They F*** You Up

Granta, issue 37Yesterday, while my husband and I were making dinner, he casually started opening the mail. He saw an express letter from his sister and he opened it.  In it was a little card that contained one of those laminated bookmarks that Catholic folks make for the funeral when someone dies.  That’s how my husband found out his father had died a week before.  People suck.

It’s true my husband and his family were estranged but there is no excuse for his sister’s mean behavior.  It turns out the father had been ill since January.  In the card, my husband’s sister wrote that she had tried to call us.  We’re busy people and we don’t have an answering machine on our home phone but it seems like she didn’t make a big effort to contact us.  I am heartbroken at the pain and suffering my husband will have to go through.

The image above is the cover of one of my favorite issues of Granta, issue 37. The title comes from a Larkin poem (asterisks used to protect those who are offended by swear words):

They f*** you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were f***ed up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

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