Moral and intellectual cripples
When my daughter (a good for nothing, unrepentant gay hipster) and her creepy girlfriend fired the first salvos that ultimately tore my family apart everyone blamed me and called me a redneck for refusing to apologize to them. The shaming grew more intense as our family feud dragged on and my idiot in laws invited themselves into the thick of it. At that point the melodrama and stupidity went from the ridiculous to the sublime - and I walked away from the family in utter disgust. For half a decade my wife was caught on the fence between her daughter, her parents - and me.
Last year I was tired of being angry and politely asked my in laws for a meeting. I wanted to take one last shot at making peace. We put out coffee and cookies, and I read them the riot act. I tried to explain to them what a social justice warrior was and how they operate. I tried to explain to them what an internet rage mob was, about the pinkshirt cultural warfare militant homosexuals were waging. Their eyes glossed over when I explained the 'cry-bully' social phenomenon along with 'emotional triggers' and 'safe places' etc. ad nauseum. I explained how my daughter was using them and manipulating them - and how they were enabling self destructive behaviours that they damned well shouldn't.
This time they didn't dismiss me out of hand, or shout me down or talk over me like they used to...they just sat there staring at me like I was from another planet. Might as well have been - the in laws are in their 70's and people get old, stupid and disconnected at that age. "But...but...Orca Winfrey says gays are okay!!! And so do all the other day-time TV celebrities!!!!" My mother in law actually let me finish speaking before patiently explaining to me that times were different now and kids don't need to grow up and assume the responsibilities they used to. If I weren't so old and curmudgeonly, she implied - I would know that. Even my wife jumped in on that last ditch peace summit to try and convince her parents to stop meddling in our family. When the meeting concluded, it looked like things might have finally sunk in - but a couple weeks later they were stirring up shit between my daughter and I just like they always have.
The regret and sorrow came afterwards. When I found out about their meddling and shenanigans I felt a rage so big and red and powerful - it was almost beautiful. I let those two old assholes have it with both barrels! None of this 'respect your elders' shit for them anymore! No more Mister Nice Guy! Fuck my wife's parents - and fuck her too if she was going to side with them! After five years of restraint, gritted teeth, and suppressed fury - I fired off an angry salvo of my own...and anything that was left of my family at that point...was gone. To my utter astonishment...only my wife remained. How a beautiful, intelligent woman came from a diseased idiotic family like that is beyond me...but she was still mine. And her asshole parents? The head games, the arguments, the disrespect, the insults...were done. They would no longer be part of OUR lives or OUR family.
Yesterday at the carwash I had finished scrubbing the company truck, and was on my way out when I noticed the late model Hyundai Santa Fe in the next stall. It was my father in law's. He came round the side of his vehicle and stopped and stared at me. His expression was unreadable. When we fought in the past he would always smirk knowing he had gotten the best of me...but not this time. For a few seconds we just stood there, looking at each other.
He lost his youngest son back in his early 40's which did wonders for his battle with booze and stress as you can imagine. His remaining son is a liar, a thief and a cheat and if he is very careful he can avoid admitting to what is obvious to the rest of us as far as that goes. Now he had lost his daughter too. Doug is not a bad man. He does charity and volunteer work in his old age in an effort to stay active and engaged. He is just stupid - and damnably, beshittedly stubborn.
I looked back at the sad, little old man and blew out my cheeks in despair. If I forgave him, the stupid old fuck would just go back to doing what he always has. Maybe I'm no better, expecting a 70 something baby-boomer butt plug to understand concepts like 'social justice warriors' and cultural warfare. Back in the 70's baby boomers whined about the generation gap between them and their parents. HAR HAR HAR - you old farts will need a Hubble space telescope to see your grandchildren - were you inclined to view them objectively.
I shook my head at the emotional war going on in my head, and hopped into the truck. Doug ignored his Hyundai and watched me as I backed up and I paused before driving away - looking back at him again. Still no smirk, or sneer. Just that poker face. I looked in the rearview as I drove away and he was still watching me - across the burned out ash of rage and a family.
Fuck you, you old bastard.