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Family - Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.


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Warning: Griping and Ranting Ahead, Probably.

A few days ago, my Anti-Aunt sent me an email for the first time in quite some time. It was not, however, to say hi, how are you, love you, etc. No. It was another forwarded email about how bad things are and how it's all going to heck in a handbasket. Sigh.

Over two or three years ago now, I had emailed her back after a series of such emails finally brought up one telling how all those homosexuals and their gay agenda were trying to recruit and take over our schools, and blah-blah-blah, yadda-yadda-yadda. I emailed her back then saying enough was enough, and pointing out how negative and unloving I thought those were, and...knock it off already, will ya? I told her at the time that I didn't want to see any of those anymore. I said I'd be happy to get personal emails about the family and things, but no more negative, hateful stuff. I got back a reply saying how wrong and un-Christian I was, and she didn't think that was right! (Because I was speaking out, among other things, for tolerance of gay people.) I didn't come out to her. I knew it wouldn't do any good.

Fast forward to a few days ago. I got a new email. Flag desecration. Clearly, the country must be coming to an end, was the forwarded conclusion. The world's still going to hell in a handbasket, it seems.

I skimmed over it and tried to ignore it, but it stuck in my craw, so to speak. Now, I'm not a fan of spray-painting our flag and throwing it on the ground and stepping on it and so on, as was shown in the many-timew-forwarded email. But what gets me is the negativity, the lack of anything good, the lack of compassion. Where are all the good things in the world? It seems like my Anti-Aunt sees so little good in the world, so little to love. I really don't understand it. Such a shame. What a small little world and a tiny, shriveled heart...and this is my father's older sister, my aunt. Eek.

I tried to put the new email out of my mind. No use giving that more energy, it's already getting way too much by people who want to fear and hate, instead of love and enjoy what's good.

I recognize I have my own share of darkness of the soul, but that and depression are things I try to fight against. I am, at heart, a dreamer and idealist, an optimist who's seen too often that things are not always so rosy. But I continue to hope and go on, because...well, because I think hopes, dreams, optimism, are the way to be, even if I have my worries or other negatives and spout off at times. I also spout of positively, or I'd like to think so.

But her forwarded emails? Ugh. Just bad.

Then tonight, I see there's another one. This time, it's against a certain ideology, religion, political mindset seeking to harm the good old USA. Well, again, I'm not ever going to be a fan of someone trying to do that. But I see the headlines like anyone. Must I be reminded of the worst in people?

Again, where is the good in life, in my Anti-Aunt's eyes? How very, very sad. -- She has three grown children, all older than me. Two married and have many grown children. Many. They took that "be fruitful and multiply" part very seriously. (Hey, at least they must've enjoyed it, since it happened that often....) Ahem. Anyway, My cousins kids are nearly all grown and some have kids now too. In all that horde of cousins, it is a cinch that...well, given the 10% rule of thumb, it's a cinch that more than one of my Anti-Aunt's grandkids or great-grandkids is probably gay, lesbian, bisexual...queeeeeer. Much like their cousin writing this post. And I hope my first cousins are more enlightened than my aunt, but I really don't know. Now, my parents did not have the same values (and poison pen outlook) as my aunt. My own life grew up with a lot of questioning and struggle to accept my own sexuality. I suspect it's much the same for any of my cousins' kids who might be LGBTQ.

I am posting this out of frustration. I need to get it off my chest, is all. I know, at this point, not to expect any better of my poor embittered aunt, who seems unable to see what kind of message she is sending about her view of life. She's now over 80. In a few years at most, she will be at those pearly gates, and I believe she is going to get a huge shock when she finds out that yes, dear aunt, all those homosexuals and all those other terrible people are God's children too, if we're to believe the more positive and loving parts of that book she thinks she is following. (I believe she's got it wrong and needs to reread that a lot more carefully.)

Most of all, I'm frusrated and saddened, to see my aunt seems still in this ugly, negative mode, and has restarted sending this...godawful crap...to me again.

