maybe I am the only person find the acronym amusing…  What can I say? I am easily amused…)

My Parents Were Awesome.

Someone with a not-so-cynical view of the world started a Tumblr that invites all to send in pictures of their parents, reminding us that “Before the fanny packs and Andrea Bocelli concerts, your parents (and grandparents) were once free-wheeling, fashion-forward, and super awesome.”

Here is one of my favorites from the collection so far.  It is growing every day.  Though, sadly yet as expected, not at even half the speed of which POW gains its popularity (or notoriety?).

Unapologetically sentimental.  An antidote for the cynicism, and frankly, the self-centeredness we children exhibit towards our parents, no matter how old we are.

Now I wonder:

What were my parents like before they were my parents?

I remember a picture of my mom wearing a super short mini skirt, with a Jakie do, skinny as hell.  She is in her 70s now, and sometimes, now looking back, I believe in her mind’s eye, she is still that young woman.  I wish I had seen that earlier.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin October 22, 2009 at 7:34 am

I love the Parents tumblr, I subscribe to it. In fact, fyi, I sumitted my favorite picture of my mom. Keep an eye out. She’s sitting in the grass drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette. I submitted it like 10 days ago, I don’t know if they are behind or if I was just ignored.
Robin´s last blog ..What Gwen Is In Store For My ComLuv Profile

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Jane October 22, 2009 at 8:15 am

What a cool site! Thanks for alerting me to it and sharing it on my blog. What a great way to celebrate our history!
Jane´s last blog ..Running from the Scary Mommy My ComLuv Profile

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Jennifer Lynn October 22, 2009 at 9:25 am

“Deep down though, I do feel guilty. The guilt comes from realizing the fact that we are the voyeurs passing judgement, objectifying these people that we have marked as Other. Elitism. It also comes from the recognition of pure, primal, playground cruelty. In practice, it does feel good to not be the object of ridicule. For once. I have to say. So that’s why the bullies get such a kick out of doing the things that they do? I get it now… I think…”

That is PERFECTION. I have often tried to put it into words…….thank you for explaining my guilt in words and giving me a way to explain it when others gawk.
Jennifer Lynn´s last blog ..Oh, NO……not B.O.!!!!!!!! My ComLuv Profile

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Absence Alternatives October 22, 2009 at 11:14 am

@ Robin
I am definitely looking out for it. When it appears, can I add it to my post?! *please*

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Absence Alternatives October 22, 2009 at 11:15 am

@ Jane
I plan to write a part 2 to this post and give you the credit you deserve for posting that picture of your aunts. BUT everybody that reads my blog also reads yours (the reverse is NOT true…) so… ;-)

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Absence Alternatives October 22, 2009 at 11:15 am

@ Jennifer Lynn
THANK YOU! *blush*

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Jamie October 30, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Thank you for saying what I was feeling and couldn’t express… except the fear that I’ll end up on People of Walmart myself one day. That one was pretty easy to figure out.

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Absence Alternatives October 31, 2009 at 10:08 am

@ Jamie
Me too! I also have the fear. Now I am afraid to go to Walmart. I think I will actually put on proper make-up etc. when I go there now. LOL.

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