Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Family Intentions

Dear Bloggers,

I believe that the greatest test of one's character is if they have to move back home. Forget all the philosophies that dictate what reveals the true nature of people. Having your freedom for years, then having it rapidly removed from you is the best way to determine what type of person you are.

My father is originally from Mobile, Alabama, and I spent a substantial part of my childhood there. There's a type of southern mentality that dictates kindness to strangers, respect towards authority figures, and saying whatever you feel like to your family.

Things that would normally be okay to discuss on a one on one setting was now family fodder. Extended family members would see me, put their hands on my hips and spread their hands out as far as they possibly could, in front of an audience of other family members. There would be shouts of concurrence from the peanut gallery ("Yeah girl!! You got a cute shape now, but don't start gaining weight like ______!!" "She had a cute shape too, now she's over 300 lbs!!")

Growing up, you know how to deal with this mentality, because it's normal to you and it's your own. However, when you venture outside your own household, you get introduced to the sense of "common decency."

Oh yes, common decency, something I always heard about, but did not know it truly existed, like Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. I never experienced the phantom a great deal until I went off to college. There, I met people who were able to be truthful without causing me a migraine that felt like my head was going to explode.

But, coming back home, you're tossed back into a way of life that is completely separate from the world, and not only is it disjointing for you, but you begin to behave in the same way you resented family for!! I've caught myself saying things to my parents and aunts that I would have never imagined to come out of my mouth ("Are you serious?! There are TWO set of ss's in Mississippi!! ...Idiots..."). EVEN THOUGH, I might have been trying to keep my family aware from spelling mishaps, in case they ever came across a life-threatening spelling bee, that's no excuse. But hey, I had good intentions.

So, word to the wise, just because you have a familial connection with someone, it is NOT an excuse for whatever you think of the person to come spewing from your mouth like vomit. There's always a tasteful way to address your concerns for a family member, while still keeping your "good intentions" intact.


No comments:

Post a Comment