Friday, December 24, 2004

I've Polished the Pole

Festivus, a holiday made famous by the television show "Seinfeld" was celebrated on December 23. There are three distinct elements that characterize this holiday. The first is the unadorned aluminum pole that is displayed as a substitute for the Christmas tree. Secondly, the family gets together at the dinner table and airs their grievances. They discuss the various ways in which family members have disappointed them over the past year. Finally, there is the Feats of Strength. The head of the family tests his or her strength against one participant of the head's choosing. Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned. A participant is allowed to decline to attempt to pin the head of the family only if they have something better to do instead.

Now, I'd like to air one of my grievances. There was an incident that took place last Monday afternoon on the way to Monday Night Football between Miami and New England.

The car ride down to the game was disturbing to say the least. Perhaps somewhere near the north end of Broward County, the topic of pornography entered the car. Gary was bringing up this guy he knew and referenced his collection of soft-core and hard-core pornography. I simply asked if he owned DVD's other than pornography. It wasn't meant to be a wiseass inquiry. Gary replies and the subject turns to my collection of adult material. I'll admit that I own a few videos. I won't lie about that. I seriously haven't watched them in a long while, but I make little efforts to hide them. They're in with my collection of boxing videos in the cabinet.

Here's where it got upsetting. In the car with my friend Eric, my Mom talks about how I "share" my pornography with her. There was a grain of truth to that, but mostly fabrication. I've known for a while that they have been taking my films and using them for recreation. The strong implication was that they were not being viewed simply to monitor my habits, but rather for some more sinister purpose. The bottom line was that the videos were being taken without my permission. I knew for a fact who the culprits were, as I found them in the other bedroom. And then comes the kicker. My Mom tells me that it's "completely heathy" and inquired if I had any more movies to share with her. Gary capped it off my suggesting that I rotate hands while engaging in self-gratification, if you catch my drift. To put it more bluntly, he was making a reference to MASTURBATION.

The whole incident was among the most bizarre and horrifying encounters of my life. I don't consider myself that private of a person. I don't try to hide that many things from anybody. Had the subject been brought up with the three of us, I may have been able to laugh. For about the next ten minutes, all I could do was smirk in the back seat. Since I was wearing my sunglasses, nobody could look straight into my eyes. They could only see the continued laughter that ensued for quite some time. IMO, there is a certain line that people should try not to cross. The whole subject of sex is something that is awkward between a parent and child. To discuss it in such a public and explicit manner was more than I could take.

Hoping the subject of pornography is not broached in the future. I think the whole incident was inapproritate. It's one thing to take my things without my permission. That doesn't really upset me. As long as they're returned, I'm surely not going to be the one to ask about it. However, there's no reason for it to be raised in a public conversation. I'm considering relinquishing all the vidoes and donating them to the pornographically underprivileged. I don't enjoy watching them anymore and certainly don't want them to fall into the wrong hands.

I doubt I'll ever publicly air this grievance outside the privacy of my Live Journal. Overall, I have very few gripes in regard to my close friends and family. I can't think of too many instances where they've disappointed me in the past year.

I hope everybody had a Happy Festivus! I could see this being a cathartic experience, especially in families where disputes take place regularly. It can't hurt to express your feelings and try to work through them as a family.



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