The Shunning

One of my mother’s side’s cousins has a young daughter just scant years younger than my own children. This woman, whom I’ve known and been close to for most of my life, will not return emails, calls, or texts since President Trump’s election. Another cousin on the same side passed away last year. We weren’t close-close, but we talked from time to time… he and his wife loved-loved-loved the pictures of my kids that I would send and each time we talked he’d ask about them: how are they, what are they doing, do they like school, what subjects do they like, and so on.

I know, in talking to his son, that there was to be a memorial this past summer/fall – and he assured me that I would be invited. Haven’t heard a peep. In fact, I never hear from him unless I proactively reach out, and the emails or conversations always seem strained and artificial. I don’t hear from his sister at all despite multiple attempts to email over the last year-plus. Another maternal-side cousin had a child a couple of years ago; not even a “thank you” for my congratulations or any reply to my occasional attempt to communicate including asking where I could send a gift. Her brother, who is looking for work, is curt and spurns my attempts to help him network.


Same thing in my family, although it works both ways.
We moved here 3 years ago come April and I’ve yet to get a single letter, email or phone call from anybody in my family including my nieces and nephew, who my parents raised after my sister was killed back in ’97. They are firmly entrenched in their California Snowflakeness.
I was in contact with my nephew through FB messenger for a few months until he posted a video, then him and his buddies started talking shit about the ‘dumb fucking rednecks’ in it. The next day he shot me a message saying he was going to South Carolina to visit a friend and was thinking about swinging by here to visit. I told him not to bother, this place is fucking loaded with the dumb fucking rednecks he despised so much, then I unfriended him. Fuck that guy – from what I saw on his FB page he’s flirting with antifa anyways.
It oughta be real interesting when my mother dies and I drive back for her funeral.

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10 Responses to The Shunning

  1. churchladyiowa says:

    To David and Wirecutter: sadly, you aren’t alone by any means. My sister’s only child is mid 50’s and had a traditional, conservative upbringing. Parochial school, attended church and sang in choir with her mom. After my sister’s death, she stayed on the normal train for about 15 years. Then, she started forsaking church on Sundays for Renaissance re-enactments. We still talked though, and kept in touch via email. When our Marine son was in Iraq I sent her an email article and she went ballistic. Called me out for everything the US military did from WWII onward. (This was based, IMO, on her 8 years in the Air Force and not getting her re-enlistment approved because of weight gain)

    Fast forward to a couple years ago. Her favorite aunt was dying and I called with updates for her. Things seemed okay as long as I didn’t bring up anything remotely political. When her dad died a few years later, again we talked. And I asked her to please box up and return a lot of the vintage books and postcards I’d sent him as gifts (knowing her, she would have tossed them). Got the books along with some of my sister’s jewelry. I called her and thanked her. Ever since then, all calls go to her answering machine and are not returned.

    Oh, and when I google her, every liberal cause on the face of the planet come up. Apparently she donates to many of them. Childless by choice, at least there’s that.

  2. bobdog says:

    As somebody once said, you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your family.

    I’ve got an older sister like that. Long story, but the last time we talked, she invited me to a family reunion backyard barbecue “burying the hatchet”. I told her sometimes you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. That was 15 years ago.

    Be pragmatic. Think of all the time and money you save every year.

  3. Buzz D. says:

    I can dig it, Ken. I am mostly persona non grata in most of my and my wife’s family. Like you say, “fuck ’em”. Most of them are so fucking liberal that I cannot or do not want to talk to them. Living in Minnesota sure has it drawbacks. I do not feel sorry for myself, I feel empowered to know what is RIGHT.

  4. Will says:

    Still planning on exiting Commiefornia soon. Headed to AZ in a couple of weeks to check out properties. Targeting a small town of about 5,000 at around 2200 ft of elevation.

  5. CC says:

    They’re just like religious fanatics when it comes to those they disagree with.
    How ironic is that?

  6. Sedition says:

    They say that you can’t pick your family. I disrespectfully say ” Bull-fuckin’-shit.” I’ve “unfamilyed” most of mine with not a single fuck given.

  7. H1 says:

    Same, same but my it is my brother. I suspect I am a target of opportunity as he lives in a very rural part of the North Country. Mostly folks trying to get by best they can without too much government interference.
    What ever.
    It’s his challenge not mine.
    I miss his family…

  8. warhorse says:

    I have an aunt who lives in Missouri somewhere. married to the mayor of the town she lives least, that’s the story I’ve heard. she comes back east to go to a beach in maine for a week every summer. everyone in the family knows but us. we hear about it secondhand after they leave.

    we’re not even sure what we did. if they’d at least tell us we’re assholes and here’s why, ok, I can get that…I’ve been an asshole to people before and not known it. when I’m called out I usually apologize and life moves on.

    whatever. no big loss.

  9. mtnforge says:

    Got the same shunning when my wife and I moved to WV from NH in 2007. Lived my entire life in NH. My wife from 1986 to 2007.
    Amazing the bigotry directed towards us. You could walk on it so thick. I’m an orphan, no family, but my wife family but her daughter and youngest boy shunned her completely. After 47 years of a life up there not a single acquaintance or friend would have anything to do with me after we moved.
    It really goes to show you don’t know people, or their true nature.

    Funny thing, I have so many friends here in WV it is an embarrassment of riches. Friends for life kind of people, you are adopted into the clan, and become part of a tribe. Seriously, a tribe of people. We moved to about the least populated spot east of the Mississippi you can find. We all together know everyone else in half the county and vice versa.
    NH is this strange distant memory now. We have never returned.
    Sounds weird to say that, rarely think about it though. It is very peaceful here, there is serenity, time is slower. It may be weeks or more than a month either of us leave this ridge and go down into the world below.
    We either grow, raise, barter, or hunt for about half our food. My wife made me retire two years ago. Its a serene peaceful life I would never have attained up north. Too much hating, and meddling in your affairs, from others. Here people have courtesy and respect I never seen much of back north. It is very much more economical to live here too. A certain culture of economy and frugality is predominate. More connection with the land and its resources. And I grew up in the north country of the White Mountains, very rural.
    It is those damn Yankee’s.

    Sometimes, I think if there is another war of secession, I will be glad and honored to fight for The South. It is worth fighting for. Its sad those folks we knew do not see it that way. But nobody is twisting their arm either.

    When I read back you was moving Kenny I was very happy for you. I figured you would come across similar circumstances and other things. I’m glad you found a home you are happy at.
    After 10 or so years you will start to lose memory of many things back in Ca. They won’t matter to what you have now.

    My good friend and neighbor, he raises about 80 head of beef. Lives on a legacy farm, passed down generations. We share property fence line, and help each other with many things. It is a great thing. Last year he offered me a spot on his family grave yard next to his grave up on the highest spot of his pastures. You can see west across the WV mountains till the horizon. Don’t find many friends like that.

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