Ugh. Where to begin…?
I got through Christmas okay, but things got ugly over dinner…
We’re sitting there eating the ham and scalloped potatoes, and the male dickheads in my family decided to get into a heated “debate” (re: fight) about gun control.
Why…? Why at dinner…? Why do some people not understand that the best thing to do at holiday functions is be polite, on your best behavior, and avoid any potentially incendiary topics of conversation?
So the rest of us–myself, my mother, the non-dickhead male friend of my mother’s, and my brother’s spouse–had to endure this bullshit.
You can’t dissuade these men with feminine appeals to mind their manners at the dinner table: one’s an ex-cop and the other one, my brother, kills animals as frequently as possible, which says it all. They don’t scream or yell (nobody in my family raises their voice much–stoical Teutonic upbringing, I guess), but they are dominant and feel entitled (re: inconsiderate) in the household.
So they hijacked the entire dinner.
We have my brother, whom I love fiercely but who has become a Republican gun nut. I honestly don’t know how it happened. Our family isn’t “liberal” by New York or San Francisco standards, but we’re old-school Roosevelt Democrats. Very pro-Labor, progressive tax and redistribution, and basically against military intervention (even though every man has served in the military). I’m much further to the Left, it’s true, but my political preferences have zero chance for realization, so they are not a source of discord except within my mind.
I don’t understand what happened to my brother. He started hunting and then got sucked into the MINORITY/subculture within that (most hunters are not dingbats). It’s the only thing I can think of.
Now he gets his news from conservative talk radio and he has at least 12 guns. He is also mad at black people, despite not knowing any in private or professional life. If he interacts with a single African-American on a daily basis, I’d be surprised. I sure don’t, when I live here. Even when I was teaching at the local university, I didn’t.
What did black people ever do to you, brother…?
Then we have my ex-cop uncle. He is highly opinionated…and he knows EXACTLY what gun violence means, having dealt with its repercussions for many years. He’s getting old and still made out of metal. Still looks like a Marine. When he wasn’t a cop, he was working, physically, all his life. His hands are like sheet rock and his body is an engine. He’s fearless and a sexist. He’s very macho (but he votes Democrat and actually likes Bernie).
The topic of recent mass shootings came up, and my uncle opined that the general public does not need access to all these fucking guns.
My brother was, insecurely, incensed by this, and spoke up.
Then we were off the the races.
Soon, nobody was eating anything. The food was getting cold.
I had to learn more about my brother’s irrational and paranoid ideas than I would have liked. I love him. What accounts for this needless, toxic masculinity…? He kills hundreds of animals a year, including things like badgers (in snare traps) that are outside of town and don’t hurt anyone.
Is he trying to compensate for not having a father….?
Because, believe me, things could have been worse: he could have had mine.