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Family Deserts 31/33

Family Deserts 31/33 published on 23 Comments on Family Deserts 31/33

Nobody’s called this out yet, so before the storyline ends, I just wanted to mention…gloriosa is toxic and invasive; oleander is toxic and invasive.

Tansy: Evening Hyacinth. Ready for a big list of rules?

Hyacinth: Hi, Mom. What if I just say I’m not going to answer?

Tansy: We still want you to know. In case you change your mind, but don’t announce that to your parents before you try it. . . . It’s like the sex talk that way.

Hyacinth: Mo-om! . . . but okay, fine, go ahead.

Tansy: This is your formal list of Things They Are Not Allowed To Know:

♦ Non-Facetbook contact info (usernames, callsigns, etc) for anyone in the family
♦ Names/addresses of schools, workplaces, or just places we’re visiting
♦ Anybody’s schedules. “I’m not available” is all they ever need
♦ Anything about your dad beyond “he’s fine.” If he wanted them to know, he’d tell them himself

And this is a more general “things I wish I’d been warned about before I met them”:

♦ Get as much on the record as possible — if they claim something that doesn’t match your memories, it helps to have notes you can check
♦ Be cautious about revealing any personal or vulnerable information
♦ If you say No, it means No, whether they understand the reason or not
♦ Don’t agree to give other people messages from them — they have to say it themselves, not use you
♦ Don’t buy it when they claim that an action they don’t like (from you or anyone else) can only be explained by Secret Horrible Motives
♦ If they make you feel confused or concerned in any way, no need to stress over it alone — you are allowed to bring it to your parents
♦ You are allowed to trust your gut
♦ You are allowed to block them if they don’t respect your boundaries
♦ You are allowed to block them for any reason, no justification needed

Hyacinth: Uh . . . wow. That’s a ton of stuff to remember.

Tansy: Well, in the spirit of “getting things on the record” . . . we wrote it all down.

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Jesus Christ, it would be simpler just to kick the shit out of them.

Dude. Stop with the violent commentary. It’s really getting to be a bit much.

Then what are they supposed to do? These two will hound this family to the ends of the Earth apparently. They don’t care about other people, Larch and Tansy won’t take legal action, and the second these two find a chink in the armor through Hyacinth they’ll exploit for all she’s worth. What’s left but to make it so painful to continue this course of action that these two jagoffs realize they’ll lose more than they gain?

They’re fictional characters and we, the people reading this comic, are real people. Real people reading the comic are expressing that your violent hostility is stressful to read and requesting that you stop.

Ahhhhhhh. Got it.

I know you got it. I just want to call out that many people are under a lot more stress than usual and for many of us, I suspect that thinking about physical violence is a stressor, rather than the stress relief I surmise it might be for you.

Content warning for the rest of comment: disease.

On another note. If you’re deployed somewhere pandemic related (current or future) I hope to God you’re issued enough protective gear.

While acknowledging that you doubtless cannot comment on that, I’m still prepared to nonviolently kick arse if that’s the case.

Well, for one thing, if you use physical violence against them, they get to take legal action, put you in jail for assault, argue that this is clearly an unsafe environment for the children, and make a serious bid for full custody.

For another…since they’re fictional characters, they can’t see your comments. They’re not going to eventually be intimidated through the fourth wall if you say enough violent things about them. All you’re doing is reiterating your feelings to the people who read the comments section, and, c’mon, we heard you the first time.

Finally, Larch and Tansy keep an active, systematic archive of recordings of all their interactions with these people…which they’re immediately prepared to use again, even after a ten-year gap…and you don’t think they’re prepared to take legal action? They are armored to take legal action.

I’m rooting for the following scenario, which is at least 100 to 1 against (1):
Hyacinth contacts her grandparents, they get to know each other, and the grandparents gradually learn a bit of empathy.

(1) I don’t gamble so have no instinct for setting odds. I’m sure most of you would tell me it was more like a googolplex to 1 against.

Judging by how sucky they are the odds would be more like one in two hundred trillion (same as winning the lottery consecutively)

It’s incredibly hard to work out reasonable statistical chances on things when ones emotions are involved. As someone else on the autistic spectrum with parents who grew up knowing none of this shit, I recognize how frustrating it is to get parents to listen to things they don’t want to.

At 48 years old, I’ve somehow not yet given up on my father. My mother had enough mental issues going on, it was clear she was a lost cause long before she died. (What is the value of a hard-won breakthrough if it’s forgotten 10 seconds later? I actually had a few of those, and realized it just wasn’t going to work. There had been other hard-won breakthroughs that had lasted for minutes, but it was the ones that only lasted seconds that made me realize it just wasn’t happening.)

To be fair, I had thought I’d given up hope for him. But I still kept trying to explain things to him whenever he’d call. There have been a few hard-won breakthroughs on political matters that were forgotten after the night’s entertainment. (Fox News has its clutches in him, and I’ve no clue how I can convince him that’s a major issue.)

Lately, though, … Over the past 6 months, I’ve had quite a few phone calls with him during which he didn’t cross any of my boundaries, didn’t make statements suggesting the people I live with are less than human or don’t exist, In the past month, he actually admitted at one point that he may have been wrong about something fairly major.

This doesn’t give me any real clue about the actual odds, other than to say that the hyperbolic statistics that you gave are as much completely wrong as most hyperbolic stuff is. I feel like Ada K’s number is probably more accurate.

I also feel the need to point out that there isn’t just one “the lottery”, so it’s not possible to compute the exact odds of winning all “the lottery” twice in a row.

There are, in fact, some lotteries where it’s impossible to win twice ever (because past winners are excluded by some mechanism), and other lotteries (like the one used to determine who gets the department’s baseball season tickets each game) where the odds are actually quite favorable for one of the people who has any chance at all.

(Well, at least, relative to other lotteries. The chance of winning a 1/40 lottery twice is, for example, 1/1600, and the only way that’s considered favorable is relatively. Though, to be fair, within the past decade, somebody did manage to win the lottery twice in a row, with a 1/1 odds of doing so, because the season ticket was for the Red Sox, and that was the year before their comeback, so there was only one person who wanted them.)

And, yeah, I do feel a sense somewhat akin to irony over making this response to someone with your handle.

Good news! The site is now saving my theme preference! It takes a few seconds before switching from Blue Castle, but it’s better than nothing.

Oh my, how did I not notice that naming theme until now?! I mean, I obviously recognized that some of the names “happened” to fit with that theme, but I didn’t really critically assess it at anything more than a few characters here and there.

That seems pretty amazing to me right now.

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