Thursday, November 01, 2007

In which I grow a spine

I talked to my mom this afternoon. She asked if I knew what our christmas plans were yet. I told her I didn't for sure other than that we were going to be in Oklahoma. She asked me if we thought we could make it to family christmas (bear in mind, this is my father's extended family). I screwed up my nerve and told her that I didn't really want to attend, even if it worked with our schedule. I explained that I didn't like how mean they were to me and that they weren't exactly nice to my kids.

She said "I never noticed that they were mean to you - what are they mean about?"* "Oh, pretty much everything". It segued into me being different and I said "well, I'm not going to hide that I'm a liberal". She told me that I just had to accept that they were all conservative. I agreed and told her that I didn't start the arguments and didn't answer back when they made fun of my beliefs. *I* don't perpetuate the shit.

I'm sure she'll call me up with a guilt trip in a couple of weeks and the guilt will continue until christmas. But I just don't care. I've re-read my letter and I've decided I'm taking a stand this year. They won't reject me because I'm not going to put myself up for their rejection.

*When I told Mr. Gaia that she said she'd never noticed it he said "That's the problem! *I've* noticed it and it's worse than you will even admit."


Tanya Brown said...

Here's a big, non-creepy, unintrusive internet hug: ((( ))).

You have my deepest sympathies. You have a right to be treated respectfully and to not be the "entertainment" at the family gathering. Unfortunately, sometimes that seems to devolve down to trying to stay invisible, which is a piss-poor way to spend your holiday.

Kudos to you for taking the bull by the horns. It took real guts. Working this kind of stuff out seems to be a process that takes awhile and can be pretty painful, and I admire you for tackling it.

Grace said...

Have you read David Brooks? He says that liberals have to work harder at trying to understand conservatives. I have. But I don't see any reciprocal effort from conservatives to understand anyone else. There might be something to the mounting behavior studies that show that conservatives lack the 'empathy gene'.

Why spend your holidays with those creeps?

Gaia said...

I understand their brand of conservatism, I just don't and can't agree with it. I try to ignore most of their remarks but the borderline racist ones, the outright sexist ones and the classism (which is silly since none of them would ever be considered more than middle class) I don't feel I can in good conscience ignore. Especially around my kids.

Last year I searched and searched to find something non-controversial to discuss with my dad and brought up the nickelodean cow movie where the bulls had udders. It was supposed to be a laugh at stupid non-farm people but he took it and ran with it to "liberals" teaching kids it's okay to gay.

Tanya Brown said...

Sigh. I wonder if your dad and my dad could be related?

He can take just about any topic I bring up and segue to the evils of gays and pedophiles, which he seems to believe are synonyms.