Monday, July 28th, 2014

surpriseYou’ve seen this plenty of times in the news or through social media such as Facebook: Soldier doesn’t tell child / spouse he (or she!) is coming home because they want to surprise child / spouse by showing up unannounced at a party / their graduation ceremony / a wedding. News anchors, Facebook posters, My Dear Aunt Sally – everyone seem to think this is the most darling thing anyone on earth anywhere has ever done.

So, let’s say you’re my daughter and I’m on the other side of the world in a place where death and destruction threatens me every day. It’s an absolute certainty that I’m going to be away for years. I can zap off an e-mail to you every once in a while, but between messages you literally don’t know whether I’m dead or alive. I’m like that cat in the box everyone makes jokes about.

But this is what I’ve done for as long as you can remember. It’s my life, so you get on with your life. Day by day, as you wait for those e-mails and maybe the occasional phone call, you’ve got to act as though someone you love isn’t mortally threatened every minute of every day. You go to school, you go to your job, you watch TV in the evenings, then you grab a hot coffee in the morning and do it all over again.

One day, it’s your graduation. You put on a cap and gown, you make the valedictorian speech (of course you do!), and then as you climb the steps to pick up your diploma, Hey! Look who’s here! It’s me! I made everyone promise not to tell you I was coming so I could surprise you in front of all these people, even though I knew you would probably lose all self-control and bawl your eyes out! And that was such a nice valedictorian speech, but guess which one of us is going to be the headline on Fox News? It’s not about you any more, it’s about me. You’re welcome.

Apparently I’m the only one who thinks this is kind of a dick move.

you could have phoned | 9:58 pm CST
Category: yet another rant
1 Comment | Add a comment

One Comment

  1. 1 The Seanster said at 5:39 pm on July 30th, 2014:

    Huh. I’ve never much followed/cared about those kinds of stories, but I’ve also never considered that perspective. Well put, sir.