Racist Grandpa

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.

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.

Or grandma.

-DTM

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.

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Why I Love Golf (I Don’t Play Golf).

Parentheses, just for you!

I’ve only been golfing once in my life.  Actually that’s immediately a lie now that I think about it, but the number is low.  I wasn’t very good.  It requires a lot of technique and practice, and my instructor wasn’t the best either.  My instructor was our grandfather, who I learned the same day was racist!  But that’s a different story for a different post.

What golf represents to me is an activity that doesn’t ask of you to be a huge, fit, or fast person.  It doesn’t ask of you to defeat many other opponents while practicing or competing.  Golf only asks of you to beat yourself.

That is what I love about it.  Maybe not necessarily the sport itself, but that concept.  I realized this while I was playing golf with Racist Grandpa that I can connect that feeling with most things I love in life.  Things that make me challenge myself, rather than challenging another person.

When I’m doing my art for work, I’m never thinking to myself, “Man, I really need to be better than Francesco Legrenzi.”  I do my craft and think to myself about how I’ll improve this render.  How to be better than I was last time.

Its the same reason I loved school so much.  Every assignment was a new chance to be better than myself.  I’d rather use myself as my bar rather than someone else.  Everyone is different and they have different journeys than you.  Some people are going to be naturally better, or naturally worse.  Is that really a fair comparison for yourself?

Monster Hunter is one of my favorite games.  The game isn’t about leveling, and it isn’t (entirely) about finding stronger equipment.  To be good at Monster Hunter you need to practice and become better.  It asks of you to be consistent and focused.  It asks you to be better than you were last time.

I never did sports in my middle and high school.  I tried out for basketball once, but I didn’t really enjoy it.  I don’t inherently enjoy competition.  Friendly competition yes, but for school teams it was so intimidating.  You had to be better than them.  They tell you to improve yourself, but so you can pummel the opponent into a crumpled form on the ground.

It doesn’t feel rewarding.  Sure, it gets your testosterone going, but for me I always felt more rewarded when I found myself getting better at things rather than being better than a different person.

I am currently taking Muay Thai Boxing.  I’ve learned a bunch, and its a really fun, albeit stupid fucking hard, way to exercise.  I’ve learned to throw kicks that would knock grown men to the ground.  I know how to throw punches.  I’ve learned a ton.  My favorite thing I can do now?

Touch my toes.

I’ve never been able to touch them.  When I practice with other students, my body gets wrecked.  Its hard, I’m gasping, and I never seem to keep up.  I have no frame of reference for my improvements because these nineteen year old boxers are way more into it than I am.

But my toes?  Those are mine.  I did that.  I did the stretches.  I practiced the moves.  And I have results that are directly related to me improving myself.  Beating myself.

Your hardest opponent should always be yourself.

-DTM