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Monday, December 21, 2009

Repost: If the shoe fits

Note: Today I'm going with a repost of something I wrote last year (December 12, 2008 to be exact). My apologies to the three people who read it at the time but also, how fun to go back and see those early interactions! The only thing I've changed is to update the link at the end.

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.

Touching.

Moving.

Except...

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 lyrics on the side. Don't say I didn't warn you.

11 comments:

Kristen said...

I actually just heard this song for the first time the other day. Not sure...I must have been under a rock somewhere. The song mad me cry lol...but now that I read your post it definitely gives me a different viewpoint. Hubby and I were just talking last night about the consumerism and how expensive everything was....and the fact that that's not what CHRISTmas is all about anyway. Thanks for the thoughts!

C. Beth said...

I HATE that song. But I hadn't heard it yet this year, so thank you SO MUCH for reminding me of it. ;)

Princess Andy said...

i poke sleeping children also.

but just those times when they are breathing so very quietly you aren't sure they are at all.

and i can't listen to that song without wanting to barf.

i think i'd rather listen to the beach boys xmas album.

<3 andy

jabblog said...

I've heard a different version of the story involving a car crash and a rose - equally manipulative, though. I don't know the song - may play it later and will probably regret it - LOL!
Bah humbug - Consumermas makes me cross!

Seansmoma said...

I HATE that song so much! My SiL loves it! They have the movies! (Did you know they made MOVIES?????) Ugh! I can't flip the station fast enough when I hear it.

mo.stoneskin said...

Good call, WHERE is his papa? I'm glad you spoiled it for me. If I do ever hear it I will growl and hiss to make you proud.

Tabitha said...

I've never been a huge fan of that song either. In fact, most of the cheesy/sappy "story" type Christmas songs make me gag. But I love Christmas, AND Christmas songs, on the whole...

Anyway, glad you reposted this, since I wasn't reading your blog a year ago!

2cats said...

It's not that I like the song itself, but what I do like is that it gives me a clear cut reason to cry. I mean I feel like crying sometimes but don't know why, at least with this song I know why I am crying. I may keep it around for later in the year playing.

Melissa B. said...

Oh, those damn shoes! I haven't heard it this season (but I've got 4 more days); even mentioned as much over at my place today. Big question: Why would the kid want a fancy new pair of shoes for his mom? Where she's going she won't need shoes, will she?

That corgi :) said...

I get what you are saying here and being emotionally manipulated. Its like I get forwarded emails from people about things with faith and at the end of the emails, its usually something like "if you don't love Jesus you won't forward this on, but if you love Jesus, you'll forward it to every single person that ever existed in your mailbox" (loosely paraphrased). I love Jesus passionately, but I also don't like forwarded emails and never forward things on myself. But that is that emotional blackmail tug I feel too. I agree with you too, why is the kid buying shoes instead of spending the last few minutes with mama?

betty

The Brown Recluse said...

The song is emotionally manipulating, isn't it! I watched the movie...it's not as draining as the song.
And Rob Lowe is easy on the eyes...