Sunday, May 8, 2011

Open Letter to My Family

Dear Secret Blogiary,

Dear Family Member(s),

It has come to my attention that you*

A) still think I am a child
B) think I am an idiot
C) think maybe I was dropped on my head too many times to count
D) require constant supervision
E) have asked repeatedly for your advice
F) make rash emotionally-based decisions

While I didn’t intend for this to be a pop quiz, clearly, I need to ascertain your poor opinion of me before I reply to your increasingly emotional demands on my person.

Please let me begin with a few minor and simple observations:

1) While I may be the youngest, I am by no means a child. If you might recall at last birthday count I was pushing well into my mid-thirties. Plus, if you will kindly remember, I do not live at home.
2) Again, although I am the youngest, I actually have quite a bit of brains at my disposal. In fact, I am pretty sure that at birth, I had the same amount of brains as everyone else.
3) According to family legend, I was not actually the one dropped on my head.
4) I will readily admit, as a child if not supervised I tended to get into things, however, as a grown-up, I have no trouble getting into and then cleaning up my own things.
5) Point in fact, I do not ever ask for advice from family for the simple fact that you are family and therefore emotionally involved and I cannot rely on your advice being objective. This was true as a child and teenager, it is still true now.
6) While I can be emotional I don’t believe I have ever as a teenager or adult made a decision rashly – I may have made emotional decisions (clearly I married Mister W and there was a great deal of emotion in that) but rash? No.

So let’s review, just because I don’t talk to you about my life or major decisions that have no bearing on you or your life whatsoever does not mean that I do not think about my choices before acting on them. In fact, you might want to make a note about this, but I constantly think about my decisions and sort-of obsess over them because I want to look at all options, all sides, in every corner and under every rock before going through with a plan because guess what?

I was fucking raised to think before I act!! To gather all the information so that I could make a fucking well-informed decision.

In addition, I often do not ask you advice, not because I don’t want it, but because having lived my whole life knowing you, I know what you will say. I’ve paid attention through the years, watched the mistakes you’ve made and catalogued them deep in the clutter-filled recesses of my grey matter. I know most of the time you force give your advice because you care. Thank you, but unless I ask, please don't. Since before I can remember, I've tried very hard not to give unsolicited advice. I kept quiet during times when I thought you were doing something wrong. I ask for the same courtesy.

Also, when I walk away, let me go, especially if you are starting to raise your voice and/or cry. Don’t grab my arm and make ultimatums. I am walking away so that you or I don’t say something in an emotionally charged conversation that we will both regret. Remember, I think before I act, but sometimes you forget.

Finally, I don’t claim to not make mistakes. Mistakes and failure happen. I get that. I've made plenty. As a parent, I understand that if I can prevent my child from making a mistake, I should want to. But then how does one learn? I try to live by the philosophy: A smart person learns from their mistakes. A wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

A mistake can be a great motivational factor, a great learning tool and sometimes, a big mistake can result in the best possible consequence. Remember, that time when I got knocked up and according to some I “did it on purpose?” Mistake it might have been, but if we hadn’t made it, Mister W and I would not have our Big Sis!

So, should our choices result in an unforeseen and potentially rotten consequences, we’ll roll with it because that’s how we are. And if I talk about it or not, take comfort that just because I am silent, does not mean my brain is taking the night off.

Please stop trying to make me feel like shit because you dislike that I am not including you in a decision that affects only Mister W, The Girls and me. Stop accusing me of not making an effort to find another way. Just, for fuck’s sake, stop.



* For the remainder of this letter the singular ‘you’ shall refer to the plural ‘you all’ ‘all ya’ll’ or ‘youse guys’

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