Celebrity, Personal

Leave Bobbi Kristina Brown Alone. Seriously.

It was announced today that Bobbi Kristina Brown’s family may (some sources say definitely, others say it’s a rumor) take the 21-year-old off life support on February 11th, the third anniversary of her mother’s death. Whitney Houston drowned on February 11th, 2012. Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unresponsive in a tub on January 31st, and has been in a medically induced coma ever since. Reports say that Brown had been struggling personally, with recent photos of the 21-year-old looking gaunt surfacing and reports of incoherent messages on various social media accounts.

So, naturally, instead of people offering Bobby Brown and other relatives condolences, people are criticizing the decision as to when to take Bobbi Kristina off life support. It’s “tacky,” it’s “ghoulish,” it’s “for publicity.” Are you fucking kidding me? I’m enraged right now. Yes, I know, internet commenters think they can say whatever they want, everybody has an opinion, but this is not about a poor celebrity fashion choice or calling out politicians on bad behavior. This is about someone’s life and the heartbreak a family is going through. No parent should ever have to decide when their child dies, let alone watch.

And yes, I do have a personal stake in this. Not with the Houston-Brown family, but I’ve been involved in a similar situation. Most people think that my brother died instantaneously. The truth is, it took him a full day. We got the call that my sister-in-law found my brother unresponsive in their bathroom while we were at the grocery store. We flew down to the hospital forty minutes away, where he was in the critical care unit. I’d never been more scared in my life. I knew that it was dire. Deep down, I knew he was gone. But because there was a small chance that he could recover, we held on to it. He’d gotten out of life threatening scrapes before, why couldn’t he do it again? I don’t know how my parents stayed relatively calm. I was a wreck, I didn’t even see him. I couldn’t. I physically could not gather the strength to get up out of my chair in the waiting room and go see him. We went home that night, with word that they were going to do one more test early the next morning to see if he could eventually recover.

The agreement my parents and I had was that if he was going to make it, they’d call. If he wasn’t, they’d come home and tell me to my face. Imagine my surprise when the phone rang, the number from the hospital. But it wasn’t my parents. It was the receptionist, looking for my sister in law so they could discuss what to do with his personal effects. Which meant my brother was gone. About ten minutes later, my parents came home and told me that Matty looked so at peace, how they watched him go. My sister and I both yelled at them “no parent should ever have to watch their child die!!” And they shouldn’t.

Now, that all happened in a matter of hours. Granted, my parents didn’t have to decide anything as my brother went, but they watched their child die. I still have trouble talking about it. Can you even begin to imagine what Bobbi Kristina’s family is going through? That they had to make the decision as to when to end her life? They’re watching her die. And people have the balls to talk shit? That’s really not okay. I hope that a majority of those commenters never, ever have to go through something like this. If the Houston-Browns want to pull the plug on the anniversary of Whitney’s death, let them. Remember, Bobbi Kristina was still a teenager when her mother died. Yes, her family had issues, but it’s still her family. You can’t expect a teenager, let alone anyone to know exactly how to grieve.

I can see the argument for people getting up in arms about choosing to end life support on the anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death. But that said, it’s the family’s decision. They were holding on to the idea that Bobbi Kristina could recover. That history wouldn’t repeat itself. They didn’t carefully orchestrate this to garner publicity (notice Bobby Brown has kept pretty quiet about the whole ordeal) but perhaps it’s a way for the family to help ease the grief a little. We don’t know, and we won’t know. And yes, Whitney Houston became a punchline towards the end of her life, but she was still a person. This is not easy for anyone involved.

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Love

Valentine’s Day Pressure is Bullshit

I am usually a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Although I’m always single on the day, I usually find a way to make it fun–celebrate my other single friends by going out to dinner and a movie, give them little gifts. Make valentines for everyone I know. Celebrate myself by buying something I normally wouldn’t for myself. (this year, I bought myself two tulle skirts, one powder blue, the other with Cinderella’s castle printed on it from the Cinderella: a Collection by LC Lauren Conrad at Kohl’s.) I don’t believe Valentine’s Day should make people feel shitty. Use the “love day” as a way to express love and gratitude for those you do care about–friends, yourself, family, co-workers, whomever.

But this year, I can’t take the pressure this holiday brings to many people. I think it’s because I’m closer to 30 and by October, I’ll have been to two engagement parties, three weddings and a former college housemate will have had her baby (that she’s excited about) within the year. So what does Valentine’s Day have to do with it? It’s bringing up these insecurities. There’s weird consumerist pressure to make February 14th either ultimate day of romance and passion or to make single women feel like they’re walking Cathy comics that I feel stressed.

(I had to.)

It’s such bullshit–why?  Valentine’s Day makes single people feel awful for being such, and it makes people in relationships feel stressed out over an unofficial holiday where it’s like, you don’t pick the right restaurant or show up with an engagement ring, relationship over!  It’s so dumb. So how do we circumvent these awful feelings? It’s not easy, at least from the single person’s perspective. The last two Valentine’s Days, I’ve had to work my retail job where customers and coworkers alike shot me looks of pity and served backhanded compliments as they were running off to meet their significant others while I was stuck closing the store. ugh, it was the worst. And as I can’t stress enough, it’s not necessary. We should be appreciating our loved ones every day. Valentine’s Day should just be seen as a bonus with cute decorations and a better color scheme than Christmas.

So is there a way to beat the pressure? You could be cynical and look at it as just a day for retailers to make money at the end of January/beginning of February, or you could hold on to the hippie dippy ideal that we go all out for everyone we love. I think in the end, you make the day as you want it to be. People are always going to try and be “helpful,” but they’re not important. What is important is that you’re happy, healthy and secure in your relationship. If you’re single, don’t look at it as a race. When you do get to the point that your friends are, it’ll be worth it. Don’t settle. If you want a relationship to happen, it will. You just need patience and to not let greeting card companies, movie studios, restaurants, and magazines make you feel awful. You’re fantastic!

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