Let it go
I fixed a steely gaze across the dining room table at my Aunt Toogie’s gentleman friend, Brevard. We were engaged in a spirited discussion of a topic that has recently consumed him. He brought it up, once again, almost immediately after Toogie and my lovely wife, Grace, stepped away from the table. The anger brewing below his surface may have been ignited a tad by the glass of Bookers True Barrel bourbon I poured for the interlude before dessert. Or perhaps he needed one more stage upon which to vent.
After listening to him spew that the outcome was unjust, if not illegitimate, I declared emphatically, “Hey. You lost. And now you will just have to accept it.”
“Your kind is completely wrong,” Brevard sniped. “Such a conservative position wipes out years of progress.”
“I find it amusing,” I countered, “that you so-called progressives preach diversity but are intolerant of any view other than your own.”
This remark really pushed his button. Arching his back and lifting his chin, he bellowed, “Oh, please! That’s such a pathetic platitude.”
It was now “game on,” with elevated voices and finger pointing across the table.
“You need to just accept it and move on,” I offered.
“Never, never, never,” he huffed. “I have every right to protest.”
“For God’s sake, man! To right this travesty. It’s, it’s…un-American.”
“You’re just a bunch of whiners.”
“You’re a bunch of Fascists.”
The cacophony caused Toogie and my lovely wife, Grace, to return to the dining room. “Please tell me you two aren’t at it again,” Toogie sighed.
When neither Brevard nor I responded, she continued. “You’ve been doing this for months now. Enough already!”
“He started it,” I interjected.
“I was merely attempting to edify Dalton on the error of his ways,” Brevard proffered, with a heavy dose of hoity-toity.
“It’s over. Deal with it,” I muttered.
“As long as I have breath, I will resist it,” Brevard declared.
“Knock it off! Both of you,” Toogie hollered. “You both need to let it go. Like the movie Frozen, let it go!”
“Gentlemen,” Grace announced, trying to change the subject. “I hope you like dessert. It is an ice cream pie made with Graeter’s bourbon pecan chocolate chip. I know how you like bourbon.”
When no one replied, Toogie spoke up. “Well, I can’t speak for Ali or Frazier here, but I think it’s yummy.” Turning to Brevard, she inquired, “What do you think?”
“About what?” he snorted. “The pie or the…”
Toogie silenced him with a loud “Sshh” as Grace shot me a look that said, “Don’t you say a word either.”
Trying to tack the discussion in a new direction, Grace rubbed her hands together and announced, “Let’s talk about something else. Who wants to see some wonderful pictures of the grandkids’ trip to Disney?”
“I’d like to,” Toogie piped up as Grace went to retrieve her iPad. “And you boys would too, wouldn’t you?”
Under Toogie’s glare Brevard and I assented. Grace was back with her tablet and displayed pictures of grandson Charlie and granddaughter Ashleigh at Disney. “Here they are at the Haunted Mansion,” Grace explained, adding, “Charlie went on the ride but Ashleigh did not. It is a little scary and she is just four, you know.”
“This one is unique. It’s Charlie sitting on his dad’s shoulders and looking down at his hands. But look,” she continued, holding the iPad for all to see. “They somehow added Tinkerbell into the picture. See how it looks as if she is standing in Charlie’s hands.”
“How do they do that?” Toogie asked.
“Some sort of technology,” Grace replied. “But it sure is nice to see them having such a good time.” As we all nodded agreement and smiled at the images, the former educator in Grace seized the opportunity for a teachable moment.
“Looking at these pictures,” she mused, “should remind us of what is most important in life. Things like the love of family and the joy of young children.”
“And I hope,” she continued, “that you boys would agree this is more important than you know what,” jiggling her fingers in air quotes on the ‘you know what.’
I nodded, perhaps grudgingly, as did Brevard. “I know each of you can be civil about it,” Grace soothed. “So why don’t you each say you are sorry and then say something that acknowledges the other person’s view?”
When no one responded, Grace suggested, “Dalton, why don’t you go first?”
“And say I’m sorry?” I asked.
“And validate that you understand Brevard’s position,” Grace coached.
“Okay,” I uttered. “Uh, Brevard, I’m sorry we had words and I regret that you are upset…”
“No,” Grace interrupted. “That is from your point of view. Say it from Brevard’s perspective, please.”
“Okay. Let’s see. Brevard is justified to be upset that the golf governing bodies have outlawed the belly putter when he has used one for all these years.”
“Excellent,” Grace cooed. “Brevard, your turn.”
“Well,” he began. “I’m sorry too and even though The Royal and Ancient is a bunch of old white guys…”
“Judgmental,” Grace corrected. “Start over, please.”
“I’m sorry,” Brevard began again, “and I understand that The Royal and Ancient and the USGA have the authority to set the rules of golf.”
“Nicely done, gentlemen,” Grace smiled. “I’m proud of you.”
“Here, here! This calls for a toast,” Toogie crowed. We all clinked glasses as she refrained, “Let it go. Let it go.”