Reputation Repudiation

"You never know just how you look
Through other people's eyes. . ." - Butthole Surfers

"O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!" - Robert Burns, "To A Louse"

"I am who the Hell I am. . ." - Jimmy Buffett

My kids used to be so cute before they learned to talk. Who's idea was it to encourage them to be individuals and speak up for themselves and all that rot??? Certainly not MINE!

Okay, it WAS mine. But I was young and just coming off of having been a teenager myself. By the time I realized what I had done, it was just too late. They had OPINIONS and IDEAS and, oh, the QUESTIONS!!!!

When my smart, beautiful, kind-hearted fifteen year-old daughter fusses through twelve outfits trying to find the one that "won't make her look stupid" (to WHO?) I am quick to come up with clever quips like, "Why do you care so much what other people think!"

Then, as she got out of the car at the mall tonight, I gave her the usual drop-off pep talk: Stay together. Have you got tissue? Money? Conduct yourself with dignity and integrity, remember, you are representing your family. . .

"Yes ma'am. . . but I thought you said it didn't matter what other people think!"

"Well, I changed my mind. Please go away now. Shop. Mingle. Call me. Love you." Okay, I didn't have a quick response. But she had a point.

I worry about what others think of me on occasion, I guess because I want to be a compliment to my husband, a role-model for my kids, a relief to my parents. There are times, however, when I just overcome myself and whatever people are thinking, they're probably right.

I try to conduct myself with courtesy and decorum, even when I realize I have left my checkbook in the car while balancing a screaming baby on my hip, apologizing to a line ten deep and asking the clerk to just hang on a sec' to the two hundred dollars' worth of groceries in the cart. Just me, folks!

I don't know what to tell my daughter - yes, I think it is important to protect your rep. But there are times when, no matter how hard you try and fight it, you just have to be who you are and to heck with "them."

I don't know the best way to express my feelings - next time I get a free minute, I will have to mull it around some more. Sometimes, it's enough to make me want to run screaming out the front door!

But then, what would the neighbors think???

No comments: