Sunday, August 28, 2011

Oh Happy Day :)

Today is a VERY special day. It marks the 54th anniversary of the birth of the most incredible woman I know: my mother.

I WOULD post a picture of the two of us, but she has forbidden me to do so. She has some outlandish idea that she doesn't look good in pictures, despite the fact that she is GORGEOUS and doesn't look 54 by a long shot.

The praise I could give my mom is endless. She is my hero and my role model. But instead of gushing my love for her, I would like to recount one story about her that I think demonstrates how wonderful she is.

It was Christmas and I, I believe. At that point in my life, I was OBSESSED with the Spice Girls. Obsessed. I WAS Baby Spice. I remember at that point in my life I was...confused. Because I was definitely a tom boy. Pretty much all my friends were boys from day one. And I always liked doing boy things: playing video games, biking, getting dirty, picking boogers...whatever young boys do at that age.

But as I started getting older, I started realizing that girls didn't really hang out with boys...They hung out with other girls and did girlie things. So gradually I started doing those girlie things and hanging out with girls.

Naturally, in my new found feminine circle, liking the Spice Girls was inevitable. They became my idols. Slowly it became clear to me that boys were NEVER going to like me if I kept liking the same stuff they did and acting like such a tom boy. I was always just "one of the boys". It was time to drop the whole tom boy gig and take on the ditsy, flirty, girly girl act that I was becoming more and more familiar with. THAT is what all the boys really wanted.

Come Christmas time, what did my mother find at the top of my Christmas list?


And myriads of other Spice Girl paraphernalia, no doubt.

My mother faced a sizable dilemma: Get me the dolls and feed the flame to my unhealthy idolization of big breasted Brits in platform shoes; or NOT get me the dolls and have to face my melancholy face and somehow convince me that Santa doesn't make Spice Girl dolls.

Well, she decided on the latter. And come the end of Christmas morn when I had opened all my gifts with not one trace of my beloved Spice Girls, she was faced with a most downtrodden daughter. What was she to do? Obviously I didn't buy the whole Santa bit. The Spice Girls were too awesome for Santa not to like them. He had to love them. It just didn't ad up. And I wasn't comforted in the least.

As I sat sulking on my couch, shunning my other gifts, she and my dad came and stood in front of me.

"Skylie, I know you are upset that you didn't get any Spice Girl stuff for Christmas. But we don't really like the Spice Girls. And we are going to tell you why."

Well, this ought to be good. How could anyone find ANYTHING wrong with the Spice Girls?

"See, the Spice Girls use their bodies to get attention. They dress in small outfits and act silly and stupid just the get attention from boys."

Ok...not seeing anything wrong with that. I wanted to get attention from boys too. Seemed like they had the right idea of how to get it.

"But the thing is, boys don't really want that. Do you remember what 'respect' means"

I nod.

"Well, boys might LIKE girls like the Spice Girls. But they do not respect them. They only like them because they are showing off their bodies."

My parents then proceeded to act out two scenarios, both set in a bar: One where my mom played a ditsy, easy girl and one where she played a sophisticated, intelligent, dignified woman. Honestly, my parents deserve Oscars for the performances they put on. I got the message loud and clear.

My dad was incredibly repulsed by the ditsy, flirty woman thrusting her chest at him and giggling ridiculously. But how could this be? He was supposed to love that!...Right? My world was getting rocked.

It proceeded to get even more rocked as I saw him actually LIKE the smart, dignified version of my mom. Surely this was just an act. Because I knew there was no way that could ever be true. A guy liking a girl for...her BRAINS? And PERSONALITY? Psssh.

It took me until I was about 15 for me to really get this. But I finally did. And I am SO thankful I did. My mom always encouraged me to be the best woman I could possibly be and to never alter myself or lessen myself for anyone, especially a guy.

This is just one of many valuable lessons that she has taught me throughout my life. I know that I would not be half the person I am today without her guidance.

So thank you, mom. And here's to you.

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