Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I got it from my mama

Mom: I pray everyday that you find a good guy, so you can finally settle down.
Me: I don't look at it that way.
Mom: How do you look at it then?
Me: In my opinion, some guy out there is praying right now to meet the girl of his dreams. And maybe, if he prays hard enough, he'll find me. I'm not the one who's looking.

I was talking to my sister the other night, and she and I always come to a very hard realization that my mom is very confusing. My sister and I are what you might call "Spawns of Matriarchal Dominance."

Let me back up. There's definitely a trend.

My grandma, bless her 95-year-old heart, was trained to be the epitome of ideal housewife. She can cook, clean, sew, and raise babies like it's nobody's business. But because of the war, homegirl had to man the fuck up. She single-handedly supported the family and even managed to send my mom to college. As strong of a family cornerstone as she was (and still is today), she still dyed her hair until the day my grandfather passed away - because she knew that despite it all, she was still a lady. A vain one at that.

My mom wasn't too far off. During the '70s, not knowing a lick of English and with a few dollars in her pocket, she flew to Chicago to realize the American dream. She worked the night shift knowing full well the discrimination being thrown against her, grit-and-bore-it, and built the foundation to which she faced her biggest challenge - having children. By the way, there is not one single picture of my mom when she was pregnant. There are, however, dozens of her in skinny jeans and halter tops.

My sister and I were raised in a dichotomy of sorts.

On one side, my mom told us that we were smart, capable women who should never rely on anyone to do anything for us. If we want it, go and get it. This led to us being painfully opposed to asking others for help (and hating it when we had to), and also being extremely aggressive in our careers. Truth be told, sometimes it actually defined us as people.

On the other side, my mom told us that we were beautiful, feminine girls who should never leave the house without our hair brushed. We were women, and should be very aware of this power. This led to our being extremely particular about the way we looked and the clothes we wore. Not surprisingly, we focus much of our spare time on keeping ourselves well-groomed.

As the two sides collided in our genome, what yielded was a very difficult-to-impress, extremely judgmental cynic who endearingly hopes for the best but almost always expects the worst. In other words, you're not good enough so your best bet is to come close.

My sister is now married with two precocious children, but still manages to hold an executive position in Corporate America. What others don't see is that her tendency to be a perfectionist does not fend well with our aforementioned double-edged sword. It's hard to be badass in both worlds. And not being a perfect badass in both worlds is driving her fucking crazy.

As the younger, I can learn from seeing the path my sister took, and build on it. I am now unmarried with no children, and I am also not a perfectionist. Things fall off my plate all the time. When I babysit for my sister, those kids cry all day because I really don't think crying is a weapon. Shit, I invented that strategy so I will not be fooled. But this flexibility allows me to focus on my career when needed, and fill the gaps with everything else under the sun to maintain my happiness: friends, family, travel, Chanel. You name it.

So at the prime of my life (I say this every year because every year is my prime), I think there is a shift in the type of guy that I may need and want. He doesn't have to be the super-successful "look at me now" asshole who likes to trade business cards over a fancy dinner. In fact, I'd hate that. What is rare, I think, is the guy who is extremely intelligent (but doesn't flaunt it), super clever (because he's so fucking intelligent), and is shamelessly aware of how there are only two people like me on this planet (and since the other one is married with two kids, I am now the greatest win of his life). Oh, and he has to be hot. This wasn't a requirement before, but it's a requirement now. Fit and hot. Because I like to work out and if I'm not motivated to keep up, I'm afraid I might get fat.

Which brings me to my main point. I might be hard to convince in terms of getting married, etc. but I can be because my mama taught me right.

No comments:

Post a Comment