Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I am afraid some of you really REALLY aren't going to like this post...

but hear me out...and pardon me while I vent a little.

I am not a fan of father's day.
Or mother's day.
Or grandparent's day.
Or valentine's day.

I am even a little on the fence about National Women's Friendship Day, which was founded by my sorority, which y'all know I kind of love like crazy, but I still am not exactly a fan, though I do like it better than the other days, but I digress.

So, you're probably asking the question "why?"

the reason is simple: it leaves someone out.

Which I HATE. Like, HATEHATEHATE. I actually reserve the word "hate" for occasions just like these, because it's word I think is FAR over-used and has much bigger implications than most people realize. Also, kind of like LOVE.

I am quite well aware of what it's like to be "left out." Very familiar with this feeling. As a child, I experienced the kind of left-out-ness that many people felt at one time or another. Your clothes weren't matchy-matchy Laura Ashley and you wore neon orange high top converse with blue socks--left out. You had "pizza face" because your lovely hereditary acne--left out. You were smarter than a lot of the other people in your class--left out. And even as an adult? Still getting left out. It bothers me much, much, less now, ps. Actually, it just makes me giggle at the people who do it.

But more to the point--another time I got left out, time and time again, was for anything that involved a "father." Sure, my granddaddy was there to fill that role, but remember, I have a twin sister. So anything we did? We needed two fathers, because that's just how those things work. (e.g., father-daughter Girl Scout dance)

When it came to college? My father died in a house-fire my freshman year. When it came time for homecoming shirts a few years later, my sisters wanted to do a shirt that said "we'll always be our daddys' little girls." I pitched a fit, and we realized we couldn't make it mom's either, so we decided to say "we'll always be your little girls." More PC. Not everyone even HAS parents, you know? But we were all little girls, once.

and even on my wedding day? no father to dance with. granddad was not in good enough health. and I ended up dancing with my Uncle Bill, who didn't even want to dance (we had all figured granddad would have enough energy to make it through the first dance)

but these things? they're all about *me* personally. and they're what made me realize this. so, let's broaden it a little.

remember my friend who lost her baby? yeah, mother's day? five days after her daughter passed.

grandparent's day? makes me celebrate my granny, but also mourn my grandfather and my grandma la la.

valentine's day is kind of miserable if you're single and generally cheesy if you're not.

and if you haven't caught on to the father's day thing yet then you really aren't reading. :)

but it makes me think...
what about children who were never adopted?
or people whose parents hurt them?
or what about the mother who couldn't have children?
or the father who lost his wife, the mother of his child?

and? why the heck don't we celebrate these people in the moment? why does it require a special day?

I guess I just don't get it.
maybe I'm an over-complimenter. or maybe I tell my feelings more often than other people. but I just don't get it.

but that said? I still celebrate. I cannot imagine the kind of pride and love that comes with being a parent--and I hope to know it some day. This Father's day? We are absolutely calling Matt's dad George (who is fabulous. and who reads this blog. and who thinks I am the bomb.) and wishing him happy father's day--because like I'm sure most of you would feel, we are each in different ways very thankful to have him as a part of our lives, and just 'cause I don't agree with having these types of holidays doesn't mean I'm going to inflict my opinion on someone else and deny them their celebration in protest. I can share it here though. :)

I guess....
I just wish we could be more respectful of the have-nots in our society.
And I wish we could be more empathetic for those who don't have those figures in their lives. Particularly the ones who grieve for them still, or never had them to begin with.
And I hope we can be mindful of our differences instead of expect everyone to fit the mold.

off: soapbox. it's just something that has weighed heavy on my mind recently. thanks for reading.

ps: I am okay with Christmas. And Easter. and Thanksgiving. And 4th of July. And even MLK day. Christmas and Easter (Christmas moreso than Easter) have come to be more about taking time to celebrate with those you love, not necessarily those to whom you are related. 4th of July? Hello, you choose to live in America. MLK day? Life lesson valuable to ALL humankind. And Thanksgiving? again, you choose to live in America. Etc. I'm sure I'm missing lots of holidays, but you get the gist.

pps: I know there are a million pros for holidays like this, too. eg--the spouse or child who never remembers to show appreciation will be more likely to do so. it teaches children about appreciating their parental units. etc. And people who are parents and grandparents and the like? A lot of 'em TOTALLY deserve a party. I'm not denying that part at all. It just makes me think of those who don't get to be a part of the celebration.


M. said...

I agree with you 100%!!! Very well said.

Jax said...

I totally see where you're coming from... On Father's Day, I always think "should I get something for my mom today? I mean..she's kinda both parents now.." (Ps so weird our dads died on the same date btw..still recall that email where we realized. bizarro USA. haha). But, also I think of my friends who dont have good..or even decent father figures (one just figured out who hers was this year). they use the day to drink the entire day and bitch about men.. haha.. And I indeed hear you on Valentines Day, etc... In other words, I'm pickin up what you're puttin down but I also liked the sentiment about how special it is to be a parent and although I'd love to say I take time out to tell my mom how great she is, I dont do it as much as I should... So I dont so much mind having the day and I love making her feel special on it. :) So I'm okay with the days and dont mind so much being left out of the ones I'm left out of. As much as I DONT have baby fever, I look forward to mom and dad's day when it's something I get to participate in as a parent!

OH and yeah.. I've already decided to nix the father daughter wedding dance if/when I get married and either do nothing or make up a funny dance routine with my mom...bahaha!

Stacia said...

I must agree, no father here...or uh I called him for the 1st time in 14 years, he refused to let me come see B.S.
Jacob's dad, Loser!!

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