Friday, April 20, 2007

When Parents Become Human

So, like any American that is overwhelmed and emotionally drained from the 24-hour news coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy, I was relieved to hear some new news. Something that takes the edge off the massacre, something other than psychopaths and Supreme Court rulings on abortion that Anderson Cooper can cover. I mean, this is groundbreaking, important information. Did you all catch it?

Of course, I'm talking about Alec Baldwin's voicemail message to his daughter.

Yes, I'm a celebrity stalker. I think I've admitted that several times on this site. I buy US Weekly. And the best birthday present I got this year was a FULL year's subscription to "People" from my aunt Linda. That's one magazine every single week for 52 glorious weeks. Every week, people. Weekly. There will not be a Shiloh Jolie-Pitt photo that I will miss for 52 weeks.

So, of course my interest peaked while watching Anderson Cooper last night (the Va Tech thing has consumed me. I've even given up Stephen Colbert this week in favor of falling into the constant media coverage trap). And in between discussing the shooter's background, and the background of the people he killed, Anderson took the time to talk about an enraged father's voicemail to his daughter.

Now, I have listened to the message (I guarantee you have, too). And I will admit it's sad, it's disturbing, there's no excuse for talking to your daughter that way. But I also know that all the celebrity news magazines say Alec and Kim Basinger have a bit of a strained relationship. Basically, I think they are both crazy and their poor daughter is in the middle of two people trying to prove a point and get revenge.

However...I'm inclined to think that Alec is a human. That he is a parent. That he was frustrated. That he was upset. Not making excuses....but that guy has fought for his daughter for a long time. And I imagine he was not getting upset at her, but really getting angry at her mother. I don't know...I just doubt he berates her like that very often. And I doubt he thought his crazy ex-wife would leak it to the public. Because if it wasn't for people like me, there would be no one to "leak" it to. I'm inclined to think this was a very personal issue...and not anybody else's business.

So I'll continue to provide my perspective.

I don't know, it just seems very sad to me. It seems sad that her mother doesn't encourage a relationship with the girl's father. How many girls are out there who don't even have that option? And it's sad that her father can get so upset and say such hurtful things. That all his hard work to fight for her is probably blown over a moment of frustration. Because he wanted to talk to her. He's probably said much worse before, and surely he's said much worse about her mother. But again, I don't imagine he thought his rant would end up in my e-mail inbox.

I just think it's terribly sad when parents split up. I think it's terribly sad when they can't get along, when they say hateful things about each other. When they fight over the children, for the children and leave a mess of resentment in the dusty memories. I think it's terribly sad that this little girl has to bear the burden of her parent's anger. And I think it's sad that she will probably never be able to see past all the garbage, and see that it's all happening because they love her.

My parents split up when I was 13. And I am so grateful that I never had to deal with hearing either of them say hateful things about each other. Sure, there was a lot of pain and a lot of hurt and a lot of anger involved. On everyone's part. And that's the way it should be--divorce should never be easy or pain-free. Especially when there are kids involved. It's a life-changing experience, it should be taken very seriously. But I can't imagine my mom or dad saying anything to me like what Alec was saying to his daughter. How's really just painful to hear and I don't even know them (you know, other than from the "Stars: They're just like us" photo spread in US Weekly).

I also believe in key learnings, and taking something away from the experience. And though it's been a long, hard road for all of us in my family--at least I can learn from my parent's mistakes. And I know, first-hand, how painful divorce can be. And how that will make me fight that much harder for my marriage. For the rest of my life.

And I'll do my best not to leave ranting voicemails on anyone's phone. I wouldn't want them to end up on someone's blog!

**Just a note--this has nothing to do with my parents. I love them both, and they love me. And they know I'm not saying anything bad about them. I'm just feeling for Alec Baldwin's daughter today. It would be so hard to be a part of all the fights, all the time. Love you, Mom and Dad!**

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Being a parent is tough. I can't imagine being a celebrity parent and a divorced one on top of that.
There are times that I want to go off on my precious "drama queen" daughters, but I don't because I don't want terrible things ringing in their ears forever. I really do try to stop myself.
I must say, on the topic of your parents, your mother handled the divorce with dignity and grace. You girls turned out to be lovely young women who know the value of a relationship.
Have a fabulous weekend!