“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” – E. B. White
Oh the holiday’s are upon us. Time to eat, drink and listen to your loudmouth relative tell you everything that is wrong with the world…in their opinion. For the most part, everyone on all sides of my family are relatively commonsensical and civil but there is one, one arrogant, fat, drunk, loud, blowhard we will all have to contend with.
My wife will remind me on the drive over to just ignore him, to not let him bait me. She will note that he is an insecure, uneducated, bully redneck who thinks a civil discussion always begins with a confrontation about your stupid ideas or opinions. She will tell me that I only have to see him a couple of times a year and that I can bite my lip for an hour or three. And just think, she will add, all the stupid shit he will say tonight will give us something to laugh about later. If you didn’t know it already, I am married to a saint. Given that he was finally on the winning side of an election after eight long years, it should be a very interesting holiday gathering.
This guy is the poster child for one of Donald Trump’s in your face supporters, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, and Islamophobic. You name the phobic, he is an equal opportunity hater. Depending on how many beers he has already started out with, our “discussion” could get ugly fast, zero to conflict in less than sixty seconds. I may not even have enough time to sit down.
He is the classic, don’t confuse me with the facts sage, this is what I know, this is what I believe, don’t ask me to support how I know it or why I believe it. His defense is simple, talk louder and over you using imaginative phrases like “You’re stupid”, “That’s the dumbest shit I have ever heard” or my favorite “They should be shot”. Yup, this guy is an intellectual giant, on par with Aristotle, Socrates and Plato all wrapped up in an empty Bud light can.
What has always fascinated me about this cat is that he is married to an educated woman, a woman who comes from a very educated family. His kids, for the most part, appear to be level-headed and smart. From time to time I hear some words they utter, or some opinion they expound upon that smells like it has been infected by their father but their world is bigger than their Dad’s. Ultimately that is their Dad’s problem, he lives in a very small world, a world that only contains people who think and act as he does. He is surrounded by individuals who share his views, and who form their opinions without any facts. The hard part for me is, it’s a big group, with too many members, so it becomes very easy to see why he, they think they are right. And guess what, their man won and that is really all the proof he will need.
Yes, the holidays are upon us. Time to eat, drink and defend your vote in the presidential election. For the sake of family harmony, peace, good tidings crap and because my saintly wife lets me live in her house, I will hold my tongue. I will ignore and deflect. I will smile and pivot but mostly I will eat fast and get the hell out of there as quickly as I can.
“God gives us our relatives, thank God we can choose our friends.” – Ethel Watts Mumford