I was musing this morning about something my mom said not long ago. Actually, she says it once every couple of months. She’ll look at me and say, “You know, I always thought you were going to be my girly-girl and Melody was going to be my tomboy. You swapped roles on me.”
I suppose she has sound reason to feel this way. When my sister was little, she was rough and tumble, playing football and baseball with the neighborhood boys (there was only 1 other girl and she played as well). She never wore dresses and hated to have her hair brushed. When I was little, I didn’t have any choice but to be everyone’s doll. My hair was brushed (against my will) by my aunts, my mom. I was shoved into dresses and kimonos (again my Korean aunt had her way).
But things started changing when my sister hit twelve. I was six. She discovered boys. My mom remarried. I became my stepdad’s “son”. I learned how to scrape mud off my cowboy boots, rode in his 18-wheeler with him, learned to fish, and by the time I was 10, I was learning to shoot. My sister was well into the big hair, make-up, skin-tight jeans (you know, the ones that looked like you had to jump off a roof to get into them), and shirts with shoulder pads.
Twenty-some odd years later, and things haven’t really changed. Oh, sure, I do the girly thing and get my hair fixed, my toes done, wear make-up, but my sister takes it to a whole new level. Where I’ll only get my nails done for a special occasion, she gets hers done all the time. She gets her hair fixed more often than I do and she still spends at least two hours in the bathroom preparing for her day. Me? Fifteen minutes max and that’s if I fix my hair.
Of course, sometimes this difference causes friction between big sister and me. Like yesterday. She wants to go to the mall on Black Friday to hit up Victoria’s Secret. The conversation went something like this:
Sister: “But you deserve a new bra now that you lost weight! C’mon!”
Me: “I haven’t lost that much weight yet and I don’t want to be surrounded by rabid, hormonal women who want a good sale. You know I hate crowds.”
Sister: “Yeah, but you’ll go to those metal concerts and mosh!”
Me: “That’s because I can push people and not get arrested!”
Sister: “You are so not fun.”
Me: “Fine, I’ll go, but I want Thai food!”
So yeah, as un-girly as I am, I’m going *shudders* shopping on Black Friday. I wonder if I can get a prescription…like lithium or something to keep me from becoming violent? Hm.
Anyway, Mom just doesn’t get it. My sister and I have puzzled her and I don’t think she likes it much. I suppose we all have huge expectations of others whether we mean to or not.
Have you thrown your parents’ expectations upside down and inside out? If you have children, have they thrown you for a loop?