Sunday, July 24, 2011

Baaaaaa

Sheep: an adult who cannot – or does not - think, reason, and decide for themselves; the most useless thing on earth.


If I didn’t look just like both my parents, I’d swear I was switched at birth.

It drove my family crazy when I started having strong opinions (about pretty much everything) around the age of 12. Girls are supposed to be quiet and ladylike and defer to the opinions of their elders. They didn’t have a clue what to do with me. Growing up, I could never figure out why my mom thought saying, “Don’t do ____,” would make me not do _____. If I wanted to do something, I thought about it and made a decision. My mother’s opinion didn’t factor into it at all. Granted, I didn’t always make the best choices: I started smoking at age 15 because I was sick to death of being a “good kid.” But I’m proud of the fact that I made every decision (and mistake) for myself.

Now that I’m older and have had more heart-to-heart conversations with my mom, I know that she raised me the way she was raised. It would never have occurred to her to do something her parents said not to; she believed they knew best, and never, ever questioned what they told her. When she told me that, I was stunned. I would never *not* have questioned my parents. I don’t take things at face value; I believe only what I can see for myself. As I grew up, that behavior expanded as my world did: from my parents, to teachers, to government and other forms of authority.

When I hear people say they do something (vote a certain way, attend a certain church or attend church at all, raise their kids a certain way, etc.) because that’s the way their parents did it, I always think, “WTF…don’t you have a brain? Can’t you decide what you believe for yourself? Don’t you *want* to decide for yourself?” In my world, these people are called sheep. Calling someone a sheep is one of the worst insults I use. (I’m sure I’ll be talking more about that in future posts.)

Don’t worry, though, the family traditions aren’t dead. I have two cousins: M., female, is 26-ish and her brother, L., is 23-ish. They are happy to toe the family party line, and since they’re both married now, I’m sure there will be a new generation of lambs anytime. For a multitude of reasons, M. and L. and their parents think I’m the devil incarnate, which always makes me giggle. I’m going to continue making up my own mind about life, even if that means making mistakes along the way. We’ll see who’s happy in the end.

3 comments:

RoseAnn said...

I would say you and I were switched with each other at birth but that really wouldn't explain much. LOL I have often wondered how I ended up so different from my parents and siblings.

When it became clear that DH and I were going to remain CFBC (we've never made an official announcement to either of our families) my mom confided to a family member (who then blabbed to me) that she didn't want to bring it up to me because she was afraid that would make me less likely to have kids. Yeah, because my primary motivator in not becoming a parent was to get under my mom's skin. LOL

There are so many taboo topics with my parents, it's not even funny. I have discovered that I can have intelligent debates with my dad and even change his perspective the slightest bit sometimes!

That being said, I shamefully admit that I rely on DH for some of my current events knowledge but I do my own research a fair amount, too.

Carol said...

RoseAnn, I'm glad to know we have this in common as well. And LOL to your comment about being switched not helping matters. ;)

For me, it's not so much about keeping up with current events as it is cutting the apron strings. I'll give you a couple of examples.

6 months after getting married, M. fainted while out to lunch with her husband. Upon hearing this, my aunt immediately got on a plane bound for Lubbock. Turns out M. was just exhausted.

M. followed in her mother's footsteps to become a teacher. She got her first full-time, solo teaching job last fall. Before school started, M.'s mother went to school to help her set up her classroom and to MEET HER COWORKERS AND BOSS.

See my issue?

RoseAnn said...

Wow! Yeah, in the examples you give, unless M had an existing medical condition that would be a concern, flying out seems overboard. And my parents have met my coworkers at most of my jobs but only after I've been established there and only briefly as part of an already planned visit to see me in general.

I don't even want to think about apron strings today. DSD called last night to ask for money so this morning I'm ready to pretty much torch the whole apron! LOL

And the apt wv is "growns" LOL