Starting a new chapter in your life can be overwhelming by itself. However, when surrounded by loved ones, it’s not as overwhelming. Naturally, I was very thrilled when my dad and two of our closet family friends decided to help me move to Alamosa, Colorado. My dad invited another one of his best friends who I’ve only met maybe twice in my life. For this blog post, I will call him Dumbass McCreeperson. (Don’t ask me how I come up with these names. I am just very talented.) Uncle Dumbass loves Colorado and claims to know the state very well. He also loves long-distance night time driving, which allowed us to get from Dayton, Ohio to Alamosa, Colorado in a mere 22 hours. (Yeah, I am still recovering from that drive.) However, I quickly discovered that Uncle Dumbass lived up to his fictional name within the first 5 minutes of speaking with him.
Uncle Dumbass stated that he loves me like a daughter. That, and his friendship with my dad, are the reasons he’s helping me move. At this point, you should not be wondering why my post is called Friendships and Harassment. Look at what I named this guy. Buckle on up because this going to get hella creepy.
Political Views Aside.
By using terms like “liberal snowflake” to his love of guns, it didn’t take a genius to recognize Uncle Dumbass is a Trump supporter. His MAGA-ness consumed every part of his life. But, that’s not the reason I give him the name Dumbass McCreeperson. Uncle Dumbass has two daughters that make his heartbeat proudly. He wants the best for them and surely wants them to safe from all harm. But, his essence exudes old-school-masculinity which made me doubt his love for his daughters. This form of masculinity is very toxic as it exists to only cement the patriarchy. For example, Uncle Dumbass at one point said to my dad, “do you need some Vagisil, because you’re acting like a real pussy.” My dad told him to stop talking shit. Eventually, Uncle Dumbass assumed every female driver on the road was into him. This made no sense to me since: 1) they could not see him; 2) he’s terrible on the eyes; and, 3) every time he speaks, my brain wants to kill him. (Also, he’s married so why should he care about other women being into him.) However, out of respect for my dad (which I didn’t know I had until now), I stayed quiet.
Many of Uncle Dumbass’s misogynistic jokes and country songs about women showing men their boobs to prevent wars (yeah…) did get under my skin. But, I didn’t react. I kept my cool knowing that I would be in my new hometown soon. Also, it couldn’t get worse than this behavior, right? If I could deal with offensive humor in almost all the television shows that aired in the 1990s and early 2000s, then I could handle this.
Sucks for You, Nikki. It Gets Worse!
Uncle Dumbass treated my move as a guys’ trip. From drinking beer all day to making fun of me wearing a mask while shopping because of COVID, Uncle Dumbass acted like the “white man” in-charge of this tiny Indian woman’s move.
“You need to get patio furniture now, so we can assemble it for you,” he said.
“No,” I replied, “I’ll get it later. It’s not a priority right now.”
“Well, how are you going to assemble it?” he asked.
“I have a brain, the ability to read, and two hands…I think I can figure it out.” Uncle Dumbass looked dumbfounded when I said this. However, that didn’t stop him from treating me differently. He continuously lectured me on how to make friends, how to act at work, and when I was allowed to leave my house. It got to the point where my family friends, also men, started defending me. They told Uncle Dumbass that I was the strongest, smartest woman they’ve ever met. (This melted my heart.) However, Uncle Dumbass replied that I was acting like a diva. Before my dad could say anything, I simply replied, “Diva is the female version of a hustler, so thank you.”
“She’ll be fine here,” my dad proudly said to Uncle Dumbass.
Don’t Love Your Daughter Like That.
After our first day of unloading and unpacking, we all decided to go out for dinner.
“Daddy,” I said, “I’ll go put makeup on for the first time in a month!”
“Whatever makes you happy little one,” dad replied.
“Yeah,” Uncle Dumbass said, “go make yourself look like a sexy bitch!” My dad looked like he was going to punch Uncle Dumbass so hard that his face would fall off.
“You cannot say that to your best friend’s daughter!” I exclaimed before any violence ensued. Uncle Dumbass didn’t seem to understand why he couldn’t say that as he tried to defend himself. As he went through some bullshit explanation, I stormed off to get ready. What my dad said to him after I left will remain a mystery.
So, the night did get worse. Uncle Dumbass mildly sexually harassed our poor waitress. My dad again told him to stop talking shit, but that didn’t stop Uncle Dumbass from running his stupid mouth. Uncle Dumbass was convinced that the waitress loved his comments and we would be her favorite table. Although she wore a mask, I sensed her uncomfortableness that took over her entire body. I went up to her later and apologized.
After dinner, Uncle Dumbass talked about how he wanted more kids but his wife couldn’t have any more children. (Dear Hindu gods, please don’t let this man reproduce anymore.) My dad suggested a surrogate to carry his children, but Uncle Dumbass wanted to place his D in a “fresh uterus.” (What the fuck is a fresh uterus? A virgin’s uterus? A vagina with no bush? Vagina you have not entered? Just say you want to fuck someone else!) However, my dad lost patience the following morning. My dad made everyone coffee and Uncle Dumbass drank from one of my law school coffee mugs which had a lipstick stain on it. When Uncle Dumbass saw it, he pointed out to my dad. My dad offered to give him a new cup, but Uncle Dumbass refused.
“That’s okay,” Uncle Dumbass said, “but, it’s a little weird drinking from this mug because it’s like I’m making out with your daughter.” My whole body became uncomfortable. However, my dad was silent. Instead of jointly beating the shit out of this motherfucker, my dad and I went for a walk. As we walked, I debated whether to say something about Uncle Dumbass’s behavior but my dad beat me to the punch. My dad went out about how sick Uncle Dumbass had become and how he won’t let this man near me ever again. After our walk, the men went to Colorado Springs for some hiking and appliance shopping. On their way back, my dad called me to let me know he left Uncle Dumbass in Colorado Springs. And, that was the last I saw of Uncle Dumbass. But, hey, at least that man loves me like a daughter…
My dad later vented to me about Uncle Dumbass’s behavior. He claimed that man was out of his inner circle. As my dad vented, I saw a man confused by an educated-father-of-two-daughters’ behavior. Also, how could a man who claimed to love me like a daughter harass me in such ways? I told my dad that Uncle Dumbass’s day-drunk vibes and misogyny are a cry for help, but Uncle Dumbass will never see it as such. That’s what makes him dangerous.
When someone you a call friend border-line sexually harasses your daughter, that friendship immediately ends. Not only did my dad endure the pain of watching his youngest move across the country, but he also lost a friend that trip.
Did I need the harassment on top of an overwhelming move? No. Do I think Dumbass McCreeperson found his behavior perfectly acceptable? Yes. Do I think that behavior is limited to the Baby Boomer generation? No. Will some men be reading this defending Dumbass McCreeperson’s behavior? Yes. Have I given up hope that we change this behavior? Fuck, no.
I share these moments in hopes that people will reflect on the humor, behavior, and overall attitude around them. Although I didn’t get angry at the moment or show my offended behavior, Uncle Dumbass hurt me. But, here is what hurts the most: he only treated me like that because he could. We let people act this way; we let them treat women, people of color, and LGBTQI+ community in offensive ways. It takes a lot of work to look past someone’s gender, race, and sexuality. However, it’s even harder to get rid of centuries of horrible treatment based on false stereotypes.
All I can say for now is this: I hope Uncle Dumbass’s daughters never go through what I went through.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more nonsense that 2020 will bring.