It's difficult standing out in the rain of reason and righteousness. Providing opportunities for the morally week to step up to the plate and speak their collective piece is something I waste a lot of time on. Usually, it's at the end of a relationship where they are lingering simply to get that last ounce of pus from my soul. Here's one appeal for forthrightness I sent today that I wager will be answered with waffling and pretend hand-wringing:
I'm inclined to assume that you're pretty busy with work and life and general, so I have to apologize for imposing myself on you, or, at least, that's the feeling I'm getting. Please keep in mind that 40 years of propaganda from Dad, and a little from Mom, too, plus the sort of on-again, off-again, near-miss relationship we've had over the course of my life does leave me a little wobbly in knowing how to approach you. Actually, and I think you might consider this silly, I thought that after Mom died, I'd likely never hear from you again but that it would be subtle. Instead of saying outright and honestly that you'd rather not, you simply wouldn't, and that would be that.
On the other hand, that may just be me reading into stuff too much, thinking too much and doing the scenario building I do so well. Perhaps I expect too much or rely too much on the stereotype I carry of you in my head. Regardless, two plus two does indeed equal four and I think it's right for me to ask where we stand. In other words, if you'd prefer not to have the assumed obligation of a relationship, then I'd want you to say so, outright. I'd rather not feel foolish or wronged and that should be, I would think, within your standards to help mitigate.
We'll see. I'll publish the reply, redacted, of course, so that you, my long-suffering reader, can enjoy the proof of my intuition. By the way, believe me when I tell you that this is not at all harsh. This is a result of 25 years of trying and, I'm guessing, not being told the entire truth. Sorry, but I assume that family should behave to protect and nurture the family members. Guess I was wrong on that, too. Stoopid me.
In fact, the answer I expect will be a variant of this:
Fredo, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the hotels, I don't want you near my house. When you see our mother, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there. You understand?
- Michael Corleone, The Godfather, Part II (1974)