I have always possessed a very take me as I am or walk away attitude. For a hot minute in 7th grade, I wanted to be a popular kid but I quickly realized all those kids were only popular because their parents had enough money to outfit them in Benetton and Guess clothing. Between being too broke for Benetton and not much of an ass kisser those dreams of popularity went up in smoke. Other than that brief, ridiculous departure, I have never been intimidated, swayed or really cared what other people think of me. And, while I value many people’s opinions and would hate to disappoint them it’s more a matter of personal reverence than it is me trying to impress them. This general belief holds true for everyone but one person, my husband’s uncle. You thought I was going to say a parent or hero or someone of note, didn’t you? Nope, let me paint a picture.
My husband comes from a better background than I do and this particular uncle has gone above and beyond. He has done VERY well for himself. He is the very essence of the Preppy Handbook come to life. His level of propriety, diction, manners, dress – it’s all perfect. And, since my husband’s father passed away when my husband was a young man, this uncle has taken on a sort of a father figure role. The first time I met this guy I was petrified. Mind you, I’ve hosted dinners for heads of state and music industry royalty and this guy had me shaking in my shoes. I remember a party at this uncle’s house that was particularly painful. I had more in common with the family dog than the rest of the high falutin folks in attendance. So, for the last 23 or so years, I’ve avoided the man like the plague. When I have had to interact with this uncle I pretty much just try to smile, nod and not cuss. That is until recently.
A few months ago, uncle joined Facebook. And, thanks to Facebook’s nosey ass algorithms, uncle discovered I was on Facebook too and sent me a friend request. I couldn’t tell him no. I mean, he’s not the Godfather but come on, he’s my husband’s most revered family member, how could I say no? So, I added him and for some weird reason, I didn’t give him my usual ‘hey I cuss and I rant on here so you may not want to be friends with me’ warning. I just let it fly as usual. And then a funny thing happened, he began to interact. He started liking and commenting on almost every post. He has a particular affinity for pictures of the kids and anything slightly controversial or political. I started noticing how funny he can be with his proper dry wit. A couple of days ago it hit me that I’m not nearly as intimidated by him as I used to be. I see him more as an equal now. I’m not really sure what prompted the shift – maybe it’s because I’ve been married to his nephew for over 20 years or maybe it’s because I feel more confident or sure of myself, or maybe it’s because I’ve seen behind the curtain of the great and powerful Oz. Or, maybe it’s a combination of all those things. I can’t say for sure. While I don’t think I’ll be dropping the F word in his presence any time soon. I don’t think I’ll just be smiling and nodding anymore either.
Photo Credit: Pixabay on Pexels.com. Since this post is about getting to know an Uncle through social media, I thought this was a good choice and I love royalty free pictures.