Monday, August 18, 2008

Just wondering...

Remember this week, when I had to pick up my car in Chicago? Well, I volunteered to take my neighbor, so as to be somewhat social. She likes to talk gossip, and, well, I listen. I admit, I like me some good gossip. It's not a friendship made in heaven - heck, it might not be much of a friendship at all, but that's a story for another time.

Shortly after we moved in, I discovered that she knows some people that I went to school with - one that was in my class, and one that was a year behind me (and is a niece of my ex-sister-in-law, so cousins to 2 of my nephews. I'm from a small town.). In school, I was friendly with, but not friends with these girls. Apparently, they told her that I was "had another level" of friends and was sort of "above them". WTF? I mean, my friends and I were involved in things like music and theater, and also were pretty good students, but we certainly were no Benny & Steff of Pretty in Pink or anything. My dad was a truck driver, FFS (to borrow a phrase from Tuli)!

So I took the opportunity on our trip to find out exactly what they meant, because I was sort of offended. I guess these girls were basically calling me a goody-two-shoes.

Why am I offended by this? What the hell is wrong with being a goody-two-shoes? I guess if they mean I didn't "party" (which is a term that I absolutely hate - I think it sounds so stupid), they'd be pretty much right. When my friends were drinking Robitussin (did anyone else go through that stage?), I chose not to participate. I mean, why would I drink that shit simply for the alcohol content when it tastes horrible? I never wanted to try smoking; I never thought it smelled even remotely good and really didn't think it looked all that cool. That's not to say I didn't have my times with alcohol, because I did. The encounters just weren't all that exciting, and I didn't like how it made me feel (sort of nauseous). I don't like the taste of beer. So I chose not to imbibe. It goes without saying that I've not tried any sort of drug whatever. Does that mean a person is a goody-two-shoes? And why is that label so cruel sounding?

I've often wondered what it was that my parents did to instill this in me - is it genetic? My father, who grew up in a time where MANY people smoked, especially men, never did. Never even tried it. He claims it was because when he would ride with my grandpa (while they worked as loggers), grandpa would light up cigars and smoke...with the windows rolled up. He (grandpa) didn't like having the windows down, so my dad would be trapped in a truck cab filled with smelly cigar smoke. He said it nauseated him. My dad isn't a big drinker, either. He might have a beer (PBR me ASAP) on a hot summer day after mowing the lawn, and I've seen him have the occasional rum and coke, but other than that? Nothing much. My mother grew up with a German immigrant father, who frequented the Moose Lodge after work. I'm not sure if he really fit the "alcoholic" label, but my mom maintained he drank too much. And smoking never crossed her mind either.

I don't remember my parents being preachy about these vices, I just knew that their opinion was that they were unnecessary. And for whatever reason, I agreed.

That being said, I know how to swear. In fact, I enjoy a good round of swearing if I'm pissed off in the car (learning how to control that with a 3 year old in tow) or at my husband, or at the world. I know who to swear in front of (my mom = NOT okay). I also have a raunchy sense of humor and know that I have to be careful who to show that to. I have LOTS of strong opinions, some that probably go against the majority. My husband says that I'm liberal with a conservative streak. I guess that fits pretty well. I know that, if my daughter chooses to sneak alcohol as a teenager, she'll have to go elsewhere to find it, since we don't even keep any in the house. I'm cheap. My husband might get a beer at dinner sometimes, but usually only when we're dining with friends. Again, I'm cheap. And if I do drink? It's usually something fruity or mixed with coffee or ice cream, and typically I only have one.

Why do I still feel the need to be almost apologetic for who I am? And who the hell cares anymore? I mean, I graduated 18 frigging years ago and this is not a John Hughes movie. Like I told husband as we were discussing this today, I feel that people who are 35 years old should have their shit together by now, and not go out "partying" just for the sake of getting wasted. My idea of fun is having a game night with my best buds, laughing, eating, and having a good time. Alcohol may or may not be involved. I don't feel like I judge people who choose to have a drink, unless it's to excess and they look idiotic. I don't think sitting at a bar is especially fun, either. The guy I dated (and almost married) before my husband used to go to the bar almost every night. I'd go like a dutiful girlfriend and be the designated driver. But I was bored. Stiff. The one good thing that came of all those nights was that I got damn good at darts and bumper pool.

I guess the one thing I'm trying to get out of this long, rambling piece of crap post is - am I a goody-two-shoes? Am I being holier than thou? Does anyone share my opinion on all this? Let me have it...tell me what you think.


Tuli said...

I read your post yesterday but wanted to think about a reply before I posted a comment.

The nuts and bolts of it is this: you would not treat a person differently because their interests are different than yours. I think you would enjoy the differences. This doesn't make you holier than thou. This makes you a person who knows their mind and won't allow yourself to be pressured into situations you want to avoid. That is just smart, if you ask me. It's unfortunate that these other folks formed an opinion about you without attempting to communicate.

Melissa said...

Where were you when I was in High School?

Seriously, I was you. And while I wasn't a total outcast, I wasn't really accepted either, until I found a group at college.

And even though I've moved 200 miles away, there are FIVE PEOPLE from my high school who live in my subdivision and they still party and what not. With small children. WTF!

Thanks for stopping by!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Wow. I think we would have been great friends in high school. I was the same way, as were my parents. It drives me nuts that to be good is a bad, derogatory thing. I think it's a way for people who do party, who do follow that lifestyle, to make themselves feel better about it and belittle the rest of us. It's frustrating.

Molly's Mom said...

Ay-men sistas! Thanks for the support!

And Tuli, my husband is still by and large a "good boy" as well. He has to be, or I'll smack him upside the head ;-). He had some frustrations over this kind of thing his first year of college while rooming with one of the Georges.