Thursday, September 15, 2011

One effed up "Giving Tree"

I think I was the only child who did not read the Giving Tree as a kid.

When I asked my mom, many years later once I had been given a copy as a gift for my baby shower, why I had not read the book as a kid she said that since Bambi and Dumbo had launched me into a deeply depressive state where I rocked in the fetal position in the corner of my dark room while sobbing that she decided it just wasn't a good read for me.

As an adult I read the book. All of it. Right through the part where the SOB kid chops the tree down. Right up to the part where the tree --er, I mean the stump, kindly lets that jackhole sit on his pathetic stumpiness because he is now an old, withered, useless man who can't stand up for long.

WTF lesson does this teach?! I mean really, what is the freaking moral here???

We wonder why there are people with doormat tendencies? Perhaps its because this book never vilifies that the looser kid who clearly and repeatedly uses and abuses the tree. Perhaps because the main character, the hero if you will, is systematically murdered by his own free will to make an ungrateful little shit of a kid happy. And like some sad little abused dog the tree is thrilled and fulfilled to be kicked -- or chopped -- time and again. The tree gives his shade, apples, branches, trunk, everything to a kid who never thanks him or is grateful even in the slightest. Seriously? WTF?!

I know, I know, the sappy-pants-softies out there are saying "Chrissy, really. Its about selfless love. Giving unconditionally, loving completely. The tree loves the boy and is happy by making the boy happy."

Riiiight. And now lets ask the tree how that selfless giving thing is working out for him, shall we?

Oh yeah, he's not a tree, he's a stump. A stump with old man ass prints.

"But Chrissy, its a classic. Shell Silverstein!"

This part puzzles me more than the tree committing treeicide. Shell Silverstein. Shell-freaking-Silverstein? Where the Sidewalk Ends? A Light in the Attic? Classics, priceless, wonderful and on my kids' shelves.

I don't get it. I don't get why it is a much beloved book, or why parents want to read it to their kids. What message are they hoping their innocent child draws from this? If you love someone its okay for them to treat you like crap? But only if you really, unconditionally and completely love them? Then its okay.

Please, keep your kids away from mine. Not because I don't want their sappy-kick-me-again-please nature rubbing off on my kids, because I know better. My cupcakes will kick your sissy kid's butt in because they asked for it, then I have to deal with the principal or parole officer, whichever the case may be.

And you know I will cry for your weenie child just as hard as I did for the stupid tree.

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