April 17, 2001

Dumpster


I need to get one of those local search-engine thingies for my site.
Not that I think anyone else will have a burning desire to use it - it's for me.
After much fruitless browsing in my archives, I finally gave up and used Google to find an entry that I wanted to reference.

The entry had to do with some old home movies from my childhood. In my mind it was from last summer; in reality it was from November, 1999.
I like the idea of using google as my own personal reference but somehow it doesn't seem efficient. However, I did find what I was looking for quickly.

A year and a half ago, I wrote:

When I brought Dad home on Friday I was helping him adjust the settings on his VCR and he happened to put on a tape he had made of our old 8mm home movies. I would not watch it. I just couldn't. He didn't seem upset by that but it made me wonder about myself...

I guess the timing was bad.. watching the video would have brought out all sorts of feelings that are carefully stuffed away...

Is it really necessary to take out, examine, and expunge all our neuroses? Is it worth the pain? Perhaps only if it keeps us from functioning.. or perhaps we all have to answer that our own way.

Lately some of my issues (as they're called nowadays) have become insistent, particularly those having to do with my mother and my past history of depression. There are things that I need to explain to my children but that I don't understand myself. Writing about it (or around it, sometimes) has helped but the process is, unfortunately, still under way.

Why now? Probably because Rob (the youngest) is about to graduate high school and is focusing on college and career choices. Not only do I not want him to repeat my mistakes, I don't even want him to know about them. When I left school I firmly put the past behind me, so much so that few of my friends know much about my life pre-marriage and motherhood. This worked well for many years and I'm not sure why it's not working anymore.

The greater evil would be if the kids learned about this part of my life by accident. I know how bad that would be because my mother had a secret that came out near the end of her life. The details of her secret are quite different - my mother was really four years older than she had everyone, including my father and me, believe. I think I would have preferred it if what she worked so hard to protect for over thirty years had any consequence to it.

Still, I don't know how to approach the topic of how depression derailed my education (which is the very short version of a very long story). Especially now when Rob is at the brink of an exciting future. It probably wouldn't have nearly the impact I'm imagining it would but what would be the purpose of throwing it into the mix now?

Oh, what if they read it here?

It's not likely to happen but...
That would solve the problem rather elegantly, I think.

As for the abovementioned video: I finally had to watch some of it. We visited Dad on the weekend and he mentioned its existence and of course Rob insisted on seeing it. It was ok this time; if watching a chubby, pampered little girl stand and wave, or stand and throw snow at the camera, is ok.

On the way home in the car the subject of my eyeglasses came up. I began wearing them at age six but they weren't seen in the movies.

Me: I had to take them off for the camera. Do you know what kind of message that sends? It says I'm too ugly with the glasses. When my mother got the note from the school that said she should take me to the eye doctor, she acted like it was a major tragedy. I was just glad to be able to see again but she carried on like my life was over. She nagged the eye doctor until he gave me contact lenses at the age of thirteen. Thirteen. That's almost as bad as the parents who recently wanted their fifteen year old daughter to have breast implants!

Rob: Ma. Having a mother that didn't want you to wear glasses isn't the worst thing. Relax.

Me: She only cared about appearances. What about how I felt? What sort of values does that teach?

Rob: You were spoiled out of your mind.

Me: Everything she did was for HER, not for me.

Voice in my head: Shut up already. The kid isn't your shrink, don't lay this on him.

Me: I'm not saying she meant to do anything wrong. She was misguided. Just make sure you don't do that to your kids when you have them.

Rob: ok Ma.

Me: (Trying to change the subject plus gain a little insight into the workings of his mind) If you were a parent now, what would you do differently from the way I'm doing it?

Rob: Uhhhhhhh...

Me: (waits)

Rob: Hmmmmm....

Me: Are you not saying because you don't want to get into an argument or hurt my feelings?

Rob: No.... uhhhhhhhhhhh.... Well, I'll think of something and let you know!

He then proceeded to mutter about my culinary and housekeeping skills, or lack thereof.

Wow.

I have to let this thing go. My mother was a product of her times. She did the best she knew how. Hanging on to the resentment only hurts me.

Maybe I can do it now.

Linque Du Jour:   Bob the Earthling's Not-Half-Bad Dumpster Diving Page

For some comic relief, only I think this guy is serious about it. Add to the Weird File.

Speaking of which, I'm starting to compile all the Linques du Jour and make a page out of them, by category. The ones that are still extant, that is.

I don't know if it'll be done before or after I upload the rest of my aunt's stories, which my cousin emailed to me months ago. Please somebody nag me about that, it's disgraceful!

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