Sunday, June 21, 2009
Are you guilty of this?
Today I read an article on the onion.com about a young man who admits to a surprising policy during visits with his family:
95 Percent Of Opinions Withheld On Visit To Family
KALAMAZOO, MI–A full 95 percent of the opinions held by Justin Wilmot, 26, were kept to himself Sunday during a Father's Day visit with his family.
Wilmot holds his tongue while his sister and mother discuss their mutual excitement about Legally Blonde 2.
"No one in my family really gets my worldview, so I find it easier just to smile and nod and agree with everything," Wilmot said Monday. "When I'm with them, I tend to be a lot quieter than when I'm hanging out with friends."
Wilmot, who grew up in Kalamazoo and now lives in Chicago, described the visit as "seven hours of self-censorship."
"We're totally not on the same wavelength at all," Wilmot said. "I'm not just talking about dangerous subjects like politics or religion, but pretty much everything they bring up–the shows they watch, the things they buy, the people they know. So if someone says Daddy Day Care was hilarious, I may be thinking, 'I can't believe Eddie Murphy was once respected as a subversive comic genius,' but I sure as hell don't say it."
Among the subjects Wilmot declined to weigh in on during the weekend get-together: new Tropical Sprite, Survivor, the selfishness of childless couples, Iraq, golf, AM talk radio, and his brother-in-law's fantastic idea for a calling-card side business.
Wilmot said he used to voice his opinions, but has long since given up.
Does that seem shocking to you? Not to me, and you can imagine why. Yes, whirling betty is guilty of the same. I am not particularly proud of it, but I learned several years ago that being true to myself is not worth it during family visits.
When my mother was alive, I was quite assertive. She always deferred to me. After she died, everything changed.
The family dissipated. My father married his longtime mistress and she was the complete opposite of my mother. She deferred to no one- least of all me!
When I went to visit my father in the house I was raised in, the presence of his new wife turned the house into a prison for me, even though I had lived there a lot longer than she had. I was only allowed to enter the bedroom I was assigned to (which, of course, was NOT the bedroom which had always been mine- it was my brother's and I had never liked it) and the downstairs.
HOWEVER, I was only allowed to be in the downstairs portion of the house WITH supervision! I kid you not. The bitch whom my father married was convinced that I was going to rob them if left unattended- yes, ROB them- even though my criminal history is nonexistent- nope, not even a speeding ticket can be attributed to whirlingbetty.
I had to make a decision. Either I had to eliminate my father from my life or I had to figure out a way to tolerate the insanity which he married. I decided that my visits would be infrequent and short. I would visit once every 3 years, and for only two days. They never visit me.
For two days every three years, I can squelch myself. I do not share their views on politics or gun control or homosexuality or race discrimination. I do not care to hear about how superior my father's wife and her adult children are to me and my siblings and my deceased mother. But I made the decision that I will spend two days every three years biting my tongue and visiting.
I'm glad I'm not the only one.
Posted by B.S. at Sunday, June 21, 2009