The Dynamic Duo

AKA my parents.

My parents have been together for over 20 years. They’ve known each other since they were born, grew up as neighbors, were best friends for a long time, didn’t start to date until their 20’s, had me in their late 20’s, had my brother in their early 30’s, got married in their early 40’s, and are still happily together to this day.

They have an average relationship dynamic. My mom talks a lot, my dad doesn’t say much, but together they just kind of complement each other.

Every week is the same routine. Dad picks mom up from work, they get home, mom makes dinner while dad watches TV in the kitchen and helps her if she asks, They clean the kitchen, go upstairs and take showers, talk for a while, and go to bed. On weekends, they watch TV until midnight or a little later while eating fish balls and drinking wine.

A little over a year ago my mom got a job that requires her to travel a few times a year. So far she’s gone 5 times. She’s gone now, and it always goes the same:

Dad gets home earlier than usual since he doesn’t have to pick up mom. Instead of hibernating in the kitchen, he checks on me and my brother. He asks us about our days and asks if we want to eat anything. Today he took me to Taco Bell for dinner. He doesn’t usually do these things because he knows our mom does, and he usually only talks to us if we’re in the room he’s in. He makes sure we’re fed, he talks to us, and he tells us to go to bed at night. Not exactly following in my mom’s footsteps, but he’s definitely more involved than he is when she’s home.

Of course I know my dad cares about us, but he’s just a man of few words. When my mom is out, he tries to take care of the house in his own way.

Even though she’s not there, he still stays in the kitchen. I think it’s probably out of habit. He doesn’t say anything but I know he misses her. When he plays on his iPad, I see him occasionally checking her Facebook, maybe hoping she posted a picture or updated what she’s doing. My dad usually goes to sleep around 9 PM, but for some reason he stays up an hour or two later whenever she’s gone. He usually sleeps at the time she sleeps when she’s home. For what reason, I don’t know. Whenever she’s gone, he sleeps with the lights on. For what reason, again, I don’t know.

My mom is more open about her missing us. She texts all day, she calls in her free time. She asks how my dad’s doing and what he’s doing and she tells me to tell him goodnight because she knows that he likes to leave his phone downstairs at night because he doesn’t like it bothering him at night. And she tells me to be aware of him at night, and to check on him because, even though it’s really rare, he’ll wake up screaming in the middle of the night sometimes. It happens probably less than 5 times a year, but she still tells me to make sure he’s okay.

As a psychology student, I’m very concerned as to why my father has occasional night terrors since they’re highly uncommon in adulthood, but that’s not my point. My point is that even though there’s such a small small small small small percent chance of something happening to my father, she still tells me to make sure he’s okay. And since my mom is gone, my dad sleeps with the lights on. Sometimes he even arranges the pillows on her side and hugs them. What this tells me is that my mom comforts him.

He barely talks to his own kids, but he talks to her. He has no reason to be in the kitchen sitting on those hard stools all evening purely besides keeping my mom company. He can’t sleep with the light off when she’s not there. When I was younger, I always took my father’s silence as apathy. My brother takes after him, so I took my brother as an apathetic person as well. But it’s not true. It took me a long time to realize that just because someone doesn’t show love in the same way as me doesn’t mean that the love isn’t there.

Love is shown in so many different ways.

They always say that people tend to fall in love with people similar to their parents. I do think I’m dating a guy a lot like my father.

My boyfriend is hardworking. He’s kind. He doesn’t say much, but he always listens, and he always remembers even when I don’t think he does. I always make grand gestures like baking him cookies or cupcakes or drawing him pictures or writing him letters, but that’s how I show my love. He shows his by sending me an occasional “Whacha up to?” in the middle of the day. He shows his love by sending me funny pictures he found on the internet that he thinks will make me laugh. He shows his love by texting me a good morning as soon as he wakes up and a good night right before bed. They’re all subtle things, but they all mean I love you.

