On The Fence

On my other blog, I just finished writing a rather long article about how I’m on the fence about getting married. Please read it or, at least, skim. I would also really appreciate others’ opinion, so if you can think of something to say, don’t hesitate to leave a comment:

http://childfreeforlife.blogspot.com/2012/07/marriage-on-fence.html

Thank you. šŸ™‚

I’m Gonna Date. Get Over It.

Some people like to be babied. I am not one of them.

We came to see extended family for a reunion. For the first day and night, we stayed at my great-grandmother’s house. We left about 5:30 for the reunion and on the way out, one of my relatives made a little joke:

“Don’t go finding any boyfriends, Kaye!”

And my grandfather responded with:

“Oh, she won’t! I’m her boyfriend! She won’t be getting any boys! She’s my baby!”

Truth be told, that’s paraphrased, but it’s close enough. Everyone thought it was funny and since I didn’t want to kick up a storm, I said nothing. But in reality, it’s not funny at all.

Sure, it’s only an innocent comment, but with the exception of the “I’m her boyfriend” part, he was serious. I’m 18 years old and my grandfather still considers me too young to be dating. I’ve only gotten a slight interest in dating since 17, but that is besides the point. That joke might be “cute” now, but I doubt it will be so cute in three years when I’m 21 years old. Hopefully, I’ll have moved out by then.

Not to mention this was said to family. What if this was said in front of my summer camp? Or at school? I’m certain they wouldn’t take it as a joke. The (grand)papa wolf might be interpreted as “he just loves you” to everyone else, but to me, it’s smothering. If he doesn’t want me to date – now or later – that’s his problem, not mine. It’s really just going to force me to hide more things from him.

Whenever I find a relationship, that person will not meet my grandfather. Not until he can accept that I am 18 – or 19 or 20 or older – and not a baby anymore.

When Does It Stop?

First, he finds it necessary for me to get my hair done and have a new outfit to go on a trip. Now, he thinks I can’t tell time.

When does the babying end?!

We’re leaving at about 4 AM. I’m purposefully staying up because I want to sleep in the car. It’s a seven to eight hour drive. I don’t have enough tunes to keep me occupied. Right now, it’s a few minutes to 1:00.

My grandfather wakes up, walks past my room and sees me on my computer. This exchange happens:

“[Kaye], I don’t know if you know it or not, but we’re leaving early.”
“I know.”
“Alright. Don’t be complaining now.”

Yeah, like I’m too dumb to realize I’m going to be tired. That’s the point! If I were going to complain, I’d go to bed! I’m not a five-year-old who doesn’t know the different between 1:00 and 4:00.

Then again, I probably shouldn’t be taking anything too seriously from someone buys a six-pack hours before a long trip.

Appearance Is Everything, Self-Worth Is Nothing

I’m going down south for the weekend. I’d rather not since I don’t really know anyone down there, but I don’t exactly have a choice. That alone is bad enough. What’s worse is I have to get my hair done.

Yes, I have to get my hair done for a ONE-day trip to see people I don’t even know.

My grandfather initially wanted me to get hair extensions done. Uh, no. Hair extensions take too much time and are a pain to take out. No way was I getting extensions in my hair for one weekend. Too much work and too much money. The compromise was I go to the salon to simply have my hair straightened. But what’s upset me is something my grandfather said today.

“You’ve got to start going [to the beauty parlor] again, so you may as well start now.”

No. No! NO!

This isn’t anything new.Ā Almost my whole family has an obsession with appearance. Specifically, my appearance. The idea of a girl who actually likes how she looks and doesn’t feel the need to run to the salon every week is a foreign concept.

In other words, my self-esteem means nothing.

Forget the fact that I have low self-esteem to begin with. Apparently, being short-haired, wanting to stay that way and wanting to do your own hair is an issue. If this were a wedding (which I also hate), I could understand, but this is nothing but a trip. Nothing special at all. Just a trip. Even my uncle doesn’t want to go. But I’ve got to beĀ dolled up, for some unfathomable reason (forget the fact that my nails are already done).

Like I said, this is nothing new. My own mother’s definition of pretty was having your hair done for $70. I was getting weave in my hair at the age of seven. Why does a seven-year-old need hair extensions?!?!? I hated it. Hated being in that chair, hated my aching head and I hated the notion that I wasn’t pretty without all this. I was bulliedĀ at school and being called ugly was the most common insult. It really doesn’t feel good to beĀ told you’re ugly in school by your classmates, only to come home and basically hear the same from your own mother! This is the person who’s supposed to be helping me grow as a person, not make me feel small!

When I think about it, however, the real bully was my mother. Sure, my classmates (most of them, not all) picked on me, but never as much as she did. High school was when the school bullying began to stop, but my mother didn’t. I can recall her screaming at me (when I was 15), “People talking about you!” No, she was. Nobody was picking on me but her. And even if it were true, why did she care? When you have children, shouldn’t their opinion matter more than someone else’s? So what someone else thinks of me is more important to my mother than what I think of me?

I guess so.

Back to the original topic, this situation going onĀ just makes me more anxious for the day I can finally move out and get the heck away from everyone. If I’m happy with myself (usually), why can’t everyone else be? I’ve got nothing against going to the beauty parlor. IĀ just don’t want it. As longĀ as I look neat (and I always do), there shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, if I’ve got to do anything, it’s learn to take care of myself and that does notĀ mean running to the salon every month.

I’ve been considering estranging myself from my family when I’m finally able to beĀ on my own. That’s a drastic step, but I can’t have my mind being broken all the time. I’ve got issues as it is and being around here is not helping. Maybe that’s why I usually feel more loved/liked by my friends and even my camp (yes, that counselor and I are back on good terms now). They see more to me than just my appearance. And that’s how I prefer to be seen.

Fired For Saving A Life

Yep, you read that right. Where does the stupidity end?

A lifeguard in Florida was fired for trying to save a drowning man’s life. The reason is the man was outside of his patrol zone, in an unprotected area, and the lifeguard’s employer is not paid to patrol that zone. Money over morals. Lovely.

By the time the lifeguard arrived, the man had already been pull ashore by other beachgoers.

I’m guessing there is a strict rule about vacating your patrol zone and I can understand that. But it’s not like the guard left to go have drink! He was doing what he was trained to do! Another person on the beach pointed the man drowning out to the lifeguard and he, without a second thought, went to help him. Sometimes, rules need to have exceptions.

As many of the comments point out, what if the lifeguard had refused to leave his post to try to help?Ā  Or what if the guy had drowned? No doubt the company would be sued and the lifeguard would’ve been fired anyway! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

I sincerely hope this man finds another job and an employer with more than half a brain! As one of the commentators on the article so eloquently put it:

Real heroes are people who can see what need doing and do it without getting permission first.

I couldn’t agree more.