Wednesday, October 17, 2007

so it's recently come to my attention...

that my previously solid spot as "favorite" in the family may be in jeopardy.

I am the baby of the family...the youngest by six years. They doted on me...when they weren't busy hog-tying me or convincing me to climb into badger holes. We spent our formative years in a cabin in the woods near a very small mountain town in central Idaho. Where the highlight of the year was the annual Logging Festival. Where for fun, men (and women!) threw axes at beer cans lodged in tree stumps. Then, when I was 9, we moved to the BIG CITY. Boise. By then, my much older siblings were pretty much already formed, as hillbillies. (What?! They admit it!) When we moved to Boise, I became friends with kids who had gay siblings, kids whose parents worked for Public Radio, kids who's parents drove Porsches and had dinner parties where they listened to the Beatles and smoked pot and discussed politics in front of us. Needless to say, I soaked it all up like a sponge. By the time I reached high-school, I was definitely marching to the beat of my own drummer: to my mother's horror, I shopped at thrift stores. I wore moth-eaten Beaver Cleaver-inspired sweaters to our high-school keggers. I got a Vespa Scooter and rode around town in vintage dresses. I bought Birkenstocks back when you had to special order them from the local vitamin store because they were considered "orthopedic" or something. I listened to moody British punk. My mom allowed me to skip school with a group of friends to go protest Jerry Falwell when his "Moral Majority" tour came to Boise. My family didn't know quite what to make of me, but what the hell, I amused them.

Then, in my twenties, I became different. I wore make-up, bought ridiculously expensive shoes, worked at a very snooty boutique and thought I'd marry a lawyer and belong to a country club. Then I went to art school and I met a gorgeous hippie boy. Definitely not my type. So I married him. He was VERY moody, always unhappy. I thought it must be me. So I got less opinionated. I tried to stay under the radar, so to speak. I wore almost exclusively black clothing. I tried to disappear. I was so busy trying to make him happy, that I forgot who I was.

Then as I neared 40, I had something of a mid-life crisis. Only it is more truthful to say that I rediscovered who I am. I got divorced. I started to pay attention to politics again and got PISSED. I also came to the realization that while I'd always questioned the idea of God and the Bible, I'd in fact become a true non-believer. Furthermore, due to circumstances in our family, we've spent the past 25 years or so being VERY careful with one another's feelings. Careful not to say anything the others might not agree with. Careful not to speak the truth.

But as I mature, as I find my feet, I've found my voice. And now I refuse to keep quiet. I speak out to my family (and anyone else who will listen) about my political beliefs, my religious beliefs, and when someone is hurting me or someone else that I love, I refuse to ignore it. I want only authentic relationships. I want my family members to love each other, differences and all. And so, to them, I've become the "rabble rouser", the trouble-maker, the one who pushes buttons. What they forget is that is who I've ALWAYS been. I just forgot for awhile.

Hopefully they'll love me anyway. Hopefully I still amuse them. I love them, even if they are hillbillies. : )

12 comments:

jpogue said...

Yep, you must have talked to Linda! I told her I thought you and she have switched places - you're totally opposite of who you used to be (or pretend to be) and she is actually back to who she used to be before she pretended to be somebody else. Does that make sense?

Anyway - I love ya both! I've got the best sisters in the world! Oh, and you DEFINATELY amuse me!

(so is it bad that I'm a hillbilly like Steve?)

jpogue said...

Oh, and I'm STILL the same old crotchety, crank I've always been and never had the smarts to pretend to be anyone else - I bet Ival wishes I could pretend to be someone else!

kate said...

Oh yeah, she had to call and gloat. I believe it went something like "I'm the new favorite! I'm the new favorite"...I dunno. I tuned her out. ; )

And for the record, it's not about "pretending" to be someone else; I really tried to tone myself down, to be the peacemaker, the people pleaser. But that sucks goat's balls and I won't do it anymore. Poor mom. I bet she liked me better the other way!

kate said...

and PS. You are NOT a hillbilly like Steve. Nobody's a hillbilly like Steve. You're an enlightened, open-minded, liberal(ish) hillbilly.

Dee said...

I did NOT let you skip school to protest Jerry Falwell. !!!! If you did, it was on your own. !!!!

I believe it is good for the blood flow to express one's opinions freely. Medically one must not withold deep feelings else one implodes .

OK, cut the crap. You go girl ! Glad you found yourself, we just weren't sure who was in there.

And when all those opinions began to come out we were all reeling somewhat, but we're getting back our equilibrium, and backbones. I love you, no matter what cockamamie beliefs you come up with.

lupper!!!!!!!!!

kate said...

Mom! You big liar! You DID give me permission to go to that protest, because you were one of the only moms who did so. Take credit for it; that man was small-minded and evil.

I love you!!

Dee said...

oh shoot, that's another thing I guess I forgot. Won't be long till there'll be just empty space where my memory should be ! That's not much to look forward to, but at least I won't remember that I forgot.

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

Oh my gosh I have a strange family! I sit here and just laugh and laugh, and Bob looks at me and says, "You girls and your blogs,..." and he just shakes his head.

Don't worry Kate, you'll always be the favorite! Jodi and I just have to give you a run for your money now an' then,... to keep ya on yer toes.

Linda, aka "Lala" said...

pssst.... kate!
Did ya notice the comment from mom, where she said "medically, one shouldn't hold stuff in."???

Dee said...

Lindaaaaaa, what's coming next? What story am I going to hear that I haven't known about? That paragraph of mine was baloney, so what are you leading Kate into?

And, I think Mom should be capitalized,-------let's show some respect here !

kate said...

Ha! Mom, Lala's comment meant "Look! Mom might think there's something to this whole mind/body/health connection, like we've been telling her!" I suspected you were being funny, although I KNOW that you DO secretly believe it, because you've told me so.

Dee said...

Of COURSE mind/body/health are connected. If one goes, so do the others. And I've lost the first, losing the second and arguing with the third.
Institutions are full of people who haven't taken care of any one of those. So, seriously, we are all aware of our health. No jokin' around about that. !
When I said that paragraph was baloney, I meant I was trying to sound stuffy----medical jargon. I did't mean I didn't believe it.