A Modern Guide to Basic Good Manners
Last Mother’s Day did not go as I expected.
For one, my 91 year-old mother was still recuperating at a rehabilitation center in Florida and I could not be there for her, which saddened me. But to my delight, my sister invited me to join her and her family for Sunday brunch at a charming, little bistro in Greenwich Village to celebrate her special day,
Unfortunately, the meal did not go as I had hoped it would despite knowing the unpredictable behaviors of my niece and nephew in their propensity toward being moody and sometimes, oppositional; especially in regard to their interactions with their mother.
So, as no surprise to myself or anyone else at the table, at the conclusion of the meal my nephew became verbally abusive and disrespectful toward his mother. What astonished me most was that all his mother was doing was expressing her justifiable concerns to me of my nephew’s latest antics at his college that landed him in jail for public intoxication and holding a false identification card.
To make matters worse, he was arrested following a drunken brawl with ten other men with whom he decided to fight despite the overwhelming odds against him. What a guy! In fact, he had the entire brawl videotaped and sent out on YouTube for all to see, which his father quickly showed me on his smart phone. (Why do they call it a "smart phone" when it shows dumb behavior)?
As the meal came to a close, my nephew’s tirade toward my sister became increasingly inflamed whereupon he told her several times to, "Shut the fuck up!" Having heard enough of his verbal abuse of his mother I reminded him of the day and that he was dishonoring his mother on her special day and, if his grandfather was still alive, he would have slapped him across the face for disrespecting his daughter.
Instead, I chose to defend my sister. After reprimanding my nephew, I then walked out of the restaurant stating that I refused to listen to any more abuse of my beloved sister and headed home.
Upon exiting the subway, I was inundated with text messages from my nephew; not with apologies for his rude behavior, but to call me a "fag" and to also "Shut the fuck up and mind my own business." I was shocked and saddened by this vitriolic assault on me not only as his uncle but, as a gay man as well.