Sunday, October 25, 2009
I would have been burned as a witch.
My dad is fond of saying that if I had been born in another century, I'd have been Joan of Arc.
I'm not quite that brave - I think had I even been my age in the 1950s, though, I'd have been burned as a witch. (By the way, Peach Tart wrote an interesting post about being glad she wasn't stuck in the 1950s.)
Both of my grandmothers are married to chauvinistic jerks. I don't feel bad about saying this because none of my grandparents (and all four are still alive) have bothered about their grandchildren, so the only bits I have seen are what I observed at rare reunions and gatherings.
My grandfather on my biological mother's side is just a bastard, honestly. I had to spend two days with him and my grandmother a couple of years ago when my great aunt (my grandmother's sister) was dying. I had some choice words for him when he continually picked on my grandmother - just mean, unnecessary, bullying stuff. Thing is, he shut up when I told him to knock if off. She hasn't spoken up for herself in 55 years of marriage, so she probably doesn't realize that under that bravado varnish, he's just a coward.
He has been in the hospital with a staph infection and my dad and I were debating whether my mother would go to his funeral if he died. We both agreed that she shouldn't, because he was just a terrible father. Neither of us communicate with her, but I think he really fucked her up.
Anyway, he told me a hilarious story about one of the times we had visited my grandparents while he and bio-mom were still married. I was maybe four years old and I asked why my grandfather was served his dinner before the rest of us. (Yes, it was that kind of sexist household.)
My dad, who these days would never sit at a dinner table with this kind of shit going on, said it was out of respect.
But I wouldn't leave it, even at age four.
Me: "But why?"
Dad: "Because...he's the head of the household."
Me: "Why? Who decides that? What if we're hungrier than he is?"
My grandfather (to me): "I'm glad you don't live here."
Me: "I would never live here!"
If I would have ever had to live in that house, I think I would have been burned as a witch.