As the Johnson family sat around the dinner table trying to make small talk, the conversation inevitably turned to politics. But before anyone could voice their opinions, Mrs. Johnson intervened.
“Now, now, let’s not ruin our holiday meal with all this awkward political talk,” she said with a smile. “We haven’t seen Grace since pre-pandemic. Let’s focus on something we all agree on and can bond over, like her special disability! Are you doing anything to try and recover from it, sweetheart? Like going to church and asking God to forgive your sins?”
Grace proceeded to explain for the millionth time to her mother and family that her visual impairment was called retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic eye disease, and there was no cure or treatment right now.
“Don’t blame me for your blindness!” cried her dad, also for the millionth time, on hearing the word “genetic” and seeing a window of political opportunity. “That’s what you Democrats do, just blame everyone else for your problems. You know Trump should still …”
Mrs. Johnson quickly interrupted. “Grace, please eat more carrots,” she said, steering the conversation back to her daughter’s misfortune. “If only you had eaten more carrots when you were younger like I told you to, you would not be in the predicament you are in today.”
The family all nodded in solemn agreement. “I can’t imagine what it’s like being blind, Grace. Your life must be so hard,” said Uncle Bob with a tear in his eye, patting her head to comfort her when she didn’t need comforting. “I must say you’re really brave and inspirational doing things by yourself like going to the grocery store. I’d probably starve if I were in your shoes!”
But Grandma Johnson didn’t buy it. “You don’t look blind though, Grace. You look the same now as when I saw you before the pandemic, soooo normal and un-blind. Remember when Ralph had soap poisoning in ‘A Christmas Story’? Now, THAT’S what a blind person should look like! Are you really sure you even have a visual impairment?” she said skeptically. “Could be a temporary condition; perhaps you didn’t get enough sleep. I know how hard you work sometimes!”
The family all nodded in solemn agreement again. “How many fingers am I holding up?” said Uncle Bob. “Can you see the funny face I’m making at you?”
At this point, Grace realized it was in her favor to divert the conversation to good ol’ fashioned awkwardness. “So yeah, about the presidency: Biden won the election fair and square,” she said. “And on abortion, I think women have the right …”