September 27, 2007

Survival Tall Tale

When gigantic disaster occurs and chaos ensues, one of the first thoughts that goes through my head is always the same: What a great time to disappear and become someone new.

Oh be quiet. As if you haven't thought the same thing. In a society as tightly regulated as ours (I guarantee your toilet has a serial number), it isn't often that records go *poof* like in 9/11, or Katrina, or the tsunami. We exist because someone assures us we do.

Tracking after 9/11 was easier than those other two disasters, mostly because the victims were white and wealthy and everyone knows that means they count more. So how some nutter woman has managed to go for six years scamming everyone makes it all the more mysterious (or humorous, depending on which way your brain bends).

Tania Head, a self-created survivor/hero/tragic heroine, started her real life on September 11, 2001. Seizing the chance many of us ponder, she has recreated herself. Just like a character in Sims, she created who she really wanted to be in that tragic moment when the towers went down.

She gave herself advanced degrees and Very Big Jobs. She even created a fiance, an apartment and a golden retriever named Elvis. You don't get more Sims than that. Of course, the downside is that she's been dining out on her tale of survival for all these years, speaking and giving succor to survivor's families as she tells her Wonder Woman story of escaping what their loved ones didn't.

I'll stop piling on for a moment. The true sad part of all of this is that there are people who feel so alone, so removed and so isolated that this is a plausible, doable thing. Not a fleeting "Wow. No more Visa bills, I won't have to sell tires for a living, I can finally break up with her" kind of thing that is dismisssed as soon as it appears. No, this is somebody who can finally be a star in their own invented life, because their real life is too painful to continue with.

You know people like this. Even if you don't notice them anymore, you know them. Does Tania Head have full blown crazylady Munchausen syndrome whistling through her blond bob? Probably. I don't know. But if she does, I can see why our compartmentalized, isolating culture sure wouldn't have helped her out. It's easy to be lonely in a city crowded with people.

Sometimes people just need to feel special. Sometimes they just need to feel valued. Sometimes they just need to feel anything at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This woman needs serious help. She's pathetic.

September 28, 2007 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Her fiance's last name should have been Case. That would have made her Tonia Head-Case.

September 28, 2007 10:06 AM  

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