Yesterday we stopped in at FiL’s, because he was looking for a Father’s Day visit. The fact that we had spent the Saturday the week before Father’s Day with him at the Highland games apparently did not count. He’s lonely, because he’s on the outs with the Annoying Inlaws. Which is too bad, because they totally deserve each other.
My FiL answers the door wearing his ragged old t-shirt from Gettysburg. A t-shirt with a Confederate flag on it. He is a Polish Canadian who is strangely invested in the Confederacy, who will insist that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery. He’s also total xenophobe who insists that Muslims as a group are out to get us, among other things. Mr Ivriniel comes from an extremely dysfunctional family, but he loves them, and I promised myself a long time ago that I would hold my tongue and not do anything to destroy relationships he would like to maintain. Would I be happy if we never had to visit the miserable old bastard again? Definitely. But this isn’t about me. Before we went there, I filed away in my brain “Do not talk about the Confederate flag, Obamacare victory, or Gay marriage victory.” Apparently Mr. Ivriniel didn’t do any sort of mental inventory.
Not long after we sat down, Mr Ivriniel decided to bring up “You know, it’s been a bad week for Republicans. With the flag thing, *FiL grimaces and points to his awful rag of a t-shirt. (I trust on his next trip South he will be loading up on new Confederate merchandise.) *
the Obamacare victory at the Supreme Court, and “
FiL: “Obamacare victory?”
I don’t know how he missed that, so I explained it. He grimaced. We’re talking about a Canadian here, who seems to at least tolerate our healthcare system...He’s never said anything against it in my presence at least, but I can imagine on some level he doesn’t like it. He’s opposed to the Co Op because it is “communist”, so anyways.
Mr. Ivriniel continues “flag thing, Obamacare victory, and now gay marriage” *More grimacing from my FiL.* “so there’s a bunch of them going “That’s it, I am moving to Canada!” FiL gives a forced laugh, and grimaces some more.
Next for some reason Mr. Ivriniel mentions that he heard on the Radio that the Toronto Pride Dyke March is today (Sat) and that the marchers are going to be very cold and wet with the miserable weather we are having. My FiL responds “May they all get pneumonia and die and leave the world a better place..” *crickets* in response to that one.
Conversation moves on, but then somehow Mr. Ivriniel remembers something we saw on Facebook earlier today and asks me to find “the Goth rainbow” on my phone. I’m thinking “Really? Did you decide it is “piss Dad off day” and not tell me?” but I go looking for it.
For some reason I couldn’t find it at the time but I am sure if I did, then it would have elicited another grimace.
So then talk turned to the Annoying Inlaws. ABiL is still mad at his Dad for giving away an old butcher block table that belonged to my FiL, but he didn’t need anymore and was storing in his basement that ABiL had called dibs on for his theoretical new house. Apparently he dropped by when FiL was not home and left some stuff for his Dad. Some kind of kid craft from niece that a three year old clearly did not do. A card from ABiL that is not a Father’s Day card, with a passive-aggressive message inside that I can’t recall that says “This is not the end, it is a beginning” on it over and over on the cover. Oh, and a “card” from niece, which is actually a freebie postcard from Remembrance Day that Niece *signed*.
He was clearly displeased.
We got him a Father’s Day card, but then had left it at home. ( My Dad had come to visit us on Father’s Day, and his card is still sitting in our kitchen too.). I am sure my MiL will hear about what a Bad Father’s Day it was for him.
Oh, get this: He wants to take my MiL and his two oldest nieces to Ottawa to see the Magna Carta. Because that is how a 14 year old and a ten year old want to spend their summer, in a museum watching their mostly estranged grandfather hit on their grandmother, his ex wife, in a desperate bid to get her back so he won’t die alone. Last summer he said to the oldest niece “I really don’t know you. I would like to know you better.” To which she replied “I don’t think that is going to happen.” The last time he came up with an excursion to take the girls on, it was to see an exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls at the ROM (lest you think his homophobia is religiously motivated, nope, he is an agnostic.).
The nieces are estranged from their grandfather because Mr Ivriniel’s sister has nothing to do with her father. He was emotionally abusive to her as a child, and she cut him out of her life. When her daughters were born, she did let it be known that if he wanted to have a relationship with them, he could come and pick them up and take them places, but he only ever does that if my MiL also comes which everyone recognizes as a blatant attempt to charm his ex wife, who is having none of it.
About three years ago, my FiL invited my MiL out to an event, and she was dating another man, so she suggested that the three of them go together as friends. FiL had a hissy fit, declared he doesn’t want to be her friend and made some melodramatic statement about how he wouldn’t be seeing her until she broke up with the other man. Then he had the nerve to moan about how he wouldn’t be seeing his granddaughters again for a while. No, you overgrown toddler, you are welcome to pick up the girls on your own whenever you would like (assuming they are free) you just don’t do it on your own.
Shortly after that, my MiL’s boyfriend broke up,with her citing family drama as part of the reason (ABiL had some kind of hissy fit around the same time.) and suddenly,my FiL was back talking to her. I don’t know why she has anything to do with him, really. She said once that she goes over to his place to remind herself why she left him.
Anyways, in the car on the way home, I asked Mr Ivriniel why he kept bringing up things that would piss off his Dad. He insists he wasn’t trying to piss off his Dad, he was just making conversation. I bet my FiL will be moaning to his friends about how his only child who willl still talk to him has been horribly corrupted by his liberal wife. Ironically, My FiL and ABiL would probably agree on the flag thing and definitely agree on the topic of gay marriage.
Eta: The oldest niece graduated grade 8 this week, and my MiL posted pictures from the graduation on Facebook. My MiL asked my FiL if he say the pictures and he said “They were very nice, except for the one with the Lesbian. My niece’s French teacher has short, pink hair, and apparently this codes for Lesbian in my FiL’s bigoted little mind.
A couple of years back, niece started dying the tips of her (long) hair blue, and when a picture was posted to Facebook, my FiL went on a public rant in the comments, accusing her of just mindlessly following trends and dumbing herself down. Mr. Ivriniel sent his Dad an email telling him to take down that post immediately, as it was utterly inappropriate. The niece never saw the posting but with that kind of attitude it is no wonder that when he says he wants to get to know he better, she says she doesn’t think it will happen.