Things My Grandfather Said
On my daughter:
She's smarter than you. She will be running the world someday, even though she's a girl. Some girls are smarter than boys. It can happen. Just another reason for you not to vote for Hillary. So your daughter can be the first lady president. Hell, she might even be smarter than me. We'll see how she does in Calculus.
I always knew exactly what I wanted. When I was 12, I knew exactly what my life plan was. It was laid out for me like a road--a road I made carefully and thoughtfully. And everybody else either came along for the ride or got out of my way.
I don't believe in God. I believe in myself. God is for people who need something more than just themselves. God is for lonely people. Science is my god, and I go to the Church of Responsibility and Self Reliance. A preacher bought the house next to me, He's some kinda televangelist. All those people giving him their money and faith because they think he talks to God for them, and he bought himself a million dollar boat that doesn't even have a name yet. If I could walk better, I'd sneak out one night and christen it The Holy Shit. I think I have a can of spray paint in the garage.
I knew the moment I saw her that we would get married and have children, and she knew it too. We were kids ourselves, but we knew. We didn't have the luxury of staring up our own assholes like your generation. She was the love of my life. You always thought I bossed her around, and you always made it into some big feminist issue. But she was happy. We had the best life you could imagine. I miss her every day. You know, you could stand to be bossed around a little more by your husband. Maybe you'd be happier.
Your generation is too soft. You're going to raise a bunch of pansies and flower pickers. Now, I don't believe in hitting a child. Hitting a child is like hitting a woman--it's for cowards. A man can raise his voice and use psychological techniques to scare the piss out of a kid or a woman as needed. Maybe make a child pick his own switch every now and again. A real man can leave his fists in his pockets and still achieve the desired effect.
On getting laid off
So what is this bullshit about finding yourself? You got laid off and you've been sitting in your ass thinking about the world? Why don't you think about the electric bill? Do work you love and the money will follow. Why are you taking a client you don't like? What are you, a prostitute? Of course, you'd be better off if you had any skill at math or science. I had a glimmer of hope for you when I taught you to use the slide rule so young and you took right to it, but it didn't pan out.
On what my mother should do with her life
She should write books. She'd have a lot of good stories to tell. Of course, I don't read books written by women.
This is as good as it gets. Whatever you have right now, that's it. Otherwise you're just staring up the wrong asshole.
You are a work of wonder and beauty. I love you, doll.
I live in Richmond with my husband and two kids. I write daily professionally and not often enough for myself. I run a small communications consulting company that specializes in content and thought leadership: www.thrivecomm.com.
Sarah has taken classes with Valley.