It was my poopy-faced brother’s fault. Really. I didn’t intend for my mother’s birthday party to become a battle field. In fact, I’m a firm believer that a person should be able to relax during such a celebration…especially when she turns 94!! But well…it’s election season and everyone seems to be pretty fired up. Or at least, that’s the excuse I’m going to use.
Here’s what happened:
I was washing the dishes after a gut bursting meal (how many apple pies can one person eat at one sitting?) when my brother said, “Loey (they call me Loey, it’s sad but true) we have to talk.” I knew right off it wasn’t going to be good. See…I’m pretty conservative in a lot of my views, but honestly, in some circumstances, there’s no way to be conservative enough. That’s when he started telling me how he marched into J.C. Penny’s and demanded that they take his name off the mailing list because…you guessed it…there were two gay men (that wasn’t his exact terminology) in one of their ads. He followed that up by telling me the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, segued into abortions, then zoomed into environmental issues, informing me that global warming is a lie perpetrated by the liberal left.
I’m a pretty soft spoken person generally. Truly I am. But about ten minutes into the conversation I realized that we had cleared the room. At some point he told me to get my finger out of his face. I corrected his grammar, laughed at his lack of logic, and eventually began calling names. I kid you not, I was like an out of control five year old in a playground battle. And I’m not entirely sure why. Yes, we have a gay cousin whom I care deeply about, yes, I believe in a woman’s right to choose, and true enough, environmental problems bother me enough to keep me awake nights. Still, I’m a grown up and surely should be able to state my opinions without going insane. But will I call him and apologize? Ahhhh, no. Do I wish I had been less ummmm effusive? Not really. So what does that tell us? Is it family that makes people crazy? Is it elections? Is it a deep seated concern for the direction this country is going? Or am I just nuts?
And how about you? Are you a dirty fighter? Any advice to give me for the next encounter?