I Feel for my Mother

I feel for my mother. She desperately wanted a girl. She got me instead.  Not to say I’m not feminine; I wear skirts, I wore makeup, I procreated. But I suspect I wasn’t the kind of girl she really wanted.

She wanted this girl:

Not Me

She got this one instead:

Me – nose ring and all

During high school, I remember her asking me why I didn’t want to be a cheerleader; why didn’t I want to wear Guess jeans instead of black skirts from Goodwill? Why didn’t I wear ‘nice make-up’? Why didn’t I wear lipstick? Why didn’t I paint my nails? How did I expect to get a husband with tattoos and a nose ring? Why? Why? Why?

I don’t know. But I did manage to snag a husband who hates cheerleading, makeup, designer clothing, painted nails and girly shoes.

However, I think I’m missing some basic “girl” genetics. I hate most clothes and most clothing accessories.  My wardrobe is… well, let’s say I’m always ready for a funeral.  I’ve started wearing more ‘color’ as I’ve gotten older – I like dark green a lot.  As a consequence of my clothing choices, I can no longer really ‘match colors’ – everything goes with black, right? Damn straight it does.  Black goes best with black.

I envision my grandson one day thrift shopping with his friend, pulling out a Cramps tee and remarking with slight horror: Ewww – this is something my grandmother would wear! 

The Granma Tee-Shirt in 2040

(Yes, I own that tee shirt in real life and yes, it’s yellow, but it’s a Cramps tee-shirt so it’s acceptable)

Ok my kid is only 9 and not even close to fathering a child – but I have worried that I’m going to wake up one day and desire a pantsuit.  I desperately hope not. I plan on keeping a robust amount of tee shirts in my wardrobe well into my 80s. And they’re probably gonna be an xxxxxxx-large because one of my only goals in life is to start eating at least 1 cannoli per day when I reach my 70s.  But that’s another story.

I don’t wear jewelry except for whatever can stay on my body. And it has to be silver.  I have sported the same earrings since I was 18. I had about 7 in my left ear at one time (it was really excellent to have a friend that owned a piercing gun). I have 2 remaining.  I own two nose rings. One small hoop and one baby stud for job interviews.   I own six rings – I wear five of them.  Oh and a silver anklet.  I had two but now I have one.  My family has stopped buying me jewelry long ago. GET ME BOOKS!  I like books- a lot.

I hate shoes.  I love big black Olive Oil clunky boots.  Olive liked brown; but I’m more of a black boot gal.

Sexiest Legs EVER

I hardly wear shoes if I can help it. It would drive my Grandmother crazy when she was alive. She was a shoe FIEND. She had hundreds of pairs of shoes, each with a matching purse – and not one pair fit right.  Not one. She had this crazy philosophy that a ‘lady’ doesn’t wear a shoe size bigger than a 7 ½.  As an 8 ½, there was not much I could do to defend myself. Logical arguments weren’t an option with Nanny at times.  She wore a size 6 and didn’t understand. She also thought I should wear a girdle and iron my father’s boxer shorts; I love Nanny, but we didn’t see eye-to-eye on some basic issues.

I’m also not fond of belts or purses.  I love medieval dresses and cloaks.  I’m not completely strange.  The only accessory item I LOVE is tights- not thick white ones however.  And most assuredly, NOT pantyhose – those are obscene. I think it’s insane to wear pantyhose to ‘pretend’ that one’s legs are perfect.  I’d much rather have a lovely pair of black/white stripped tights.  Tights look awesome with big black boots.

I’m also against dying my hair a ‘reasonable’ color. I’m not kidding anyone today that knew me yesterday with gray hairs.  I love to color my hair any variety of colors ranging from David Bowie Red to Roy Orbison Black.

“The Natural Looks”

When my brother-in-law was at barbering school, I asked him to dye my hair David Bowie Red, however, something went awry and I ended up with Neon Cantaloupe. I realized something was going horribly wrong when my head felt like it was on fire. But the color was pretty interesting. My son was 3 at the time and I think I scared him when he first saw me.

