...by Jack Handey.
Do you ever wish life had a "hide" function like fb? You know, to avoid those annoying but seemingly omnipresent family members you'd like to disown if the legal paperwork weren't so confusing?
I have apparently turned fb-hiding-trigger-happy this week as I have now elected to "hide" my dad's fb feed. Yep, my own father. Here's the thing: we barely have a relationship as he was absent the years between 5th grade and grad school, so when he "friended" me on fb I figured, well hey, I guess this will making catching up pretty hands-off. Sweet. But it turns out he is kind of a dick. A grade A asshole. A so-stereotyped-it's-not-even-funny racist redneck. Remember, this is the guy who insists on taking my stepsister's toddler to Hooters for birthday parties. Six ways to awesome. Actually, now that I think about it, my stepsister, stepbrother, and half-brother are all more or less total fuck-ups (not a day of college or a steady job between them), so I'm sure my sister and I got a bargain by not having the guy around during the formative years (that left my mother as the sole child-ruiner, rather than doubling up). But the more I see of his attitudes and behaviors on fb, which is the electronic equivalent of mixed company in a rather large social setting, the more I feel like my child is NOT going to have much contact with dear old gramps.
This week? The offending effort was to jump into an immigration thread on my fb wall, and to turn it into an opportunity to insult me and my friends in a pretty significant way. One of my friends, a grown man who happens to be a minority and who lives in the deep south, was told by my tactful father, "Listen, here, boy, you need to take a seat and let the grown-ups handle this, son..." or something to that effect. Boy? Serious? Jesus H. Christ. As soon as I saw these and other equally derogatory rapid-fire comments, I deleted the entire thread and contemplated ways to apologize to my friend for the unforeseen ambush. And for the past week, my newsfeed has been crowded with pro-Arizona and anti-Obama rants -- one such rant yesterday was followed by a posted picture of a monkey. A fucking monkey. *facepalm* *click hide* These posts aren't just offered as opinions, which as a tree-hugging first-amendment-loving liberal I am obliged to respect, but are punctuated with sentiments like, "This is OUR America, get used to it!" I assume the "our" refers to our multicultural melting pot, right? Uh, no. Not so much.
I know that I am liberal, and that I am passionate about politics and civil rights, and that I am also easily offended, but this is a bridge too far for me. I would never fit in with the hillbilly crowd my father runs with, or his ne'er-do-well new family, but it also pains me that I'm running out of grandparents for my kid. My mother's fucking nuts, so she's out of the picture (imagine my dad times a gazillion served on a bed of ignorant plus hateful hate piled on top with a dollop of misogyny to finish). My father-in-law was a fantastic man and a great dad to KB, and just passed away this year. So all the pressure is on KB's mom, who will be Nonna to our kiddo. She's a good woman, so I'm grateful for that.
And as for good ol' pops? Well, he and my stepmom can come visit for a day or two after the kid is born (when I'm good and ready, and not a minute sooner), but I don't think we'll be making trips down to Virginia to celebrate Slavery Appreciation Month with the ol' fam, cracking warm Coors cans and watching NASCAR. Not gonna happen. I have higher hopes than community college drop-out for my kid. And I don't want to get a call from the school principle because my child is quoting Lou Dobbs and attempting to deport a kid from the kindergarten playground. And we'll be having birthday parties in our backyard, where all the ladies will be fully-clothed.