My father: uncaring jerk-o? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-23-2006, 04:51 AM
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Hey all,



So, last night I was visiting with my parents... and partway through the evening, my father starts telling me a story in which he ends up calling street people/homeless folks "human litter", and ranting about how we need to get them all off the streets so they don't give the city a bad impression to tourists. He also made some commetns to the effect that the reason people are homeless is because they lazy, and they should just get jobs at McDonald's...



I was appalled. "Human litter"????!



I did make a calm comment about a) the fact that ther are myriad reasons that people wind up in the streets, and b) to call them dehumanizing names is not very helpful.



I feel terrible for not taking him completely to task for his non-compassionate, *******ly, closed-minded mentality on this issue...I am not good with conflict, and avoid it with my parents whenever I can. I tend to fly under the radar with them.



(Keep in mind I am a grown woman with her own life, so quite often I just take a deep breath and wait for the moment when I can go back to my own house and not have to deal with them).



I also felt terribly because his comments served to highlight just how differently we think about the world-- and that saddened me greatly. But mostly, I was angry at myself for not having the balls/eggs to really, really call him on his comments.



I am debating sending him an email today, but again, am afraid of 'getting into it' with him, or having him blow me off as 'too sensitive' or whatever.



Meh. Just wanted to vent someplace where perhaps folks could commiserate.



Thanks for reading.
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#2 Old 08-23-2006, 05:53 AM
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Well, only you can decide whether or not it would be beneficial to 'get into it with him'. I don't know if I would think it worth it. It's not likely that you would change his mind anyway, so I don't see the point in pushing it to the point where you both get really angry and upset. You made an effort with your comment to show him that you don't agree with him. I don't see the point in doing battle with people/family/friends over issues like that. There are a few racist people at work, there are differing views on religion and politics. If a situation arises where a discussion starts to get heated, I bow out. I don't like yelling at people or being yelled at. If something can't be discussed in a mature rational way then I don't participate. So I think the way you handled your dad was ok. I'm not sure I would have stayed there listening to him, depending on how long his rant was, but I don't think I would have started a fight over it. The fact that you have your own place to go is great for you.
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#3 Old 08-23-2006, 06:34 AM
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My father is a very passionate, imaginative, borderline paranoid man. Whenever he gets into one of his long rants about Communism, my mother, or "They", I do 1 of 2 things. 1, just start saying "uhhuh..." making sure to look as bored out of my mind as possible. 2, un-pause the TV. Shiny moving loud objects are great at distracting the longwinded.



If you really hope to change your father by confronting him on this issue, then by all means try. But chances are your best bet is to just turn on the TV. Sorry.

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#4 Old 08-23-2006, 08:20 AM
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#5 Old 08-23-2006, 08:28 AM
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This is what Mr. Meatless' family is like, in general. Fortunately we only see them twice a year, but I dread it.
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#6 Old 08-23-2006, 08:44 AM
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Maybe he says things like that just to stir you up. I usually just find something else to do when family members say stuff like that. Playing with the kids works great and I score some auntie or mom points while I'm at it. I'm not going to change them and I dont want to listen to it.
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#7 Old 08-23-2006, 09:13 AM
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I think people tend to go off about things like this when they aren't happy with their own lives.



I wonder what would happen if you started to volunteer at a homeless shelter and could then share first-hand, personal stories about the homeless with your father. And be sure to let him know that it was his own words that had inspired you to volunteer.
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#8 Old 08-27-2006, 11:32 AM
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When someone gets into a rant, saying "probably so" to all their whack-job comments works pretty well to diffuse them. They're looking for a reaction and when you don't provide it, they get bored and shut up. Usually.
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#9 Old 08-27-2006, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kale View Post

He also made some commetns to the effect that the reason people are homeless is because they lazy, and they should just get jobs at McDonald's...



Please ask your dad for me: at which McDonald's location can I get a job that pays enough for me to buy/rent a home and sustain myself? I'd love to know, 'cuz this cushy full-time assistant manager's job with mediocre health benefits sure ain't cuttin' it!



I basically work to pay for car insurance, so I can drive to work, and make more money to pay for more car insurance...
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