Saturday, November 08, 2008

Too pathetic?

Okay, i was going to go for NaNoPoMo* but i've decided to become the anti-christ instead. Seems like it might be easier.

"The Holidays" are coming up. I shudder at the thought. I've been thinking about why that is.

You know how kids are silly and grandiose and say all kinds of things that are ridiculous? Some examples;

  • I'm gonna be a lion tamer!
  • I can really fly, wanna see?
  • I'm going to marry DADDY when i grow up.
  • Last night i saw a REAL fairy dancing in my room!
  • This hole goes all the way to CHINA!

...and so on, you get the idea. Wonderful imaginative things that are the product of childish enthusiasm.

Family gatherings are an occasion to bring out these memories and ridicule the child that said them. This sport is accompanied by telling the adult that used to be the child that they are too sensitive and have no sense of humor.

That adult very well might have a sense of humor about this teasing, if it hadn't also been done back when the adult was a child and had no defenses.

I've never laid it out so clearly for myself before now. I think the correct tactic might be to say, "That child deserves to be defended, even though it's years later."

*National No Posting Month


flutter said...

This sport is accompanied by telling the adult that used to be the child that they are too sensitive and have no sense of humor.

I thought it was just my family that played this....

Anonymous said...

Just wondering--what would happen if you then asked the tormentor, "What was one of the really silly things that you did at that age?"

lu said...

Kill Joys--they are really bullies and their is no defense. Direct confrontatin is the only thing that stops them. I imagine something being said like, "...yes, I remember, and that was such a shitty thing you did." Would I be able to do it? Yep. Teacher mode kicks in.

Daisy said...

You should have heard my mother's amazed voice when I agreed to join them for Thanksgiving....

Marshamlow said...

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself that we live so far away from extended family. Our holidays are just my household. Maybe a gift or two in the mail. My childhood was not filled with sunshine and butterflies either. I wonder why I am so sad that they are not a part of my present. I guess the years of distance has caused me to forget. I wonder if having them in my life would cause me to keep remember the past hurts and having those little reminders brought up at every holiday would ruin my holiday spirit. I guess I will count my blessings and move on.

I hope that your holidays will include a visit home from the fabulous Em.

patches said...

It's disappointing how incapable of growth some people are....and you know how I feel about the holidays.

TTQ said...

I'm still the child to my family. However uttering my imaginations leads to a discussion of my mental health these days.

When are they ever going to get a sense of humor?

In two weeks from today we are ALL embarking on a 7 day cruise for Mom's 70th and Thanksgiving.

I'm glad I'm a strong ocean swimmer.

luckyzmom said...

"That child should be defended, even though it's years later." So many have had joy psychologically beaten out of them. I don't think it is always intentional though. I think it is a cycle that some successfully break. Like you:}

Mrs4444 said...

How about saying, "It was mean then, and it's meanspirited now. If it's "just joking," then we'd both be laughing.

Or just stay home with your own family; that's what we started doing about 10 years ago (for Christmas Eve). Certain siblings have always taken this personally, for some reason, when the real reason is just that we wanted to start our own traditions, and I'm so glad we have; it's wonderful.

meno said...

flutter, sadly, i think many families play this game.

pat, i will have to try that.

lu, it is bullying isn't it? Can i borrow your teacher mode?

daisy, and you did this why? Never mind, they are your family.

marsha, yes, she is coming home for both Christmas and T-day. Yay!

patches, yes, i know. Ugh. Why can't they be held every five years?

ttq, a cruise sounds fantastic! Lucky girl.

luckyzmom, no, i don't think it's exactly intentional either, just thoughtless.

The Real Mother Hen said...

No naked pictures of the child taken when he/she was just a few months old? Oh I absolutely hate that!

I so not looking forward to the holidays. With no family around within 5000 miles, I hate to cook a damn big bird called turkey just for 2 people.

QT said...

I am lucky this game does not get played at my family gatherings. Or maybe it does when I'm not there....:)

Imez said...

Did you end up much more successful then all of them? Too smart, too pretty?

Let me add to the "what would happen if you used my patented family-crisis ending one-liner, and said, "Yeah, I'm sensetive. I'll work on that. But it would mean a lot to me if you could give me a little slack on this one thing that drives me nuts...I'd really appreciate it."

I intend to use this tactic myself some day. Right now I just start crying and mumbling "You HATE me!!!" And that works just dandy.

WHY is there a national no posting month? What is it to accomplish?

