Angst on a Shoestring

Friday, February 17, 2006


What the hell is wrong with parents?

The Boy was telling me of a "discussion" at lunchtime in school. It seems one of his friends started teasing him because "your mom won't let you watch Freddy and Jason movies. I watched Saw and Saw 2 (all bootlegged) and why ain't you allowed, are you a baby?" Alex said, "No, I'm 7 and I watch things that are right for me. So shut up and eat already."

Now I ask you, my GBRs, why in the name of all that is good, do parents let their children watch/listen/play this dreck? Don't get me wrong, I like a good scary movie, but the gore for gore's sake makes me ill. Alex listens to most of the stuff I do, the movies we watch together with him or if it's something not for him, we wait till he's doing a sleepover. We can't keep all the bad stuff away, but we can teach him how to function in life, help him to make the right choices. When did parents just like, abdicate their rights? This could become a much longer discussion as it's one we have in the office that comes up alot. We all have children or children who's life we're part of. I was about Alex's age when I first saw To Kill a Mockingbird. I didn't really know what Tom Robinson was being charged with, but I knew that he was wrongly accused, because he "felt right sorry for her." Then having the prosecuter cut in with "You felt sorry for her? A white woman? You felt sorry for her?" I remember shaking so much because I was angry. People that know my family, know my father makes Archie Bunker seem like a lovable scamp. I have heard him on too many occasions use racial slurs and all the derogatory names you can think of. He was and is an equal opportunity bigot. I feel a tangent coming, just bear with me for a bit, GBRs.

So how did I grow up without that hate? My mother played a big part in that. When he would start about , my mother would counter with, "Oh yeah? I'd rather have clean, working than having shanty Irish pigs!"

Oy. Such a life, right?

And I haven't even started on the whole "converting for that Jew" thing. I digress.
Becoming Jewish means having to deal with hate on a whole new level. Again, my mother would tell me about Anne Frank and the Nazi's and why that should never happen again.

My father is a complicated man. On one hand, he's gnashing his teeth then I hear about what a fair boss he was when he was on the job. Or how he would help people especially if there was an accident on our street. For example, he just pulled a last out shift and looked like a grizzly bear, reading the paper in the sunpalor. Our house was in the middle of a T-shaped intersecton. There was a loud screech of tires and a thud, my father cursed and was up and out the door before we knew what was happening. A boy of maybe 10 years old got hit by a old lady. My father took over the whole scene.You have to imagine a bear of a man, in a white wifebeater and his cut-offs, old mocs. He barked out not to move that kid, told another person to call 911, had me go in and call as well, but with his badge number. I went back out to watch and was in awe of him. I've heard stories from all over about him, like he was a legend. But it was like there were two people. It still boggles my mind. The kids in the neighbor kids would be sent to our house for my dad to take them to the ER or to do first aid. I have a scar under my right eyebrow that he patched with a butterfly stitch. He was like the neighborhood cut man. I could go on. But that will be another day.


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