Monday, September 26, 2011

Mama tried. And succeeded.

Ever heard the wise words of Merle Haggard: "Mama tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied...that leaves only me to blame 'cause Mama tried"? I love singing along to that song, but really don't relate to it. Yes, I'm probably a little more outspoken and have a little more rebel in me than my mom would've preferred, but the things she taught me stuck. Not to say my dad didn't have a say in schooling me on the ways of life lived right, but mothers just always seem to be more vocal about it. "You just wait 'til you get older. Your turn is coming..." they say.

Many times this phrase (I could hear it as soon as her mouth opened) applied to her hoping I would have kids one day and would get my payback for all the really cool stuff I taught my youngest brother, who just happens to be 15 years younger than me. Other times, it applied to life in general. For example, I remember her taking me and my other younger brother to a college football game when I was in middle school and my brother was in elementary school. A couple of drunk, middle-aged men were swearing like sailors in the row behind us. My mother, who doesn't drink and has maybe said a total of two-three curse words her entire life, had enough. She snapped, turned around and yelled, "There are children here!" I'm not sure what my brother was thinking, but as an early teenager, I was mortified and I will never forget it.

There comes a time in most women's lives when someone will say, "You remind me so much of your mother." Let me preface what I'm about to say by saying this: I love my mom. She is a beautiful person, both inside and out. However, no matter how awesome a girl's mother might be, it is always a little painful to hear someone say you are turning into her (no offense, mom...if you're reading this). I guess it's a little awkward for me, with no kids, to feel like I should have maternal instincts already. Reality set in for me this past weekend.

I drove up to my Alma mater Saturday to meet some friends to tailgate and watch the game. Being an alumna for four years moves you to the general admission seating, rather than the student section. My friends and I could've wrestled our way into a seat, but at this point in time, not having a frat boy (who has been shotgunning beers since the night before) sweat on or step on (pick your poison) you is actually preferred. Anyhow, we found some seats just to the right of the student section and only four rows up. Perfect. We hadn't made it to the second quarter before some intoxicated youngins, who were maybe old enough to legally drink started heckling the visiting team. Heckling I can deal with. Heckling while dropping the F-Bomb and all other types of profanity around families with young children, I cannot. It only took two minutes of listening to this before all 5 feet (maybe 5'3 on Saturday...I was wearing the cute wedges) was down there teaching three or four college-aged boys about a lil' something Aretha Franklin likes to call R-E-S-P-E-C-T. They piped down until after halftime, and still weren't nearly as bad when they showed up from the keg late in the third quarter.

Driving home yesterday, I couldn't help but think about how it had actually happened: I was starting to turn into my mother. What I was so embarrassed about almost 15 years ago was something I was now standing up for and actually vocalizing my thoughts (good thing my maybe future children couldn't see me!). This thought didn't sadden me, though. It actually made me proud to realize I had been raised right, and I possessed something a lot of people are lacking nowadays: class. I mean c'mon folks, what are y'all breeding out there? I'm still teetering on the decision of whether I should have kids someday, but I think I will for two reasons: 1. Because I will dress them so cute, and 2. Because their classiness will make the world a better place. I can't promise they will be intelligent or even good looking, but they will be stylish, respectful and will know how to act in public. Guess I best start working on that husband before this place falls to shambles. The world needs my kids!

Now, you may ask me, "Torie, what is classy?" I once defined my classiness to a friend: "Of course I'm classy. I wear pearl earrings when I skinny dip." Of course, this is a complete lie. I'm not an idiot. I know better than to wear expensive earrings when I go for a "dip". I think he bought it, though. Which leads me to my next major point: sometimes white lies are okay...just kidding, just kidding...(Mom, maybe you should stop reading now...).

Take away for the read: stand up for what you believe in and don't always take "You remind me of your mother (or father)" as a bad thing. Some of us were fortunate to have parents who raised us right. For the rest of you, who were not so fortunate, this is an open invitation to my support group. I can school you just as easily as I taught those young whipper snappers this weekend. Feel free to reach out...I'm here for you. And...until next time, keep it classy!

1 comment:

  1. Torie, I don't know your mama, I just always thought you were on of a kind. Funny, my sister told me I needed to have kids so I can "populate the world with good people." I guess you better get going for the both of us. Keep it classy sister. Great read!