When parents are embarrassing

July 9, 2012 20:52:34 Posted at July 9, 2012 20:52:34
Lainey Posted by Lainey
Photos:
AFP/Getty

Many of you are young parents. Do you ever worry about this? Because we can all safely say that we’ve been embarrassed by our parents, right? When will it be your turn to embarrass your kids? What will you do? Will you write to a newspaper to say that you think gay people should be denied the right to marry and women the right to make decisions about their own bodies?

This is what happened to Brad Pitt last week. His mother, Jane Pitt, sent the following letter to the Springfield, Missouri News-Leader:  

I have given much thought to Richard Stoecker’s letter (“Vote for Mormon against beliefs,” June 15). I am also a Christian and differ with the Mormon religion.

But I think any Christian should spend much time in prayer before refusing to vote for a family man with high morals, business experience, who is against abortion, and shares Christian conviction concerning homosexuality just because he is a Mormon.

Any Christian who does not vote or writes in a name is casting a vote for Romney’s opponent, Barack Hussein Obama — a man who sat in Jeremiah Wright’s church for years, did not hold a public ceremony to mark the National Day of Prayer, and is a liberal who supports the killing of unborn babies and same-sex marriage.

I hope all Christians give their vote prayerful consideration because voting is a sacred privilege and a serious responsibility.

As most outlets have pointed out, Brad Pitt has made very clear his views on marriage equality. Clearly he and his mother disagree. Clearly she’s ok with disagreeing with him in public. Just like my mother disagrees with me about how much to tip. This is always a fight. Because my parents, they are cheap, especially at Chinese restaurants. What is it about parents that when you’re the one treating, they still have to weigh in on how much you should pay? And my ma, the Chinese Squawking Chicken, isn’t exactly low volumed. “Why so much? Too much! Just $5!” On a $70 dinner, ma? Come on. “That’s it! No more!” And then she starts reaching for the change. I now have to tip in stealth after she gets up from the table. When she starts walking away I’ll sneak in some more cash, like appreciating someone’s work is a secret I have to be ashamed of. Needless to say, in addition to be being a tight-ass, she’s also extremely ignorant.

And it’s not like I haven’t tried. We have all tried. To educate them. To correct them. To beg them not to say such offensive, horrifying things. (Please, God, don’t let it happen in front of my friends might be a plea you are familiar with as well.) But change isn’t always possible. Sometimes all you can do is express your opposing views definitively and understand that while there is still love, always, there is also much, much, much disagreement. Which is pretty much what Brad’s brother Doug Pitt said on The Today Show this morning:

"Moms and dads and kids agree to disagree all over the world, so why would our family be any different? There can be healthy discussion when people disagree with you, and I think there should be. The bad thing is when it turns into venom and negativity and we don't have that in our family. It's open discussion, we can learn from each other ... maybe you learn something."

Obviously Doug Pitt’s been through media training. Video is below if you care.

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Their mouths are exactly the same right?

I guess the point here is that the Pitts disagree but that they still love and respect each other a lot. Brad has previously, publicly, referred to his upbringing as “stifling” and in an interview last year, he explained that:

"I got brought up being told things were God's way, and when things didn't work out it was called God's plan. I've got my issues with it. Don't get me started. I found it very stifling."

Let’s assume then that Mrs Pitt and Brad Pitt understand each other.  Great. But ... how does that work with the kids? Jane Pitt now has 9 grandchildren. We’ve seen her spending good time with the Brange ones. Is she allowed to share her views with them? Has she ever tried forcing Shiloh to wear pink? Was she one of the idiots who thought that Brad and Angelina were encouraging Shiloh to have a sex change because she likes to wear her hair short and with pants?

Mrs Pitt has her opinions. She is entitled to her opinion. And you are entitled to yours if you think her opinion is dumb.

But I’m not sure the specific wording of “Barack HUSSEIN Obama” is an opinion, especially when Romney is not referred to as “Willard Mitt Romney”. Thanks Mrs Pitt for highlighting which Barack Obama you were writing about. Otherwise we would have had him confused with all the other Barack Obamas running around. Since there are so many of them.

What’s the point in pointing out Barack Obama’s Hussein-ness? Can you make that point and still embrace the grandchildren that you have? ALL of them???

PS. Angelina’s leg still cracks me up.