Tuesday, October 28, 2008

To Chxta's Unborn Son

My son, I cannot argue with the pearls of wisdom your father set out for you in his letter. Do not be alarmed at my choice of address, for you shall be as much Chxta's son as you shall be mine, and in all probability, you shall grow up calling me "Uncle" though we are not related by blood.

As someone who has known your father these many years, there are certain things I shall tell you here which he expects me to:

First of all, if you are anything like your father, the two of you are likely to have some serious clashes as you grow older. Do not take these to mean that your father is an old "Moustache Pete" or unwise in the ways of your generation. Our elders always said that what the old man sees while sitting, the young man shall not see even if he climbs the tallest tree. Rest assured that even though you shall be inclined to dismiss this as an attempt by the old to hang on to power, you shall eventually see the truth in those words, as we did.

Should you be inclined to follow in your father's professional footsteps, be sure to choose for yourself friends in fields as diverse from yours as possible, and make sure that at least one of your closest friends is a lawyer. Granted, you shall hear all sorts of jokes about lawyers, in fact, I'll probably tell you most of them, but believe me when I tell you, they are as important as your own right arm.

Never breach the trust of your friends over money or women. The first runs through your fingers like water, and the second runs through your money like... well, your ears are as yet too young to hear that particular similie. But never fear, for one day, when you're old enough, I'll tell it to you. That is, of course, if you haven't already learned it by then, or made up your own.

My home shall be as open to you as yours, and my office shall be likewise. Feel free to come to me with your problems, but know that if you do something deserving of an ass whopping, I will not keep it from your father. Of course, I shall plead on your behalf as to the extent of the ass whopping you'll get, but your father shall be free to disregard my sentencing recommendation if he wants to.

You can feel free to come to me with questions about things which your father may feel you're too young to know. Especially about sex.

The earlier you develop a capacity for cynical thought and ice-cold self-analysis, the better. In all things, keep an open mind, but always view the actions of those around you through the prism of self-interest. Of a truth, you shall occasionally encounter individuals with genuinely altruistic motives, and such persons are rare and your relationships with them should be carefully nurtured. When you come across those with purely selfish motives, play along until you can use their motives to serve your interests.

With friends you classify as "true" you must be open and honest. Say what you really feel about their choices and actions, and hold nothing back even if you fear you will hurt them or permanently damage your friendship. It may take years, but they will realise your worth. I can't imagine the amount of trouble I would have gotten into if I didn't have your father around to pour cold water on some of my more hare-brained ideas. And I have done the same for him, let me tell you. Your true friends shall be there for you when all else fails, and you must be as willing to make sacrifices for them as they are for you. In such ways are lifelong friendships established.

One area I openly disagree with your father is football. The game does have a very strong spirit, and if you allow it, it will possess you to the extent that you feel physically ill when your team underperforms, or simply plays like crap. But, much like being in love, you cannot be half in and half out of football. And I have a clue that although your father wishes you to be spared the demons of football, he shall be the one to introduce you to them, and smile while you shake hands. However, there are few better analogies for life than following a football team through the years. Some years are good, others are bad, some are downright terrible, but a true supporter sticks to his team no matter what because he understands that no one has the divine right to be on top all the time.

Between us, myself and your father may be able to do a reasonable job of bringing you up to be a principled gentleman, and as the English say, the most important thing you can learn about being a gentleman is when to stop being one.

And whatever you do, don't support Juventus. That way lies something else I shall have to explain to you at a later date.

I love you, as your father does. Be good, my son.

Your Uncle Oria.


Chxta said...

Bastard. Forza Juve!!!

Seppolarmour said...

Well written piece.

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I love my country, enjoy a cold beer once in a while, rabidly support Arsenal FC, but I don't get Diet Coke...