So I’m dying it because I like to – not because I want it to look natural.  I am feverently hoping that my hair gets really white so I can dye it purple and have the dye stay in longer than 3 minutes.

You can probably guess my feelings for going to the maul, er I mean mall. No – I really mean maul.  My mom LOVES going to the maul. She loves to buy stuff and then return it. I can’t figure this one out.  Going to the maul is horrible enough, but to buy things that you suspect you are going to return is like poking yourself in the eye with hot, sharp needles. Then doing it again.

I’m 42 and I still torque my mom with my ‘fashion’ choices.  It wasn’t until I reached my late 20s/early 30s that she finally gave up trying to buy me something ‘cute’ for Christmas. Now she knows – get me a black skirt, black sweater or black Doc Martin boots.  And of course get nothing with buttons.

Below is a list of things that I avoid wearing on my person:

  • Buttons (gag)
  • Extraneous zippers
  • Collars
  • V-necks
  • Pockets on my shirt
  • Shirts with sleeves that have some sort of ribbed material on the edges

I know, I know – you’re thinking that I must save a lot of money on all the clothing I’m not buying. But no worries, I have a book & music collection to rival any shoe collection out there.

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Aversions, Humor, Phobias, Random Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to I Feel for my Mother

  1. bethteliho says:

    Holy shit, are we sisters? With the nose ring, tats, clunky shoes, and “dressing like a boy” (as my mother would say)!!! When I was a teen, I literally believed my mom and aunts were disappointed I wasn’t a girly-girl. Why didn’t they like my goth look? It was adorable. LOL.
    over here from TD’s site. You’re awesomesauce. Love you already.

    • *blushing* – thank you – I love awesomesauce! Hopefully it has Sriaracha in it.

      I thought we (all my friends) were quite adorable! I hope my son goes a little alternative…a tattoo at lest.

      Thanks for stopping by – I’ll return the visit (after work).

  2. Marie says:

    My mom always asked me where the hell I was going with my waterloo boots. To this day I have no idea what it means, but she always used that line when she looked at me with clunky shoes. Which happened a lot. I get you. Totally. I tried the piercings, but my body rejected it. So I’m just totally au-natural. I have one whisk of silver strand of hair, right on the bangs. It looks intentional, so I keep it. Bright flashy white short bang on my forehead with a blend of blondish-dirty-blondish hair elsewhere. It’s me. Everybody else has to put up with it…

    I’m glad I discovered you via our pal TwinDaddy. Looking forward to discovering more of you!

    p.s. sounds like you would blend with my roller derby world.

    • That’s funny you mention roller derby, because I was an avid, well rabid, ice hockey player – and so a lot of people have suggested I try some roller derby. If it was done on ice and we had a rink in town, I’d be there 🙂

      Waterloo boots, eh? That’s pretty funny.

      Thanks for coming around, Marie! Look forward to reading your stuff as well.

      • Marie says:

        The beauty of skating on wheels vs ice is your toes never freeze. As a kid, I so hated having to pull on 3-4 pairs of socks and wobbling away on the track. I was so shabby at sports, but derby really changed me. And like I said, my toes don’t freeze. Instead I get funky bruises at really interesting spots! 😉

  3. Omg we could be related! I always say that same thing, that my mom must be so disappointed she didn’t have a girl. 🙂 I’ve never worn a pair of high heels and I hate dresses and skirts. I love clunky shoes and I can remember so many times my friends asking me if I could buy a shirt in a color other than blue, black or gray. I used to have several piercings, but now just 2 in each ear and they aren’t in my ear lobe. I’m glad you chose this for your Stuph Feature because it rocks! I love when I find another female kindred spirit!

