Christmas at Hypocrite House

MEMO

Confidential to the Progenitor:

TO: YOU

FROM: ME

RE: You

The religious programming ’round the clock is not working, just so you know.

If it’s meant to sweeten your temperament and sanctify your speech, it’s just not happening. Somehow, you’re still a right thorough-going midden even with all the Jesus-y gilding.

You should know I waited awhile to say this. I thought about it, and kept trying to rationalize …reasons, but the fact is, I don’t get you, and God knows you don’t try and get me. It’s not that I expected, even now, to be “gotten;” it’s just that I’m here, aren’t I? Wouldn’t you think that after all this time that would be reason enough to at least make an attempt to pretend toward some kind of courtesy? Scotland is five thousand miles away. Do you seriously think I came this far just to be treated with sour looks and obliquely unwelcoming statements, insults and muttered-under-the-breath asides?

Maybe worse than all of your sneering superiority is who I become when I am with you. I do not like this person at all, who checks and double checks herself, who finds herself silently scrubbing in the kitchen, flinching, while you shout down the house because you can’t find something, or a dish is out of place, who feels her stomach cramp and says nothing, but serves the meals and washes the dishes and keeps cautioning herself not to overreact. I turn into some kind of little wifey when I’m here, cringing and mealy-mouthed and apologetic. That’s reason enough to pack my things now. But there’s the siblings to think of, not to mention your lady wife. And it’s Christmas Eve…

What kills me is that religion — Christianity — is alleged to support the idea of tolerance. You, being Super Christian as you are, have made tolerance an art form. For myself, I’m frankly quite tired of being tolerated. Your children you are called on to love, which is just a little more work. You can take your tolerance and keep it someplace cramped, tiny and dark — possibly your heart.

Just eight short days under your roof has reaffirmed for me the reasons I moved out, lock, stock and badly dented footlocker, when I was sixteen. Do enjoy Christmas. And realize I’m doing the same moving thing — minus the dents in my luggage — as soon as decently possible.

We can all just stop pretending now. Permanently.

With regrets to your good wife, whom you don’t deserve — I am,

           Already Gone

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