I am going to consider how or if I will reply, or simply block her emails.

I am also very seriously considering digging out my reply back then, if I still have it, and posting it as an open letter on my site. (Minus her name, but my name's on my site.)

And yes, my name's on my site. So are several stories and poems that are very unequivocally gay-friendly.

My aunt...what a shame she wants to focus on the fear and the hate and exclusion and negativity. -- What a shame, too, that she cannot and will not understand her nephew or probably more than one of her grandchildren. -- How sad she has so misunderstood and so warped the religion of love and mercy and compassion she claims to follow. But I think she's following something very much different than that.

I can't understand all that concentrated unhappiness, meanness, in someone. Especially when they are my own family. Oh well, at least she's half a country away. Sorry, Anti-Aunt, but we will never see eye to eye on this. I feel for my cousins' children. Their grandma needs a lesson in love and humanity.

Sigh.

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I got ticked off. I dug through where I'd saved my reply to her, from the middle of 2007. I hauled off and formatted it and posted it to my site, along with an explanatory note, and with my relatives' (plural) names and emails edited out. Not all my relatives are like my aunt, by far. I've emailed a link to the Dude, in case he wants to link to it, so instead of giving the link here, I'm giving him the scoop.

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Hey, Ben -- at some point you gotta just let it go. Set your email program up to filter out emails from hostile people like this, and automatically toss them in the trash bin. They're just not worth your time.

There was a time when I had a little form letter prepared:

Dear Mr. (or Ms. X):

My software has automatically deleted your hostile, unread message. Please cease all communications with me.

Yours in peace, love, and harmony,

--Me

Or words to that effect. I think at this point, I just scroll right past them while checking the deleted messages and don't even bother with a reply.

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You could have a little fun with her.

Take one of those forward:forward:forward emails and rewrite it. This time, write something that'll make her hair fall out.

New Virus from China Causing Zombies?

My Love Child With My Alien Lover

Economic Collapse of the West Has Begun: FEMA Camps Await!

Chinese Planning a Massive Nuclear Strike on the United States

If you do a good enough job and make it look and feel like a real news article, you can have her crapping her pants in no time.

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You could have a little fun with her.

[...]

If you do a good enough job and make it look and feel like a real news article, you can have her crapping her pants in no time.

Brilliant.

Forwarding articles from The Onion or The Borowitz Report but changing the source to foxnews.com works quite well, too.

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Now I am snarky enough to do something to Blue's anti-aunt like James Savik has suggested. But I'm wondering if Blue might not get more traction out of turning the table on her and starting a practice of forwarding to her those articles we see here on AD almost daily now detailing the suppression and degradation of innocent souls? I'd start with that devasting article about the dad who wired his son and sent him off to school. Something like that just might jostle her withered spark of humanity into life.

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Don't listen to them, Ben...it won't do any good to try and silence your aunt. We all have someone like her in the family.

I have Ralph, and his relationship to me is dubious at best. He is the ex-husband of my now deceased first cousin, but his daughters are still my family. Ralph is an internet junkie and forwards everything he reads to a bunch of us. If he finds it interesting I suppose he assumes we should as well. It's become a family joke.

His forward button has sent me all that flag nonsense, some pretty crude gay jokes of the straight kind, and oh so much political commentary. I put him on my spam list and if anything gets through I just hit delete. Sure he's a bother, but he might be family. My latest ploy with him is that my very expensive anti-virus program will not accept anything with attachments. That cut his email in half... :icon_thumright:

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*snicker* You know, I probably *could* have some fun with her, with that idea. :evilgrin: I will give that a little thought. Heh.

Gonna get friendly with the Spam and Delete buttons, though.

(Aside: Writing one of those wacky articles might be fun, just for a grin. I'm pretty sure that's how the tabloid guys write those "alien baby" articles. Ever notice, the aliens never just stop for tourist photos and souvenirs? Or a potty break or a Coke? Or, y'know, I missed the right turn at Aldebaran....)

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