The Luv Doc: A Bigger Check
A simple "I love you" phone call would have sufficed
Dear Luv Doc,
Every year when Christmas rolls around, my dad gets all sentimental and sends checks to me, my brother, and our two stepbrothers. This year, by accident, I found out that he has been giving me and my brother quite a bit more than our stepbrothers. I talked to my brother about it and he doesn't seem to mind, but it really bothers me. I told him I was going to talk to Dad and ask him what he was thinking, but my brother thinks I should just be quiet and be happy that I am getting anything. I know it's my dad's money and he's free to do what he wants with it, but I would rather not get it at all than have my stepbrothers find out he has been playing favorites. So ... should I keep my mouth shut and keep my brother happy, or clear my conscience and talk to my dad?
– Overly Gifted
The truly wonderful thing about the holidays is that it's the one time of year that affection can be measured in easily quantifiable terms. For people who like to keep score, that has to be extremely gratifying. Of course, when it comes to extravagant gift-giving, no one can match the Almighty, who played the ultimate gift-giving trump card a couple thousand years ago by sacrificing his only son so that the rest of us could have a shot at immortality. Did he have to let him be crucified? Who knows? But it did pretty much assure that no one is going to out-gift Him. Ever. Even a brand new Lambo in the driveway tied up in a gaudy chartreuse ribbon seems ridiculously chintzy in comparison.
There probably is some psycho bastard out there willing to crucify his son to prove the depth of his affection, but without the promise of everlasting life, that shit just seems pathetic and unoriginal. More importantly, the fact that Christians aren't deeply disturbed by the justification of Jesus' crucifixion just baffles the fuck out of me. Imagine if your neighbor down the street, who you have only heard about but never met personally, had his son tortured and killed to prove his love for you. Amen, that shit is fucked up. I wouldn't even wait around long enough for the real estate agent to put up the "for sale" sign. I don't know about you, but I am in no way comforted by the thought that there is a God who loves me deeply, obsessively, and who is also bat-shit crazy; I damn sure don't want to spend eternity with Him. The best gift He could give me is to abide by my imaginary restraining order, but then every Sunday, there is Joel Osteen in my living room. Dirty. Fucking. Pool. Even for a proudly psycho deity.
Considering what a horrible example God is as a gift-giver (I mean, come on, a simple "I love you" phone call would have sufficed – especially since they didn't even have phones in AD33, so ... automatic miracle right there), it's insanely ironic that for most Americans, Jesus is the reason for the season. It would be more fitting to look at the holidays as a "dads have been fucking up gift-giving for over 2,000 years" type of deal. Agreed, your dad seems to have shit the bed in that respect as well, but I think it's a bit too early to know that conclusively.
You should absolutely talk to your dad and ask him what the fuck he was thinking. Maybe he actually has a good reason. Maybe he also gave each of your stepbrothers an oil well in West Texas. Or maybe he is laboring under some twisted reasoning that you can and should set straight. As far as your brother possibly losing his yearly stipend, tell him he can have your share. Nothing lifts the spirit like giving.