White Whiners are not born, they are bred. The process of becoming a White Whiner begins very young, while the child is still in diapers, in fact. At this impressionable age, children are taught the value of brand-name diapers, organic baby food, and a thousand other little luxuries that will almost always fall short in one way or another. Although the child will not understand the concept of “value” or “premium” as she takes a wet dump into a biodegradable $11 diaper, perhaps she will pick up on the subtle look of smug satisfaction on her parents’ faces when they pull out a fresh diaper and make a point of showing it around to the other parents before strapping it on. The kind of look that says, “If only you loved your child as much as I do mine, maybe then you’d be willing to spend the money on the best diapers.”
As we’ve learned through a century or two of developmental psychology study, a child learns to mimic his or her parent. White Whiner parents who bitch about the quality of the day care center or the sweetness of the apple juice served at preschool are doing their part to ensure that their child will grow up to feel the same way. It also ensures that those same proud parents—the ones who insisted on the best in everything for their kids—will soon be the victims of their own creation. Like Dr. Frankenstein or the Grizzly Man, the little White Whiner they loved and trained will soon turn on them. The child has been taught to expect the best in everything, but rarely do his or her parents realize that this desire includes the best in parental figures as well. As it was impossible for any organic diaper company to live up to the expectations of the parent, so will it be impossible for the parent to live up to their White Whiner’s expectation of them.
Because of these parents, the world will always be well stocked with White Whiners. For someday, many years from now, that child will make a child of his or her own, buy that child the best in everything, teach that child to expect perfection, and, hallelujah, the cycle will begin again!
Excerpted from White Whine: A Study of First-World Problems Copyright © 2013 by Streeter Seidell and published by F+W Media, Inc. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.
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