When Did Behaving Badly Become A Career Path?

Good Enough Mother is scratching her head over a couple of incidents in the news of late that have me wondering if the old tried and true lessons that I was taught and have worked hard to pass along to my kids, still apply to society today.

See, I have, in Sigmund Freud’s view of psychosexual human development, an overdeveloped Super-Ego.  That is the moralizing, rule following part of the personality. In other words, I have a strong sense of what is right and what is wrong and it chaps my fanny when I see people not only getting away with bad behavior but profiting from it.

The most recent case in point is the JetBlue Flight attendant Steven Slater.

Now it remains to be seen whether he will make money from his high profile exodus but already a poll at People.com shows 72 percent think he’s a hero and allowed to have “an off day”.  Granted many of us have worked for jackasses and perhaps even played out the quitting scenario in our mind’s eye, the one that would leave the aforementioned jackass boss with his jaw on the mahogany desk, but few of us would ever dream of actually doing it.

Then there’s Snooki and The Jersey Shore gang. Ugh. Snooki and her merry band of misfits garnered a viewing audience of 5 million people. WHAT? And here’s a bonus: the diminutive star was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct during last week’s filming. Joy. And for this they are each paid 30 grand an episode?

But I reserve my most fervent ire for Michaele Salahi, of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of  Washington, DC.  (BTW, how come none of these so –called real housewives, are actually real housewives? How come they don’t wear Crocs and capri pants and shop at Target like my real housewife friends and me? But I digress.) Michaele and her goofball husband crash a White House party (they said they were invited) and what do they get? Arrested? No. Fined? No. A reality TV show? YES!

Now I’m about to sound like a crotchety old woman. Years ago a lot of awful crap happened to me. Was it fair? Not necessarily – but we know that life is not always fair. Did I want to pull a Steven Slater? Sure thing. Did I? Not a chance. Instead I put my head down and began building Good Enough Mother. There have been ups and downs; times when I wondered when it was all going to pay off. I wondered why in the heck I spent all that time in school when I could have just opted for the sex tape short cut. Hey, it worked for Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian. (Then reality struck. who would watch THAT? Sheesh. Even I don’t want to see that).

And what do I tell Casey and Cole? To go to school, study hard so that they can work their way up from minimum wage to maybe earn a good living but to be prepared for it to be yanked away by a bad economy or other things beyond their control?

A much as I wonder aloud, I know the real answer. There is pride in an honest day’s work, in doing what you do well. There’s something to be said for hard work and achievement that you earn by the sweat of your brow and not because some goofy TV executive thinks you can be a star by showing your backside on air. And there is pride when you lay your head on your pillow every single night with your integrity intact.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking with. We will continue putting money away for college, shopping the discount racks and laboring to see our dreams come to fruition. It feels good.

But if someone wants to do a show about two black kids growing up in suburban New York with their former network morning anchor mother and her older husband, I have just the family……