Okay, I admit it. I’ve been living a lie, call it a dirty little secret if you will. But it’s time I finally came out of the closet. I just hope once I do, we can still be friends. We’ll see.
No, I’m not coming out to say I’m gay. I’m not a secret, closet liberal or anything like that. I’m not jumping onto the global-warming bandwagon. I’m not hooked on drugs and I don’t drink. I don’t hit my wife. I’d like to sometimes, but I’m scared of her. But that’s another story, and I’m going to try to stay focused on what I have to tell you here today.
It all started about 30 years ago. I was working at the old “Myron Greens” cafeteria downtown. I’d been there a few months when they hired this short, good looking blonde. It turned out she was the little sister of one of my co-workers. Cool, this was going to be my ticket to getting a date with her. Then I realized something else. If he was her brother, that meant his mother, who also worked there was probably her mother too. This was going to be harder than I thought and I’d have to be proceed with caution.
I finally got the nerve to ask her out, and somewhere in the process I think I was able to win her mother over and I was already friends with her brother. What could go wrong? The longer we dated the more of her family I had to, I mean, I got to meet. Her dad didn’t exactly welcome me with open arms but he never threw me out of his house either. I took this as a positive sign. I met her two sisters, and grandparents. Yes, things were working out fine. Then I learned she had another brother I hadn’t met yet. He turned out to be a Marine and I soon learned once you’re a Marine, you’re always a Marine. I also learned if you’re trying to mess around with a Marine’s little sister, you had to be careful. Yes, he was going to be a challenge.
Eventually, I married that short, good looking blonde. It wasn’t long before I realized my new brother-in-law was the most opinionated, stubborn person in the world. Needless to say, family gatherings have never been dull. Conversations almost always lead to politics, and usually ends up as what we like to refer to as a rather heated debate. I guess calling it a debate instead of a brawl helps us sleep better at night. Whatever works.
Over the years I’ve learned a Marine brother-in-law can be the biggest pain in the butt a guy can have. Or in his own words, your worst nightmare. During that same time, there have been plenty of times I’ve found out a Marine brother-in-law can be your best ally too. I guess things have a way of balancing out if given enough time.
In a way, it would be easier to tell you I’m gay or that I had actually embraced global warming. I even wish it was something simple like drug or alcohol addiction. I could check myself into rehab two or three times a week. That seems to be popular nowadays. No, what I have to tell you is much different than any of these things. Okay, here goes. Just remember, my hope is that we can still be friends. Joe Ledbetter is my brother-in-law. There, I said it and I feel better. Well, sort of.
You can bet this old guy will be in plenty of trouble this week. Anyone want to fill in for me at our next family gathering?
Kevin McGinty can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org