Am I the only lame mom?

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Apparently, since I don’t drive a 2011 Toyota Highlander, I’m lame.  I don’t usually stew about things, but Toyota’s new campaign ruffled my feathers.

I was watching NBC’s “Parenthood” on Tuesday night, when I saw the Toyota commercial.  (Tangent:  I’ve never in my life been addicted to a tv show, but I love, love, LOVE “Parenthood!”  On my birthday when I was out with Dee, all I could think about was making it home in time to watch “Parenthood.”)  In the commercial, this kid suggests that his parents are making his life miserable by driving him around in a wood-paneled minivan.  He climbs into another mom’s Toyota Highlander and says to the camera, “Just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean you have to be lame.”

Lame?  How arrogant is that, Toyota?

Seriously, kid, grow up.  Life isn’t handed to you on a silver platter.  Sometimes, yes.  If your parents have money.  But for the rest of us?  We WORK to have nice things.

See how I said that?  I’m not bashing nice things.  Being wealthy is okay.  Living comfortably is okay.  I don’t even have a problem with extravagance!  But to lay a guilt trip on your parents because they drive an old minivan?  NOT okay.

Not all parents can afford a brand new SUV!  This Highlander, by the way, starts at $27,390, and reaches into the $40,000’s for a hybrid.  I know that’s not even extravagant, but still.  Parents already struggle with guilt.  I struggle with guilt!  Lay off!

Driving an old Suburban is NOT something I feel guilty about though!  In fact, I will make my kids drive clunkers even if we have the money for a sports car.  (We won’t.)  I will make them push a push mower even though we own a zero turn.  I will make them wash dishes by hand even though we own a dishwasher.  I will make them turn over a garden with a spade even though we own a tiller.  I hope I never have to enforce these declarations, but I WILL if my kids need more work ethics!

Toyota kid, what will happen when your trophy wife starts sagging?  What will happen when your kids start acting up?  Especially in public?  (They will, you know, because you won’t have any kind of relationship with them.  You’ll be working long, hard hours to pay for your “perfect” life.)  Will you abuse them?  Lash out because they are now LAME?

Sorry kid, I know Toyota told you to call us parents lame.  It’s not your fault.  Just don’t take their message to heart!  Go rake some leaves.  Earn some money with your own two hands, and then YOU can choose to blow it or save it.  Learn to appreciate the sacrifices your parents make for you.

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9 responses »

  1. Thank you Ruth! I know kids (and adults for that matter) who seem to have a entitlement ideology! they think that society or the government owes them whatever they want for some reason. If you watch most commercials you will hear a lot of “you deserve.” Why? why do you or me deserve these things? what did we do to deserve them? Great post:)

  2. My recommendation, when the commercials come on, hit the mute button. Seriously there’s nothing good that they have to see. And relax. Remember, commercials, just like most television and movies, aren’t real life. It’s just a company trying to sell you a product. And yeah, I’ve seen this one and it’s a lame commercial. Probably hit closer to home than some because of it’s focus on “lame parents”, which you are not! Commercials play on your insecurities, your fears, your hopes, your greed, etc. to generate a need or desire in you to buy their product.

    If I’m watching TV, the first thing I do is hit mute and or switch to another channel when the commercials come on. There’s nothing of value there. And the lifestyle most of them promote is terrible. And a lot of them are just some version of “you’re not complete or you’re not cool until you buy this product”.

    • “See” works too, actually. =)
      Thanks for your advice and encouragement! This morning I’ve been telling my kids, “Just ignore it… don’t let it bother you…” Same rules apply to me I guess! I’ve never had a commercial bother me like Toyota’s. It wasn’t just personal, I think it’s because I know several family’s who are up to their eyeballs in debt, and pushing parents to dive into debt even more is just MEAN! I’ve heard suicidal comments from one of Derek’s friends who struggles with debt. Plus, if one of my kids said something like Toyota kid, I would be really hurt. It’s not right to encourage kids to hurt their parents.

  3. I don’t know about you, but I prefer a husband who earned his muscles through genuine work and who knows how to provide for his family rather than a man who for the sake of status will go into debt to buy the coolest vehicle or fanciest house and can only achieve muscles through a gym. I am not opposed to gyms; my husband goes to one. He also knows how to work though and watching my husband’s muscles flex while doing real work is way hotter.

  4. Oh, I saw that commercial the other day and about “flipped my wig”…what are they teaching these children? The one thing Toyota got right is the look on the father’s face…he looks hurt by the way the boy it talking…I just got rid of my dishwasher so we are now “forced” to wash dishes by hand…other things are disappearing from my house, we are trying to become more simple!!

  5. You are so right. I hate those commercials. It literally ticks me off to see once again how messeed up society is. I would like to thank Toyota for teaching our children one more BAD value. People should not be judged, ridiculed, or looked down upon because they can’t afford the nicest things in life. They are teaching children that if you don’t have the nicest things in life…that you are an embarrassment. It is wrong and sad-

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