Don’t ask me why, but I feel like I should share a little bit more about my family. Not that I expect that it will interest anyone in particular, but this is a post I am doing for me. Perhaps it’s only logical, because together they shaped me into the awkward human being that I am today. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all them – I take my stand in the middle in the whole nature versus nurture discussion, I believe people become who they are because there’s truth in a little bit of both. Anyway, I shall start off with my sister. I have a very odd relationship with my sister. Many a time I get a comment from my friends or surroundings which is something like “Oh! I keep forgetting you have a sister!” to which I usually reply “That’s alright, so do I.” I am aware of the bitterness in that reply and I honestly do not dislike her, I just feel like I never really got to know her. For starters, she is eleven years older than I am, which creates some sort of division. Secondly, we do not share the same father, which is fine because both of us are not really in contact with our father’s – but I will get to that another time.
My sister was the rebellious sort of teenager, the one you imagine to star in some teen-drama movie. In all fairness I was probably quite a bit too young to remember her well at this stage, for I was around three years old, but I’ve seen enough pictures and heard enough to stories to picture it well. She had a habit of dying her hair a different colour (or set of colours, e.g. rainbow, rastafarian) every week until she decided to quit the colouring and turn her beautiful long blonde hair into dreadlocks, which in all fairness suited her very well. She refused to wear any piece of clothing that was not black, which I believe was inspired by Paint it Black from the Rolling Stones. She returned home many a time with a new piercing and at one point a very large tattoo across her back which nearly gave my mom a heart-attack. She smoked weed and basically did everything that seemed even remotely rebellious. She moved out of house when she was just sixteen, for my mom could not handle her and let me tell you, my mom is a tough one and allowed her a lot of freedom for she’s not conventional at all herself. The thing with my sister is that a lot of people go through this stage, which makes it a “stage”, however my sister sorta stuck in it and till this day is very much the rebellious “teenager” she was a little bit less than twenty years ago. Nowadays she spends her time travelling all over the world. She is a very social person so she’s helping wherever she’s needed. I used to think it was quite unfair that all these other people all over the world got to see much more of my sister than me and my mom. As a young girl growing up, my sister was my biggest example and I wanted to do everything she did. Naturally I am way less rebellious and bold than my sister so at one point I did find my own – as my sister sees it, probably “conventional” – path. With a little bit of help from my mom, as later turns out. Not long ago I discovered that the reason behind my moms heavy protesting of me wanting to go to the same high school as my older sister was purely based on the fact that she didn’t want me to start in a bad daylight for being the sister of… Which probably was a very decision indeed.
My mom probably clashed so much with my sister because she recognized herself. My mom was born into a very wealthy and aristocratic family, but always felt like the black sheep. To piss them off she decided to become a hairdresser – a very shocking thing at the time, apparently. She often likes to brag about the fact that until she was thirty she could fit all her belongings into a suitcase and go wherever she wanted. And so she did. She lived in Paris, Spain and many more places until she met my sister’s dad and settled down for a short while. Although settling down might not be the correct term to use, for my sister’s dad was a very artistic soul who lead a very wild lifestyle. He was an artist and furniture designer, who is nowadays quite famous so I will most definitely not mention his name. After a hectic couple of years my mom moved to the quiet town where me and my sister grew up and met my dad. They managed to stay married for one whole year until they wanted to kill each other. In all fairness, I have never managed to maintain any relationship longer than two months so I am not one to judge. I then moved with my mom. I remember my upbringing as one chaotic but fascinating journey. I remember very well how every two weeks when I would come downstairs my mom would’ve changed the entire interior of our living room during the night and it would feel as if I would walk into a complete different house. I guess that is how my mom dealt with being a responsible parent and therefore not able to move around as much as she used to. I think it is fair to say that my mom is a very free-spirit and somehow having children felt like she was locked up in a cage. Unfortunately for her, I was the one to lock her up even more, as I wasn’t an easy child such as my sister. My mom would sometimes put a baby phone in my room and ask the neighbors to look after me as she left the house at night, however sly little devil I was, before I would go to bed I would search the whole room for the baby phone and if it was switched on I would wait in my bed until I heard my mom close the front door and cry my eyes out, which eventually resulted into her staying at home. She didn’t have an easy time bringing up a child alone, twice! But in my opinion she did a pretty damn great job. Although she was older than quite a few moms (she was 41 when she got me), she always felt like a best friend to me and in her ways and even looks she seemed way younger than all the other moms. My friends would also be envious of the freedom my mom allowed me and they couldn’t believe their eyes and ears when they heard my mom curse.
And then there’s my dad. I normally do not like to talk about my dad much, because there are quite a few of unresolved issues there. But in basic terms I can describe him as a stern, stubborn and emotionally-defected man. Sometimes I wonder how he and my mom ever got together for he represented everything she had spend her entire life running away from. He was posh. At least, he tried to be. Unlike my mom he didn’t actually come from a good family and he was a self-built man. ‘New money’. Recently I discovered that he used to be quite the rebel himself, for he is known by his high school friends to be an actual drug addict in his younger years, which was quite shocking to me. Naturally, this didn’t come from him but from my mom and some others around me, for he never shares much about his past nor his present with me. I didn’t see or talk to him at all for quite a long part of my childhood (from when I was 13 till my 19th birthday). Apparently this is quite a substantial part of your life for it is sometimes painful to discover that your own dad doesn’t know anything about you. It’s the small things, like, when he suggested in a restaurant that I should order the chicken, to which I felt the need to reply that I have never liked chicken throughout my entire life. My dad is also quite the ladies man. After my mom he had about twenty other girlfriends, from which none of them I liked. Not because I was biased, just because they weren’t very nice women. He got remarried when I was eleven year’s old. She was alright, at least she didn’t try to be my new ‘mom’. However, they divorced this year, which earned him the title of Elizabeth Taylor in our family for his many (3) failed marriages. Although I believe he confirmed not long ago that he was seeing someone new, so maybe there’s a fourth one on the way.
All in all I am not unsatisfied with my family. We are never able to choose who we are related to, plus many families merely look good on the outside. At least my family doesn’t hold up those fake pretensions. We look just as messed up on the outside as we are on the inside.
So that was a little bit about my family, whom I am sure will be mentioned more often for they are the cause of many of my awkward failures.
Stay golden my little ponyboys and stay strong my fellow awkward-turtles out there,
Yours truly, Maple.