Friday, July 29, 2005

Social Graces

I usually have the greatest amount of admiration and respect for my father, but today, he almost did his dash.... and if he wasn't my father, I'm sure as shit that I would never have anything to do with him. All this sounds rather sensationalized I'm sure, and in the light of morning, it may be just that, but right here, right now, I'm one pissed off kitty.

When we were kids and my parents were still married, there was an obvious tension between my Da and my mother's mother. She was a devout Christian who went to church every Sunday, never drank, smoked or swore. Apart from the smoking part, my Da was/is the complete opposite. My grandmother almost had kittens when my mother brought him home, he was every good christians nightmare. My Da was a real bloke's bloke. He played football on Saturdays, drank copious amounts of piss before, during and after the game, swore like a wharfie and the only time he set foot on church ground was if he'd taken a wrong turn on his way home from the pub. He was also a scratcher, though not a spitter.

My grandmother was hell bent on leading him towards the light and showing him what being a christian was the ONLY way to be. She tried, she failed, she despised him for not converting, he despised her for not excepting him the way he was. Many a time, as a child, I recall Da saying "well if she doesn't except me the way I am, she can blow it out her arse".

This set the first moral marker in my life, it taught me that it was ok to be me. Except me as I am or don't except me at all. You don't need to change who you are for anyone else, it's ok to be who you are.....warts and all.

I guess this problem started a little over 12 months ago when Da's friend Jeff, mentioned that he was concerned that my nephew Caleb, who was not yet 2 at the time, and who he'd spent a total of 20 minutes with, was speech impaired or possibly retarded because he wasn't not speaking correctly and that it should be looked into asap. This from a man who had only received his teaching degree a mere 2 years earlier at the ripe old age of 49 and had since spent his "teaching" time with Japanese exchange students helping them improve their english. I mean for fucks sake, the kid isn't even 2 yet, he's still crapping in a nappy and Dr Jeff is diagnosing speech problems, give the kid a break. So Da gets on the blower to my sister and reports Dr Jeff's expert assvice. This doesn't go down well with my sister, or me. Although we fight light cats and dogs, we are fiercely protective of each other.

12 months on and Caleb's speech is coming along just fine, thank you Dr Jeff.

Making an unsolicited diagnosis, making judgments, giving assvice and the general smarminess that oozes from his pores, didn't bath him in a good light with "us kids", Chad included.

So that brings us to today, when Da tells me that Dr Jeff wasn't too impressed at the innuendoes that were thrown in his general direction about his sexuality by Chad. I'm stumped, I don't have a CLUE what he's on about. Chad hasn't seen Dr J for months, since last time he got a lift to the football with us......... 2 fucking months ago.

Now Chad isn't one to do "innuendoes" of any description, it's just not his style. What Chad DOES do is camp it up big time. Both he and Da have a running joke about being "bent" and they both play it up. It even goes as far as Chad doing the Marilyn Monroe "Happy Birthday" song especially for him every year for his birthday, (minus the dress and wig of course) which he thinks if hilarious.

Though my memory isn't the best, what I do recall of that night in the car was a conversation between Da and Chad where they carried on in their usual manor, camping it up, Da calling Chad "possum" or "sweetie" or something to that effect. It was just the "usual" banter between Chad and Da. There were no innuendoes thrown in any direction, there was barely a curt "hey" tossed in his general direction when he hopped in the car because, frankly, we don't like him.

I tell Da that it's absurd, that obviously Dr J has his head planted so firmly up his own arse he is obviously confused between what was really said, and what he thinks was implied. Da then breaks into a tirade of what is "socially excepted". That although we carry on like this with each other, other people (read Jeff) may take offense to it. We should watch our p's and q's within social groups (read around Jeff) because someone may just punch you in the face if they dislike your behavior or may misconstrue what you say.

When I tell him that someone who is secure in their sexuality wouldn't be upset by "our behavior", that someone who didn't think the world revolved around them wouldn't assume that things said were automatically innuendoes about their sexuality, he lets lose with another barrage of crap and how I need to "behave" in public.

I'm not socially retarded. I know how to and when to act appropriately. I know when to curb my language (cause I swear alot, if you hadn't already noticed) and when I can let lose with a onslaught of appropriately placed *f* words.

I'm the kind of person who tells it like it is. I'm the kind of person who will tell you when you have lippy on your teeth or that your fly is undone. I'm the kind of person who will tell you how great your hair looks or commend you for doing a great job with your kids when you feel guilty as hell for just smacking them in a public place and every one is giving you the evil eye. I'm the kind of person that will tell you that you're rude if you think just because you're old it gives you the right to push to the front of the line, or insist that you say "please" when you want me to do something for you.

I'm not the kind of person who pretends to be someone or something I'm not.
I'm not going to change the way I am because someone may misconstrue something I say. That's not the way I was raised. In turn, I don't expect Chad, my family or my friends, to "be" anything but themselves, even as embarrassing at it is at times, because that is who they are, and who they are is the reason I love them......

So Dr J, for being a girlie girl and having a big sook to my Da about how hurt your feelings were by something you imagined, instead addressing the problem with us, for the shit you stirred up and the screaming match that ensued and for thinking you are important enough to make judgments on our behavior ....this is for you....

oh and while I'm at it.....

"If you can't except us the way we are, blow it out your arse"


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