joe turkey

this weekend i saw my grandad and his wife arlene. she's my dad's stepmom and no offense to her, but she reminds me of debbie downer. my grandad is sick - he just had triple bipass heart surgery a couple of weeks ago and he is waiting to hear back from the doctors about a lump they found near his heart while under the knife. when a neighbor came to their room to pray over him, arlene said, "well, if we make it to next week, we'll get to find out the PET scan results." if we make it to next week? are you serious? that is not only tremendously pessimistic, but it is uncouth. i mean, who says that? oh, right. arlene does.

she also made me and my brother, and my dad im sure, very uncomfortable/stunned when she brought up my parents divorce. we were all chatting about california and the great city of san francisco when she began to wonder out loud, saying, "you all liked it out there didnt you. I bet if you had stayed in california, you would still be married." once again, uncouth. if she wasnt my grandparent i would have probably told her to go jump off a bridge.

my favorite part of the visit, though, was when she was asking me and will about school and the future. i said school was going great and that i'll probably be finished in two more years. the truth is, school is horrible and i want to burn utk to the ground. she asked my brother what he wanted to study, and he said he wasnt sure yet but that he thought he might want to be a writer. her response: "well you'll either be filthy rich or poor as joe turkey." i wish i had said something great like, "money really is what its all about, isnt it" or "wouldnt want to be poor, because then we would lose our ability to love each other, right?" but i didnt. instead i just sat there in silence, and i punched her in my mind.

you might think that she's just an old lady, and that i should give her a break. but this was just one visit. i could give you many other examples from other visits to chattanooga. my blood is beginning to boil just at the thought of her dating advice.

the point of all this is to say that i hope i never get like that. i hope i never regret so many things in life that i tell my grandchildren to make as much money as possible, and to never love someone too much, and to never hope that someone will get better if they are sick. i hope i dont ever become a bleak ben. i hope to tell my grandchildren that hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

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