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Parental Entitlement

This weekend my husband and I went to pick out our Christmas tree. We always have a live tree, and miraculously our cats leave it alone. They prefer to eat fake things – but that’s another story.

As a kid, we always had a live tree too. But we never went to pick it out ourselves. My parents divorced when I was little, and my uncle always took care of delivering our tree. One blustery day my sister and I would come home from school and our tree would be perched on the porch. Some years it was fabulous. Other years, it rivaled Charlie Brown’s… But my uncle meant well.

When I was in high school, my mom got a fake tree (which are now known as “permanent trees” I’ve noticed). It was never the same after that. No pine smell. No unique creation. Just the same metal rods in the same metal stick, year after year.

Needless to say, when I found a guy who loved real trees too, I was thrilled! He takes it a step further and actually trots out into a field to chop it down. This City Girl has accepted this ritual, and we have made our own family tradition.

So back to the point.

At the Christmas tree farm we go to, they take you out into the field on a horse drawn wagon, which I LOVE. Last year a child was kicking me in the back the entire ride, so I was excited to see only adults waiting on the platform.

This year, they have added a caboose pulled by a tractor. Not as much fun as the horses, in my opinion. But that one was ready to leave, so the adult crowd headed over that way. My husband and I sat down on a bench to wait. We were the only ones there.

Then a family with a ton of little kids came onto the platform. Now, I know that if you are doing a family type thing, you are going to run into families. I wasn’t even annoyed when the kids started screaming and jumping up and down. Heck, I was excited to get our tree too!

But what happened next really ticked me off.

The mother came up to us and said, “Would you mind MOVING so we can take a family picture here?”

I couldn’t believe it! I mean, we were at a Christmas tree farm! There are fabulous photo ops all over the place! But she had to have her brood photographed right where we were sitting.

No, it wasn’t really a big deal for us to move, but the principle behind it was.

I would never dream of asking someone to get out of the way so I could take a picture of my husband. In fact, I have waited patiently for what seems like an eternity as people walk between me and my beloved as I try to snap a photo to remember our trip.

But parents put on blinders and don’t realize there are other people in the world besides their children. They don’t seem to care who they might be inconveniencing, as long as they get what they want – what the world apparently owes them.

As we talked about this incident on the way home, we decided that we are happy NOT to be overbearing parents, who think nothing of being rude to complete strangers as long as they go home with that precious family photo in the digital camera.

When we got home, we set up the tree, strung the lights, and reminisced about each ornament we put on the tree. We have a tradition of buying an ornament on our annual anniversary trip, so we relived all of those fabulous memories, proving to ourselves yet again that we are perfectly content as a “family of two.”


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