There are a lot of stupid parents out there. While walking through the Short Hills mall, the elitist mall in Summit, NJ, I was walking by this lady who started yelling at one of her kids, "stop playing against your brother and start playing with each other." WTF. This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard, and I've heard a lot of dumb things. Many of which I've said. What's the point of playing if you're not playing against someone? There must be winners and losers. That is how fun is created.
Later on in my travels (on the second floor) some lady was yelling at her kid "Arial stop crying!" First of all, no child should be named after an animated mermaid. No one. That's just a poor judgment call. People should be shot for that kind of unprofessional adolescent nomenclature. Furthermore, how is yelling at your baby going to make "it" stop crying? If anything it becomes a more traumatic experience. Now striking a child, that's a different issue...
That being said, if there's one thing I've learned over my 28+ years of life, it's that all children are filled with a small portion of Satan inside of them. Sure this sounds a bit harsh, but it's true. I know what you're thinking, "Shakes your commentary is usually so brilliant and your style of writing is like Picasso on a canvas, but how can you say something so mean about kids? They're precious." Oh yeah? Well have you ever seen kids at a shoe store? It's like trying to tame a horde of vulchers who have just spotted a dead dear carcass on the Serengeti. They're animals I tell you. Animals. In every shoes department the same ritual is taking place right now: some snot-nosed kid doesn't wanna try on shoes their moms like, moms yell, the kids yell back, and the dads just walk away. I should know, I used to be a kid several weeks, if not years, ago. Whenever I went shoe shopping and I got to the pair I liked, I always made some highly unscientific marketing claim to my mom, such as "mooooom I can run faster in these shoes."
I only got one pair of shoes every year or so, and being from an Indian family I quickly learned that while every new school year meant new clothes for the other kids, it didn't really mean that for me. I sorta wore shoes until they got worn out or outgrown. Of course for the most part the shoes weren't name brand, but rather from the designer section of Payless. This would be pretty much the case until middle school. The culmination of my coolness was freshmen year in high school when I got my first pair of high tops.... white LA Gear's. I looked just like Zach Morris from the ankles down.
The funny thing is that in some ways I think I'm gonna do the same thing with my kids. I ain't gonna buy them $100 shoes when they're like in 7th grade...otherwise kids take it for granted. Don't forget my supposition at the beginning of this whole tirade, kids are mildly satanic. As they get older their devil-like composition amortizes away revealing them to be their true selves: either nice people or bastards.
Anyone who knows me now knows that I absolutely love getting new sneakers and it mainly stems from being denied the shoes I wanted as a kid. For once I don't have to hear "but you already haaaave shoes Shekhar." No one can stop me now nardopants. No one.