It’s an old custom of the Blackfeet Indians, the mother-in-law does not enter her son-in-law’s tipi and the son-in-law does not enter the mother-in-law’s tipi.
This is now my custom too.
Dick’s been waiting for a reason to go all jihad on my ass. He’s been seething since his daughter declined to say Amen at the table. A few weeks ago he phoned-in a hateful rant. I’m sure he was red-faced on the other end of the line, yelling about how he’s been turning the other cheek all these years, accusing me of insulting him and his family and trying to influence his daughters. My “I never…” was cut off with his “Liar!” and then, before hanging up on me, he called me a “Fucking fascist”. A fascist?! What the hell?
It took me hours to calm my racing heart and stop shaking after the call. My husband wondered if he should try to talk to Dick. I voted nay. What’s the use, if he doesn’t believe anything you say? Let him have the last angry word. I’m glad I didn’t have the chance to say anything I’d regret.
Way to make the world a better place, Dick. Are you proud of your words? Is that what JC would’ve said? Did god tell you to call? What a shining example you are! You’re the embodiment of everything I loathe about religion. You’re the epitome of piousness: intolerant, angry and vengeful, just like your god. Way to represent!
Look, I’m nice dammit. I don’t go around insulting people. I’ve never deliberately insulted Dick or his family. In fact, my husband and I have tip-toed around, careful to avoid key words that might set him off: words like religion, gay marriage, Obama, freethinker, indoctrination, gun control…
And I’m not foolish enough to try to secretly influence his children. They’re five and seven years old for cryin’ out loud! They can’t keep secrets: they tattle all day long. They’re just not viable Secret Atheist Agenda recruits!
So, now we have new rules. Blackfeet rules. I don’t call or go to his house when he’s home. I don’t even want to go there when he’s away, lest he appear unexpectedly. I don’t want to see him on my porch. My daughter and granddaughters and I will have our get-togethers without Dick. That’s fine. It’s not like he was adding any sparkle to my life.
The “fucking fascist” comment interests me. Does he really think I’m a fascist or was it just good alliteration? Does atheist equal fascist in his mind? Do they say “fascist” a lot on Fox News? I can’t imagine how he makes that jump.
I grew up in the sixties, man! More hippy than fascist. He has no idea who I am. The truth isn’t important to him. He makes up his own. He needs to believe I’m a fascist so he can be offended.
I sound bitter, I know. I am. My feelers are hurted, but I’ll get over it. Maybe writing this will help.