Savvy Sunday Salutations’ to Rance Denton
What a glorious day to welcome Rance Denton to the Savvy Salutations’ guest post slot. I met Rance through Rachael Harrie’ Third Writer’ Platform-Building Campaign and I am sooo glad to have had the pleasure in knowing him -his unique and witty take on all things around us always makes me smile and the stories he conjures up are delights to read. I’ve also been fortunate to write a guest post on his blog; which is why it’s extra special to be able to feature him here on yikici. When you have a moment, please pop by to his blog and have a nosey around -you’ll see what I mean; in the meantime, I’ll leave the spotlight to Rance and his humorous rant on family relations:
Warning: This article contains some strong language.
The Cliché: Like Father Like Son
by Rance Denton
I had a conversation with my father the other day. He’s a grizzled old war veteran, just sliding down the hill on the other side of 80. He’s ultra-conservative, highly obnoxious, and realizes that he’s both of these every second of the day. I suppose when you’ve lived through Korea and Vietnam (“Two long hot wars and one long Cold War,” he often jokes) you don’t really give two shits about what the world thinks about you. Fancy that. Sonofab*tch as he may be to people, I have to wonder if there’s a brilliance behind his cold, stubborn, and f*ck-you exterior, and maybe a little something that I can learn from in the process.
People walk by my father, with his loudness and his brutal honesty, and they stare at him like there’s something wrong. If we’re in a store and a mother lets her son or daughter trample around without keeping an eye on them, he won’t hesitate to say something like, “If you were my kid, I’d red your ass with the back of my hand.” The mother becomes defensive. He tells her to keep her brat under control. I look away, laughing, but equally embarrassed. I agree with his sentiment but don’t exactly have the balls, I think, to have said the same thing.
Then I get from him, inevitably, “You can’t act like such a p*ssy, Rance. People are going to walk all over you.”
It’s not that he says this without love – if there’s one thing my father can do unconditionally, it’s love – but instead, he says it with a certain amount of impatience. We come from different generations, after all. My father is of the Silent Generation, a man who collects gold and silver like it’ll be worth something, who values experience and frugality above all else. Me? I’m one of those lost-in-between-Generation-X-and-Y’ers, somebody who doesn’t really have enough time between now and the date of my birth to really come to some kind of identity. Yet, my social graces are vastly different than those of my father. When he acts up in public, I act low; when he says something he feels to someone, I’m often the one who hangs back just a moment or two to apologize to them.
Sometimes I’m left wondering if I actually am my father’s son; not that I don’t look like him (God, he looked like Frank Sinatra back in the day; why can’t I have gotten that?), or that I don’t sound like him (I hate it when I yell “Goddamnit” when I’m frustrated, because it might as well be him in the room), but that the way I compose myself is entirely different from him.
Of course, my mother always comes around and says, “You know you’re going to be just like your father when you get older.”
And Jesus, is she right.
The fact is, we all run from our parents. Some people run by choice, casting themselves off into the world sans parental control; others do so forcefully, finding their turbulent relationships with their parents irreconcilable. In most cases, we live our lives without problem alongside our parents, becoming adults in the world they’ve shaped for us. Even then, we run. We try to do everything differently from them; we try to shape ourselves in the moulds of their successes but outside the shadow of their flaws. We don’t want to do things the way they did them. We want to shape our own world. We want to act differently than they do. We want to stand for wholly disparate things.
I admit, I listen to the conversations around me. I eavesdrop when people are on the phone, especially when they’re talking with their parents. I listen – I don’t know, probably like some kind of freakish stalker – to the intonation in their voices, to the way their words lilt and tilt when they talk to their mothers or fathers. I listen for the hint of sought approbation mixed with the tiniest hint of ever-present love. I don’t always hear those things, of course. Not everybody loves their parents. Hell, not everybody even talks with their parents. I couldn’t imagine a life like that, but there are surely plenty of people out there who do.
Maybe your parents are long and gone. Maybe they’re somewhere else, but you haven’t spoken to them in years. Hell, maybe they rolled by your house like mine did today, waving a DVD copy of The Godfather and imposing themselves on your life for just a few hours at the most inopportune time. Regardless of where they are or what kind of impact they’ve had on your life, though, remember this: You are always, incontrovertibly, an imprint of them. You carry in you something of theirs, whether it be an advantage, a flaw, or any wild combination of these things. Maybe all you carry in you is the desire to be nothing like them. Perhaps you want to do everything you can to entirely be them. What’s most important, though, is that we discover these similarities sooner than later, so that we can best prepare ourselves – and the world – for who we’ll be when we grow older. Like those of our parents and our grandparents, our interests will one day become the socially abnormal. Our children’s wants and the desires of their children will set standards that will turn us into crotchety old men and insufferable old women. We will damn the loud music (no matter how loud we listen to it now) and we will shun the styles of the younger generations.
We will look at the younger world and shake our head. We will realize just how quickly our youth got away from us. And we’ll realize that the only thing that keeps us really going, I mean really going, is being able to show the young’uns what it means to raise hell, rebel, and raise a middle finger to the world again.