Anonymous said...

She does deserve to be defended and loved.

Sienna said...

...and that child is always the swan in a family of ducks.

They missed out Meno, never getting to share the sheer joy and imagination and creativity of someone so absolutely splendid.

Small minds in small quacking ducks.


thailandchani said...

I think this is a large part of the reason I opted out of the whole thing over 20 years ago.

Yes, definitely... defend!


tt said...

Is this the 'Open Mouth insert foot' syndrome?? I'm guilty of that....not of being mean spirited or trying to hurt someone's feelings...but the funnyness of it when we look back at what we used to do.
Then there's the people who can't feel good about themselves unless they're tormenting someone. Bullies they're called I think.
They're a waste of my time.

sari said...

hooboy, yeah. makes you live your own life as a parent differently, doesn't it?

Clowncar said...

So you're the anti-Christ. Thanks for letting us know.

I got an email that Obama was the anti-Christ, but there were several misspellings and grammatical errors, so I wasn't sure.

Nancy Dancehall said...


O's family has a fun variation -- his sister makes fun of OUR kids when they cry and compares them to O when he was a kid. When it's pointed out what a terror she was as a teenager, she packs up her toys and goes home.

Or rather she _did_ play that game. We haven't spoken for about 3 happy years now.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Just remind yourself over and over, your family sucks and you are perfect.

That should take care of anything that comes up.

Jonas said...

Wha!?! Although I'm 57, I'M STILL GONNA BE A LION-TAMER!!!

Brad said...

Odd, I haven't noticed you at the family gatherings but clearly your there!

egan said...

Ha, I thought about not posting all month to protest all that is NaMoBlogMeHo, but decided I'm much too important to allow that to happen.

Oh the ridicule during holidays amongst family members. That's a great topic, one I savor.

meno said...

mrs 4444, there are many better options than i have chosen in the past. I'll use one of them this year, i'm ready.

mother hen, sounds like a good opportunity to go OUT to dinner.

qt, you are lucky.

imez, no more successful than any of my sibs. It's mostly my mom that plays this game. There is no National No Posting Month, i was being silly about NaBloPoMo, which is National Blog Posting Month, wherein people who sign up for it try and post every day in November.

deb, i know, and that's what i will do. :)

pam, in that era , children were to be seen and not heard.

chani, you know, i think i am too sensitive in some ways, this doesn't happen very often, but i always steel myself against it.

tt, you can tell if it's mean because the other person isn't laughing. You don't strike me as a bully.

sari, damn straight!

clowncar, yep, it's me, i confess.

nancy, i remember that bitch. Too bad it's illegal to have people killed. Been thinking about you lately....

hearts, like a mantra!!!

jonas, OMG! ME TOO!

brad, i was hiding in the linen closet with the wine.

egan, you are much too important to let NaBloMeNow affect your actions.

Anonymous said...

doesn't it make you wonder how so many of us survived childhood with atleast some sanity. it seems every one of your readers can identify; how sad is that?

it's hard for me to explain to tony why some parents are the way they are...hell, I'm not sure I understand it myself. he watches my brother and sister in law treat my nieces that way, and they only thing I can tell him is that they were both raised that way, so they're continuing the cycle.

I agree with pam, we're swans in duck families. I never felt at home in my home, like I had fallen into someone else's story and was stuck there. so we swans just do everything we can to make our little swans feel loved.

good luck, I don't envy you

Cheesy said...

I started standing up for myself a few years back with my Mommers. She wasn't mean spirited but was treating me like a child most times.Without going into the long silly details... I just told her that I didn't appreciated it. At my age [I am a grandmother fer cripes sake!] it was to say the least~ irratating lol.. She didn't speak to me for some time but when she did it was as an adult to an adult. I feel better about family gatherings now... but that was a LONG 2 months we didn't speak.

egan said...

Why thank you.

Vanessa said...

My family plays this game in varied versions as well. It's sad that they can't have enough self awareness to see that they failed miserably as parents when they should have been protecting the kids and instead busied themselves with shattering their self esteem.

capacious said...

It took me a really long time to learn about a certain family I know and how they "joke" all the time. It's the way it is, there is no escape. Find a way to "joke" back if you can. Levity is the key to floatiness.

Vulgar Wizard said...

I'm sorry, where you at my house for Thanksgiving, because I totally didn't see you there behind my grandmother chastising my mother for something that happened 35 years ago. LOL!

I hate parts of the holidays.