Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 3: Your parents, in great detail

Let's see how much detail I can get in to here.

Her heyday was definitely when she was younger. She has four sisters and grew up in a pretty typical household. She had my brother when she was 18 (a very big pattern in our family) and she was with his dad for a few years before he got busted for a drug charge, I believe. My brother and mom have a very different history than her and I do. They struggled to makes ends meet all the time and my brother was always into mischief on some level. She met my dad later on and they got married in a simple ceremony; my dad wearing a pale blue suit and my mom in a flowered dress. Not sure the exact year though. She had me when she was 33 and stayed with my dad for a few years before getting a divorce. My mom and I also struggled with money growing up but my mom loved working at the library and we had a house (rented) to live in that had a huge front and backyard. My parents would get together off and on up til the middle of high school. She has dated a few guys here and there but she is pretty much a loner. Friends have come and gone and her the biggest thing in her life seems to be work and me and my brother.

I respect her for raising two kids on her own because we all know how hard that is. It was pretty much her and me growing up. I saw her side of the family on large holidays but otherwise we did our own thing. She is very close to her sisters (3 of them at least) and has resumed talking to her mother in the past year. She holds a lot of resentment for one of her sisters who always got more attention and affection than she did. She is stubborn (where I get it from) and keeps grudges and emotions going far too long. I have lived with her for the past 10 months while I got things straight in my life. I appreciated the safety net but it was a grim reminder of what I don't want to end up like.

My mom works as an embroiderer at an athletic company in Vancouver, WA. She has been an embroiderer/screen printer for at least 20 years now and once worked at Nike. I have no idea why she does her job because she doesn't necessarily like it but she fell into it and doesn't think she could get out. I told her I would help her with everything but she never took me up on the offer. She has depression and thyroid issues that can be difficult to deal with at times especially since I suffer from the former as well. She isn't a very social person but did join a 40 and older group last year and goes to the meet-ups occasionally. That is pretty much her in a nutshell.

The dad I like to remember is the one from when I was little. He would come over and hang out with me, take me down to see his family in Southern California and whenever he was around for extended periods of time, life was good. We had money, went out to eat, and things were nice. He was always funny and nice to me, even if he and my mom were fighting. See, the good with the bad here.

My dad has always been a construction worker. Great money during the spring/summer but in the winter, the money just wasn't there. He always had dark skin because he was in the sun a lot so he had tons of birthmarks, which I also have. He always had a beard, a beer belly and always wore a baseball cap. Our bonding "thing" was watching WWF (now WWE) wrestling ever since I was really little. He would get Pay-Per-View events and we'd make food and watch them together.

The not so good stuff is that he was an alcoholic and the bar often took priority over having a family. As far as I know, I am his only child. I haven't seen him since I was 22 I think? And I can't really even remember the last time I did see him. The main reason my parents split was because of the drinking and the lack of responsibility my father had for life. They had some pretty huge fights for various reasons but I have a feeling that they all came back around to those two issues. I remember a time when many family members were around and they were fighting. I hid under the kitchen table until everyone stopped and found me there. They were quiet after that.

So that is the good/bad of my parents. It's almost funny but I think that as we get older and see our parents as they truly are, we either fully embrace or fully rebel against them. My mom likes to list her least favorite traits and I seem to have all of them. I also happen to have all of my father's best traits. If I do something like watch a particular movie 100 times, my mom will comment that I am just like my dad. I have developed tendencies like my mother since I grew up around her and I desperately rebel against them once I realize they are here. I always keep in mind that the thing you complain most about someone else is something you also hate in yourself.

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