Stop the Parenting Parody Videos, Please!

Please. I beg you. If you are recording a parenting parody video, just stop it right now. When you’re rapping and dancing, it’s like watching 1,000 65-year-old dads simultaneously doing the sprinkler to “Brickhouse.” I have zero sense of humor about this. Jokes about yoga pants, Starbucks, wine, and Target ceased to be funny about 15,000 Someecards ago. Meghan Trainor has a nice voice, and Taylor Swift seems like an amazing person who would never sweat through her hair or get diarrhea at her boyfriend’s house, but the world does not need more versions of their tunes.

And please, no Iggy Azalea. Be aware enough to know that she’s a white Australian appropriating black culture and a specific vocal pattern she’s using to sell records, and you definitely do not need to be mimicking that minstrel show. A part of me supports you embarrassing yourself with your family in an internet time capsule to be passed down from generation to generation for posterity, but don’t be an ignorant doofus.

And before you tell me no one is forcing me to watch the videos, I know this. My intolerance comes after two years of being saturated with parody videos via Facebook wall posts and emails from friends and family. Some of them were amusing and cute as novelties, but that feels like long ago. I don’t understand why the phenomenon hasn’t yet passed. At this rate, it’s like every 40-year-old ex-sorority member has decided to pour nostalgia for rush round skits into this YouTube frenzy, except there are so many videos they are now derivative of each other, and nothing is fresh and funny.

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MADE THIS FACE 26 TIMES. CAN NO LONGER PET DOGS OR DINE OUT.

Y’all, this is the meanest-toned blog post I’ve ever written, but these parody videos really make my cringe meter go haywire. I can’t afford a haywire cringe meter. I need my cringe meter to be a finely tuned precision instrument at all times. It tells me how soon I need to walk away from someone who is about to eat chips too loudly or swallow into a microphone on television.

Lest you think I’m a humorless, unhappy soul who only reads Anne Sexton biographies while eating popcorn for supper, stopping occasionally to stare, unthinking, underneath a treadmill (I AM!), I will tell you I don’t loathe ALL the parody videos. I don’t mind the rough-around-the-edges ones with choppy editing and wobbly camera work featuring lots of pregnant belly dirty dancing moves or silly kids. It’s the folks with a case of the try-hards that turn me off. Too much desperation and that awful selfie face are deal breakers. Side note: If you have made this face more than 25 times into a camera, you may no longer drive, eat pizza, go shopping, listen to music, pet dogs, cut your hair, or whatever else it is that inspires you to make this absurd facial contortion.

Try something new, web friends. Be innovators. Come up with a new category of expression that doesn’t involve song parodies. How about composing an epic poem and having your kids act that out instead? Or what about miming? There’s also the fine art of dioramas or perhaps something with surprise eggs, Shopkins, and Barbie re-enactments. I give up. Anything but the parody videos, please.

Ashley is a back-up dancer for circa 1989 Janet Jackson in her dreams and a mother of two preschoolers in her waking life. An Alamo City native, she spent her college and post-college years in TN, CA and AZ (all lovely states completely incompetent in the fine art of breakfast tacos). After crying everyday in radio sales, working next to a sheep pen at a rural telecom, being totally confused in agriculture, and completely giving up and drawing cartoons of co-workers at an online university, she finally found her calling in grant writing for a non profit arts organization. And then her husband (who, no joke, watches college football for a living) was like, “Hey! We can move to San Antonio to be closer to your family if you want to!” And then Ashley was like, “Hey! That’s good timing because remember all that drinking I was doing last week because I thought I had really bad PMS and wanted to power through it? Well, that PMS is a baby!” So they moved to S.A. and Ashley found a job with a rural non profit, but when she tried to go back to work after the baby, living on no sleep with a newborn and a traveling husband unable to share in the workload, she quickly learned she was about five seconds away from a mental breakdown. Cut to today where she is a full time mom, loving the freedom to run all over the city each day with her kids, despite a 98% decrease in her ability to pee alone/do less than 19 loads of laundry each week. She chronicles her most embarrassing childhood moments and photos at This is Me at 13-ish (http://meat13.tumblr.com), in hopes that she never forgets that as difficult as it is to be a parent, it is just as much of a struggle to be a kid.