Ego and Family: A Letter

I just felt like adding something to what I already wrote this afternoon. Maybe I should write a post instead? Anyway, I’ve been thinking about my family tonight, and how they have responded to my mother and our grandmother. Quite frankly, Mom was more intelligent than Mimi and a lot more complex; not at all conventional or run of the mill, and she was literary. The family resents intellectual people; they feel very anti about it, and unfortunately, my mother happened to be a woman also. She grew up in a world where it was not okay for women to be smart; where the ideal woman was someone like Marilyn Monroe, a dumb blond but secretly very intelligent. Mom was confused about her role for her whole life. So now I look around at my family, my sister and my brother and their families, and really don’t like them very much. Polly isn’t very bright, as I’ve known for many years, and Jeff is an incurable alcoholic who hates me. It’s basically a white working class family that has no time for beautiful things, only the hamburger, the meat and potatoes of life. And of course it makes me feel pretty angry at their incomprehension of me and other people like me. Whatever. I don’t know what I started out to say. The family has made an icon of our grandmother. Mimi had talent in music and in art, but otherwise she was rather ordinary, and self righteous about being dull and dim witted. I was eight years old when she died. I can remember her stupid obsession with people being selfish and so on. You weren’t supposed to think about yourself; but she didn’t know where her ideas came from. And then my mother parroted the same stuff to me, although she was clearly quite confused on the whole thing. Well, I rebelled against that policy and I did very well in college because of it. Polly continues the tradition of not thinking about yourself, etc. It originally came from Mimi’s mother, a very ignorant woman. And before her, who knows how many generations echoed the same silly ideas on the ethics of so-called selfishness, never knowing where it came from?

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