Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Can't we ALL just get along?

I just got home from working a shift in one of my Curves clubs tonight. At one point, my dad arrived to check on a maintenance issue as well as talk business with me for a few minutes. His entrance prompted a query from a member which initiated this reflection.

If I'm being honest, I am slightly intimidated by the member who asked me. She is very tall, but her presence is bigger than her stature. Not terribly boisterous or energetic, she simply exudes an air of assertiveness that causes me to tiptoe carefully through our conversations. I have trouble reading her cues--often unsure if her comments are meant to be playfully sarcastic or passively caustic.

Sensing that this member is constantly judging me, I generally feel the need to be cautious of what I say around her. She suddenly asks, "Do you get along better with your mom or your dad?" I realize it could be an innocent question, but it is also characteristically prying coming from this particular woman.

After mentally screening the question for an ulterior motive, I consider it and finally answer, "I guess my mom, but I get along with both of my parents pretty well." I am sure that response was chalked up as another point supporting her false image of Kristen's idyllic, superficial life.

Our exchange ended there, but I continued to ponder the question, and the reasoning behind my reply. If forced to select between the two, I suppose I do get along slightly better with my mom. Why is that?

First of all, my mother's ability to "get along" could constitute a dictionary definition. She is the most kind and generous person that I personally know, and probably accommodating to a fault. So I'm not sure it would be humanly possible not to get along with my mom.

Next, I am probably more like my father where inter-personal characteristics are concerned. And these are often the areas where opposites attract. Put two people with a strong propensity toward leadership together and the waters won't always remain calm. But add to that scenario the fact that I am in the submissive "daughter" position, and the entire dynamic is precariously altered.

Lastly, I am a very emotional person. This is one quality which I inherited completely from my mother. I could be convinced that my dad doesn't even utilize his "right brain," if it weren't for his skills with a dry-erase pen and a whiteboard. : ) Okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but honestly, the man struggles to grasp the intricacies of the female psyche (what man doesn't?). So he rarely comprehends why I (or Mom or Sister) am grappling with an emotional issue when a purely logical solution is blatantly evident. Since my mother and I speak the same language, we communicate more easily and effectively.

But in spite of our similarities and differences, I love both of my parents in a very unique and precious way. I treasure our relationships for exactly what they are, unbound by expectations of perfection. It's not idyllic, and thankfully, so very far from superficial.

My Wedding Day ~ July 2005

So...do you get along better with your mom or your dad?

1 comment:

Jeni said...

I couldn't really say whom I get along with better... I get along with both fantastically! So I suppose for me it depends on the situation... :)
The wedding picture with your parents is gorgeous by the way!!! :)

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails