Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I'm not usually a person to judge people quickly or to slap a label on them, but I'll write a little about one of the people I have.
A few years ago my son graduated from the D.A.R.E. program in sixth grade. That's where the school brings in a police officer to teach the kids to stay off drugs. At that ceremony the guest speaker was a former police officer and current bank president, the person I'll refer to as Mr. Asshole, or Mr. A. He earned that distinction from me for something he'd done not long before that.

My mother-in-law married a man shortly after my wife and I got married. The man she married, 'J' was basically a good-hearted person, but had many shortcomings. His daughter had married Mr A a few years before, but they rarely visited J because he was an embarrassment to them, being handicapped and on government aid, and married to my wife's mother, whose sons were in jail. As the years went by, Mr. A and his wife grew richer and moved into one of the historic mansions in town, while J's health diminished to the point where he eventually lost both his legs to diabetes, along with the use of one arm. Also, my MIL and he had gotten divorced, but both moved into the same duplex, she on the top floor and he on the bottom. It was a convenient arrangement, since they still depended on each other- she would fix him dinner and help him bathe and so forth and he would give her money when she needed it and keep her company. When we went there for the holidays we always went to both places, since J was fond of our kids and always got them gifts. The whole situation worked out better than it had when they were married. During this time Mr. A's wife, J's daughter, only came to see him a few times-usually to ask for money- and never invited him to their mansion. When J went into the hospital for liver failure it was obvious he wouldn't be coming home again. Shortly after his daughter found out how bad he was, Mr. A, the rich bank president, used his influence to get J declared incompetent and had his wife appointed as his trustee. This was done without any type of hearing, which is required by law, and with J still in full control of his senses. Immediately, Mr. A and his wife and her brother backed a U-Haul up to J's front door and loaded all his possessions up to be divided among them. He had a piano that he was so proud of, having been quite a musician in his younger days. The last thing J knew before he died was that his piano and all his worldly possessions were being taken from him without so much as a word from his daughter, thanks in large part to the greed of Mr. A.

So skip ahead now to the awards ceremony where Mr. A is the guest speaker. He was talking about a class that he had when he was a DARE instructor and a student in that class. Meaning to paint her as an obvious deviant, he described her as fat with wrinkled clothes and thick glasses. As if everyone would immediately recognize anyone with thick glasses as being the criminal type, and as if he had any business judging other people. This was in a Catholic school where kids are supposed to be taught tolerance of everyone. Maybe it was because I knew his part in his father-in-law's dying hours, but that statement infuriated me and only deepened my dislike of him.

Mr. A is still a big shot bank president, involved in the church (the same one I attend), and influential in the happenings of the town. I often wonder what people would think if his family affairs were brought to light. It probably wouldn't make a difference, people choose to see what they want to see in people. When I see him I see a greedy, self-centered asshole, and there's not much that would change my opinion of him. I might go to hell for thinking like that, but so be it.


Blogger Laura said...

Mr. A sounds like a terrible human being. I can't believe he did that to that poor disabled man.

11:28 PM  
Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Dear Tim,

If you're going to hell, I'm guessing I'll be there also! Mr. A sounds about par for the course, one face in public, the other in private to his relatives and what a jerk to single out a student! I knew teachers like that who used to make fun of my legally blind friend Hank and think nothing of it. Like being blind was a character defect. Good post, full of passion and energy!

10:04 AM  

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