  4. ha. my mom is always chasing me with a pair of tweezer, asking if i’d like to put on a little lipstick and maybe brush my hair. haha. i get it. stopping by from twin daddy. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Feature Friday: The Mercenary Researcher | Stuphblog

  6. stephrogers says:

    We really are kindred spirits you know! That first girl is totally boring. Your mum got lucky if you ask me.

  7. jlheuer says:

    As an art major and a librarian I can identify with your love for black and books. Art people wear a lot of black. Matter of fact, we call pink the new black. Once I became a librarian I lightened up my wardrobe but you never could call it girly. I’m retired now but only two years ago did I finally get my mother to quit buying me cute clothes.

  8. electronicbaglady says:

    I’m pretty sure your mum and mine could start a support group for Mothers Whose Daughters Turned Out Odd. My mother’s phrase when I was little was “At least you’re clever…” said while looking mournfully at my hair / clothes / Lego. I am finally 51 – it was a long wait, over half a century! – and still refuse to cut my hair because my mother hates it all long and hippy-looking. We basically disagree on everything 🙂

  9. My entire wardrobe is black. I so get that about you. Black does indeed go best with more black. Duh, right?

  10. Elyse says:

    I don’t go to your extreme, but I never was a girl-y girl. My niece and god-daughter were here for the weekend and the princess talk never ended. I love my nice and god-daughter to pieces. I want to do bodily harm, though, to whoever permitted f’in’ princesses to take over childhood. Give me trolls.

    • hee hee – I love medieval anything – so I can see how princesses are very appealing (except all the pink). It’s just a phase – soon the Honey Boo Boos will be the height of fashion and trendiness.

      • jmlindy422 says:

        I read a revisionist feminist treatise (gad, I’m so smart) about princesses and our horror over them as feminists. The author’s point was that princesses–modern princesses like Diana and Kate–are powerful and frequently do very valuable work in our world. Even fairly tale princesses have more power than, say, our daughters, because they are part of a royal family and get to have fairy godmothers, etc. I could use a fairy godmother!

        It’s up to us to guide our daughters through the world of the ballerina/bridesmaid/princess and make the bridge from fairy tale princesses to real princesses. We always called our daughter Empress, since she’s Chinese and we have no idea what the Chinese call their princesses.

        Oh, and another modern princess development! England just decided that girls can get in line with the boys in succession to the throne. So, if a girl is born first, she gets first crack! That is freaking wonderful.

        • I’m actually reading “She-Wolves” about the history of powerful queens in England before 15th century – I love Empress Maud and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

          Regarding princess stuff – I think being a real feminist means that I don’t dictate what my child can be but talk about what it means when we see X, Y & Z in the world – so yes, like you say – guide them and show them.
          You are so smart!

  11. jmlindy422 says:

    My mother wanted a “lady” who “prayed now and then.” She got a swearing, smoking, intellectual atheist. I am no longer an atheist and I don’t smoke but I still swear and I’m something of an egghead. Still don’t go to church.

  12. I guess I’m lucky that my mom pretty much let me wear or do whatever I wanted to do. Maybe with 6 kids it was to much trouble to police us. I love black for all the right reasons. It goes with everything! In my opinion boots are appropriate with any attire including bikinis.

  13. janet says:

    I love you and your endearing, honest expression 🙂

  14. rossmurray1 says:

    You and my wife would get along swimmingly. We had this conversation just yesterday: Me: “But don’t you feel good looking nice?” She: “I feel good feeling comfortable.”

  15. Reblogged this on The Mercenary Researcher and commented:

    An August 2012 post for Re-Blog-A-Thog Monday….don’t worry – more content coming soon… just not as soon as I thought…

  16. Pingback: A Shave and a New Scar – 2 Bits | The Mercenary Researcher

  17. twindaddy says:

    I hate going to the mall, (maul, sorry) too. I avoid it like the plague, but my wife likes to go every once in a while so I indulge her.

  18. Popular fashion is definitely sort of ‘icky’ – I’m wondering when I am going to be too old for funky boots, tights & plaid mini skirts 🙂 – but whilst I can, like you, I shall.

