It’s been an interesting last few days with Chris’s parents. I got to witness a pretty heated debate on our way to Montauk yesterday between Chris and his mother, as they debated “welfare” and who “welfare” really benefits in society, the rich or the poor. I was amused by Chris’s dad’s assumption about my dad regarding his experience being drafted for the Vietnam War. He suggested that because my dad had traveled to Vietnam for the war that perhaps it would have peaked his interest in international travel. The funniest thing about this comment is that it probably did the opposite and only furthered the American superiority complex that so many Americans have. America is so great, right, so why do we need to travel outside of it? Actually, if we had to be more accurate about this, people really think, “my neighborhood/city is so great, so why do I have to leave it?” It’s why Chris and I have been labeled freaks while trying to visit every state in the country.
The greatest thing about being around Chris’s parents is that you can have regular banter about really odd things and opinions, but also have heated debates, and in the end, no grudges are held. This may seem normal to you, but this is not normal to me. I come from a family that is the king of grudges. If you started arguing about politics with my uncle or aunt or anyone in my family, it would likely end in a swearing, name calling shouting match, and people would likely not be on speaking terms after because both sides would think the opposite side was just an uneducated, uninformed moron. People in my family aren’t capable of having healthy debates where once the debate is over, so is all of the potential yelling or arguing; they only end in sourness and insults. I’m still getting used to this, and this family still isn’t real to me. It’s like I’m waiting for something scary and ugly to come out, but it never comes out. I try to embrace it while I continue to pinch myself and convince myself that it’s all real.