Every relationship is different, but that doesn’t make them any less wonderful than the other.

Life Is Hard

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I am an expecting mother.

I thought it would be hard, but for some reason I didn’t think it would be this hard.

It all started when I checked my final grades for the semester this morning *sobs*.

I got two 79% grades. No.

My immediate thought flashed back to when I first found out I was pregnant. That was the day before I had 2 exams in those classes. Talk about inconvenient. So obviously I couldn’t study because my head wasn’t in it, and the following, oh I don’t know, probably month or so I was an emotional wreck because I just found out I was going to be a teen mother and drop out of school for an unknown period of time to raise a child.

I couldn’t help thinking, “If I had waited to take the test or if I had only taken it earlier, then I wouldn’t have been in that state of shock and devastation, and I could have not failed those tests and had enough to get solid B’s instead of those fucking teases of grades.”

A lot of my friends are over-achievers and they would’ve been devastated with their grades too, but I’m especially tormented by these percentages because unlike them, I don’t know where I’ll go next year. I have to transfer to the school nearby because I can’t have a baby and raise it by myself at my college when it’s a 4 hour drive away. I ended my freshman year with a 2.6 GPA and to be quite honest things aren’t looking good about getting into the close-by university.

The second thing that drove me into panic was when I was trying to find a part-time job. Of course I think future employers would cut me a little slack if I don’t do anything this summer since I’m physically limited, but I just feel like I should take some responsibility and do something. All the jobs I want because they would help with my major (aka childcare related jobs) would be bad because I can’t watch kids when I’m nauseous and tired all the time. I don’t even think I could do a simple retail job because it’s not healthy for me to be on my feet for long periods of time, but I know how demanding retail is. At this point I don’t think there are jobs I can take without any repercussions, and it makes me feel awful.

At the same time, this gives me great(er) respect for single moms that had to do this all on their own. For those girls that got pregnant and didn’t have overwhelming family and friend support like I have right now, that had to work through hell and back and do their best to support their child. I imagine these women doing minimum-wage shit jobs while their legs swell and their back breaks, that have kids waiting for them to come home. I sit here complaining, while my parents are insisting I stay home and relax to have a smooth gestation, and they’re even signing me up for birthing classes and prenatal yoga. Teenage pregnancy doesn’t get any easier than this tbh.

On one hand I feel truly ungrateful for what I have, but on another I just feel… spoiled. I feel like I’m not suffering enough for this.

Then on another hand, I’m angry that that has to be in my mind. You see all these horror stories on TV about girls getting kicked out of their homes by their families and abandoned by their boyfriends and are forced to work multiple jobs to support a family they weren’t ready for. But why? Why is teenage pregnancy the biggest shame? People preach peace and tolerance but they don’t practice it. Once I even got an, “I hope you don’t abort it” from someone. Literally all I did was tell them that I was pregnant, and they threw that at me.

This is a hard situation for me. This is a stressful time in my life, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. I guess all I can do is hold my head high and roll with what life deals me.

Only A Highway

First of all, happy 2014 everyone! May your year be full of love and happiness and success!

Third day of the new year and I’m already pissed off, so here we go.

New Year’s eve was an interesting life experience. I drank-drank for the first time with my cousins and my best friend. It was awful. My cousins are stupid and mean drunks, and my best friend just got loopy. I drank maybe half a glass of champagne, and it was disgusting. It burnt my throat and it didn’t taste like strawberries at all (as the label suggested it would). I had a screwdriver, which was apparently orange juice and a shit ton of vodka. I took maybe 3 sips of that before I determined that it was disgusting. Then I had half a cranberry vodka, which was my favorite of them all but just the fact that it had alcohol in it I stopped after half a glass. I had a horrible headache, and I can’t see any appeal in drinking whatsoever. My family always makes getting drunk sound fun, but I find no appeal in getting dizzy with a headache.

