For those unaware, Mancandy is conservative. In some ways, he’s a redneck trapped in a Midwesterner. He says organization hilariously (think Organ-I-zation), and I’m pretty sure he’d say pop instead of coke if left to his own devices. To be fair, I’m a Yankee trapped in a southerner. I love boiled peanuts and crawfish and the angrier I get the thicker the accent gets, but I don’t go to church and don’t own a dress and tend to agree with those on the left more often than those on the right. I don’t have a problem with contradictions or depth of character, I enjoy it. But, occasionally I do want to beat him with his own arms. More on that in a minute.
The Mancandy family also leans conservative, especially his mother. She is very much a fox news sort, while my mom is much more of an MSNBC type. Again, I don’t mind people having different opinions. Most of my friends and extended family are conservative. Mother O’Candy is extremely hardcore to the right. I suppose the fact Mancandy and I are a unit (a rather odd unit, but still) meant she assumed we shared similar political and religious ideology. I politely declined invitations to church without explanation and whenever politics is brought up, I stay quiet. I don’t particularly like to fight, especially when it will change nothing, so I try to avoid political battles whenever possible. Also, I can’t fight. My sister got that talent, she’d quick as a whip and flings insults with casual grace and speed. I resort to “well your face looks like a butt” immediately and it goes downhill from there.
I was added to the Candy family group chat last holiday season. It started as a way for everyone to coordinate during a difficult time. It has become a way for the Candy family to talk to an audience. Brother Candy’s fiancé is also added to this group. We hardly ever participate. It’s usually strictly a Candy affair. I’ve wondered why they don’t just text each other directly but didn’t want to actually participate in the conversation that would guarantee, so I just muted the group. The inability to remove yourself from group texts is sincerely one of the most annoying things in the universe. Right below mosquitos and fire ants.
Part of the reason I muted the conversation is that every political hot button topic is brought up. For instance, immigration was brought up in the form of “When will those bleeding heart liberals learn….etc.” When fired up, the comments may range from that tone to more aggressive or openly hostile terminology to discuss those of my ilk. I have never responded because even though it’s highly offensive at times and often inaccurate assumptions and gross generalizations to boot, the statements are made under the assumption it’s a group in which it is safe to blow off steam. I’ve stayed quiet in the group text and in my home whenever these rants occur. For years I’ve stayed quiet.
Mancandy ruined it. This annoyed me because 1. I obviously didn’t want to make a thing out of it and 2. If I had decided to make a thing of it I had a glorious conversation ending rant ready to roll out. I had the element of surprise and the boon of choosing time and place. I’d carefully constructed my future performance to be classy, elegant, cold, and perfectly timed to show the hubris and arrogance of many of their comments. I was prepared and often rehearsed my future takedown mentally while ignoring more of the same types of rhetoric.
And he ruined it. That day he was the ruiner of all things good in the world. And I couldn’t beat him to death with his own arms because he was honestly trying to help. Granted, he did it in the same way we explain to children that calling the fat kid fat isn’t very nice. With that sing-song tone and gently chiding manner. I was in the kitchen, loading the dishwasher with Mancandy while he and Mother O’Candy talked. I ignored the political discussion until I heard my name. I tuned back in to hear him say, in that god awful tone of voice, “Kristin doesn’t really think the same way we do about politics. She tends to agree with the democrats.”
The silence was deafening. My beautiful element of surprise was gone. I stared at him while holding a dirty plate and dripping dirty gunk on my feet. He happily ignored me and jabbered on, something along the lines of “she’s a dummy but she’s my dummy and sometimes she’d funny and she cooks better than I do so…what can you do?” Now at this point, he would object and say he said nothing of the sort. And to be fair, he didn’t. But it was damn well implied.
The betrayal ran to my soul. He’d taken away the one defense mechanism I had. The knowledge I could challenge it all out of left field (ha, the left charging in out of the left) and choose the time in which I did so was everything. The one subject I was not likely to continue to stay quiet on was the Me Too movement. It’s too personal. I have left the house in the past to get away, but I wanted to use that topic as my pièce de résistance when it was time to strike, should I decide to do so. I had a script. Dammit.
I don’t remember what else was said. I have no idea how long it took me to realize my feet needed to be scrubbed clean of plate gunk. But I am sad I didn’t get to have the last word. And also begrudgingly grateful Mancandy kept me from having to engage his people in battle.
But I’m still mad.
And his face looks like a butt.