Damn You, American Idol

I look forward to my weekly dose of mindless TV, aka American Idol. One hour of listening to singers, criticizing their song choice, clothing, hair style, etc. while enjoying the comments from Simon. Ah, pure, snarky bliss.

But no, not tonight. Tonight was their charity night. A two hour episode filled with stories of children living in poverty, some now orphans after their parents died, unable to attend school, and dying from preventable diseases.

I’m 36 weeks pregnant, carrying more hormones in my body than a national sorority convention combined with the entire steroid-enhanced WWE wrestling roster.

So it’s no surprise I bawled my eyes out, and yet could not stop watching.

Of course, this was clearly part of the show’s design. By tugging on our heartstrings, they knew people would open their wallets to give to a very worthy cause.

But now I’m haunted by the images. One video showed a mother travelling to get help for her baby, who was dying from malaria. Ryan’s voice-over then gave the news that they didn’t get there in time, and the baby died. Another video told the story of a mother of two children, too sick to even walk, who died two days later from AIDS. They interviewed a twelve year old boy who had lost his parents and now was the head of the household and responsible for taking care of his sister.

I’m not naive. I know there are children dying every day from disease and starvation, living in horrible conditions and forced to endure nightmarish situations every day. However, in my overly emotional state, I can only see those poor children, and want to reach out and take every one of them in, wipe away their tears, hold them close and tell them it will all be OK.

But we can only do what we can do. I can’t save them all. I can help when possible, encourage others to also help when they can, and know that even a little bit of help can go a long way. And I can teach Cordy how lucky she is to have her family, to be healthy, and to be able to go to school when she’s older. I am thankful for what we do have, even if we live under a tight budget and don’t have the luxuries some do. It’s my hope that Cordy will want to help others when she’s older, too.

So damn you, Idol. I didn’t want to spend this evening feeling so small in such a big world of need. But the message did get through, and though my eyes are puffy and red now, I did enjoy the music. Hopefully a lot of money was raised, and that money will do a lot of good.

I’d just like to add, though, that you’re lucky none of your singers wanted to sing “Danny Boy” or the heavy sobs might have sent me into labor. (Danny Boy was a song we sang in high school choir, but we had to sing it for a state competition just days after one of our classmates collapsed and died at school from a congenital heart defect. I’ve never been able to listen to that song since then.)

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  1. Yeah, and to top it all off, I thought they were sending Jordan home too! That nearly sent me over the edge! I can’t imagine watching with all the extra hormones, because I was already tearing up without them.

  2. iwanagain says:

    Good luck with the labor. I’m so glad I didn’t watch. I was just checking the blogs to see who left, and wiped a big glob of figurative sweat off my forehead when I learned I’ll have to listen to them all again next week. I’ll save the tears for something really important — like listening to my daughter sing along with Winnie the Pooh’s Heffalump CD.

  3. i was a blubbery mess last night and i’m not even pregnant. 🙂

  4. Honey, I was blaming the pregnancy hormones too, but I think I would have bawled my way through it regardless.

  5. T with Honey says:

    One thing that really gets me about charity shows like this is I just don’t get it how the camera crew could video tape people dying and not do anything to help them out. Even without pregnancy hormones there is no way that I could have possibly filmed those people and then left them to fend for themselves. Just thinking out loud.

  6. When the message of the global problem that is suffering children with helpless, dying Mothers gets hit home, it is usually enough for even the most calloused of people to get emotional. But a woman about to give birth? Get out of the way!! Poor you and all the crying. I would have been a similar mess though. I cry at the drop of a hat nowadays. A sure sign of someone on the brink, let me tell you…

  7. I just started reading you and I like your blog.

    My daughter spent last summer in that very same slum of Kiberra in Kenya, and it’s alot owrse than you know. But there is hope there too. My daughter said that it’s sad but the people have they’re own little “town” there, they have a little store, and a hair salon and people sell food…so they are trying to make it.

    And then I thought Jordin was going home?!!! WTH?!! I hate it when they do that…

  8. My husband and I sat and cried the entire 2 hours. It’s hard to feel so powerless. I’m glad they did the show and I imagine they raised an unprecedented amount of money.

  9. Hi hi! I come and I read everyday, but I rarely comment. I’m sorry.
    Anyhow on to the comment:
    I can’t believe you’re 36 weeks already, didn’t you just announce like yesterday that you were pregnant? Holy moly!
    I can sympathize with you about the crying. While I’m not pregnant I am taking heaps o’ drugs to get pregnant and they are wreaking havoc on my hormones so I had to skip through all of the heart pulling stuff. It made me feel like a heathen, but I couldn’t handle it…. I might be going to hell now.

  10. MamaMichelsBabies says:

    Ieee.. glad I’m not the only very pregnant woman who gets all “squishy” when those shows (or commercials, those commercials sneak up on you) come on. It is sad, and it makes you incredibly grateful for what you have. So much so that paying the credit card bill tomorrow won’t hurt nearly as bad as it normally does.

  11. dakotablueeyes says:

    Yeah hubs was on his way to work and kept callin and askin what was going on and I’m like nothin, randy’s huggin somebody

  12. Julie Pippert says:

    Oh ME TOO!!!

    I was a sobby mess and I’m not pregnant or nursing.

    Message received loud and clear. Luckily I ran a big fundraiser the next day and raised thousands of dollars for kids so at least I felt less guilty like I wasn’t doing anything. Like you said, it never feels like enough but we do what we can.

    I’m so glad you wrote this!

  13. nomotherearth says:

    I could have written this post. That show was so emotional for me, and yet I could not look away. I did manage to fast-forward through some of it because I was getting ridiculously depressed. Of course, I only managed to FF through the actual songs and went straight to the next sad story..

  14. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I missed the show. It is sad and often too overwhelming to consider all the people in so much need. You wrote about it perfectly.

    I know how you feel though. When I was 36 weeks pregnant, I watched a movie (From the Ashes) about women during the holocost and I was unconsolable for days. Too much to bear at that hormonal time. You need a good dose of silliness to clear you head and heart. {think Will Farrell}

    Happy Shower Day! Wishing you all the best!

  15. Adventures In Babywearing says:

    I was weepy, too, and I’m not pregnant (thank goodness!) – just stopping by from the big shower going on. Congrats!

    And I’m having a contest/photo tag of my own going on- hopefully we won’t bring you to tears… it’s Bloggers Without Makeup!

    Bloggers Without Makeup.

  16. L.A. Daddy says:

    The worst part is that people can only give so much. It’s the corporations and the governments that need to do more. But making us feel guilty will hopefully make us vote for the people who might change the way things are…

    36 weeks, huh? Almost there.

  17. aimee / greeblemonkey says:

    I haven’t watched it yet. I *know* I will be sobbing.

  18. I was hysterical sobbing over those poor kids. Gah.