Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Vote for Irresponsibility

This just in.... Another runaway has been located. And yet again, people are talking nonsense about how much money a missing persons search costs, and how that's all the searchee's fault, if, God forbid, they should actually turn up unharmed. As I've said before, there's nothing that seems to piss a law enforcement official off more than to find the missing-and-presumed-dead alive and in one piece.

This time, the perpetrator told no lie and made no apology about disappearing seven years ago from Texas A&M University. Not only that, but when Brandi Stahr's family finally made contact, she told them to stay away. I think Brandi just may not like her family too much. And since she knows them better than we do, who are we to argue? Brandi was found actually working in Kentucky, using her real name and her real social security number. Be that as it may, apparently young Miss Brandi thoroughly stumped Texas Ranger Frank Malinak, who couldn't for the life of him seem to locate her. "We thought we were dealing with a missing persons case," Malinak said. "But, in actuality, we were dealing with a person who did not want to be found and was in hiding."

Hiding, Frank? Uh, no, sweetie. A 20-year-old woman has a fight with her family, they cut her off, she leaves Texas and moves to Kentucky. Then she gets a job and supports herself. That's not hiding, Frank. That's called telling your family to fuck off. It's all about perspective. Just because you were too dense to find her, Frank, doesn't mean she was hiding. She didn't change her name. She didn't get a false social security number. She didn't adopt a new identity. She just didn't leave a change of address card.

This is not a crime. Repeating for emphasis, people. NOT A CRIME. Brandi Stahr is an American citizen, who at the time of her "disappearance" was a legal adult. She also just happens to have two X chromosomes, rather than an X and a Y, which might have something to do with the expressed need of those around her for her to ask permission every time she goes the bathroom. In any case, the last time I checked, the Constitution was still in effect. And because that's the case, if you want to tell your family to take a flying leap, then move to another state, get a job, and not call your mom on her birthday, you get to do that.

Why? Because this is America, that's why.

And in America, you get to pack up your CD collection, your cat, your autographed photo of Scott Baio (from the "Charles in Charge" years because, hey, wasn't Scott at his zenith then?), your automatic breadmaker, your Barbie collection, and load them in the back of your 1989 Hyandai Excel, then drive to Kentucky, find a place to live, get a job at the Sam's Club in Florence, Kentucky (cleverly using your real name and social security number in an obvious attempt to throw crack lawman Frank "Couldn't Find My Own Ass With a Compass and a set of Night Goggles" Malinak off your scent).

According to the CNN article, "Although Stahr committed no crime in her disappearance, investigators spent a lot of money and time looking for her, Malinak said. 'The responsible thing to do would have been to let someone know you're OK,' Malinak said. 'There are going to be people expending man-hours and effort, trying to find a missing person.'" Yeah, you looked really hard for her, didn't you, Frank. I'll bet you lost a whole bunch of sleep on this case. Next time I lose my carkeys, you're my man.

I say, Brandi girl, you go! Be irresponsible. Pay no heed to that party-pooper Frank Malinak. He's just feeling a little foolish right now because he never thought to look for you in the Sam's Club in Florence, Kentucky. That would have been on my short list of places to look, but then, maybe that's just woman's intuition. It also sounds an awful lot from the article like your mom is just kind of a big pain in the ass anyway, if you'll permit an outsider's observation. I think if your family really had wanted to find you before seven years, they'd have called in Dog, the Bounty Hunter. He'd have tracked you down in no time. Why, I'll bet the very first place Dog Chapman looks for anybody is the Sam's Club in Florence, Kentucky. So, I think your family is just crying crocodile tears now, sister.

On the other hand, I hope this doesn't start a trend. I can just see it now. Young women all over the country telling their oppositional, dysfunctional families to go fuck themselves, then getting in their cars and driving thousands of miles, only to end up in other states, getting jobs and living independently and without the burden of family expectancy. Can you imagine? Hoards of adult woman migrating en masse, and refusing to tell anyone where they're going? Refusing to check in as if they were children on a curfew? What kind of hellish nightmare would that be, I wonder? How could they possibly be trusted to care for themselves? Who will be there to pick up the pieces of their shattered young lives the first time they have to actually make a decision for themselves with only the sound of their own inner longings and ambitions to drive them, with only their own personal dreams and desires to live for, free of the weight of having to please every other damn person whoever told them that "good girls don't" and "nice girls should" and "you'd be so pretty if you could just lose a little weight and stand up straight," who called on the boys in class first, and who managed to somehow make them feel as if, no matter what they did or how well they did it, it still wouldn't be good enough. Living, in fact, almost as if they were...[gasp!]... real people.

It's a new world order, my friends. A new world order....


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