Quarterlife+


Ways to Disappoint your Parents #4–Not adhering to family nomenclature

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on November 14, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #4 Not Adhering to Family Nomenclature

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve seen Star Wars maybe a half a time. But, that does not keep me from knowing Darth Vader’s overused line: “Luke, I am your father.” (Aside from the baffling point that I never actually hard Darth Vader say that exact line, let’s use the willing suspension of disbelief. Let’s pretend like he said it for real.) Now, what if Luke’s response was, “Father? Well, I guess technically that works if you had something to do with conception; now if we’re talking nurturing and actually raising me, I think not.”

That’s not all that exciting, huh? Well, that’s because you don’t know MY folks. If you aren’t familiar with my family structure from some of my other posts, technically speaking, I have a step father and siblings from that union with my other (and he also had his own kids). I love all my siblings dearly, and this post isn’t about them. We’re an odd bunch, but we bring the funny. 

Anyway, how big of a deal is naming? Oh, it’s almost reason enough to break out a Bible and some holy oil! My mom gets super bent out of shape if I refer to my step dad as anything other than dad or father. If you squint, I think you can actually see her body temperature quickly rise, fire spark in her eyes, and smoke come from her ears. Is my biological father dead? No. I talk to him pretty regularly-now. So what name does that leave for him? None. This leaves him with no name, like he’s a figment of my imagination. Last time I checked, Mary wasn’t the prototype of more immaculate conceptions to come. So, my dad isn’t imaginary. 

For identification purposes, I will toss around dad, biological dad, father, real dad, step dad, etc. depending on if I’m talking to someone who knows my family history/ structure or not. This, to me, is no big deal. It isn’t an attempt to undermine who may have taken care of me or who didn’t.  It’s like a name tag. If I was making a family tree, I wouldn’t change it so that it looked more nuclear. Is it a case of wanting to be more like the Huxtables instead of the Bradys? I’m not sure which family I liked more, actually. At any rate, good luck with that. Why? Because trying to make your family something it isn’t undervalues what your family really is. 

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Ways to Disappoint your Parents #3–Getting Married

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on October 31, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #3-  Getting Married 

Ah, marriage. What a joyous occasion, right? Well…maybe. All of the plotting, planning, prepping, and primping that goes into pulling off a wedding takes a team effort. Who better to help you through such a joyous time than your family? The months of anticipation lead to such a big build up of emotions! Yeah…who’s really ever in the mood for all of that? 

Having already known we were going to get married, my (then soon-to-be) husband and I asked ourselves one crucial question: Why wait? After all, who is a wedding for, anyway? Let me rephrase that, who is a wedding supposed to be for? I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “The marriage is for you; the wedding is for them” (them meaning your parents/ family).

So, how much of a ripple will it make in the family pool if you decide to forego the long wedding planning process? Probably a tidal wave. How much bigger of a ripple will it make if you decide to get married whether the majority of your family can make it or not?  I’m not even sure of the proper weather category to use for that one!

You robber of memories and destroyer of social envy! Despite the fact that you saved everyone from being forced to travel, dress up, possibly buy new clothes, eat questionable food, and socialize amongst rogue relatives, it wasn’t your choice to make. Family first, of course (Not your new family, your old family-duh.) By all means, go into unnecessary debt to impress your friends. As a matter of fact, go all out if the marriage doesn’t work out to well either! Throw an even bigger get together. After all, you owe it to them. Since such a big deal is made about the beginning, surely everyone should be there for the end. Bring gifts! After all, where’s the fun in a quiet, successful marriage? I’m all for it, but maybe I’m just lame.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents #2

Posted in Family,Life,Life changes by Ashley Franklin on October 17, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #2-  Not including them in your relationship

Do you remember the day you were born? I dare you to lie and say that you do. You know who does remember the day you were born? Your parents. At the very least, your mother does. (She is the one parent who HAS to be there by default.) Maybe it was after this moment of your grand arrival that your future flashed before her/ their eyes. See, you were screwed from the beginning. 

Maybe that defining moment came later in life, like after your first crush, first date, or first whatever it is seemed supremely important at the moment. Whether you like it or not, your ideal spouse has likely been a fixed vision in the minds of your parents long before you even thought about it.

Imagine the day they realize you have been stealthily chipping away at their dreams by 

  1. Being in a relationship they know little to nothing about and
  2. Declaring that this same UBR (unidentified blossoming relationship) is serious.
My friend, you are now in trouble…uber trouble. How serious could the relationship be if you never made it a point to divulge pertinent details? Perhaps you wanted to make sure the relationship would last before involving the parental figures. Once it proved to stand the test of time, perhaps you didn’t want to involve the parental figures for fear that they would now scare the person away. Regardless of the reason, you have prohibited your parents from the right to grill your significant other, tell you all the things they don’t like, question your taste, project how well your life could possibly turn out with that person, or  find a potential person of their approval to usurp that person’s place. How dare you! 

Nevertheless, there may be one all-encompassing reason why this is so disappointing to some parents. They may feel like they had no active role in making a decision that may very well change the dynamics of your relationship for the rest of your lives. Some may be able to get past this; some may not. Whatever your case may be, good luck with that.