Putting the ‘Labor’ in Labor Day Weekend

Over the weekend, we attended a party thrown by my aunt and uncle, who have a lovely little cottage on Cape Ann, high atop a hill, with a terrific view of the ocean.

It was from that charming vantage point that I succumbed to the evils of the wicked elixir known as Corona—which, for me, when attending a family function, is kind of like drinking spring water with a hint of lime. They went down fast, and they went down easy.

This would have been well and good, except that, a few beers in, the little cerveza-soaked devil on my shoulder actually convinced me that it would be a good idea to ask my mother if she had watched Barack Obama’s speech a couple of nights earlier.


Soon, I was engaged in the intellectual equivalent of a “Matrix”-like shootout, during which I had to dodge verbal bullets that had been loaded into the mouths of several family members by any number of right-wing, talk-radio, Fox News-spewing fuckheads.

And I tried, oh, really, I swear, I tried to disengage, to call a truce, to go back to talking about something, anything other than politics, a conversational third rail that the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections taught me I should stay away from at all costs when around my family, for no good can come of it.

But they insisted that I listen to their (woefully misguided) opinions, and there is something hardwired into my DNA that makes it almost impossible for me to hear struggling middle-class citizens espouse the virtues of the very same political party that is standing on their throats without slipping into full-on “You Are So Unbelievably Wrong And I Must Now Verbally Bludgeon You With My Anti-Karl Rove-ian Neo-Con Whack-Job Baseball Bat” mode.

Eventually, they tired of poking me with their pundit sticks, and I managed to clamp my hand over the mouth of the devil on my shoulder … though, when the sun went down, and a chill began to set in, he managed to dress me in a long-sleeve “Obama ’08” t-shirt. Hey, I was just trying to stay warm.

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  1. Tara
    Posted September 3, 2008 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Oh God, that makes me cringe. I learned the same lesson before the 2004 election and I’ve had my political foot in my mouth ever since.

    I could talk non-stop about this new Republican VP candidate though. Yikes.

  2. Posted September 4, 2008 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    Talk about the Republican VP candidate? What’s to talk about? No chinks in that armor. No sir. An airtight choice. You know, except for all that stuff.

  3. Posted September 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results. There is no rationalizing with insanity. I’m sorry your family is insane. 😉

  4. Posted September 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your sympathy, Katelynn. I am always comforted to hear from another one of “us.” :)

  5. Posted September 8, 2008 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if it’s something you can fix, but google reader can’t pick up your rss feed for some reason.

  6. Posted September 8, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Dan, I just copied and pasted into Google Reader the Entries RSS link included in the footer on each page of my site ( feed://feeds.feedburner.com/daddyscratches ), and it seems to work fine. I’m guessing you grabbed the old RSS link right when I launched the site; I subsequently changed it to Feedburner. Sorry!

  7. Posted September 11, 2008 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I think our Mom’s are twins… and my Dad is their triplet. They have been in their house for 35 years, owe 400K on it and it’s now worth $300K. “Things aren’t really that bad!” is his motto. His other one…. “those damn liberals.”

  8. Posted October 22, 2008 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Lynn: I guess it’s one of those things where, if our folks faced the truth, it would be too disturbing … so they go with the right-wing propaganda instead, cuz it makes ’em feel better.

  9. meggie
    Posted January 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Clearly a few years behind in my reading but, hey, the timing isn’t bad. Can you imagine the S A T I S F A C T I O N of having your parents finally come to your way of thinking after almost 20 years of voting for the WRONG party?
    Another fan in your camp and I am sure there are plenty more.

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