Okay–I stole the title from a tweet I responded to, and I have to admit, it made me unashamedly happy.
I vented my grievance (Happy Festivus!) and then laughed at myself.
That? I was going to die mad about that?
Well, maybe a little.
But hopefully not too mad.
Because it doesn’t matter what you answer to that question–it makes you sound petty as fuck.
So for a minute, you get on your high horse and vent, right?
In my case, I’m gonna die mad because everything I tell my family and non-writing friends is total and complete bullshit–politics, past moments, philosophy, what have you– if I say it, they assume I’m too fucking dumb to know what I’m talking about.
Oh yeah–I’m the only one with a BA–the equivalent of an MA if you count all my units in English, and two MA’s if you count my Post Graduate work– and I worked in an economically poor area with a long, hard history of gang violence for nearly fifteen years. I’ve reinvented myself three times, worked my way through college, and raised four children. But if I have an opinion in politics? Economics? Social matters?
Seriously– an old family friend called to chat, and lectured me for twenty minutes on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
I told her I wrote a book about it, remember?
Well, yeah, but it was a romance book and this was real.
I almost hung up on her.
So here I am, on my high horse, bitching about my family, and dammit, I’m gonna die mad about it.
Except now that I’ve stomped my little foot and kvetched, it’s all over.
Whatever. As far as they’re concerned I’m Scott Lang, disgraced teacher, loser, who talks about things that they don’t think are particularly real or important.
My Mate and kids know I’m really the Ant Man. Maybe not consistently, and maybe I fuck up, but when it counts, I do important shit that matters to people’s hearts.
So I’m not mad anymore.
And that’s how it goes with family.
Eventually you have to let go the small shit. The time my folks promised to help with my schooling and then bailed so they could take my sister and her baby to Spain. The time my stepbrother shot me with a BB gun and then hit me so I wouldn’t tell the parents. (That was a long time ago– that’s some serious grievance.) The many times I was told, “Well, that’s just the way it is. Who are you to change it?”
That’s the shit you let go.
Because if I’m gonna die mad about something, it’s gonna be about something real. Climate change. The traitor in the White House. My children growing up having to change the shit I feel like my generation should have gotten to already.
I’ll die mad about that.
Getting ‘splained to about stuff I already knew–or stuff I know way more about than my ‘splainer– is getting struck off the list.
I can be as petty as the next person sometimes, I am aware.