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Friday, December 12, 2008

If the shoe fits

This is a holiday-related post so I'm going to warn you right now that I say non-politically correct things like Christmas and Jesus and Walmart. Just in case that sort of thing bothers you, please feel free to bail now.

Specifically, I would like to address a certain Christmas song. It's one of only three that I find so horrid I must change the station immediately. The song in question is The Christmas Shoes.

For anyone unfamiliar (and I don't want to spoil it for you) the song is about a little boy in a store at Christmas, buying some shoes for his mama. The hook is that he's short on cash and his mama is dying. He wants to buy the shoes so she can "be beautiful when mama meets Jesus tonight". Of course the guy behind him in line rushes to pay for them and is jolted from his evil consumerism in time to remember the true meaning of Christmas. And then the choir of children make their final plea because if you haven't burst into tears at this part, the final push of wide-eyed youngsters should do the trick.




This song makes me feel bad in all the wrong ways. I don't feel bad for this kid OR his mama. In fact, I want to call Social Services. Why is this kid wandering around Walmart (c'mon, you know it's Walmart) by himself trying to panhandle strangers into buying his mama some "Made in China" shoes for $8.96? Where's his papa? I guess papa's too busy with mama to keep track of the kid. And if I happened to be the guy behind him in line I'd probably pay for the shoes just to get him to stop with the sob story and quit holding up the line.

This song makes me feel the same way I'd imagine I would feel if I kicked puppies or poked sleeping babies. (For the record, I have never kicked puppies. I may have poked a sleeping baby or two, but that was just to make sure they were still breathing.) I understand how I'm supposed to feel but that's not what I'm experiencing at all. I'm not proud of this but it is what it is.

I think mostly I'm just angry because I hate being emotionally manipulated. Anything too saccharin, too syrupy, too made for tv makes me feel crazy in my rebellion to prove I'm not susceptible to their ploys.

Yeah, take THAT, sorcerers of sentiment. My heartstrings will not be so easily tugged by your carefully crafted formulas. My heartstrings are impervious to your tricks. I'm not even sure I have a heart anyways, let alone the attached strings.

P.S. Ok, see what you people (Lyndsay, I'm looking at YOU!!!) make me do? I actually made myself go to YouTube and search for the song just so I could include a link. Do you know how messed up that's going to make my "recommended videos"? I'm crying on the inside. Again, for the wrong reasons.

P.P.S. Oh yeah, the link, complete with onscreen lyrics. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Lyndsay said...

Cate, Cate, Cate - you are a terrific writer. I've never heard the song, but now I need to!

Call Me Cate said...

Only for you, Lyndsay, I've gone back and included a link at the bottom of the original post. Don't hold me accountable if I kick a puppy now, ok?

And thanks for the compliment. Hope your blog reading means you're done with your classwork!

C. Beth said...

That song BUGS THE CRAP OUT OF ME. I mean, I tend to like things that are emotionally manipulative--good cry and all--but oh, it's just too much, like the songwriter went, "Let's see--what can I write about to make people cry?" Oh, it's SOOOO annoying.

Great post! :)

Call Me Cate said...

Seems I should've spoken up long ago. My survey results show that people fall into one of two categories - they've never heard of it (so blissed in their ignorance) or they dislike it.

I cry over the silliest things. Movies, tv shows, commercials, music... So every so often I just have to take some umbrage when I think they're doing it on purpose.

andrea said...

I'm going to use the word awesome so much today, at least 5 baby kittens will pay the price;) I hope you get that reference, or I now look like a wack job who came across your blog;) Funny post on that song; I knew exactly which one you were speaking of, but blessed Jesus I haven't yet heard it on the radio this season...whew! It makes me gag also. And you're totally awesome...see? there goes another one. Take care! Love and kindness are never wasted...and I'm giggly excited to have another "follower". I'm pretty shallow...and needy. Damn, was that too much information too soon? Done rambling.

Call Me Cate said...

I *do* get the kittens reference, no worries!

Last night, I about broke my neck (it's possible I had a couple of glasses of wine and was quite wrapped up in my slanket) trying to get to the stereo because I heard the opening notes of this song. So much HATE!!!

BTW - I am also shallow and needy. I think on some level, all bloggers are when it comes to comments and followers. Thanks for becoming one of mine.

kitty said...


I am soooo with you on this!! I HATE SAP!!! I despise the country songs that start out, "Oh Gr'pa he loved my gr'ma so and we only had shoes oncet a yer but we loved each other while we ate gruel 3x/day. Nuttin' but OOOOOVVEE round our table..."

Puke. Hurl. Spew. and Vomit.

kitty said...

Yes, I HATE the purposeful intention to get the listener to TEAR UP!!!! Don't try soooo hard for the don't work on this kid!!!! (Add to the list "Another Auld Lang Syne"..Dan Fogelburg....,.I immediately run to the radio pushing children, dogs and footstools OUT of the way to turn THAT one OFF!! Nice try Dan. find another sucka!!!