Beaten Like a DogNovember 30, 2005 at 12:19 AM | Posted in Journal | 3 Comments
Tags: 2000s, holidays, my marriage
A guy I listen to on the radio, a good guy–Glenn Beck, have you heard of him? He’s on a political station. He actually doesn’t talk politics too much, which is nice, I need a break from it. But he does take on some social issues, and he is religious, and right-leaning. He is very, very funny. Anyway, he has a one-man stage show that he does around Christmas, about the true meaning of Christmas. And he was touring, and coming to our town. Humorous and serious, light and at the same time, heart- warming. Feel-good kind of stuff, for most people.
Most people. Aaaarrrggh. I want to get this across with the right tone. I love my wife, and we have been together for almost 18 years now. That’s a long freakin time, nowadays. How do I put this? She is a cast-iron four-door bitch. I swear, nothing pleases her, and if she’s unhappy, which is usually, she loves to spread the bad mood around to everyone, so they all know how she feels. For fuck’s sake.
I hear about the show, and hear lots of good things about it, and decide this is the things I want to do, to help get the whole family in the Christmas spirit. Last year, I felt a little left out of it all (see September archives, “The Week After Christmas”) and had worked this season on making things work out better. I have a different job now, better hours, more family time, as well as participating in the holiday things, I cooked a lot of different dishes on Thanksgiving, which people liked, and over the holiday weekend, we put the Christmas lights up on the outside of the house. I thought this would be a good thing, to add to the overall holiday spirit.
Well, when we get in, the first thing we hear is a song that He had redone, a Christmas carol “O Holy Night.” To show what political correctness would do, and how the ACLU has filed lawsuits to remove any and all mention of Christmas from our society, he parodied the song, taking out all religious reference, or reference to anything special or holy, to show, to make a point, of how ridiculous it is. I had heard the song on his radio show, as had many in the audience, so they knew what to expect.
My wife was ready to walk out of the theatre when she heard the song. She was pissed. She was extremely upset that this song, above all others, had been treated in this sacrilegious manner. She is a singer, or was, and this was one of her favorites. From that point on, it was a losing battle. He was funny, but she wasn’t laughing. Although he wasn’t being political, the occasional aside he would make just made her boil up again. She wasn’t willing to give him a chance at all, and instead felt the best thing she could do for everyone was sit there, angrily, and shake her head. She would occasionally say things like “That’s not funny. That’s stupid.”–Just loud enough to embarrass me. My son tried to reason with her, and she just got louder. I tapped his shoulder to indicate “leave her alone so she shuts up.” She would occasionally spout off about how this was not “her” kind of humor, it was mine and his, it was “juvenile.” That really wasn’t the case. In fact I saw her smile a few times, and then quickly force it away.
Everyone has been enjoying themselves so far, everyone except for my wife. I feel a kindred spirit, a connectedness with many of these people. The show starts back up, and takes a different turn. The first half was all comedy, telling stories about Christmas and his family. The second half started with a salute to our country’s men and women in the military, and she did clap and stand appropriately for that.
But the whole point of the show was the true meaning of Christmas, and so he took a somber, religious bent. He is an excellent orator. He related the story of his sordid past and eventual redemption, and his belief in Jesus. He told of his daughter, who had cerebral palsy, and her triumph over those struggles, and there was not a dry eye in the house.
Oh, yeah–one. Guess who.
Sitting in stony silence, occasionally she would sigh, look at me, and give me a long, cold look followed by the slightest shake of her head before turning away.
It was a great presentation, meant to fill everyone with hope and a warm heart. I wish I could have enjoyed it more. As it ends, we get up to leave, and she says to me, “Don’t make me go to anything like this again. I don’t like it.”
Believe me, I won’t. And that’s what I said to myself over and over again in the car on the long drive home, never again.