Thursday, May 12, 2005

Just stuff that bugs

Yesterday, Peanut and I were sitting at a table with a bright orange/yellow umbrella in the Commons Plaza on campus, his favorite place to eat lately, when I realized I had forgotten napkins when we had gotten his slice of pizza.

Quite adoringly and adult-like, he looked at me and said, "But I can take care of myself."

I smiled and reminded him that it wasn't him I was worried about, it was the people I didn't know who might take him from me. He then asked if any of my friends would take him and I said, "Well, I don't think so but sometimes even friends do some really not nice things to each other."

We then had a conversation about his friends and one named B. who smacked him and that it wasn't very nice of him, even if they were friends. He's a bright, perceptive kid, but I could be biased because I'm his mom.

Then I asked what he learned in school and he replied, "We learned history!"

Me: "Oh yeah, like what?"
Peanut: "Betsy Ross and the flag."
Me: "You do know that it's not proven Betsy Ross created that flag, right? They just think she did."
Peanut: "Yeah, she made the one with the circle of starts on it."
Me: "They think she did. There isn't any proof."
Peanut: blank stare bc his mommy does this sort of thing to him a lot, making sure he knows the truth about stuff.
Me: "So who else did you learn about?"
Peanut: "George Washington!"
Me: "What about him?"
Peanut: "I don't know. We just did two worksheets on him."
Me: "So, you did two worksheets and can't remember the pictures you colored or anything?"
Peanut: "Nope."
Me: "Hmm, how's 'bout the American Revolution and him being our 1st president...."
Peanut: "OH YEAH!"

Yeah, it was hilarious. Then he got up because he was going to time himself as he ran from his chair to this sloping section of grass. He does that multiple times while we are there, everytime we are there. At least he's consistent.

Watching him do this, he asked me if I remembered the festival we attended in the same place (it was VCU's Intercultural Festival and he's half Filipino so I wanted him to see). I did remember. I also remembered how I allowed him to walk along this very wide concrete ledge and on one end, a flag was taped to the edge. Seeing that he was walking "on" it, I went over to tell him to get off and that it is highly disrespectful to walk on anyone's flag. And since it was the Kuwaiti flag, I think, I didn't need to piss anyone off, me being the white woman and "enemy" of sorts.

When I got there and told him this, two young women were looking at me, than him, making nasty remarks but I couldn't actually hear what they were saying. Given the looks on their faces, they were not happy I was allowing Peanut to walk around the flag, but not on. I come from the opinion that what someone does to their own flag is one thing, but I will not disrespect it nor allow my son to either. I did tell Peanut if so much as a toe touched the flag, he was going to have to get down. Then I changed my mind and told him to walk up to the flag, stop, turn around and walk the other way.

Being at the ICF also made me accutely aware that us white people don't have our own culture. Sure we have traditions, but everything in our culture has been taken from someone else's. White people don't have a dance like the Hawaiian or Idian (native) tribes do. White people do not link together automatically because we are white people. In fact, I wish some white people would stop believing that I think like them. They must think I have a sign on me that says: "Please, come up and tell me your most racist/sexist/classist joke ever. Please." Many white people are under the assumption that we don't need that village to raise a child and instead individualize our own space, which excludes just about everyone else, even neighbors. I feel that we have gotten ourselves into a "culture" of haves and have nots instead. So sad and depressing really.

Speaking of depressing and on to another subject.

I don't even have the urge to make nice with my sister anymore. She blames me for everything so I just don't want to even bother. She wants to move out of the house in order to get away from me. She's 27 now. She's never lived on her own. How in the hell am I stopping her, when there has been absolutely no reason for her not to move out in the 5 years I've been here? Yesterday when I tried talking to her about the Great FL Contradiction in terms of responsibility and maturity, she didn't see the contradiction between letting Ordinary Citizen fight force with force and 13 Year Old Girl choose whether or not she wanted to have an abortion. She said that they were too different issues and they couldn't be compared. When I tried explaining to her that it wasn't the circumstances I was comparing but the assumption of one group of people to be able to make a clear distinction of what force was and a young girl making the decision over her own body, she still refused to separate issue from reasoning. Ah well. I left after about 5 min of supposed conversation.

My sister and I only seem to stand each other when we don't actually talk about anything that matters and of course, it's all my fault. I'm not easy to talk to, I put in my $.02 too strongly, blah blah blah. (She told this to New Beau, who was afraid to get in a political conversation with me after that. How nice of her, I know. And when I pointed out to her how rude that was, that's when she said the $.o2 reasoning in there.) But, what she fails to realize and what I have begun to point out, is all that stuff she doesn't like me doing, she does it too. My mom says she would like us to patch things up, but how can I be the only one doing the patching? Does she not carry any of the responsbility here?

What's that old, wise proverb? Oh yeah: We find our faults in others.

Yep, she's finding them in me but blaming it all on me, too. Nice.

So, I would just like to hit her real (REAL!) hard one day and tell her to get the fuck over herself already. As my mom said to me recently, my sister's very naive. I, personally, can't wait 'til she moves out so she can see just how much easier it really was living in my parents house. (A fact that she adamantly denies bc, as she says, my mom and dad are not in-house babysitters. Whatever. She hasn't been paying rent since she bought a new car 3 years ago.) I also can't wait for her to move out since she has the biggest room in the whole house and the one I will be acquiring when she finally gets the lead out of her ass.

Anyway, my final point to all this is: I have a really hard time taking criticism from people because I've been getting it from my family since the day I moved back in. Now I'm at my wits end so when others, such as friends like Jenniebee, try to provide any sort of constructive criticism, I don't take it well at all. I usually just stop talking altogether or get mad and point fingers back. Neither is a very good way to deal with it but, well, I don't have too many examples to go from here. My mom used to joke me about this feminism thing, but in front of other people. When I was pregnant at 18, she told just about everybody who would listen despite my pleas for her to keep her mouth shut. (My very pro-life neighbor found out as a result of this and becamse angry bc there were so many families out there who wanted babies. I told her to tell her friends to adopt those crack or fetal alcohol syndrome babies if they wanted infants so bad.) My mom's been there for me through a lot, but damn she can be critical. And I hate it because I'm just like her, even in that respect.

This is an issue that's been bugging me - the sister thing - mostly because I'm just sick of getting blamed for her problems with me. I've just had it. Literally.

Note: For the record, I don't say a bunch of nasty things about my sister. I really don't talk about her much at all 'til she does something stupid like go to dinner at some guys house she had never met before. With her daughter, my niece. Alone. She just doesn't occupy a lot of my minds energy because it's really not my place to start telling everyone but her how bad a person she is. But she doesn't give me the same respect and that is what is bugging me.

But, as the highlight for my day, I just ate a peanut butter/chocolate tart and it was DeeeLicious.