If you're tired of smarmy Hallmark style made for tv parent loving television, does the internet have a treat for you: an email message from a bitterly disappointed retired British nuclear submarine commander Nick Crews has just gone viral.
The full text can be found online. It is a unique and delicious medley of condescension, judgement, acidic social commentary of the old school variety, self-pity and self-congratulation, all in one. There is sufficient stuffy language to go above and beyond regular chiding or finger-wagging and goes all out for a no-holds barred 'you are what's wrong with society today' one-two kick to it.
To summarize, Father Dearest's main issue with his offspring is primarily with their underachievement in the professional world and their domestic ineptitude. There is an allusion to several marriages near the end of the letter, which is probably where the domestic ineptitude comes from, so it doesn't appear to be a reference to their ability to fold napkins.
The biggest concern, of course, is for the grandchildren, the precious offspring of their seemingly less cherished offspring- it appears that the love of one's fruit of the loins skips a generation and goes directly to the next group. It is the opinion of Father Dearest, and Mum too, because presumably he speaks for her as well, no doubt a sign of the domestic non-ineptitude that he possesses, that they are not providing properly for their futures.
Father Dearest takes particular offense at not being consulted in the decision making process of his children's lives, which is by no means to blame for the poor quality of the decisions taken- at one point, he describes their events as copulation-driven- and how his unsolicited advice is not taken. He also doesn't want to hear more 'whinges and tidings of more rotten news', while he goes on to whinge of his own situation of not being able to brag to his friends about his children. It seems that whinging is a popular family activity, but Father Dearest will not tolerate it in others no more than he would tolerate one of them joining in on his Solitaire game.
Father Dearest is bitterly disappointed at having gone to such great expense to educate his three children who have apparently accomplished nothing worth mentioning at a garden party. Such a pity.
There are probably parents of children with meth labs in nurseries who have less disappointed parents than this.
Many of us have been fed with the idea that parental love is unconditional; that, as long as we tried to be as good as we possibly could, as long as we were law-abiding and healthy, we would be loved and accepted by our family. Like having your head held under icy water, this new take on parenthood is somewhat refreshing. And it reinforces that idea that parenthood may not be for everyone.
Children of the world owe a debt to Nick Crews today. We can all be happy and rejoice that he's not our father.