Family- No Replacements Please
As I’ve said many times- I should not be allowed to watch the news!! It is a confusing and disturbing time of day for me. Today I saw a an 18 year old teenage girl in New Jersey sue her parents to support her because she didn’t want to live by their rules. Now I live in the South and I’ve watched Jersey Shore, but I truly thought those producers sure are good. There could not possibly be that many people that self absorbed – Well – I stand corrected. I have some great friends who are from Jersey and they don’t exhibit this trait, but hell they also moved to the south. Now- I also saw a New Jersey judge throw the case out so my faith has been semi restored
I’m by no means saying my family is perfect. Insanity comes in a takes a long slow stroll through periodically just for fun, but I was taught to respect my elders even if I didn’t want too. The reasons are many but her are a few:
1) They hold all the money so they hold all the cards
I thought I was all grown up about the same age and informed my parents I was leaving. My daddy being the unreasonable man he was promptly went in my room, put my suitcase on the bed, sat down and said “Pack” Now as I’ve told you my dad and I can both be stubborn so I obliged his request. As I folded my first shirt he asked “Did you buy that or did your mom?” I replied “Mom” He said “Put it back- you can take anything that you bought” This exercise was repeated through my entire wardrobe. Needless to say after I finished packing my 3 pair of underwear and one pair of jeans I decided to stay. Pride always cometh before the fall they say- well I fell off the cliff.
2) Youth and Enthusiasm will lose to Age and Treachery every time
When your young you always hear about this stuff called wisdom. You think it’s only a scam that old people say to feel better about getting the wrinkles. As I age I’m realizing there might be something to this thing. Wisdom isn’t really the ability to be wise, scholarly knowledge, or even good judgement. Wisdom is the ability to out maneuver your off spring. The parasites which you carried for 9 months, you fed, you rocked, you changed, you sang to etc etc etc and in general accomplished keeping alive will soon TURN ON YOU! They will think you are now the dumbest human alive. I am not insulted by this phenomena. It actually brings out the evil in me. I remember starting in the business world in my 20’s and having “men” underestimate me and me feeling the evil Grinch smirk form on my face- I get the same reaction now with my teenagers. I now just sit around and formulate plans. My favorite so far – If you get in trouble in any way during middle school- I will come eat lunch with you for a week. I will make a big scene about how cute my babies are and in general embarrass you to death. Two though middle school and no issue’s yet. Why are you crying mama cuz treachery is fun!!
3) Guilt is a powerful thing
My parents and I learned from the VERY best the ability to dispense quilt and it’s power to motivate and manipulate. Now over the years manipulate has taken on an evil context and I don’t understand why. We all manipulate. When we talk our spouse into watching the chic flick instead of the blow em up movie for a little nooky- that’s manipulation. Why is it evil to use it on our children? My Great Granny was the QUEEN!! She demanded command performances for holidays. It went something like this “We WILL be having lunch on Thanksgiving day and you will be there, unless you seem to think you have something more important to do than your family?” These could only be considered optional, at your own guilt free risk. The most powerful guilt manipulation words of all time are “We are disappointed in you” followed up with “if we didn’t know what you were capable of it would be ok” Now I always knew and understood exactly what they were doing and swore I would NEVER parent like them. Guess what I said to my eldest 3 days ago who is failing his first subject ever- yep – word for word! Amazingly it still seems to work.
Our families teach us many things as we grow. We learn respect. We learn to deal with people we don’t like or even understand. We learn to let arguments go because they’re not going anywhere anyway. We learn wisdom, treachery, and manipulation techniques. We learn the roots to keep us grounded and that we really need our wings to sprout so we can get the hell out for a while before we kill each other.
We all from time to time wish we could return or at least exchange a family member or two. Thankfully God made family with a no replacement policy cuz I’m pretty sure I would of replaced all of them by now at least once. Since it’s not an option I guess I’ll just learn and teach the lesson that many a generation have been passing down on to me- unconditional love. If ya can’t beat em might as well join em- and hey- the treachery part is fun!!