Sunday, December 02, 2012

Deck the halls with Schadenfreude

Being good during the holidays

I first saw the anti-Obama LOL sticker last year on the back of an SUV that also carried the logo of a local Republican women's group. It seemed little more than kitschy snark from an aggrieved right-winger—especially in this deeply blue section of northern California. Poor thing. Of course, I once enjoyed displaying an anti-Bush sticker that called him the worst president ever. All in good fun! (Actually, I was in dead earnest.)

As we all know, Republicans are deeply devoted to recycling. Hence it was no surprise recently to see a vehicle (another SUV!) sporting a variation on the worst-president theme. This has probably been going on since the days of James Buchanan, if not before. (Even good old George Washington came in for some licks of his own from his political opponents.)

I'm thinking that perhaps I should get myself one of those Obama LOL stickers for my own vehicle, repurposing it to suit the happy results of the 2012 elections. Whose turn is it to laugh out loud now, bitches? On the other hand, my better judgment tells me it would be better to gloat internally rather than externally. In fact, that's what I did during the Thanksgiving holiday, when I was in the midst of disheartened family members whose trucks (and SUVs) sported Romney-Ryan stickers. A subliminal aura of gloom hovered over the festivities, although I had as cheerful and upbeat a demeanor as ever. Since they were reticent about their disappointments, I refrained from chortling my joy.

Even Dad tried—mostly successfully—to be good. Instead of his usual rants and jeremiads, he kept his own counsel and contented himself with watching the entertaining antics of his many great-grandchildren. His one slip-up, if it was even that, occurred during a conversation about a recent wedding attended by several of the members of the family. I didn't know the people involved, but my parents traveled to the Central Valley city where the nuptial mass was celebrated. The local church was an old-style building festooned with statuary and iconic art. Dad vigorously approved this exemplar of pre-Vatican II ecclesial practice. He waxed nostalgic while recounting the beauty of the church, the mass service, and the traditional hymns:

“It actually choked me up a couple of times. It really took me back. It made me thankful for my many blessings: My long life, good health, wonderful wife, great children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and getting to live in this nation while it was a free country.” Because, you know, it ain't anymore, what with that black tyrant squatting in the White House. I winced when he said, “while it was a free country,” but I kept quiet. Besides, the family has had plenty of experience dealing with him, and even the majority that tends to agree with him prefers to head him off before he launches into political oratory. In this case, a quick remark about the beauty of the bride took the conversation in a much safer direction and Dad subsided into silence. Perhaps he was contemplating the future of his great-grandchildren in socialistic bondage.

As Thanksgivings go, it was a relatively happy holiday. Anyway, as long as I don't provoke my father by actually saying, “Happy holidays!”

6 comments:

William said...

To be fair, at the time, George Washington was the worst President we'd ever had.

Zeno said...

So true, William! So true.

Kathie said...

But also the best...

Kathie said...

Re the greeting "Happy holidays!" here's a conundrum: Is it proper to wish people well for the holiday THEY observe, or to extend the wish that conveys the wisher's belief?

The Ridger, FCD said...

See, that's the thing. All these people demanding "Merry Christmas" from folks who can't know they're Christians are really demanding the whole world cater to them. They're imposing themselves as the default setting.

Interestingly, the Washington Times canned greeting nowadays is the dreaded Happy Holidays!

Karen Locke said...

Happy whatever-holidays-you-celebrate to all the readers of this blog! To, you, Zeno, I wish a drama-less Christmas. I'm glad your dad is trying to be good.

For myself, husband and I will celebrate Christmas Day with a few of his relatives in a very low-key, chat-about-whatever day. Should be wonderful. The rest of the week Husband and I will be in the Eastern Sierra, and I will celebrate at least one watch-the-cat-stalk-the-deer-from-behind-the-windows days. These are my favorite holidays, and we're lucky to celebrate them a couple of times a year at least. Paddy (the cat) insists that this year he's going to get his deer. Of course, if we'd let the deer into the house where Paddy is, it would be easier...