Posted by Mark at 7:40 PM
Merry CHRISTmas, one and all!
To all my friends, all my readers, all my family, I wish each of you the most merry Christmas possible, and all the best life has to offer.
One of the Hated Moments of Christmas
Again, this year, the family and I went to go see my fraternal grandfather, and with that my dad's brothers. You know, I have always loathed going to see grandpa, and for years I thought it directly had to do with Henry, my grandfather. You see, he and my gtandma's relationship ended in a painfuld divorce, and let's just say Henry had more fault than my grandma.
What I have always hated is the feelings of inadequacy heaped on my dad, of how we all had to act a certain way to just get non-condescending looks from grandpa. But, I realize, much of that is just my dad trying to live up to his father's expectations, and not the direct result of anything grandpa did. This Christmas, though, I had an epiphany. I've come to realize what it is. It is my Dad's brother, Tim. Tim is, to be frank, a wannabe. He has never done anything on his own. He is the classic middle brother, trying to hog all the attention.
First, some background. Timmy had everything handed to him. He had an older brother, my father, to lay blame on, and a younger brother, my uncle Gary, to pick on. He was the apple of my grandma's eye, for reasons I will never know. However, he always failed. Constantly. He married his high school girlfriend, who came from a wealthy family, who supplied him with income for him to goof around college in. Then, she became a pharmacist, making tens of thousands a year. Meanwhile, while my dad was working 50 hours a week and travelling around the world, supporting us with no help from his folks, my uncle Tim was welching on the rent to my grandmother for a discounted rate for staying at her house. Tim bounced from job to job, always with a big idea. He had a big idea to be a race car driver, that failed. He couldn't manage a WingsnRings, but he could cheat with waitresses,which ended his sweetheart deal with the cold rich pharmacist, my ex-aunt. Their union produced a boy, Dan, whom Tim obsesses over as the next great athlete. I have seen good plays, but he is no great one. You see, that is what Tim is about. He has never been successful himself, so he lives vicariously thru Dan. Also, his trist at WingsNRings with a woman named after a weather pattern produced a son, Alan, who is in 3rd grade. Alan is going to be the great next linebacker. Tim coaches his football team, and they won the peewee tournament.
But, to hear Tim, he is Donald Trump. He is a roller and a shaker. He treats my dad like crap, mouths off to him, tells him how simple he is. But, he does not thank my dad for going to bat for him and gettin him a job when his ex dumped him and kicked him out. He does not thank him for trying to make amends with his mother, who won't talk to him. No, he just treats my dad and my whole family like we are below him.
Well, today, it just got nasty. When my dad got a call from work, and described he got paid doubletime if he worked on Christmas, Tim said, well, not me, I don't take no crap, I told these people I am working for now if they don't pay me 100 bucks just for coming in, forget it. OK, yeah, right, and you really were going to be on the NASCAR circuit.
Tim is a pathological liar. He trains his younger son to steal gifts by tearing off the tags. This is the 2nd year in a row that there was a snafu because Alan rushed and "accidentally" tore off stubs saying who got what. Last year, we didn't notice it and Tim got free booze. This year, I knew about it and saved Grandpa's gift for him.
See, what really hurts is how my dad is overlooked. My dad has always been there for Grandpa, for Gary, and for Tim. He has always offered to help, to build, even when his ailing body was beaten from working at jobs very difficult. Yet, they still treat him like dirt. They give Tim everything, they hold him on some pedestal, meanwhile, he mouths off to them, and treats grandpa like dirt.
My dad just takes it all...
Today, I had to sit for two hours and hear about how Tim is teaching them new football techniques, how he is going to push them so they can make it. He is going to make sure he is going to have some success. They are going to be winners. However, he laughs and points out every other kids faults on the team as we sit through the boring dvd presentation of a third grade football season. It was cute at first, but when we keep hearing about how this one is great, how Alan is going to work with him and find out where he trains, it loses the innocence. When Tim chastises Alan for not "finishing" that kid, but on the next play, talks about a dirty hit, It is just sad.
He treats his kids like he is their agent, always talking sports. He never enquires about their feelings or anything. He is always heaping gifts, sporting events, but when it comes to what really matters, about being a man, he fails. Where over 29 years my father has taught me fidelity, honor, hard work, and charity; Dan and Alan have gotten lessons on selfishness, adultery, vicarious living, and theft.
Tim, in other words, is edward norton in "The Italian Job." He is the classic bandwagon jumper, as evidenced by his penchant for rooting for whoever the last Nextel cup Winner was. He has no originality or thoguhts of his own, he just wants what he thinks others want, and is a big selfish, self serving synchopant. He is Ed Norton meets Al Bundy, living not on yesterday's glories (Polk high, 4 touchdowns in one game), but rather on his children's glories, claiming them as purely his own. He uses his children for props and not get attention.
Tim may get all the credit now, but I can see in his kids eyes, they realize it is not about them, but about him. My dad never hogged the spotlight, he always brushed it away, so now, I figure, for Christmas, its his day.
Love ya Dad, don't let the a$$holes get you down. I just wish grandpa would give you your due, and quit wasting time on that sad sack of a brother. I love uncle Gary, he at least talks to us, not at us. Tim is all about shouting us down and showing he is the smartest guy in the room, even when he is wrong, which he was on just about everything today, and as he has been on just about everything in his life.
Dad, though we don't see eye to eye on many things, and though I haven't brought you riches and wealth, and though we aren't ward and the beev--I love you Dad, and just wish you would get what you deserve for all you do. You are an unsung hero, one who labors in obscurity, thinking only of what is right and not what is just for them. If I were half the man you were, I would be 10 times better than I am .