Monday, February 9, 2009

...sOmEtHiN diFFeReNt aBoUt yOu...

I am one of six children...two boys and four girls. We don't have the MOST dysfunctional family...but there are some..."issues" from time to time. We have a little of everything between all of us...and we all definitely fall into roles. We have the crazy one (HER description of herself, not mine)...the hyper, funny one...the perfect one...the nice, quiet one that never asks for anything...the wild child...and the brainiac baby. Now obviously there's a lot more to each of us than just those brief descriptions...but I do think that it is so interesting how we tend to behave according to what is expected of us.

I'm the "perfect one" in that list from above...except I'm not really where near in fact.  I'm late all the time...I speak before I think...I worry too much...I eat too much sugar...etc etc etc...but I am married and have been for a long time.  I have 3 beautiful, smart kids.  My husband is successful...a partner at an investment fund.  I live in a big nice house, and I never ask for anything from anyone.  I almost always have my makeup just hair styled...matching jewelry... and nice clothes...including some sort of high heel and tight jeans.  I think really it's that I'm the most predictable...I have the most "traditional", conservative life. 

I guess I had forgotten just how much my friends and family have come to expect certain things from me...even down to the way I dress.  I went to my parents' house for our weekly Sunday dinner a few weeks ago.  As I stood by the dining room table preparing my kids plates, my two brothers were watching me (1 older and 1 younger).  A funny conversation ensued.

OLDER BRO:  "Hey C! (younger bro)  Do you notice something different about MC?"

YOUNGER BRO: (generally very quiet)  " really."

OLDER BRO:  "Look at her! There's something really different...unusual today..."

YOUNGER BRO:  blank stare

ME: (becoming paranoid)  "What?!?!  Y'all better not be makin fun of me!  Seriously!  Do I look weird?"

OLDER BRO:  "No..." (mischievous smile)  "Look at her C! 

YOUNGER BRO:  "I don't know....what?"

OLDER BRO:  "She's wearing loose pants!"

We all burst into laughter because it really is strange.  I just so happened to be wearing some "boyfriend style" loose jeans instead of my normal tight jeans.  I never wear them but I was wanting to be comfy and I just threw them on since we were just going to my Mom and Dad's house.  Everyone teases me about my tight pants...the ones I wear to the jeans...whatever...but that's not really the point of's really more of an illustration of a deeper concept.I just find it so interesting how we label and categorize people.  We want them to look and behave in a certain way...the way we know them.  It makes change difficult.  I think that's why it's hard for us to be happy for people when they lose weight or get a better job or get a makeover or anything that changes the way a person looks or feels about themselves.  I think it scares us.  We become comfortable with the persona we create for each person.  I also think that it causes us to step back and take a look at ourselves and wonder if there are things that we don't like about ourselves that we could improve...or even things that we hide because we are afraid how people will react if they know who we really are.

I'm stepping back...and I'm gonna look long and hard at the people I love in my life.  I'm gonna take the time to see past the labels and roles they play and find more.  Labels are just sticky distractions that keep us from seeing what's behind them.  I'm gonna start peelin em off of others and myself.  Who knows what I'll find...


s said...

this is so true! i remember when i had this very lightbulb come on for me. we(m, t, r, and random friends, including m's boyfriend at the time) were at burger king on a friday night. we always went out to eat at some fast food place. m was like in 8th grade. her boyfriend was kinda scary. he had half of his head shaved with a long flap hanging over his face and wore these big baggy pants. he didn't talk much. his mom had him when she was really young. i remember we felt sorry for him because he had never seen a disney movie and didn't know fairy tales, or normal kid songs. anyway, beside the point and i'm getting to it. . . we finished eating and t and r were playing in the play area. m's boyfriend went in there are started playing with them. see, i would have never expected this tough guy to go play! it was so funny to watch. i learned then that we all want the same things. we just have different outsides. we all just want to have fun and be accepted. i learned to just be you. i love u, sis. just the way you are. i only see your heart!

MC said...

Awww...that's so cool. Me and "m" are too much alike I tell you! I had a few scary bfs too! ;) Love you sis!