I’m Your Elf on the Shelf and I Hate You

Please Stop Making Me Watch You All Day

Matt Fotis
Dec 18, 2020 · 3 min read

t’s become pretty popular the last few years to bash me as some kind of Big Brother creeper who watches your kid’s every move. I’ve read all your “think” pieces about how I’m Foucault’s panopticon put into practice, keeping order through the fear of a single set of omnipresent eyes on the kid at all times…blah blah blah, snitches get stitches — we get it.

I mean, you bought an Alexa, but I’m the one spying on you. Right.

Well guess what, Steve? I have been watching you for the past seven years and the only thing I’m certain of is that I hate you. Your kid is alright, you on the other hand…

It’s bad enough that you put me into “hilarious” positions everyday and then post pictures of me on social media fucking a pineapple or doing things nobody should do — or have done to them — with a candy cane.

I can handle some Instagram posts, but 2020 has pushed our relationship over the edge. I get it. This year has been HARD. But, you’re here all the time and I can’t help but find myself spending 20 hours a day thinking about how much I hate you. I used to have some time to myself during the day, explore my own interests, but now you’re always here. Doing nothing. So instead of reading a good book or working on my knitting, I’m stuck here hanging upside down by one leg with five candy canes in my ass watching you watch Netflix. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you’re too old, dumb, and lazy to become a chess prodigy.

And I mean, would it kill you to just wash your plate after you eat? The dishwasher is right there! It’s literally two inches from the counter, so why do you leave it on the counter all day? You have nothing else to do!

Literally, nothing else. Good God your job is boring. Is that really what you do all day? And someone pays you to do that? I didn’t realize 80% of your job was scrolling through social media pretending to do work — and you have the temerity to criticize my job? I can FLY — what magical powers do you possess, Steve? Having twenty-two tabs open on Chrome? Changing your Zoom background? Simultaneously being asleep and eating a bag of chips?

You also need to stop projecting your emotional insecurity and immaturity onto me. If you need to discipline your kid, do it yourself you passive aggressive jerk. How am I supposed to tell her to finish her homework when I’m shitting chocolate chips into a teddy bear’s mouth!?!? Hmm? How can I tell her to respect you when you don’t even respect yourself?

Look, I’ll be gone in a week and by next year I’m sure we’ll both have cooled off and things can go back to “normal.” In the meantime, let me just face the wall. I can’t watch you anymore. And for the love of Santa, enough with the candy canes.

Matt Fotis

Written by

Theatre professor, author, playwright, dad, husband, and other stuff. Comedy, parenthood, and politics. www.mattfotis.com @mattfotis

The Monocle of Higher Ed

A satirical review of higher education in America.

Matt Fotis

Written by

Theatre professor, author, playwright, dad, husband, and other stuff. Comedy, parenthood, and politics. www.mattfotis.com @mattfotis

The Monocle of Higher Ed

A satirical review of higher education in America.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store