I will speak of Jon and Kate Plus 8, because I am really talking about myself.
I read this article about how Jon of Jon and Kate Plus 8 takes back a lot of the things he said and did because he was under the influence of celebrity and whatever. If I may, it confirmed for me somethings I had already thought.
Unlike most avid celeb gossip blog readers, I completely believed him. Or at least, I can believe that many of the sentiments he expressed were sincere if perhaps a little exaggerated.
I feel bad for him, but not because he has 8 kids or because all of America hates him. I feel bad for him because I think he is legitimately going through something that pretty much all human beings should be able to relate to on some level. Unfortunately for him, most of those same human beings are on the other side of it all now, and thus cannot empathize with him.
We have all fucked up something. The degrees to which we have ruined what could have been perfectly good things or situations varies from person to person. Jon Gosselin was unlucky enough to have this happen to him on national television. And then, for all of us, there was a belated moment of clarity. It was too late, but we suddenly understood our mistakes and knew how they could have been done differently. For some of us, this moment of clarity happens only seconds after the collapse of all the good things. And there is an impulse to try and scrape up what is left of the good things by confessing hastily and desperately in the attempt to go back to the way things were.
But things will never be the way they were again. And this is called regret.
I just understand him. His impulse is natural. It comes from a real place. He’s not doing it because he wants further attention from the media or to aggrandize his celebrity.
He fucked up, a lot. And he sees how much damage he has caused. And really, it sucks for him that this all had to happen on TV. This is why undeserving celebrities should be illegal. Not because they are untalented, but because they are not trained or prepared for the trials and tribulations of everyday life, which are already fucking hard, to be expounded upon and blown up to intense levels by the media.
I want to do it too, so much. I’m no different than Jon Gosselin really. I want to say, “No, I’m sorry, I really get it now. I see how what I did was weird. I see how I shouldn’t have said that. Well, no, I shouldn’t have expected so much. I’m sorry. I just want things to be okay. I just want it to be good. I’m sorry. I should have acted differently. I should have worried less. Can we start over? Can you just forget those things I said and did? Can you give me a second chance? I won’t do those things again. I understand now how I should have been better about it. I should have done this and this and this instead. I’m sorry. Let’s try again.”
But, such a speech, while it is certainly an impulse, sounds pathetic and weak. Desperate. Not to mention, I can’t think that if anyone really said that to me that I’d feel compelled to forgive them and give them a second chance. What’s done is done. You can’t change the past. It is what it is. That’s why people say those things so much, because it’s true. And perhaps this is why America won’t forgive Jon Gosselin. Because they are on that other side. They were the ones who he fucked up for. Not personally, but we all have our grudges. Even those really “good” people who “forgive and forget” are probably unlikely to forget all of it. We still feel hurt or weird or skeptical.
There is no answer to this conundrum, really, except to move forward. Live and learn (and then get Luvs). We all live with some regret, some more than others. The only thing we can do is look towards new things and pray that we won’t repeat those mistakes again. And sometimes we do make the same mistakes. This is why life is hard and sometimes depressing. But we all go through it. We’re not so different than Jon Gosselin, and I bet in ten years from now I’ll have completely forgotten about him unless his name is mentioned via some nostalgic 2000s trivia game. And that’s good, because that’ll mean he’ll have moved on and forward, towards other things, which is all he can do. It’s all anyone can do. The past is what it is, and all we have is the future.