Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Part 2: Love Letter to My Parents, on Their Fortieth Wedding Anniversary

Because Roommate and I have been exploring this subject for a while, on and off, in our mid-evening talks: "Our parents succeeded brilliantly in raising us. WHY? Our parents are not similar in their lifestyles or methods, and yet, you and I turned out very similarly. If it's not about the small details, then what is it about?"

I mean, we don't necessarily take after our (very different) parents, either of us, and so I think both of us occasionally worry that our respective parents think they did a poor job of raising us. Or that maybe they wish we had turned out differently. Or that we were more...normal, maybe. Less likely to really stand out in a crowd. Softer. Less sharp tongued. Less apt to have lives that we can't really even talk about in mixed company. More apt to spend time with family. Especially because we are both girls; this kind of "I can act normal, but I could also make you REALLY uncomfortable" is not perhaps what every parents dreams of in a daughter.

And yet. As I recently exclaimed to Roommate, the other night: "I mean, both of us are rather intelligent, rather talented, rather sane, not unsuccessful, or addicts, or even alcoholics (debatable) or divorced, or lovesick retards, married to someone who's all wrong for us and barely has a job, etc..." and here she interrupted me: "We beat the spread."

Yes. We beat the spread.

It's important to note here that I've never once thought that my parents just "got lucky" with the way I turned out. They WORKED at it. They always had the best of intentions; they are loving parents. But so many other parents had good intentions and were loving and kind and caring, and yet the product of their efforts didn't turn out the way they intended. Their children didn't beat the spread. Why?

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