    Thanks for stopping by – I can’t wait to check out your writing.

  19. So, despite the fact that we dress like complete opposites (I am on the hyper girlie end of the spectrum – I love bright colors and floral prints) I still LOVED your post! Here’s why: we might look different when compared side by side, but I think we would share the same sentiment (and correct me if I’m wrong) that popular fashion is sort of icky. I’m sure the stuff I wear looks a little to young for me, or it’s a little too loud, or whatever. But I love it and I have fun.

    It sounds like you are doing the same. Keep being yourself and being awesome! Dig the blog!

  20. runningonsober says:

    My grandmother was horrified when she took my clothes shopping when I was 10, and the only color I wanted to wear was black.
    I am so with you on the books. There’s a movie where the main character lives in her Walmart. I could live in Barnes and Noble.
    Great post and lovely photos. 🙂

  21. Nick says:

    I love your blog and wanted to let you know I nominated you for an award!!

  22. chaoshighway says:

    Black is slimming so you can easily hide the results of your geriatric cannoli addiction. You rock. Btw that photo of you is very beautiful.

  23. Gretchen Cole says:

    Rutabaga – Actually, I am American, but I’ve spent 15 of the last 17 years overseas (4 years (’95-’99) in Australia and then ’99-’07, 3 months in ’08 and ’09-now in North Yorkshire), plus several overseas assignments while I was in the Navy. My language is a bit of a mish-mash of all the places I’ve been, although my accent is pure eastern Ohio. I particularly love the travel (and history) opportunities.

    • Wow – that’s in incredible amount of traveling! How to you come to live there now?

      • Gretchen Cole says:

        Rutabaga – It’s thanks to my job; I do computers. They keep the lights on and allow me to feed my travel/history addiction. It’s great!

        And I agree with chaoshighway–that’s a beauiful picture of you. Don’t worry about the geriatric part either; I turned 60 in April and I’m loving it! My dad always said if he’d known how much fun grandkids are, he’d have had them first. Well, if I’d known how much fun 60 was, I’d have done it years ago!

        • Haha! I’m envious! I love computer related stuff…I always glom on to the IT folks at my work – they are the funniest people going!

          I am looking forward to the cannoli eating ~

          Thank you for the nice comment. Honestly, my friend that took it is an amazing photographer.

  24. Gretchen Cole says:

    What a great blog! It’s taken me years but I’ve managed to work my way into a job where my jeans, T-shirts and trainers are perfectly appropriate–and I love it. I no longer own anything that needs to be ironed.

    I had to be the only kid who ever grew up who was forbidden to go to the library. But like you, I now have a huge collection of books and a decent collection of music–both extremely eclectic. And I’ll be wearing T-shirts ’til the day I die! Keep up the great work.

  25. Romi- you just described my every day work attire…people would think it’s insane, but part of what I love about my job is the way I can dress, since I’ve obviously got some ‘issue’s with standard items that hold clothing together…
    Maybe me, you & LessScripted can stand on a corner and have people throw clothing at us.

  26. RCW says:

    I, too, hate to shop. If I could get away with it, I would wear yoga pants, tee-shirts and sports bras AT ALL TIMES. Alas, they frown on that in my workplace. Being so short and BUSTY has always made buying clothes a chore. I, too, own a disproportionate amount of black because it’s nature’s perfect clothing color. Matches everything, hides stains. My mother used to beg me to wear pink.

  27. Karenlessscripted – you’re confusing ‘style’ with ‘I hate most things’ 🙂 – You’re always well-dressed and put together. You wear shoes on a regular basis. But I hear ya on hating to shop.

  28. I feel like I still struggle with my sense of style. I lean toward boring and I’d like to change that. The problem is, I’d rather buy clothes for my kids than for myself and I hate shopping. I buy things knowing that I can return them because I hate to try things on in the store. I envy your sense of style and that you know exactly what you like and don’t like!

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