“Sometimes I think I believe in God, just so I have someone to blame.”
I hope you don’t remember who Jeremy Meeks is.
I know the name, if only because my mind works in idiotic ways and I retain unneeded information in the sponge inside my skull. Meanwhile, I don’t know my wife’s phone number. That’s my brain at work.
You’ll most likely recognize Jeremy’s face. He’s the convict with the pretty eyes, an Internet sensation because of a swoon-worthy mugshot. When Jeremy made the news he had been arrested on weapons charges, but two years were already under his prison belt for grand theft auto. Substance abuse was a part of his being, and Meeks sported a teardrop tattoo, though whether that means he was raped in prison, killed someone, or lost a family member is unknown.
None of the above mattered, however, to the thousands upon thousands of women who gushed publicly about his looks. Website comments showed there was a wide swath of the female community who cared little about his temperament and just wanted to “get to know” him. Because baby blue eyes > decent human being. It was almost as disgusting as the time idiots posted “He can hit ME anytime” regarding the human piece of shit known as Chris Brown, after he was arrested for brutally thrashing Rihanna.
Not that I want to rehash the past; that is not my intent here.
The problem I have is with society, because at the same time Jeremy was becoming an Internet God, a young girl named Gabby was fighting for her life.
I was aware of Gabby through a friend; a fundraising site with her story was making its way across social media. Two-year-old Gabby had leukemia, and the medical system being what it is, her case was going to take a lot of cash to treat.
As I read Gabby’s story, I discovered Jeremy Meeks had a fundraising site, too. Criminals need bail money, and they need to pay for attorneys, and unless they’re drug kingpins they probably don’t have that much spare coin on hand.
Both sites were only a day old, but when I clicked on each I noticed something disgusting: Not only was Meeks outpacing Gabby by leaps and bounds, but his family was asking for 5x the amount of Gabby’s family. Let’s repeat that. An already convicted felon was asking the public for 5x more than the family of a 2-year-old with leukemia.
I grabbed a screenshot from the early stages, where the gap was outrageous, but not a chasm. As the days wore on, Meeks shot into the thousands of dollars, while Gabby struggled to make hundreds. It was the tortoise vs. the hare, only with the realistic outcome, not a fairy tale ending.
I was disgusted. The idea a pretty-boy criminal would be fawned over while a two-year-old girl had to go wanting? It spoke unfortunate volumes about humanity.
My anger sat with me a while, then, something that happens all too often: after doing what I could for Gabby, life intervened and both she and Meeks became faint memories. My outrage had ADHD, and like the Pepsi girl or a one-hit-wonder, they became a “What ever happened to?”
On January 30th, my friend posted one of the best pictures you could ever hope to see. It was of Gabby, holding a sign showing she beat her disease and was happy and healthy. A delightful grin radiated from her happy face. Seeing it brought me a sense of peaceful calm that I didn’t expect. I didn’t cheer, hoot-or-holler, I just sat in front of my computer smiling. The picture made me feel good.
For the rest of the day, I returned to the photo every few hours just to re-capture that warmth, that idea “Everything turns out OK in the end.”
Meeks crossed my mind, but I was driving and forgot about him before I was able to safely Google his name.
As if the Gods themselves were smiling down upon we mere mortals, on February 6th, the news hit: Jeremy Meeks was sentenced to 27 months in jail. No modeling contract, no fame and fortune, just hard time behind bars.
Again I smiled, and felt good. Suddenly the world made sense.
I admit to being too hotheaded, and know that sometimes you need to wait things out to the end…
…but I won’t fault myself for being disappointed in anything that happened along the way. The fact a two-year-old should get leukemia in the first place, that women would fawn over a thug and donate more money to his pathetic cause than that of a child in need…
I’m OK with being upset by that.
But I’m overjoyed it all worked out the way it did. Overall, I need to remember to be patient.
Sometimes everything works out just the way it was supposed to.
Sometimes the tortoise really does beat the hare.
*Update: in 2017, Jeremy Meeks got to be a part of fashion week in NYC. Fuck you, society. Fuck you.