Funny the World...


May 9, 2000

"That's just the way I am and you'll have to learn to live with it," was something my father used to tell us when we were little. He was pigheaded and opinionated and by God nobody was going to tell him what to do or to challenge his ideas or opinions.

I can remember sitting at dinner (dinnertime was always the worst time of the day) listening to him expound on this thing or the other, giving lectures, raging at the injustices of the world. The rest of us sat there and tried to eat so as not to disturb his train of thought. Woe be to us if we disagreed with him.

My trick was to learn to inhale my food. I ate faster than anybody in the family. Still do. My sister couldn't eat when my father was raging. When she was little, she was the last to leave the table and often sat there for hours afterwards, her food untouched. I'm sorry she died so young. I would like to ask her if her stomach was churning the way mine was. Because, of course, we could never discuss it when we were alone. That would be admitting that it existed.

As she got older, she challenged him. She grew to have her own opinions and they often differed from his. I would be in the bedroom trying not to hear the battles that were being waged in the kitchen. I, on the other hand, the family wimp, never allowed myself to have an opinion. "Whatever you say, Daddy." It was easier to keep peace.

"That's just how I am and you'll have to learn to live with it." Why? Why should one person be permitted to dictate how people think and act. If one person's actions make it uncomfortable for everyone around him, why shouldn't he be the person to moderate his behavior, re-think his attitudes, and soften his approach? Why does the rest of the world "have to live with it?"

We, of course, eventually did learn to live with it. First we learned not to listen to him, and eventually we just stopped caring all together.

He died alone. And friendless.

What a waste.

Would it have been so bad to actually listen to us once in awhile?

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created 5/9/00 by Bev Sykes