The alcohol wasn’t the main cause for my distress on New Year’s. It was my cousins. They go to a big party school, so they drink compulsively. They spent practically the whole night drinking, and they even drove home with none of the adults stopping them. They take drinking very seriously. When I took a sip of champagne, I made a disgusted face — because it was disgusting — and one of them goes, “Well if you’re done judging us now just hand it over if you don’t like it” and he took the glass from me and proceeded to drink half of it and pass it around among his friends. He said it in a very harsh and judgmental way towards me.

See, my cousins know that I don’t like to drink, and I feel as if they think less of me for it. I don’t judge them for being heavy drinkers. Like, to each their own. As long as they’re not hurting anyone then whatever. But they were judging me all night just because I don’t like alcohol and they kept calling me a party pooper and told me to get out. A relationship of understanding is a two-way street, not a bike path and a highway. With my cousins, it seems to just be the alcoholic express.

My second major cause for distress this year (and we’re only on day 3, oh boy) is my sexist parents.

So I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years now (today is our 34 months woohoo). Yet every time he comes over, all I get from my parents are

LEAVE THE DOOR OPEN

NO KISSING

DON’T TURN OFF ANY LIGHTS

They even get mad over prolonged hugging!

Okay, so I’ve been taking that shit for nearly 3 years, but that’s not my cause for indignation today. I’m upset because my younger brother got a girlfriend, and my parents have only met her once. This morning my mom comes to me and she goes, “Hey, come to the mall tonight with me and your dad. Your brother’s girlfriend is coming over tonight so they can have some privacy on their date.”

Well, I’m sure as fuck not going to the mall with them. I’m furious. I feel as though they hate my boyfriend who has been nothing but kind and good to me for 3 years, yet they already like my brother’s girlfriend that they’ve only met fucking one time.

When I first started dating my boyfriend 3 years ago, I called my parents out on being overprotective purely because I’m a girl. They assured me that they would be the same way when my brother had a girlfriend, and now I know that that was all shit. Not that I ever thought they meant it of course.

I talked to my cousin about this, and here is his argument, which I will systematically refute:

  1. “Maybe it’s because you can get pregnant and he can’t?” That may be true, but just because he can’t get pregnant doesn’t mean he can’t impregnate. How is impregnating less worse than getting pregnant?
  2. “Maybe they just like her more than they like your boyfriend?” Well that’s fucking rude. All they know about her is that she watches Korean dramas and that she’s in a club with my brother. They’ve only met her FUCKING ONCE, why is she already better than my boyfriend, who has been good to me for 3 years?
  3. “Maybe it’s just plain because they don’t like your boyfriend because they envisioned you with someone better?” Well my boyfriend is kind, doting on me, an engineer major, great with kids. What else could they have envisioned? Oh wait, I forgot, he’s fucking white and my parents are racist as shit. Do you think that plays a key factor?
  4. “They’re probably just being sexist.” DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER.

I don’t care if they like her more. I don’t care if my brother can’t get pregnant. I don’t care about anything else, I don’t give a shit. But, in my eyes, there is NOTHING in old-fashioned beliefs that could possibly excuse leaving a boy and a girl alone together in a house and night time. Do my parents think her parents would like that?

Fuck this.

I’m so tired of this argument.

They say that when I’m older I’ll understand. They say if I have a daughter, I’ll understand why they do this to me.

No, I fucking won’t.

My daughter has a boyfriend? If he treats her right and makes her happy, fan-fucking-tastic.
They want to have sex? Well, baby, let me teach you about safe sex and ask you if you’re really sure about this. If you think so, then mommy will even go out and get you birth control.

My son has a girlfriend? If she treats him right and makes him happy, cool.
They want to have sex? Son, you better treat her like a princess because that shit is gonna fucking hurt you hear me you treat her like a goddess. You want condoms? Daddy will run to the store and buy some on his way home from work.

Why does my brother deserve more respect and understanding and patience from my parents just because he has a penis?