Black Sheep RULE!

I am a black sheep.

And I’m proud to say it.

The more time I spend reflecting on my youth the more I see the threads of a revolutionary. Within the confines of the walls of my parents house I was always pushing the envelope and standing out in the field.

The field is…was full of sheep.

A while back I composed 4 rules I chose to define myself by.

1. Cynicism is a virtue.

2. Optimism is a disease.

3. Conformity is an abomination.

4. Anger is a gift.

I am a natural-born cynic. I have an old soul. It says so on my birth certificate. In order to see the glass half empty one can not be optimistic that you will get more water to refill the glass. it’s already half empty, move on.

I accepted what was dished out to me as truth and I ate it and washed it down for a number of years. Then when I had enough I started spitting the truth back and the people who pushed it on me…

I have not conformed to anyone’s ideal. I have not just accepted what was given and what people “thought” I would do..when presented with an ultimatum I often will choose against what is expected because I will not be backed into a corner and forced to take your shit.

Give it to someone else because if you throw it at me…I am eventually going to throw it back.

My wife accuses me of not letting people close to me or those I work with to see my dark side. I have a very dark, dark side. Some people reading this blog who “know” me…don’t really know me. They have no idea how dark I can get.

For a long time if you pissed me off, I wrote you off. And in some situations that still applies to this day. Do I care? No. Not at all. Just because we are family doesn’t mean I have to like you. Chances are if we were friends and we had a falling out, we’re still there. Nothing changes with me.

I find the more people who hear my story and what my extended family life has become often agree with me and my decision to walk away. Toxic is toxic. Am I bitter about communication within my family…HELL YES I’m bitter. But I am trying to purge some demons here, and I am trying to let go of past hurts.

My brother would say I’m being a cry baby about this…but he obviously expected and lived a different life than I did in our parents house growing up. I don’t know how that happened, but it did.

This past Friday my Grandmother’s sister Beatrice (aka: Eleanor) died. She was 79 years old. Fought a courageous battle with cancer over a few years. Aunt El was one of the original 10 kids that started my mother’s family. Now there is only one left.

Aunt El was the closest female relative I had to my grandmother (who lost her battle with Pancreatic cancer at age 60 in 1988)…Growing up my brother and I went to the movies with Aunt El more than a few times. I remember seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. with her. Possibly even Goonies and Blade Runner (…ok not 100% sure about Blade Runner).

Anyway,  We’d pack up our own snacks and sodas and smuggle them into the theater and get lost at the movies for a few hours. She was a fun lady. As I grew older and started dating Dawn I didn’t see Aunt El as much, sometimes at some family functions, maybe Thanksgiving at my parents house when she didn’t go to Atlantic City etc. Atlantic City became her regular routine after a while. Something my mother hated her doing if I remember correctly. Oh well, Aunt El was her own person and you couldn’t stop her.

I went to her memorial service this morning. Mingled with a few cousins and their kids and the few remaining aunts and uncles still with us. Saw a lot of familiar faces, extended family and friends and others. I was the lone representative of my family.

Not my father.

Not my brother.

Just me.

The character flaws I am seeing in this family are starting to make my head hurt. Today was an absolutely amazing display of disrespect toward a member of my mother’s family. And for my mother Aunt Eleanor was/is her closest connection to my grandmother. Her mother’s sister. Both of whom are no longer with us, now.

If my presence there was noticed by those that mattered I hope they don’t think I was there for all of my family.  I was there for myself, my wife and my kids.

Not my parents and brother.

They could have made the effort to show up, the service lasted all of 45 minutes.

I am appalled by the lack of reasoning, lack of respect and lack of courtesy. I never knew they had it in them, but then again they all have often had low tolerance for family members not “Born Again” and who might still be catholics which meant they were beneath them and their “saved” brethren.

I’m not pulling any punches anymore. I have heard the snide comments and utter disrespect paid toward family, cousins who “screwed” up their lives in their not so humble opinion. Like our family was at all perfect…oh wait, we were born again. so yeah…we were perfect. ….NOT!

What goes around truly comes around. Wonderful elitist born again christians getting what they have coming to them or so it seems.

Baa Baa Black Sheep RULE.

Push the envelope.

Question authority.

Don’t accept anything as given.

and When in doubt…doubt.

so yeah… suck on that.

-S.

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Published in: on June 28, 2010 at 10:06 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I read the four rules. I can agree with part(s) of them. I can say that the idea behind some of them might well be part of my own philosophy.

    Cynicism is a sin in the young, learned in middle age, a neccessity to survival in later years.

    Is optimism a disease? I think not myself. It is a certain path to disappointment. That perhaps is the cynicism showing.

    Conformity as an abomination? Agreed on that. But then I have to look at what “conformity” means in these enlightened times. Think for a moment of a “non-conformist” activity such as smoking pot, or “street art”. While either might have been “non-conformist” at one time, both have reached to point where those who do not (rather than join the herds) are in fact the non-conformists.

    No. Anger is not a gift. “Rage against the night” is not anger. It is refusal to submit. There is a very big difference. Anger is an emotion that tends to damage the self rather than the other.


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