Sunday, April 22, 2012

Halo or Hell-No

I know I am an extremely sensitive person. I can’t help it. I get upset when I see someone eating a meal by themselves at a restaurant. I’ve been known to tear up when I see an elderly person having dinner all alone. I rarely think it’s by choice. I don’t even like seeing one of my kids sitting downstairs in the kitchen eating by herself. Sometimes I’ll just go downstairs to keep her company. I don’t know why I get like that, but I do. I’m so overly sensitive that I find some commercials to be real tearjerkers.

I think it’s mean to train animals. We don’t know that they actually want to be doing whatever it is you’re teaching them to do. People think it’s cute, but the animal itself may not like it. I think we should train them to be safe…but not to do tricks just for human amusement. On the Today Show last week, they were showing the world’s smallest puppy that was born a couple of weeks ago. They were holding her up and she was adorable. But as I sat there watching, I had tears in my eyes because the poor little thing was shaking uncontrollably. Then they decided it would be cute to put her in a coffee mug. I didn’t think that was cute at all. I think cuddling her would have been much sweeter and not so insensitive.

When I have taken trips up north, while driving through farming areas, all I can think about when I see the thousands of cattle grazing, is that they have no clue that they are next in line to be someone's dinner. How sad is that? If they knew...they'd be running towards the freeway for a ride. And if I had the means, I would think about picking up a couple and taking them to safety.

When I was a kid and my grandparents would come to visit, my grandfather, who spoke hardly any English, would go sit by himself in the family room. Not being able to verbally communicate with him, I would go sit next to him on the couch, take his hand, and keep him company. In silence.

I like helping people whenever I can…especially the elderly and children. I know I’m not alone when it comes to doing and feeling this way…thank God. But I do get overly upset when I see any kind of suffering or bad behavior towards others. And I end up dwelling on it. That’s why I could never work in a nursing home or children’s hospital. I would be boo-hooing the entire time, not being helpful to anyone. I would be sad 24 hours a day. If I could, I would adopt every abandoned animal out there; but that's obviously not realistic…I'm just giving you an idea of my depth of compassion.

But here’s the thing…as caring and loving as I am towards people and animals…especially those in need…I can tell you this for sure. If I’m sitting in the emergency exit row of an airplane, and there is an actual emergency…there’s no f**king way I’m helping anyone else off that plane before I bail. I don't give a shit how in need they are. Sure…c’mon people. You all exit before me. Let me help you deplane first and hopefully there will still be time for me to get off before we go spiraling down or blow up and burn. Or maybe we won't really crash that hard, so I'll just stand at the exit and make sure YOU are all safe. Are you f**king kidding me? I'm going to be the first one to grab that flotation device from under the seat, strap it on and jump. I didn't sit through 18,000 hours of flight attendants boring us to death on what to do in case of an emergency, all for nothing. I'm not waiting for any person, baby or animal to go before me. My own kids will have to push me aside to get there first. Ok...maybe I would shove my own kids and dog out the exit door before me; [and hopefully they'll have on their flotation devices that I’m sure will lighten the blow of any major fall from 30,000 feet in the air…IF we are flying over a body of water]...but that's about it. Everyone else...they're on their own! I'd love to say I'm that benevolent, but who would I be kidding? It just ain't gonna happen.

Do airlines actually think if someone is sitting in the emergency exit row they are going to wait for everyone else to get off? I don’t think so. It's almost laughable. The only reason anyone sits in that row is for the leg room. I have never sat there because I'm just that altruistic and want to be sure everyone is safe. Geez...if I didn’t have long legs I wouldn’t be sitting there at all. And the other thing…if we’re on our way down…does anyone actually believe I’m better qualified to help people than the flight attendant or pilot, just because I’m sitting in the emergency exit row? And do we actually believe if we ARE on our way down…other than a miracle…that there is a point to the emergency exit anyway? And one more thing…why are there not parachutes under our seats instead of flotation devices? Wouldn’t that make more sense?

I used to work for one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. Our offices were so big that we elected fire marshals in various sections of the hallways on each floor of our building. I was one of those ‘lucky’ enough to be appointed. Each fire marshal had to get CPR and First Aid certifications before we could take on this very important responsibility. I felt honored that my group elected me. Yeah…sure I did. I’m no idiot…I realized they did that because they didn't want to have that weight on their own shoulders. I find it hard to believe that any of them thought I would actually wait for them to all exit the building before I bee-lined for the exit myself. Little did they know that I was quite the sprinter and although I knew how to save lives after getting certified, I also knew where to direct everyone in case of fire or earthquake, and could get there faster than anyone else. If there was an emergency...they would probably see me flying by them out those exits thinking to themselves…"Who was that speed racer?" Screw getting them out of there first. If I wanted to be that hero...I would've become a firefighter or police officer. But I'm an ad exec...who's quite the chicken. And who wants to live a long life.

Living in suburbia for so many years now, and being one of the lucky few who works from home, I had been chosen by my neighbors as the ‘look out’ person. Like I’m actually going to sit lurking out the window all day spying on the gas and electric company personnel, or the landscapers, to be sure they are legit. First of all…that would mean moving my office to the front of the house. Secondly, I do actually work when I’m supposed to be working. Thirdly, I have the attention span of a gnat. And lastly…if there was someone taking furniture, electronic equipment or anything, for that matter…I would look up at them, put my head back down, and go back to work. Kinda like hearing a car alarm…who knows if it’s actually a break in…and frankly…who gives a shit? They didn't really pick the right person for the job.

So there you have it. I'm quite the contradiction. I have that little Devil on one shoulder and little Angel on the other, sparring back and forth, "Save 'em" "F**k 'em", "Save 'em", "F**k 'em". And all I have to say would behoove you to stay on my good side. the event you ever need my flotation device.

I know emergency exits are only used once on the ground…but a little artistic license necessary