Growing up with my mother was a walking contradiction. She preached for equality, women’s rights, fought in the 1960’s for black rights, was supportive and kind to her friends with gay children when others weren’t. The list of liberal ideas and philosophies is endless…. until it came to our home and our family. It’s all fine on the outside, but don’t bring it home. She was a registered Republican with staunch old fashioned Catholic morals in many, many areas. She talked badly about my father’s side of the family as being “backwards” and called them “oakies” based on their education levels and conservative and often times racist views. When I was young I didn’t see the oxymoron she was. As an adult, I try to give her credit for trying to kind and do the right thing. I’d hate to see what she’d be like in the world we live in right now with the rioting of 2020 and Covid restrictions.
I don’t know any of my siblings on my dad’s side. There are 4 of us. Of the 4 older siblings on my mom’s side, I’m the only one who is truly liberal. Two of my brothers are leaning slightly liberal, but not nearly as far as I am. At heart, I have communist (in the ideal textbook way, not the monstrosities we’ve seen in reality) political views. Fairness, equality in all ways and giving up for the greater good are ingrained in who I am and what I believe.
I bring this up now because I’ve had a bit of contact with my family over the holidays. A long chat with my brother’s ex-wife reminded me of just how different I am from the rest of my family. Big holiday parties at different homes. Trips to Lake Tahoe to visit this person and somewhere else for another. I don’t feel left out in the slightest. Holidays were always miserable for me anyway when I was with family. What strikes me is the bold disregard for the safety of others. Covid restrictions and social distancing are not worthy of respect. This burns my hide to the very core!
I haven’t been the poster child for perfect adherence to the suggestions, but I’ve busted my butt keeping myself and my home safe. I wear masks when I go out, I don’t socialize with others without being properly distanced and outdoors… on the extremely rare instances I’ve socialized at all. All of my friends do the same.
I’ve always been like oil and water with the rest of my family in every single area. I tried for years to stuff myself into the square peg to be accepted for the longest time. I wonder sometimes what happened that I’m so very different in how I view the world and my values. I’m delighted I am this way. I’d be lying to say I’m not outraged that my nuclear family is doing everything possible to put the rest of us in harms way and shows so little respect for others. I shouldn’t be surprised because it’s who they’ve always been, yet once again I find myself shocked and outraged.
I’m reminded once again just why I choose not to be part of my family. On the rare occasions I miss having family all I need do is remember the many moments in my life just like this where what is so dear to me isn’t valued or worse yet, outright disregarded. So many people are saying that political differences shouldn’t end friendships and relationships. I stand once more on the side of there being some things that are core to who you are and those differences are worthy of not maintaining relationships. Sadly, 2020 has been the year to show everyone’s true colors. I’d still rather be in the liberal side of things supporting black lives matter and protecting the safety of others by staying home to limit the spread of covid.