I really need your advice on how to handle a family member.
I know all families have their relatives that are a hot mess, but some of my family just really depresses me.
This past week my family had the home going celebration for one of my uncles that passed recently from health problems. When I say a celebration that is exactly what it was. Family from all across the country and some even from overseas traveled to attend. The funeral was that Saturday and the family get-together that evening at my grandmother’s house.
Like most family get-togethers we had food, fun, music and plenty of liquor. A relative from Mississippi brought two big gallon jugs of Moon Shine a.k.a. White Lightning. I didn’t partake in the drinking, it is not my thing. I prefer the herb, which there was plenty of. My wife and kids attended with me and spent much of their time in my grandmother’s house.
Well, I have this one cousin that likes to drink and smoke, which I am sure we all have. The cousin that drinks and smokes, but can’t handle neither. My cousin is a straight clown, a little of “Smokey” from the movie, Friday, “JJ” from Good Times, and Old Dirty Bastard. He started celebrating Wednesday night when family started arriving, and had stayed drinking all weekend. I hate being around drunks that can’t control themselves and they don’t understand that there is a time and a place for everything. It really irks me to see a drunk break down crying, and they can’t stand up, slob everywhere, the ugly faces they make, and keep acting like they about to pass out.
Here are three things that my cousin did that week that just make you shake your head and not want to claim him.
1. He drove a new four-wheeler into a pool.
2. Drinking and driving and hitting what he thought was either a deer or a zebra.
3. Just put on a show of straight drunken ignorance all week.
But, what really pissed me off is what I learned happen that Saturday while inside my grandmother’s house. On our way home Sunday, my wife out the blue asks me, “What girl did you date that died from AIDS?” I didn’t have to ask who said it because I knew who it was and she confirmed it. My cousin, in one of his drunken rants, started talking about the girl to one of my aunts that knew her. But, it was around my wife and my aunt tried to change the subject, but my cousin just kept talking without any consideration that my wife was sitting in listening range.
I had to explain to my wife, that I never talked to any female that had AIDS, and that when I did talk to this girl we were, ten years old. TEN! I don’t even consider that a relationship. But, this has been my last pass I am giving my cousin and I really want to whoop his a**. This is the type of crap he does all the time, just looking for attention. And, I know saying anything won’t get us anywhere but only arguing and cursing back and forth. But, I really want to say something or else it’s going happen again because this is not his first time. I feel it is disrespectful to my wife, me, and this girl that has passed. And he continues to show that he has no respect for his family or himself, and I am tired of it. I have been weighing on whether or not to say anything or let it go. So, I am asking your opinion. Signed – My Cousin Is Ignorant and Needs His A** Beat
Dear Mr. My Cousin Is Ignorant and Needs His A** Beat,
LMBAO!! I can’t!
First, I’m sorry about your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.
Second, your cousin is a straight fool! I wish I could have been there to witness all of his antics! Driving the four-wheeler into the pool, and him saying he hit a deer or zebra. LOL! I’m sure he is the life of the party. And, yes, we all have that one family member in our families that can’t handle their liquor, or herbals, and want to show their a**es, embarrassing everyone, including themselves, especially at family reunions, funerals, birthday parties, or holiday gatherings. Chile, it comes with the territory. LOL!
Now, let’s get to what has your drawers in a bunch. Your cousin spilled some beans about a girl you dated as a child, but said girl died from AIDS as an adult. Your aunt tried to change the subject as your cousin was giving the Tea in his drunken stupor, but your wife overheard this conversation and on your drive home she asked you about this girl. It rattled your head, and you wanted to rattle your cousin. But, I don’t understand why you are upset. If you dated this girl when you were 10-years old, and as you’ve stated, “You were ten! I don’t even consider that a relationship.” Then why are you upset with your cousin? Is there some other closet secret about this girl and you that he revealed that you didn’t reveal in your letter? Or, are you afraid that there is something else hidden that he knows about you and will share in the presence of your wife?
I don’t think the real beef, and your source of anger is about what he said about a 10-year old “like,” or crush you had with some girl, but it’s more so about him and your embarrassment and dislike for him and his drinking. You said it in your letter that some of your family members depress you. You are embarrassed by him, and you are internalizing his antics, and his drama, and his foolishness. As a matter of fact, all of your family members are embarrassed by him, and hates when he comes to any event because they know he is the one who is going to get high and drunk and show his a** and reveal some family secrets. So, everyone tries to stay far and clear from him because no one wants to end up on the opposite end of his truth serum revelations.
You can confront him, whoop his a**, or whatever you want to do with him, but nothing is going to come between him and his liquor and herbals. If that is his way of dealing with his grief, pain, or whatever ailments he has nothing or no one can stop him from partaking. Yes, confronting him while he is sober and in his right state of mind will resolve YOUR issues, but just know that when you do say something he is not going to remember anything, or even remember saying what he said. He will apologize and say it will not happen again, but wait until the next family gathering, holiday, or funeral and he will back to his old antics.
What I’ve learned to do is start loving and embracing my family members who love to partake of the spirits and get totally inebriated to the point that they need someone to carry them and put them to bed, or drive them home and put them in their house. I love watching them dance, falling all over the place, acting silly, and hugging on me with their slurred speech telling me how much they love me, and they are proud of me, and so on and so on. I find it comical now. I stopped the judgment and my opinions of them. If that is what they need to feel good, have a good time, and enjoy themselves then let them have at it. THEY ARE WHO THEY ARE! I cannot change them or make them be who I want them to be. I just know not to tell them anything that I don’t want revealed or disclosed. They are the ones I definitely would not share any secrets or intimate conversations with. Yes, they can talk about my youth and things of the past I did, but it doesn’t faze me any longer. They love recanting stories, and getting a kick out of the plots and the humor of what happened. But, that was years ago. I don’t hold on to the past, and I could really care less. And, my suggestion to you is if it happened many moons ago, and the only thing he can bring up is about some girl you dated when you were 10-years old then let him enjoy his story. He’s enjoying that moment, living in it, and it’s his fond memory of you. Brush it off, and keep it moving. Once you change your outlook on it, and let go of the anger, hate, and embarrassment of HIS actions, it will no longer affect YOU. So, let Jim Bo have his Moon Shine, and act a damn fool. HE IS WHO HE IS! If you embrace him and love him regardless of who he is and what he does then you will see a different person and his actions will no longer affect you. – Terrance Dean
Hey Bossip Fam, what do you think? Share your opinions and thoughts below!
Follow Terrance Dean on Twitter: @terrancedean
Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15), and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!