Because I Do

12 Jan

As much as I enjoy my own misanthropic tendencies, the growing realization that this questionable attribute has clearly been passed on to my offspring, leaves me with some misgivings.  Certainly I have not done him any favors.  The world smiles upon those who are apt to smile back; but for the rest of us curmudgeons?  Not so much.

While I am more of a private hater (prior to going public in The Disgruntler), and have spent my life compensating for my secret via outgoing antics and a passable degree of friendliness, my son seems less interested in such nonsense. His disdain is Out. True, at sixteen, he is probably at the nadir of his charm, with nowhere to go from here but up, personality-wise.  But it is impossible to ignore just how spot-on his highly judgmental yet hilarious descriptions of people can be: “basically a Burning Man sleazeball,” “your typical film school douchebag,” “generally dislikable sports-type meathead,” “hipster with stupid nerd glasses and an ugly sweater,” “self-righteous Noe Valley mom who only gives her kids herbs for medicine or some shit.”  That’s more than mere 16 year-old ennui talking; I think he’s in solid curmudgeon territory here.

So, as I said – misgivings.  It can be a fine line of difference between the neighborhood Cat Lady and, say, Aileen Wournos. On one side, there’s your healthy punk rock aversion to mob mentality/fashionable trends/shopping malls/mass-produced culture/suspiciously enthusiastic people/overattended events/etc. – that’s the sort of misanthrope I am – and then there’s the sociopath.  I really really REALLY hope I haven’t unwittingly created one of those.

Or are the real Bad Seeds something that just come out of the blue, an evolutionary luck of the draw sort of thing? You reach into the genetic grab bag and pull out – oh shit, it’s Richard Speck.  I’m just riffing here; in no way at all do I question my son’s sanity or grasp on reality.  He’s clearly paying attention to the details, that’s what makes his wit so razor sharp.  Though I’m sure just being a 16 year-old boy alone qualifies one as borderline sociopath; and since he won’t be sixteen forever, in theory, he’ll grow out of it.

And if not, well maybe it’s preferable to a generally dislikable sports-type meathead.


5 Responses to “Because I Do”

  1. bc January 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    I can’t judge how spot on his comments are, but he sounds like he’s gotten pretty good at stereotyping from superficial impressions. But yes, he’s 16 and I hope he grows out of it.

    • Jason Preater January 13, 2013 at 5:56 am #

      Oh I hope he doesn’t grow out of it: he’s a humorist as well as a curmudgeon!

      • the disgruntler January 13, 2013 at 9:08 am #

        My feeling as well. While most of it may sound sort of negative, we share in this type of banter at home in a gleeful, fun sort of way that makes it positive (for us, anyway), but we do keep it to ourselves. I just hope he doesn’t become proactive about his criticism and just turn into an old nasty crank. Curmudgeons I like, crank are just a drag.

  2. La Mama January 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    I know when my youngest son was that age, I kept wondering what Hitler’s mother was like, and whether she had any misgivings about her parenting skills.

    • the disgruntler January 13, 2013 at 8:28 am #

      HA! Yes well he does seem a bit more Stuart than Eric. But there’s definitely some Eric in there too!

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