You were married [insert number of years] ago, and during that time we had some of our relatives from Wisconsin come to visit and be part of your wedding. It was all around a delightful time. You got married to some dude. Our uncle got mom banned from a Sherry’s for being an idiot. All manner of relatives sought to drive our sister crazy by attempting to feed her newborn solid foods.
And I found out that grandpa is racist!
Flash back to Wedding Week (also known as the Steam-ening) and grandfather tells me that he wants to go golfing, and I’m coming along.
“You want to go golfing?”
“Yes, and I’m old which means you have to pick me up super fucking early in the morning because you only pretend to sleep when you are old.”
That morning I went to pick him up and we drove to an undisclosed golf course. It was a beautiful place and he rented us a cart, and some golf clubs. I did terribly at the sport, but I really liked the experience.
In my entire life I can never remember being alone with grandpa. He’s easy enough to get along with, and he’s a touch frustrating like all old people become.
During this time I learned so much about grandpa.
He’s a bit arrogant. Grandpa talked himself up so much I had to assume his id and superego left to retire to an estate in Florida. He kept talking about scores he had at one point and his ranking in his local club. Grandpa then proceeded to seriously suck at golf, even though he was better than me.
Grandpa is a bit rude and dismissive. He definitely had that vibe that because of who he is he can do whatever the hell he wants. When he had to go to the bathroom, instead of turning around and driving to the public restroom that wasn’t that far away he simply walked off course and pee’d on a tree.
Now is the time that I’d love to inform you that the golf course is nestled in some very nice neighborhoods, so anyone in that house who happened to look out their back window saw grandpa taking a piss.
He also went on a long speech about respecting the golf course and the other golfers. Rules he all broke during our game. Most notably: do not drive down the green. Make right turns off the trail to lessen the amount of time you are driving on the nicely kept grass.
Grandpa was fond of straight lines directly down the center of the course.
Grandpa is a bit misogynistic. There was a delightful girl driving around selling cold sodas, cold beers, and inferior cigars. She was young and pretty. As we were leaving the course she drove by us one more time and waved at us. The following is exactly what he said:
“Ahh, she’s a nice girl… No tits though.”
I know that I’m taking this out of context. There may be a very good chance that he was making a joke.
Finally, grandpa is ever so slightly racist. After we left the course we went to a nearby restaurant. I made small talk about our cousins. We sat down after ordering and he goes off on one of our cousins dating preferences. Our cousin is into black men!
She’s dating a black gentlemen and everyone seems to like him! Grandpa, however, started talking about how he wasn’t surprised about the prior black man she was dating. That she only dates them because she is their type. He bets that this one will end like the others because that’s how they are. His closing statement was wrapped in his suddenly thick and distinctive Midwest accent:
“I’m from Chicago. You just don’t deal with them.”
Grandpa says this to me. I look around and can’t help but note that we are near a black family, and several black servers.
We are in a Church’s Chicken.
I was alarmed. Comments like these are reserved for douche-bags in movies and failing sitcoms trying to teach a lesson. But no, I was face to face with it. How can this be?
The thing is is I can’t be mad at him. He grew up with many of these ideas taught to him. He was born before the civil rights movements even began. While he was still pretty young at the time, it wasn’t like the act was passed and racism just poofed out of existence.
Finding out about grandpa didn’t really cause me to want to become a social justice warrior, but the experience serves to remind me that we have come a great distance. We could spend a lot of time trying to turn racists into better people, but it takes a lot of effort.
Is this ok? No, of course not!
Him being racist is something I can’t change. Even if I explained it to him, he’s lived with these ideas his entire life. I can’t change him, but I can certainly try and make sure that better ideas are passed down. Ideas don’t die out because we really want them to. Ideas die out when everyone is taught a different one. An idea of equality.
I’m not trying to turn this mildly humorous post into a call for arms, or even a sappy post about learning a life lesson. This is just my take on how to solve a crisis of upbringing.
More important men than I have died to teach us and have died for these ideas. If you don’t know about these men and their message, then you will someday be a racist grandpa.
Even though you posted last Friday, you technically missed the broad Friday deadline! You must choose a punishment. (I feel a little bad because it was about the migraine that caused you to miss it!)
A. You must use your wit to slay brevity. Your next post will be 1800 words long.
B. You must back an idea you support. Make a minimum donation of $25 to a charity.
C. Fuck progressive ideas. You must vote for Donald Trump.