Do you remember when you were little and you thought your parents were great, and then all of a sudden all of that changed and you were totally embarrassed of them? For me, it wasn’t gradual at all, and there wasn’t anything specific that embarrassed me about them, it was EVERYTHING.
For instance, growing up in Texas and having parents that were democrats. I didn’t know the specifics about politics, but I knew that all of my friend’s parents had Bush/Dukakis signs, and my parents were proudly displaying Clinton/Gore signs. I cringed every time anyone came over and I just wished that my parents didn’t feel the need to be so public about their voting decisions. Now, I can’t believe there was ever a point in my life that I was embarrassed that I had progressive parents.
Still another thing was the fact that my parents chose to listen to records, instead of moving along with the times and getting a CD player. I could not understand why everyone around us was moving on to the latest in music, and we were still stuck in the 70’s with vinyl records. But, without fail, my parents would turn on their record player and I would secretly jam out to some Lionel Richie in the corner.
And, several years after my parents got married, they decided to go into the Peace Corps together in Guatemala. During this time they got pregnant with my sister, and started a little family over there before returning a couple of years later. When they came back, they definitely brought the Guatemalan culture back with them. We had so many dishes, baskets and other Guatemalan paraphernalia adorning our home. Not only that, we went to Mexico nearly every week to stock up on Mexican sodas and sparkling water. When my friends would come over, I was horrified that I had to give them a Mexican coke in a bottle, or worse, poured out into a Guatemalan cup. All my friends had normal sodas in a can at their house.
And, my dad was insistent on making every meal from scratch. No McDonalds or Pizza Hut with him. But, I would cringe when my friends came over and my dad was slaving away in the kitchen making a totally foreign meal, when my friends probably would rather just order a pizza.
Thankfully, I now realize just how ridiculous I was being. Ironically, I feel like a lot of the qualities that my parents had, I now possess as an adult. And, I feel so lucky that I had cultured parents that introduced us to a lot more than just what was “normal.” I’m happy that I was able to live such a diverse life when I grew up in a small, Texas town. I imagine that when Sean and I have kids, they’ll think I’m a huge embarrassment too. In fact, I think I’ve already started embarrassing one of my nieces, and I’m not even her mom!
Anyone else feel this way?