Face Value

An interesting side-effect of not having cable television (besides not having to pay for it every month) is that we’re perpetually a day behind everyone else in terms of our familiarity with breaking news, and we’re reliably a full year behind everyone else on popular shows.

When everyone was freaking out about The Hatch (on Lost, if you’re a newb) we had just started the show and were trying to figure out what in the blue blazes was up with the scary smoke monster.  When co-workers were laughing about “Support the Rabid” (on The Office), Wes and I were tensely wondering if Jim was going to stay with the other branch.

It’s strange living your life like this, continually out of touch and behind the times, but also nice as well.  It’s easier to disappear.  If I’m stressed because economic news is getting me down, I don’t have to worry about seeing a commercial touting the Latest Scary Headlines at 8!  If Wes and I feel like disappearing for a weekend, all we have to do is stay away from our computers and then it’s just us and the puppy.

This is turning into a lengthier intro than I was anticipating but oh well.  Onto the point!  I was talking to my good friend yesterday and she was filling me in on the gruesome chimp attack that happened awhile ago.  I hadn’t heard anything about it and she was giving me the terrible details.

When she was done, she said something interesting and I’ve been pondering it since.  She said that, if it had been her in the attack, she would have been angry at the doctors for resuscitating her.  In my friend’s opinion, life wouldn’t be worth living with a terribly disfigured face.

This ties in with the whole isolated-from-civilization thing by virtue of me having space to think about this issue without being pummeled with new information every few seconds.  I heard the succinct details from my friend and now I’m digesting those details.

I’m genuinely trying to figure out whether life would be worth living if my face looked like ground beef.  Of course I’d like to say I’d be willing to go on after such a horrible thing, but I’m not going to pretend that the prospect of spending a lifetime with those injuries wouldn’t be a bleak consideration, either. 

Still, even though I wouldn’t look forward to all the stares and disfigurement, I would rather be alive and kicking than dead.  So I guess that’s the choice made.  It’s still a tragic situation, though.

What I’m puzzling over is what this issue is.  Is this an issue of values?  Whether you value your life or your looks?  Or is this more a question of where your priorities are and how you view yourself?  As a blogger, I could look like a centaur and none of you would ever be the wiser.  If I were a sales person or a PR rep, would I make a different choice?

It’s a tough issue, and one I’m glad I don’t have to make.  This whole incident will make me think fiercely before taking my kids to the ape house at the zoo.  Of that you can be sure.  On the plus side, I have no doubt that if a chimp tried to attack my kid, the chimp would be the one who ended up without a face.

5 thoughts on “Face Value

  1. I’m with you about Lost….I just finished Season One, while everyone else is watching Season…5 is it now? When it comes to the popular shows, I tend to be behind, even though I have cable with HD service and a dual-tuner DVR….hmmm…

    As for the face issue, I would definitely keep on living afterward and just ignore the awkward stares and women sheilding their children’s eyes. And if it bothered me that much, I’d get reconstruction surgery. But really, looks are not what matters, and a life-changing event like that should be a good lesson of that fact.

  2. I second Delisa, I would live, it may be hard with all those stares but well my baby woulnt find me ugly, would he/she? And if I every get a pet (definitely a dog) would the dog stop licking my face (i know ewwww but that how ‘lucky’was :) ) So the point is there are things and people who look beyond your face and looks, they look at your heart as long as that’s good, that’s all that matters.

  3. -Delisa, I think it’s a lot more fun to watch shows on DVD anyway, because then you can go on binges, you never have to wait for shows to be on, and you don’t have to suffer through commercials. Win! I really enjoy your perspective on the whole face issue. I still think it would be hard to live with the stares though.

    -Perception, I think both your children and your dog would think you were beautiful just the way you were, that’s definitely true. I’m glad you would live, the world is a better place with you in it :)

  4. I guess the whole glasses vs. contact issue I have would be pretty minor then…

    And if you want to go all “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” – the injured woman’s brother apparently lives in my neighborhood. I don’t know him, but it was hot news at Bunco last week.

    In the same line of thought, have you seen anything on the British children’s TV hostess who is missing part of one of her arms? Apparently the parents are trashing her for “scaring” their children. My thoughts: More likely the parents don’t want to/don’t know how to deal with the questions raised and are blaming her and the TV company.

  5. -Mrs. Higrens, Nah, you can’t go around examining every issue you have against the worst it could ever be or you’d never make any decisions! Small world with the brother living in your neighborhood, what a nightmare for his family! Regarding the British children’s TV hostess, I think you have a valid point. It’s actually a bit appalling that the parents would say that about her. Children will raise questions about that but it’s definitely up to the parents to explain it in a non-scary way, not to insist she cover up so they don’t have to explain it!

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