Sunday, December 02, 2012
Deck the halls with Schadenfreude
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.)
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!”