It's as if you had a sister. A sister you loved dearly, who you certainly had some disagreements with but who overall you really loved and wanted the best for.
And for a long time, your sister has been making really bad choices in men. And even though you kept telling her that these jerks she was with were no good for her, in reality all you could do was watch, because she wasn't going to listen to you anyway.
There was this guy she was with in the 90s, this guy Bill, who was pretty smart and a lot of fun and actually had a lot of potential, but the problem was he had a tendency to put his penis in places where it didn't belong and broke her heart.
Then in late 2000 she started dating this George guy who was all folksy and down home and churchy and you know, the guy could be a lot of fun at a party, just as much for the fact that he was as dumb as a stump as for the fact that he'd get into the rye and wear lampshades on his head. George was kind of a goof, but he seemed generally harmless. And that time when your sister got beaten up pretty bad by a bunch of loser idiots, he went after them and kicked the shit out of them and had them running for the hills and really, around that point you had a bit of a soft spot for him. He might be a big dumb goof but he's protecting her, you know? But then he got too big for his britches and started picking fights with everybody, and he had all these idiot friends like Dick and Donald who were in reality not his friends but just liked him cause he had muscle and clout, so they'd suck up to him so he'd do them favours, and they'd whisper in his ear and tell him what to do and who to beat up all the time and he ended up in all these fights all over the world and all the people who were his real friends turned against him. All in all, this guy was an ass.
Around 2004, there was a time that another suitor was sniffing around. John. John seemed nice. Responsible. Smart. Kind of academic. But the problem was, he was pretty wishy washy. And so when George and all his friends started spreading a bunch of false rumours about him being a big wimp, and you knew they were lies, you couldn't get your sister to listen. And in the end, she stayed with George. And George just kept being George. He kept picking fights and spending all her money and got her house foreclosed and racked up massive credit card bills.
And you know, it took a lot but finally, she started to see through George. Started to see through him and his loser friends, his friends who are bullies and homophobes and rich assholes and jerks. Started to see through his crap spending habits and his proclivity for picking fights he couldn't finish. Finally, she decided enough was enough. She was kicking George to the curb.
But then another one of George's friends, another guy named John, came along trying to court her. John was an old guy who seemed nice enough (except for the old man pervyness, I mean, ew) and wasn't such a bad guy, but the problem is he had the tendency to be... unstable. Perhaps a bit senile. (Like the time he called your family "My Fellow Prisoners" at Thanksgiving Dinner.)
But the big problem with John was that he had this sister, this bitch sister who was always around and was a mean, highschool pitbull, who always talked to you like you were 12 years old and was completely patronizing and manipulative and could never give a straight answer.
And you could see what these people really were, but you knew your sister had a track record of picking these men that were just so wrong for her, and you were petrified that she was going to end up dating this dynamic duo.
But finally, she met someone new. Someone nice. This guy was likeable. I mean, he looked like a total dork. Skinny little punk with ears like Dumbo. And his name was Barack. (Really? Who names their kid Barack?) But Barack had an infectious smile. And oh, this guy was smart. Smart as a whip. He'll talk to anybody but what's more, he'll *listen* to anybody. Really listen, not just give ear time in order to make it look like he's paying attention when he's really thinking about something else. He's lived many places and done many things and worked with lots of people and was really quite interesting. But what you really liked about this guy wasn't the things he did. It was the change you saw in your sister when he was around.
When Barack was around, she was different. She was empowered. She felt like she could take her life into her own hands, and make a difference to herself and those around her. For too long George had been telling her that he knew what was best for her, and she sat back and let him make all the decisions. And look at the mess he'd left her in. No more. Now, she was inspired. When she was with Barack, she wasn't just thinking about whether or not he was doing the right thing so that he could take care of her. She wasn't sitting back and letting life happen to her. When she was with him, she took control of her own life. She said, I Want To Change. And I know it will be hard work and a long road and it won't be quick or easy, but I listened to quick and easy lies the last 8 years and I'm tired of them. I want to work *with* someone, instead of sitting back and letting them do the work for me. And so last night, she and Barack started going steady for what will be at least 4 years if not 8. (she's a serial monogamist, that one.)
And you and your family are breathing a sigh of relief.
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