How many ADD artists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Let’s go ride bikes.
My brother-in-law just moved back to town from Phoenix. He’s a Harley guy. He lives an amazingly minimalist lifestyle. He owns almost nothing. A few pieces of furniture, his truck, a bicycle and the requisite Harley Davidson. He’s almost fifty and except for the graying hair, looks like he’s thirty. No fifty year old should have such a flat stomach. I get along with him although we don’t have much in common. Other than being excentric. He’s a hermit and I guess you’d call him a redneck. Prefers to work night shifts, doesn’t show up for family functions, never really has a whole lot to say. But he’s a hard worker, honest and will help you out when you need him.
So we bought some new deck furniture, found a deal at the megastore’s outlet shop. We called him to help us bring it home with his truck. Got the job done and invited him to stay for dinner. I was kind of surprised that he accepted the offer, he usually begs off. So I went to the grocery store to get the fixin’s for my caper and sausage spaghetti. Everything went fine, a pleasant evening. I was thinking that in spite of the differences I’ve had with Beck’s family (right wing Christians for the most part) that the were all right and that they were a divers and interesting lot. She’s got seven siblings, so I guess no one could deny that last statement.
So here’s the problem. Last night Beck told me that while I was gone her brother was dropping the “n” word, talking about his coworkers in his new job. That and ridiculing our neighbors who have a sign promoting the repeal of Minnesota’s new conceal and carry law. I’d fogotten about that side of his personality. How red his neck really is. So just as I felt like I was growing fond of him, my level of esteem for him plummets like a rock.
I wonder what I would have done if he would have said those things in my presence. Would I have done the right thing, told him that that he was welcome to express his ideas about guns, but racism isn’t acceptable in my house. Would he have said anything in front of me? I’ve made my position known a long time ago. Before we were married we were at a family dinner when the gay bashing started. One of her sisters stated that homosexuality is a sin. I made an impassioned, but not very good argument that ended up making my future MIL cry in public. I’ve kind of lain low with my opinions ever since. I’m outgunned, that family has arguing down to a fine art.
I need to prepare myself. I need to be ready to calmly state to him that racist language isn’t acceptable around me. I have to realize I won’t change him and I can’t shut him out because he’s family. But I’m so disappointed. I thought he’d grown up a little. I’m sad.