Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dear Ivanka,

Dear Ivanka,

I know what you're going through. I had a difficult father, too.

He asked a young father at an adjoining restaurant booth if his almost-2 year old son was "retarded.... why isn't he talking if he's not?  Are you talking to him?  He should be talking......" and when the over-6'-tall-muscled-and-furious gentleman stood up, I just shrugged.

"Go ahead.  Smack him.  He's totally out of control."  And then, because I really didn't want him to come to any physical harm, I added this harmless lie: "You should see him when he's off his meds."
I ushered my embarrassment and my never-medicated-even-though-he-should-have-been paternal unit out the door, apologizing to the point where the insulted father smiled and shrugged back.

"Good luck," he said, "you've got your hands full."

And so do you, Ivanka.

The difference is, I recognized my father's outrageous behavior, and never considered it anything other than reprehensible.  I knew him to be a warm and loving Daddy, when he wasn't creating tumult for the sake of creating tumult.  Those delightful times made it easier to ride out the nauseating ones, but, eventually, I decided to keep him to myself and not foist him on others.

My parents missed many graduations and championship games because Daddooooo couldn't be taken out in public.  The Ballerina had a similar parental situation, and she loved me enough to be the one sitting beside him at the soccer games we could not avoid.  Off to one side, in low chairs that, once-he-was-in-he-couldn't-get-out-of, she kept him occupied and away from anyone he might have insulted or annoyed.

I kept him involved in our lives but refused to allow him to become the center of attention, even if that meant not inviting him if I couldn't keep him contained.  That's what you do with those you love who can't be taken out in public; you protect the rest of the world from their madness while doing all you can to maintain a relationship.  This is neither easy nor fun.  There's guilt and there's trying to fix that which cannot be fixed and there is, at the end, resignation.

Daddooooo and I had many fantastic adventures.... just the two of us or with The Cuters.... surrounded by love and by those who could call him on his nonsense.  He loved us.  He listened to us.  He was often surprised that we were remembered the words.  It was more than the content.  It was being the center of attention.  It was the celebrity.

I had no problem with that around his adoring grandchildren and me, his semi-tolerant offspring, the one most like him, the one he never worried about, the one who began calling him Herb when she was 16, because a Daddy wouldn't treat his son that way.  Was he hurt?  It never crossed my teenage mind to wonder.  I bought him personalized Herb the Superb gear and he seemed to love it.  

But, Ivanka, even at 16 I knew what was right and what was wrong.  I didn't stay silent.

You, however, are enabling the behavior, and the rest of us are suffering.

Y'know what, kiddo?  It's on you.  Daddooooo had a wife of many decades whose Oh, Herbert, Shut UP! was the Muzak of my childhood.  Since most of us think that one of your dad's wives leaked his tax returns, looking in that direction probably won't get you very far.  Your  brothers don't give me much confidence and Tiffany is wisely staying away.  You're all that's left.

And honestly, sweetheart, don't you want to tell him to put a sock in it?

Your father is talking about International Bankers, Ivanka.  Those are your people, the Jewish people, the ones you dunked in the mikvah to join, and I bet that the phrase resonated with the Kushners even if it didn't for you.  Has no one mentioned it to you if you didn't get it yourself? They've come for us before and there's hardly a Jew on earth who doesn't worry, in a small corner of her mind, if they'll come for us again.

Us, Ivanka.  Not just me and mine, but you and yours.

You father is pandering to a very dangerous element of our society, an element which until his rise was suitably hidden under a rock.  He's brought it into the sunshine, and that is terrifying to me and, I think, it should be terrifying to you.... and your children.

He's your father.  You're stuck with him.  Perhaps you could do the rest of us a favor and tell him to Shut UP, Donald!


  1. If she is anything like my husband and his siblings, it won't matter. They just say you can't change the person and go their way letting the parental unit do as she pleases. Sigh.

    1. But you can change your reaction to their behavior and that, in my experience, is often enough to shock them into noticing the reality around them. It may not last long term, but you've made your point and not condoned the inexcusable.

      Sigh, indeed, dkzody. Sigh, indeed.

  2. I agree she's an enabler. It's infuriating listening to her defend him. I love my dad, but I will not defend his bigotry. My dad also knows me well enough to know I WILL call him out on it. What's funny about my dad is that he doesn't show his bigotry to the world--I see it behind closed doors. Really bothers me too.

    These people, including Ivanka, defending him are no better than he is. Not calling people out means you condone it and are just as guilty. I know that doesn't seem fair, but one needs to step-up and say it's wrong. No one is doing that in Trump's instance. He goes off unfettered. No one close to him is calling him out. And Melania defending his crap the other night on CNN really infuriated me. Maybe that's Trump's whole problem. No one close to him calls him out. They are all yes people and don't dare confront him. That could be why he thinks it's acceptable too. All his life, he's been this coddled whiner.

    Being President of the United States requires someone who isn't a whiner, can take the good with the bad and accepts that they make mistakes. They need to be able to negotiate and compromise. No one tells Trump he's wrong and I wish someone would.

    Sadly, I don't think this is going to be Ivanka or anyone else close to him. And everyone else is a loser.

    Megan xxx


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