Theatre of the Absurd at Casa Annamaria

La Famiglia does Albee proud

Friday night dinners are a tradition for La Famiglia; all the Mitten State dwelling siblings congregate every other Friday at Mama and Papa G’s house for pasta and political discussions. Okay, so the political discussion is a relatively new thing, and one that only happens when we’re feeling particularly feisty. Mama G hates it when we talk politics, mostly because the four siblings that usually show up to dinner are Republican Brother, Fundie Sister, Liberal Brother and Me. Needless to say, discussions quickly turn to arguments which often give way to bedlam. In deference to Mama G’s hypertension, we do our best to temper discussions with humor, despite the heartfelt desire to jump across the table and settle the issue mano a mano.

Last weekend Liberal Brother had prior engagements that prevented him from joining us for our biweekly brawl. As a result, the righty faction was in high form, tossing about their particular brand of religio-conservative inanity. I present Friday Dinner, a Comedy in Four Acts:


Fundie Sister brings up the case of a California girl who was suspended for saying “that’s so gay” in response to a boy who was taunting her for being Mormon. Actually, I take that back, the girl wasn’t suspended, despite Sister’s protestations to the contrary; she was given a warning and a notation was made in her permanent record (are they still using that one?). The school instituted a zero-tolerance policy on hate speech (including what some—not me—consider innocuous phrases like “that’s so gay”) after two boys were paid to beat up a gay student the prior year. Sister immediately starts on the persecuted Christian tip, and lambastes the school for not equally punishing the boy who used anti-Christian hate speech, all but arguing that the incident is proof positive of the homosexual agenda’s attempt to eradicate and marginalize Christianity. Had the boy asked if a Muslim girl’s father was a terrorist, Sister argues, he would have been punished for his anti-Islamic hate speech, but anti-Christian speech is just fine and dandy in today’s godless and secular world.

Remember, I’m without the assistance of Liberal Brother here, and am trying not to further stress my poor mother’s already beleaguered heart, so I’m silent as a church (ahem) mouse while my sister does her best impersonation of the severely unhinged. Finally, I agree that suspension is too harsh a punishment* but argue that some kind of correction or punishment was necessary. Even if, or perhaps because, the girl in question did not understand that “that’s so gay” is never an appropriate euphemism for “that’s stupid,” someone at that school needed to explain to her that homophobic language has no place in the public square. Further, I agreed that if indeed that boy was making anti-religious statements, he should have received an equal punishment or correction. Sister rolls her eyes to indicate that I am so naïve if I really believe that anyone cares a whit for the poor, persecuted Christians. I bite my tongue and restrain my hands so that I don’t smack the smug look from her face.


Dinner is served. I erroneously assume the conversation will turn to less controversial topics. I am wrong. Republican Brother can’t help but bring up the plight of the poor Mormon girl again, only this time to weigh in and declare that he doesn’t even consider Mormons to be Christians anyway. Fundie Sister agrees.

Seriously, read that last sentence again: Fundie Sister agrees that Mormons are not really Christians. Then whence the fucking anti-Christian hate speech? Honestly, I know that it’s folly to expect consistency, but I have to wonder if anti-Semitic speech is somehow going to be used as proof of an anti-Christian bias in her mind. After all, Christ was a Jew!


Somehow the conversation turns to Anna Nicole Smith. Don’t ask. Sister tells us that John Travolta was on TV saying that if only Anna Nicole had been a Scientologist, she would still be alive today. Sister and Republican Brother then take turns mocking Scientologists for their “crazy” beliefs. Annamaria bleeds from the mouth as she bites her tongue some more; apparently mocking (the beliefs of) religious folk is just fine so long as you can claim the moral high ground of being a Christian.


Dinner ends. I set about clearing the table to get the hell away from my siblings and avoid further mouth injury. Unfortunately, I can’t help but overhear them discussing the Republican presidential candidates. Republican Brother distrusts McCain and Giuliani; Sister agrees and vows to vote for Romney in the Michigan Primary.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon.


* I also take this back. Having not read up on the case of the Maligned Mormon Miss, I was unaware of the specifics of the case. Turns out she was not 8-years old as my sister claimed, but fifteen at the time of the incident. At fifteen, you know better. Suspension is a completely appropriate punishment (even though the school thought otherwise).

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annamaria at 2:50 PM

3 spoke


at Sunday, March 11, 2007 7:21:00 PM Blogger Dane meets Simone said...

What fresh hell, eh?

Gotta love family.


at Wednesday, March 14, 2007 10:23:00 AM Blogger Kurt said...

isn't it wonderful how ignorance is an equal opportunity affliction that crosses all known boundaries seperating humanity? your approach to the situation (taking it as a comedic reality show you live in, rather than a life or death situation) is probably best. in fact, it is just this sort of pragmatism that has helped large North American auto company post black ink. i;'m sure your leadership and influence contributed mightily to the turnaround. thank you for saving America. >:-)
PS - i hate Yahoo and what they have done to webjay!

at Wednesday, March 14, 2007 10:47:00 AM Blogger annamaria said...

Oh Kurt, you give me too much credit. Major American Automotive Industry (MAAI) thrives in spite of me! Of course, my job exists primarily to act as a tax write-off, so maybe I've had more to do with the success than I know!


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