Monday, July 16, 2012


I have always loved pop culture. Even when I was in middle school I was aware of what movies were coming out and who was acting in them. I loved watching documentaries on their lives. Like E! True Hollywood Story and MTV's Diary series. I would read biographies (usually just the authorized) and would soak up the story. It doesn't just revolve around stars and their lives.

I love learning about peoples stories in general. Their testimony and their background. I think its extremely interesting to learn what made that person who they are today. It's fascinating, really. The roller-coaster we all ride, the various forks in the road. All of that is ridiculously intriguing to me. However, I'm also not one of those nosy people. I won't go searching and delving into who you are to strip you to the core. But if you are offering, I'm listening.

I've mentioned before that my father is an alcoholic. He's a good guy, funny and smart. But he's an alcoholic. It's just the truth. He has an incredible story. What I know of his life before alcohol became a major part of it is pretty amazing. But his life is halted every now and again when he drinks. Then he stops and he starts to live again. His reasons for drinking are his own, but they are there.

He, and his alcoholism, are a part of my story. It's undeniable. You wouldn't have me as I am today if it wasn't for his story. His story has affected mine in positive and negative ways. Which is true for all the people that I have met and had a relationship with. Once you meet someone, they are a part of your story. They are a notch on the belt of life, as it were. Sometimes, meeting someone once will affect your life in such profound ways that it alters the course of your life forever. Other times, you'll know someone for an extremely long time before the effect of that relationship is known.

The reason I'm going into this, is because The Hollywood Housewife posted a blog entry titled, aunt awesome.When I read it, I just kept nodding my head and saying yes! I have two nieces and two nephews and I have struggled with how to be an aunt.

Why? My aunts were mediocre at best. That is not a negative statement. There is no ill will. It is just a true statement. The relationship I had with my aunts is definitely not one that I want to replicate as an aunt. There were a lot of factors as to why I didn't have great relations with my aunts. The aunts on my Dad side spoke a different language than me. I was only close to one of them regardless of the barrier and she was more like a second grandma to me.

The aunts on my maternal side lived twenty minutes away and because of many different reasons, I think they  each gave up on our aunt-to-niece relationship. So, I would see them at special events and holidays and it would be nice. We'd catch up a little if we got to talk and we'd go our separate ways. Then, around the time of my wedding, there was a lot of drama and ugliness because of a labeling issue with their invitations, and things were said that can't be taken back. Whatever bond was there out of family duty was broken and since then, its been cordial but nothing more. Hellos and goodbyes. I wasn't angry or holding a grudge. My wedding changed a lot in my life, more than just the obvious ways. It was what it was and in the grand scheme, the righteous anger I could have felt for the rest of my life wasn't worth it. It's true, even when you have a right to be angry, doesn't mean you should. So, I didn't and don't.

Holidays have always been rough for me and I like to disengage during them. It's a childhood thing. When I got married, I wanted to make new, fresh traditions with my husband and pull away from travelling all over on holidays to doing what Bryan and I wanted, be with our closest friends and family. I saw how much that hurt my Mom and out of love and respect for her, we started going again.

Today, I posted that article and said that it resonated with me, that I only had one aunt who was not blood related that was there for me no matter what. That I desired a better relationship for my nieces and nephews than I had with my aunts. I want to be the aunt that I never had. But when you don't know what you've never had, its hard to be it. There is no example to live by.

There was no malice or evil intent in posting that. I was expressing a desire to change my story with my nieces and nephews. I had no control over how my aunts treated me or what kind of relationship they wanted with me. But I do have control over what type of aunt I am to my sisters children. I don't want this subplot in my story to be in theirs.

Unfortunately, one person read my post without reading the accompanying article from The Hollywood Housewife and inflected whatever she wanted upon it. She decided that I was taking shots at my aunts, and even after clarifying in the comments for all to read, it wasn't enough. After words were exchanged I deleted it and re-posted with "being an aunt is hard... hope that doesn't offend anyone." I was flummoxed that I was suddenly in trouble even though I wanted to be better. How could this be? How is it that someone is being discouraged from pursuing to be a better person, role model, confidant, friend? Aren't we, as a society expected to learn from our own mistakes and those of others and be better to the people we love?

The relationships that have been and not been in my life affect me and how I want to go about my future relationships. Because of the relationship I had with my father, I don't drink much. I want to have a better parent-to-child relationship when I am in control of one. I will do things right, I will do things wrong, and my child will change things to be a better parent based on their experience. That is how it should be.

There is an extreme difference between stating that you want to do things differently and better than you had it done to you and unloading about every offense, every characteristic that sucks, every awful thing they've ever said in a public forum.

Somethings are not a personal attack on who you are. Some things are just the truth, even if it makes you uncomfortable. If you don't like that truth, change it. If you can't, do better in the future. Let that story line, that experience, affect your relationships in the future. Don't make the same mistakes twice. If you've wronged a person, get over it, get through it, say sorry and don't do it again to someone else.