I really don’t share everything. And I often hesitate to share what I do.
For example, I’ve hesitated to share that my maternal grandfather went to Juilliard and UCLA. He was definitely brilliant. Nobody in the family really disagrees about that. But, among his kids there are differing accounts about his credentials. Pretty much everyone agrees that he helped write the theme song for the American show “Gunsmoke” although he was never given any credit. There’s evidence to suggest that. And there’s a lot of other interesting tidbits too… But he was a difficult father and husband and he divorced from my grandmother in the early 1960’s for very legitimate reasons. He was never an alcoholic or addict of any sort though. Thankfully.
I personally think he did attend both schools. And I trust my mother’s account of attending his funeral in the early 1980’s only to discover then that he had become a judge in his later years. He didn’t see his children often after the divorce in the early 60’s and he remarried and had two more children.
He was a very mysterious man. But he was my grandfather. …And it’s my family history too. Well, unless my maternal grandfather was actually a very wealthy 20th Century British shipping magnate and I inherited my mother’s thin-lipped smile and naturally dark golden locks. Maybe I have relatives in South Africa even. I mean, you never know. Right? *huge grin and a shrug* Maybe?! That woman actually did want to marry my father. She was in love with him long ago… And you just never know. Right?
Maybe my actual father is the man on the moon. Or not.
I think though that it’s my claims to a certain “Old Money” patina in my family and physical links to English Aristocracy on my mother’s side that terrify people the most on a narcissistic level. (We all have narcissistic moments and it’s only the excess of them that create a problem. There’s a spectrum.)
Or what is it? What makes some people want to “put me in my place” beneath them where they desperately want me?
Hmm? Because I don’t lie. …Maybe that’s the problem. Ha!
Am I supposed to say, “I’m an aristocrat, bitches! My family is Old Money. My father is a multi-millionaire and everyone else in his family is too. Actually almost everyone in both families are influential and prestigious or they will be. And I married into wealth and power. You silly peasants. You silly, willy, nilly losers!”
No. I can’t say that. It’s not that simple. It’s not that some things about that wouldn’t be accurate. It’s just that saying something like that isn’t totally accurate and it’s mean.
Class is complex. But it is for certain offensive when you appropriate someone’s identity or incessantly compete with them.
I have never wanted to make anyone feel inferior. There are class structures in this world but we’re all human. We’re all valuable in the eyes of God.
Also, I hate lies. And I hate when people are false.
“No! Dr. [insert name of my advisor in college] would never do that. She would never suggest that it’s ok for you come talk to me. That’s a lie.” said a professor who was practically frothing at the mouth (I was holding back scared tears) when I tried to ask him to do an independent study about Poland and I informed him that I’d had the idea approved by two professors beforehand.
Except…I wasn’t lying. And both of the professors who advised me apologized to me afterwards but professor I had tried to do the independent study with never did. He mostly acted like I was a joke.
“Where’s the grace?” said the school pastor when I spoke with her about it.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, we all make mistakes.” she said about my mistake of asking to do the independent study. “He could have been nicer.”
My mistake was trusting that “the adults” knew what the hell I was talking about…almost ever. My mistake was going to that school in the first place. It’s cost well over $100,000.00 for a degree I never finished (or obviously received).
Sometimes it’s actually not my fault. Not entirely anyway. And sometimes I feel like saying “Fuck You!” *shrug* Sorry. When you know you’re not wrong and people have often seemed to get off on thinking you are wrong since childhood it gets old after a while. Really. Really. Really old. Like, what the blooming hell is wrong with these people old.
But maybe this is where what my Bible teacher at the college who was genuinely cruel to me meant about Habakkuk comes into play. *cheesy smile* Maybe you just have to trust that, as a Christian, God will make all situations just. In ways that nobody but Him can.