The other day, a wonderful mother on the imperfect Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Shut-Up-About-Your-Perfect-Kid/340015517888?ref=ts) posted a link about how the town of Elmhurst, Illinois, is seeking to make eye rolling illegal. [For those unfamiliar with this gesture, go ask a teenager to clean their room or request to hang with her (or him) and their friends at the mall.]
According to The Consumerist, this unusual request “stems from a recent city council meeting where an Elmhurst resident was ejected from the room after rolling her eyes in reaction to something that was said by a council member.” As a result, “Members of the Elmhurst city council have asked the City Attorney to look into the creation of a new ‘disturbance and disorderly conduct'”charge.
While we are both strong proponents of a kinder, gentler society (despite what our “Shut Up” book title may imply), we have several concerns. First, we are worried that this legislation might take flight and land here in Massachusetts. Gina is particularly concerned since one of her family members would serve significant time for this infraction — her husband. This is one of his favorite gestures, especially when he’s mowing the lawn with his iPod on and Gina needs to communicate some vital piece of information to him. For example:
“Mike, can you follow me to the gas station? I think I’m running out of gas.”
He rolls his eyes so often that Gina is concerned about the medical implications. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you that your eyes will get stuck that way? Don’t come crying to me when your cross-eyed.”
He also rolls just as often with his daughters, who rely on him for protection. “Daddy help! There’s a sugar ant in my room. I’m scared. Can you go get it?”
There’s little doubt that if this eye rolling legislation were to come to Massachusetts, Mike would probably be locked up for life, which concerns Gina on a whole other level.
“That’s not fair! How come you get to get locked up in prison while I have to stay here with the kids?”
Patty shares Gina’s disdain for the proposed law as well. For different reasons.
“Gene, this is ridiculous. We’re becoming entirely too politically correct. Next thing you know, we won’t be allowed to give the Loser signal or stick our tongues out at people. What’s this world coming to?”
And it’s also made her very cautious about electing government officials.
“Yes, Governor Patrick. Thank you for sharing your view on illegal immigration. But what I really want to know is: What’s your stance on eye rolling?”
Tell us what you think of the legislation.