A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Dangerous Things People Do

DD#1 goes to a reasonably good state school but if there's one thing I dislike about the school it's the afterschool traffic... it's horrendous on a good day and a disaster area on a rainy one. I'm fortunate to be able to walk my daughter to school so I only attempt to drive when the weather is less than ideal or when I'm feeling under the weather.If one doesn't have a well-thought out exit strategy, one must be prepared to wait or do some tricky maneouvering. I'm sure I'm not imagining things when I say that it seems like the situation is getting worse. The school and the P&C, are I'm sure, doing their best with a bad situation outside of providing a shuttle service. Witnessing for 4 years now how things have become day in day out, I can't see any solution bar taking cars out of the equation. This is not likely to go down very well with residents of a city very dependent on cars. When I went to school in Singapore, the options were either a privately run school bus or the public transportation system. Only rich children were dropped off at school.

So it boggles the mind that anyone would attempt to make a death charge across a busy road with their children. Everyone seems to be in a hurry these days and so accustomed to taking shortcuts but to take chances with one's children (whatever age) seems irresponsible. It's very worrying, in my opinion, that the school has had to send out reminders every year to chastise parents, albeit a small number, about what is basically commonsensical matter.

Speaking of commonsense, lately I've become interested in the doings of Sandra Bullock. I saw The Blind Side last week and then The Proposal earlier this week. As is my custom, I went to IMDB to dig up some of the latest on her. Considering that she's done so many rom coms, I was curious about the sort of man she has married.
Lo, and behold, I observed that she was married to some fellow called Jesse James which probably should have sounded off some alarm bells. But of course I had to check his profile too, not quite believing that any sane parent would inflict such a name on a child. As unbelievable as it sounds, Jesse James is his real name and Sandra Bullock is wife #3. Even better, James is apparently related to the notorious outlaw figure.

Uncannily, news has broken in the last 36 hours that Bullock and her husband of 6 years have gone where many Hollywood marriages end up. It seems now that James has now been caught (quite literally) with his pants down and the details are proving to be lurid. With nowhere to run, he has attributed the affair to "poor judgement"on his part and made a leap for the public apology bandwagon. Possibly because of her girl-next-door persona, all public sympathy seems to be with her.

Reading the many news stories out there now, there is little doubt that Bullock is a very popular and genuinely well-liked public figure. Still, you have to wonder though, who else has been afflicted with poor judgement. There's been a lot of talk about James' bad boy days in the usual quarters. To those looking on, he appeared set for a lifetime of domestic blissfulness when he married Bullock but it seems now that the leopard has trouble changing its spots. Glancing at comments around the internet, many have questioned why a wealthy, desirable woman like Bullock would go for someone with James' reputation in the first instance. I'm no psychologist but there are a few theories floating around... one being that many women are attracted to bad boys for the danger element, another suggests that nice girls often go for the wild "uns" with naive, idealistic notions that they can be the ones to change the man.

The truth is none of us have the real inside story on this but we, even in this cynical age, still believe in some shape and form in the "happily ever after" narrative. The issue with the "happily ever after" narrative is not that it's an impossible dream but that few are willing to take the trouble to identify the realities of what that entails. People, even the Hollywood elite, love the ideal of marriage but aren't willing to make the choices that will take them there. Admittedly Hollywood is awashed with temptation in the way that most of us aren't exposed to with regularity. But our temptation as plebs is that we focus our eyes on the fantasy to the detriment of the reality. I know this because I know that much about myself, I know me far too well. I am, afterall, a sinner saved by grace.

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