Day 21: Blame The Victim

We all do it. Someone has a heart attack? We attack her again – she’s overweight, she doesn’t exercise. Someone has a stroke? He’s an over-achiever, he eats red meat. Someone gets cancer? She doesn’t get enough fiber. He used to smoke.

This gives us a secret little self-congratulatory thrill. We preen our feathers and revel in our superiority (or luck).

Humanity’s pale dead-fish underbelly is never pretty.

It looks a lot like mine, actually. We won’t go there.

Health is just the beginning. Financial stress? Employment woes? Social difficulties? Parenting failures? Face it — you’re a loser with a capital L. Get with the program.

And I swallow all this crap. Personal responsibility and guilt? Unworthiness and shame? Bring it on! I know that everything is my fault.

It’s raining? I’m sorry!

When the mechanic blames me for the fact that my car won’t start for the second cold morning in a row, even I have had enough.

My car is old. And small. And dented (the dents annoy me but are not my fault, so I refuse to fix them; I accent them with bright flower magnets). Otherwise, it’s in great shape. Presidential shape! That disreputable car has become a personal statement of sorts. I drive it 3 miles to work every day and another 3 miles home.

Which I’m told is the problem – I don’t use it enough.

It’s not that the sketchy dealership installed two faulty batteries in the past two years. It’s not that they have a stock of duds to pawn off, or that clueless females driving old junkers are easy marks. How dare I imply such things?

They’ve nonetheless installed another free battery, now – surely an admission of guilt.

Admitting I should probably drive the car more is a small price to pay.

Wouldn’t horses be easier?

4 thoughts on “Day 21: Blame The Victim

  1. This is the absolute best part of Capitalism (mixed in with a awkward bit of Calvinist theology)– it’s so freaking perfect that anything that goes wrong must obviously be your fault. You have let the system down in some terribly disappointing way.

    • As my raised-Catholic Texan friend says, “Mea cowboy, mea cowboy, mea maxima cowboy.”

  2. Mary Merewether

    Your car is probably in the best shape any car has ever been in! In the history of the universe! (Channeling the Donald.)

    • And I bet I could pay some mechanic enough to endorse that.

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