To Forgive or Not To Forgive….

Growing up, my Uncle Detroit was one of those really annoying people that even as a kid; you knew you were never going to like him.  He wasn’t a bad person per say, just did a lot of things to annoy me.  When I was in high school I was on the Drill Team.  Every time his family came to visit he would always say “How are the Flag Fags?” I didn’t twirl flags (no offense to anyone that did) and he knew I didn’t twirl flags, there wasn’t a flag within a 100 yards of my house, but he continued to say it and taunt me with it.  And who says the word “fag” to a 17 year old girl anyway?  I took being a dance major very seriously and didn’t find any of this funny especially after the 1 millionth time.

Fast forward to 2007. Uncle Detroit is still annoying and now he knows how to use email and the internet. He would consistently send forwards that were of a political nature that he knew I didn’t agree with.  I normally would just delete them and move on with my life.

One day he sent a racially charged email that I could not ignore. It offended me so much I couldn’t keep my mouth shut any longer.  I figured I’m not a child anymore, if he thinks he can just send this out and its okay I’m going to let him know.  So, I sent a reply. Actually, it was a “Reply All’….on purpose….and told him and all this contacts what I really thought.  I felt that if he had the right to publicly send this out, I had the right to publicly respond. What happened after that was World War III via the interwebs, getting all sorts of family members involved and we’ve never spoken since.

Last week I get an email from my cousin, Malibu Barbie (she is Uncle Detroit’s daughter).  To summarize:

I want to call you regarding that stupid old shizzzz that my silly lil’ father can’t seem to get over. I have never really acknowledged it in hopes that it would just go away. Apparently, it still exists.

I know he sent that email that was offensive. He is an old man that was /is”WOW’d” with email and was a forwarding nut for too long. He thinks everyone wants to know what he thinks is interesting, amusing, and politically correct. I have told him time and time again…No one does!

My dad is so weird! He still says things that are so stupid and outright ridiculous but it turns out I really do like him, despite all the past issues and dumb comments. I just want peace between him and all our family….

Could you maybe give him a shout out? I mean really…do you still care what a bitter fella from PA/MI emailed you a while back? I think your response was totally valid but sending it to everyone really hurt him. He still tosses and turns over it. Let bygones (SP?) be bygones and be Merry. Whatdayathink???

Give me your number and know that if you can’t do it…I totally understand. I love you very much no matter what.

Honestly, I don’t even remember what I said to him it was so long ago and I’m really not mad anymore. I don’t even give it a thought. According to her, he has never stopped thinking about it. I don’t know if she is exaggerating that he “tosses and turns” over it but what I do know is that Malibu Barbie is getting married this year and A) she is afraid I won’t come cause of having to see her Dad (I want to go, its in California and I’ve never been there) and B) if I do come will I start a fight (Who? Me? Srsly, I would never do that at her wedding. I would just ignore him the whole time)

So readers, what do I do?  I don’t think I need to apologize formally.  He’s an adult, I’m an adult….and I’m stubborn and don’t want him to think he has the upper hand just because I would be the one extending the olive branch.  I don’t see him sending anything in the way of  “I was wrong and sorry I offended you” type of thing.  I know there is taking the high road, and what I am willing to do, only because I love Malibu Barbie so much is to send an email to him saying something like “I hope we can put our differences of opinion behind us and celebrate Malibu Barbie’s upcoming nuptials together” or something like that.

I need your advice, ya’ll!



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8 responses to “To Forgive or Not To Forgive….

  1. starsky

    I don’t believe that you should apologize for stating your opinion (publicly or privately, it does not matter). An opinion and belief is just that…not a fact…everyone is entitled to their own.

    If he is mad that you have your own ideas that he does not agree with, it’s just plain stupid. I know someone like that, but I’m not gonna go there.

    If you do want to reach out and state that…you have your opinion, I have mine. We are both entitled to such, etc, etc. Let’s not let difference of opinions get in the way of celebration, etc. etc. Then do so. If not, don’t. He is the one that is miserable for hanging on to it. Not you.

  2. Yeah, family shat is the worst shat.

    I guess I agree with starsky. (What a weird sentence to type.) The only thing we don’t know is how willing Uncle Grudgy is to make nice and let this go. You’re right, this is not about apologizing. It’s about getting along like freaking adults.

    Here’s one tact. Contact him, acknowledge the distance, and ask if he is willing to admit what you both have in common… you both love Malibu Barbie. Who doesn’t? Life’s too short and hard to hold grudges. Who needs the stress? Invite him to join you at the wedding to raise a glass to Barbie’s nuptuals. (Did I just say something dirty?)

    If he’s stubborn enough to decline. Fuck him. Take the high road. Go and keep your distance. Party with the rest of the fam. Let him be the grouch.

  3. txcris

    You know my fears on opening this can of proverbial worms, dear Wormy…

    What we know of that man is not congruent with bygones being bygones….don’t do it, gal. Remember the other email wars with Uncle Military? I feel he would be surprised to hear from you but if he’s really tossing/turning/grumping about this STILL, it will give him an opportunity to unleash his frustrations/embarrassments on you. He’s still playing the victim and you’d be the perp.

    I have no doubt he won’t have the couth to say, sure lady, let’s do it for Barbie…You go to her wedding and ignore him (like we all will do) and have a grand time in spite of him. She’ll have to trust you that you would NEVER bring this crap to her wedding and if she can’t trust HIM?… that’s their problem, not yours.

  4. Joe

    I hate when relatives just want to sweep it under the carpet. Not knowing the parties, I think he has finally been called out on what he is and does not like it one bit and perhaps moreover from a woman. My sister had experiences like this. Not a shame. Your instincts are correct, hold your head high and go to the wedding without apology and with the clear thought of “I would never do that at her wedding.” Hell, you’re not there to see him.

  5. bep

    Maybe not apologize but also not ignore him. Go to the wedding, have fun, and when you see Uncle D just say something like ‘hi uncle d haven’t seen you in a while you look good how’s it going? this is such a nice wedding your daughter looks great and is so happy blah blah generic nice wedding talk’ – ? That way you get to be stubborn and not apologize, which I totally get, and you act like nothing happened/extend the branch and start over/heal family wounds. If he starts crap over the past incident, walk away and avoid. Maybe even email him beforehand ‘hey looking forward to the wedding and seeing you hope all is well Barbie is so excited for her special day hope everything is perfect for her/nothing ruins it see you soon love W’ – ?

  6. wormy

    Thanks everyone for the input. It seems everyone is mostly on agreement about no formal apology and just go to the wedding and ignore him. I think thats what I’m going to. Just keep on ignoring it. I am going to contact Barbie and let her know, I think I should do that.

  7. Seems like I’m late to this discussion, but I hold the opposite opinion. I think you should contact him before the wedding, not necessarily to apologize but to acknowledge the fact that words were said and that you’d like to move on.

    Maybe he’ll be agreeable, maybe he won’t, but at least you can say that you tried. Plus it sounds like it would mean a lot to your cousin. Weddings are very stressful by themselves and I’m sure it would be a load off her mind to know that you tried to make her special day a little nicer.

  8. Sneezeless in Seattle

    i remember when this guy SENT this email. you were LIVID

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