I get a kick out of the whole women think they are always right thing. As far as my life goes, I think I’ve been right about the big stuff, but I’ve been egregiously wrong about quite a few things along the way. A while back I decided to compile a list of things about which I was wrong.
The Enduring Popularity of the Internet, and subsequently Facebook
My first memory of the internet is from 1996 when I was 16 years old. One of my classmates mentioned that the movie version of Romeo and Juliet, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, had a website. I could not form in my mind the purpose of such a thing or what even such a thing was. I was fairly certain the internet was another fad. In my lifetime up to that point, I had witnessed records, 8 track tapes, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, laser discs (imagine a DVD the size of a record), CDs, mini CDs, boom boxes, the Walkman, the Discman, mini TVs, big screen TVs, rotary phones, cell phones the size of bricks, libraries with the Dewey Decimal System, need I go on? How could the internet possibly endure? What did it have to offer that would permanently secure its position in our ever-changing world? Apparently a lot. Yes, the internet proved to have a lot to offer, like millions of cat videos and an infinite platform for narcissism. Facebook took off when I was living in Belgium, so I cut myself some slack on that one. When I heard about it, I was sure it was just something for teenagers. Well, I wasn’t totally wrong there.
Ballerina/Stock Broker/Pediatrician/Rock Star
Why does anyone ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up? To laugh at them and throw it in their faces when they’re grown. I recall rotating the above four professions as my answer when I was a little kid. Clearly ballerina went out the window pretty much at birth. I like to eat. Enough said. I was a child of the 80s, the days of Gordon Gekko, even a 6 year old knew what a stock broker was. Now, here’s the thing. I probably could be a stock broker. Buy low, sell high. How hard could it be? As a mom of twins, I’m 95% there on the Pediatrician thing. The nurses do most of the work anyway, and with the internet, I got this! When I said I wanted to be a Rock Star, I didn’t equate that with being a talented singer, which I am not. I associated being a Rock Star with having a big personality, which I do have. I am kind of a big deal. Thanks to the internet and Facebook, we all enjoy a certain level of celebrity. So here again, I wasn’t totally wrong.
My Kids Will Never (fill in the blank)
Before you have kids, you imagine them as tiny, angelic beings. When you see kids behaving “badly,” you think it must be the result of bad parenting. Of course, you’re going to be an A+ parent, so your kid will never have a meltdown in a restaurant, smear guacamole on the wall that you’ll leave for the bus boy to clean, ardently pick her nose in public, remove her clothes and diaper and then pee on the living room floor when you step into the kitchen for like 2 seconds to start dinner, bear hug her sister from behind and wrestle her to the floor in order to steal a toy she previously ignored, grab a handful of her sister’s hair and pull with all her strength for no reason whatsoever, give dirty looks to elderly ladies at church who stop by the nursery to admire their cuteness, hold a slice of pizza up to her ear and pretend it’s a telephone, or attempt to wash her hands in the toilet. Nope, your kid isn’t going to do any of that stuff. As a mom of 23 month old twins, I’ve come to view parenting as a civilizing process, slowing coaxing these ids, as Freud would put it, towards behavior that meshes with our cultural norms. My two little wild women have embraced some aspects of our culture, like Mickey Mouse, but still reject others, like wearing clothing all of the time. If Walt Disney would’ve drawn Mickey with a shirt on that would’ve helped tremendously.
My Singing Ability
Growing up in church led me to believe that I was a good singer. When little kids sing in public, they are praised and told how well they did, which in turn makes them think they are good singers. Since I was never shy and always eager to perform, I sang in front of our church on a regular basis and imagined myself to be quite good, because of all of the accolades I received. It wasn’t until I was almost an adult that I realized, in fact, I am not gifted in singing or music at all. I can be an appreciator of music, but I should limit my participation to congregational hymns on Sunday morning. So when Sunday morning rolls around, I go all out. I’m sure Noel enjoys my enthusiastic attempts. Technically I’m an alto, but I sing any part that I strikes my fancy at that moment. I’ll belt out that high soprano note or drop down and sing the bass or just transpose it into whatever key my range can reach. I told Noel that I sing so loudly and with such great gusto on Sunday mornings because I want to be sure God noticed I was there. He better mark me present on the divine attendance roll.
Punky Brewster as Fashion Icon
Seriously, it’s unfair to criticize the fashion sense of anyone born in the 80s. We’re coming from a major style deficit. As a youngster, I idolized the TV character Punky Brewster, who wore garishly colored, mismatched clothing. It’s a really weird show now that I think back on it. Punky was an orphan who somehow came to reside with this grouchy old man. Anyway, I attempted to imitate Punky’s style, much to the chagrin of my adult self. Now my childhood photos are a source of much shame. I have to carefully select the least horrifying ones that I can show to Avery and Lily, lest they think their mother was raised by Cyndi Lauper and Boy George.
Well, I’ve been wrong here and there, but I feel like I’ve had a pretty good track record. I married the right man; I refrained from naming my kids anything like Ikea and Hashtag; I stopped perming my hair after 1991; I did not buy that $500 tshirt at the Dolce and Gabbana boutique in Milan. Maybe women aren’t always right, and maybe some women are more right than others, but I know for sure that the things about which I’ve been wrong make for fun things for me to laugh about now.