Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Some people might see me with George and think that he is spoiled. But have caution in saying that to me, because I absolutely hate that notion - and the actual idea of “spoiling” someone. So, today I present my case for having caution when using that phrase.
Recently someone saw George lying on the back of our sofa, from where he likes to monitor the happenings in the house, and she laughed and said, “Boy, he sure is spoiled!” So, I guess she thinks we are bad “parents” and he is a bad dog? I had to bite my tongue from a strong response. I mean, George is on the sofa because we allow him to be - because we like for him to lounge around with us and get snuggly. It’s not because he makes it that way. We allow him to do whatever we’re comfortable with - not what he dictates.
And for the record, the definition of “to spoil” is to impair, damage or harm. I know we aren’t hurting George by allowing him on the couch, or by giving him an extra treat now and then, or by making him occasionally wear a sweater. And it’s not hurting us, either. So how, then, is he spoiled?
And since I am an only child, people have often assumed that I am spoiled, which I hate! On the contrary, I feel that being an only child allowed me to mature, and because I didn’t have siblings at home for social activities, I learned to meet others more easily. My home life taught me to be independent and comfortable being alone. To this day it drives me nuts when people don’t have the confidence to do things by themselves.
And why is it that people find it so easy to tell someone that their child (or pet) is spoiled? Can’t they see it is an insult, to the child and to the parent? And if you don’t mean it in the true sense of the word – that the child is being damaged or hurt – then what is the reason for the label? How did it become such a negative thing? Was the “spoiled” label started by kids in a big family who were jealous of the kid who didn’t have to share? Hmmm…
So, why the big rant today about being spoiled? Maybe it’s because this week I created a facebook page for George. But that doesn’t mean he’s spoiled – it just means I thought it was a funny idea. And he’s so damn cute, how could I resist?