Even if it’s just over a handicapped parking spot.
(Copyright © Rance Denton 2012. All Rights Reserved.)
Lol! How true! Rance, you certainly have a special knack of observing and retelling -it’s just darn entertaining. Thank you for your fab post; now let’s get onto the impromptu interview.
There’s Something About – Rance Denton
1. Rance, you chose to share the above article with us, could you please tell us what has been the instrumental reason to why you like creating/writing about this subject.
I see my parents in who I am every single day. It’s one of many little phenomena that both embarrasses me and makes me chuckle. I’m going to be just like them. Realizing that is a pain in my ass, and I love it. Thankfully, I’ll be in a world of peers that grew up just like their parents, too.
2. Why do you Blog?
I don’t really know. Seemed like a good idea when I started it. It’s a great venting mechanism for all those little thoughts that come into mind, not to mention being a great platform to get me writing, especially when distractions are kicking me square in the ass!
3. Of all the articles, you choose to blog about –which are the easiest, the hardest and most enjoyable.
The hardest? Oh man, the hardest are definitely the ones where I actually have to take a stance on something and support what I say with factual information. The easiest kinds of posts are the ones where I just go off the handle, use a lot of cuss-words, and rant. I like those.
4. What is your most favourite and worst part of blogging?
Favorite part? Seeing something I’ve written get tossed out there to the world. The worst? Writing in all those f*cking tags! Tags annoy the hell out of me. Which is why I’ll let you do the tags for this feature, Oz!
Gee Rance thanks -methinks *scratches head* -I think I’ve got the raw end of the deal here. ‘I hate tags toooo.’ *wails*
5. What/who inspired you to write/do what you do?
The usuals – my parents, my siblings, and my girlfriend. I write because beyond anything else, I like making something they can enjoy. Nothing better in life than pleasing those you love the most.
6. What are your expectations from life?
As long as I’m not found dead in a sopping wet cardboard box on the side of the road, I like to think I’ve done pretty good for myself!
Heaven-forbid! Let’s hope you don’t get up to such mischief to even allow for that.
7. What was the last dream you saw?
Christ, that’s a doozy. I was interrogated by police to spill the beans about whether or not one of my high-school best friends had been gathering child pornography. I didn’t know if he had, so they escorted me through a masquerade ball and forced me into a virtual reality simulation where I had to kill a bunch of Chinese slavers. Don’t ask me what it meant. I have no clue!
You have quite the vivid psyche, it would be interesting to find out what Carl Jung would have to say about that -maybe we should disect it and see?
8. In a film about your life, which actor would play you?
Ever seen Knight’s Tale? You know the guy who plays Geoffrey Chaucer? Definitely that guy.
Great choice -I think he’s (Paul Bettany) great in that film.
9. Ask yourself a question –now answer it.
Rance, do you ever get tired of hearing yourself talk?
No, never. I could listen to myself talk all day long.
10. Compete this sentence: When I was young I ___________ now I’m ___________ I wish ___________.
When I was young I had a ton of action figures. Now I’m twenty-eight and I wish I had them all back so I could have epic battles on my desk at work!
11. Do you have a funny/inspiring anecdote you’d like to share with us?
Inspiring, not so much. One time, though, I had the misfortune of being held at gunpoint by several military police while wearing an outfit that looked like it came out of The Matrix. The moral? Don’t ever drive a drunk friend home on a high-security military base after you’ve gone to a goth club. You’ll probably get yelled at by angry men with automatic weapons! (The story is really much more complex than that, but maybe one day I’ll share it in full!)
Rance, thank you for joining me here at yikici and sharing your thoughts on relations surrounding family ties as well as providing us with a highly quirky interview -it’s been lovely having you here. For a short bio on Rance and where to find him click here.
The next Savvy Sunday Salutations’ will be in two weeks; I’ll be welcoming writer and fab blogger Pamela V. Mason; her article is an inspiration to all so I highly recommend you all pop back then. As I disappear into the sunset I wanted to say have a good couple of weeks until then.
Copyright © Ozlem Yikici 2011 – 2012. All Rights Reserved (in conjunction with the Creative Commons License).
Please note: There will be some changes coming to the schedule at yikici (it’s been too manic and I have not been able to adhere to it as I had intended to; therefore, some pacing will be considered); I will post an article soon(ish) with the full lowdown, until then keep an eye out for posts that will likely to turn-up unannounced.
Stay good and keep that sunshine smile-a-going.
As you already know, thoughts and comments are encouraged as always -even if it is just a word -as ‘all good discussions start with just one word‘.
Want to be a Savvy Sunday guest? Then please leave a suggestion in the comment box below or for those of you who are a wee bit shy drop me a line via my contact page or email me at admin[at]yikici[dot]co[dot]uk
Care to join me for some collaborative work or want to be a guest blogger? If so, email me at the above address.
Important Note: Please leave a link to your website when commenting as I’m currently having problems following back to your blogs (I hope to have this rectified soon). In the meantime just share some blog-love.
About the author: Writer of novel-length and short fiction, an eclectic blogger, and a full-time “gubment” worker. Read more from this author