Regular readers and associated hangers on will know that I read quite a lot. This means that I have somewhere in the region of three hundred books which means that space is limited. For a couple of weeks now I’ve been pondering the possibility that I could put up a shelf along the top of the window because that would give me room for another years worth of books, maybe, and avoid the need for a bookcase. I can’t really have a bookcase because I don’t really have the room and if we get visitors it’ll need to be moved, which makes it a little impractical. Even at the moment shifting everything around to get extra beds in my room is a logistical nightmare, having to shift around a bookcase laden with books is only going to add to this.
So I was casually enquiring of the practicality of possibility of putting a shelf up with mum when dad overhears, which is never helply. Immediately dad suggests a bookcase, I point out that I have no room for a bookcase and it would cause future logistical nightmares hence I want a shelf. I point out that the need isn’t immediate, really I’m just asking if it’s technically possible to put the shelf where I’m thinking of placing it because I’m not sure what the wall is made of, so there are issues about attaching brackets to it, etc.
The conversation ends and I go about my business, trying to get my washing done, do the reading that I need to do and then suddenly the phone rings. It’s dad. Dad has just run down to the charity shop and, yes, you guessed it, bought a fucking book case and needs me and my brother to carry the thing back. I, understandably I feel, am not happy. I thought I’d quite clearly stated that I have no room for a bookcase and do not want a bookcase. I thought I’d used plain, simple, easy to understand English. So I reply that I do not have room for a bookcase and I do not want or even, at this stage, need, a bookcase. It is a superfluous, unwanted thing. The voice of reason did not prevail.
Twenty minutes later I’m standing in my room looking at this bloody thing and not very slightly annoyed. I state that I have no idea where to put it to which my brother responds that it can go by my bed. I point out that, no, it can’t, because when visitors come oddly enough, that’s where the other bed goes and I’m not sticking the superfluous bookcase somewhere where it’ll need to be moved from on a regular basis; that’s fucking lunacy. My brother at this point reiterated his usual point that I am, in his opinion, fat. If you’re frowning at the screen wondering what that had to do with anything, you’re pretty much where I was.
Not surprisingly I snapped. For years I have ignored it, but at that moment in time, I decided I’d had enough so I had it out with him and he seems to think that I need to be called fat incessantly, to stop me getting fat. In fact he thinks that he needs to generally insult me on a constant basis, for my own good. I pointed out that he should mind his own fucking business and that he knows full well that this dubious attempt at support is bullshit because all it does is piss me off and he agreed but said he would continue anyway. I then pointed out that the technical definition for someone who does this is a cunt. He agreed.
Then and there I wondered why I was bothering with this argument and found that, actually, I couldn’t be arsed with it, so I told him to get the fuck out. Which he didn’t do. Instead he regaled me with his opinion that I was behaving like a four year old and being puerile which I found oddly ironic for the person who goes around poking people and calling them a fat hipster, not because they’re a fat hipster, but because this pisses them off thus stopping them becoming fat hipsters. Or something.
He has this line of argumentation which says that if you react to him being a cunt then you’re being overly emotional and childish and the proof of this is that you’re being emotional because he’s wound you up. It’s the kind of argumentation style that reminds me of being four years old, oddly enough. Not to mention the age old excuse of the bully “I’m just toughening him up, it’s for his own good”.
So I lost patience with this situation which is rather uncharacteristic of me, in fact losing my temper is pretty unusual for me, and I did what I thought sensible: I fucked off to the local coffee shop and got on with my reading.
I’m kind of at the stage now where I feel that he has now got the rise out of me that he’s wanted for however long, well done to him, but that’s it. No more. I feel like “yeah, okay, you beat me, kudos to you.” But I realise now that he’s basically trying to get a rise out of me, it’s not enough for him to be nasty, he wants me to react to it. So next time he starts up I’ll just smile at him and say “I know you’re trying to get a rise out of me and, kudos, you’ve done it once but never again”.
The other thing was that afterwards he wanted me to talk to him because, “I am your brother after all”. I kind of feel like “So, you have a biological connection to me………..and what? That makes up for you being a cunt?”. It’s not like we really know each other or have much in common, we just happen to have the same father. I don’t see that that gives special privileges or automatically creates a relationship. Not to be funny but I always thought that a relationship is based on mutual understanding and support, not you know, random cosmological chance or slinging abuse, no matter how well intentioned.
I think this is something that my brother and father don’t really get: If you hurl abuse at me I don’t think “I must prove these people wrong” I actually think, “Yeah……you’re a cunt. I don’t listen to cunts, I have no use for cunts in my life, you are of no value to me and I shall ignore you”. They on the other hand see it as a way of encouraging me or motivating me, which in my eyes makes them morons because only a moron thinks that abuse equals encouragement. It’s the low to zero social skills option. If a person walked into a shop and yelled “Give me xyz you fat bastard” at the staff, it’s not going to motivate them to do anything but kick that person out. It’s pretty moronic not to know this, so it’s equally moronic to think that you can turn around to a family member and do the same and expect different results.
That kind of thing just totally devalues a person in my eyes and once a person has devalued themselves like that I literally stop talking to them and won’t even look at them. I literally consider it beneath my dignity to interact with them. How am I supposed to respect a person who has reached middle age without acquiring the basics of etiquette? What good is it to me to bother with them? Why would I willingly put myself in a position where I will be abused?