Monday, February 16, 2009

Turn off the telenovela and get a life!

I wish I hadn't listened to the radio again yesterday. Eugenio started out well enough, talking about the need for immigration reform, but when that didn't draw much response, he switched to "Gloria". "Gloria" is a woman who is so jealous of her enamorado that she has become alternately suicidal and homicidal. She wants attention to her problem and Eugenio has provided her with ample exposure -- his blog, his Washington Hispanic column, and now his radio show, all devoted to "Gloria".

On the radio show, the story developed a new twist: "Gloria" has a gun! But that begs the question: If "Gloria" is real, is really suicidal, and really has a gun, what is the responsible thing to do? Is it really to indulge her desire for air time and let a bunch of well-meaning carismáticos tell her how much she needs Jesus?

Not that this is a bad line...I used it once myself on an ex-boyfriend who left me for the Jesuits and then tried to come back when the Jesuits kicked him out. When I didn't take him back, he told me he was going to swallow a bunch of pills and end it. I told him he didn't need me, he needed God but....I also gave him the phone number to the DC suicide prevention line and told him to call it pronto! He survived, found a good woman, married her and lived happily ever after. Moral: "Gloria", if you are real and are reading this, suicide threats as chantaje don't work on anyone whose brain isn't addled by too many telenovelas and daytime talk shows.

Suicide is the ultimate form of egoísmo. YO no puedo más. Si YO me mato, el(la) se arrepentirá de lo que me hizo. YO no valgo nada. Yo, yo, yo...But what about the people who love you? You don't think about them, do you? ¿Crees que estoy dura, que no comprendo? Gloria, my cousin's son killed himself -- shot himself with a gun, just as you are thinking of doing. We don't know why he did it, but I know that his death left a big hole in our family's heart and deprived the world of a young man whose scientific abilities might have led to some life-saving discoveries. Suicide is a permanent answer to a temporary problem.

But you are looking for an answer and here are my suggestions:

1. If you need psychiatric help for your depression and obsessive thoughts, seek it out...pronto. Prayer is good but sometimes it's not enough. Even priests take psychiatric medication when they need it. Mental illness is not a sin.

2. "Gloria", stop turning your life into a telenovela, and Eugenio, for God's sake stop broadcasting it!

3. Stop focusing on your boyfriend problems and start focusing on how you can use your gifts to help others. We already know you can read and write, that you are probably computer literate. Write that letter of support for immigration reform. Volunteer with a community center and help a child learn to read or teach a senior how to send e-mail. I guarantee you, you won't have time to worry about your novio's other mujeres or his celular, and you WILL start to feel good about yourself again.

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