Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This Blog is Secret

My parents are good parents. I love and respect them. And I wouldn't tell them about this blog for all the tea in china. That they might discover it on their own is a risk I'll have to take, but they won't hear about it from me.

Ever since I was a kid, I kept huge swaths of my life secret from my parents. Well, not so much secret as just apart. We weren't a family that talked much about personal stuff--feelings, problems, boyfriends and girlfriends--and while I got more adept at revealing myself to my friends over the years, I'm still not always comfortable with my parents in the loop.

There are reasons for this. Both of my parents refer to age-old incidents as though they happened yesterday and are still relevant. I cannot emphasize enough what a huge pain in the keester it is to have your mother bring up your college boyfriend who drained his antifreeze on the driveway (where it ran into the lawn and killed the grass). This happened over twenty years ago. I think it is safe to drop it as a topic of discussion. My mom believes otherwise, and mentions it every six months or so.

My dad is a worrier. If he read one of my posts where I was stressed out or sad or confused, he'd worry it to death. Five years from now he'd be bringing up our bad carpool situation ("So whatever happened to those boys who made you so miserable? Did they ever get straightened out? Do you think it had to do with how they were raised?"), social situations at Our Fine School ("I remember how you felt so insecure about the other mothers there," he'd say. "If I recall correctly, they tended to dress more fashionably than you did and were quite a bit younger.")

I can't live like that. Five years from now, I'll only halfway remember why something got my undies in a bundle, what gave rise to it, why it bothered me so much. But my father will remember. And my mother will bring it up in the middle of a perfectly good conversation ("You'd be surprised how fast antifreeze can kill a lawn, it's really only a matter of minutes"), and I'll roll my eyes like an eleven-year-old and bite my lip to keep from being rude (or not--sometimes I'm perfectly rude with my mom, like Sunday, when we were driving my parents to the airport and she said, "I think your first novel is your best one"--something you never, ever say to a writer--to which I responded, "No, no it's not. You're totally wrong.").

Sometimes I feel badly about not telling my parents about my blog. They'd enjoy it, I think (though my mom would think my first post was my best one). If Jack or Will have a blog when they grow up, I'd want to read it. But the fact is, there are some things you're happy to share with people you've never met but not with your nearest and dearest. Or maybe it's just me. Eternally 14, hiding my diary under my pillow.


Gumbo Lily said...

I think it has something to do with "the age we were when we left home." They keep freeze-frame us there and forget that we've grown up, married, have grown children, and are now grandparents (at least I am).

Jody (who's parents don't read her blog either)

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Jody, I think you're right. It's one of those things I hope I don't do with my own kids, but who knows? Maybe you just can't help it.

Glad I'm not the only secret blogger!

Ali said...

It's not just you. Mine do know about my blog, but I cringe a little when they speak of it.

Tracy said...

I'm not sure how I missed this post earlier because boy can I relate!!!! My Mum knows about my blog though....someone ELSE told her! I'm very careful not to say much about them....but let me tell you what I'd love to blog about!

Mum is still telling me how when I was 12 I decided that "kids don't do that sort of stuff anymore, Mum" in relation to chores and housework. Lucky me she reminds me of this faux pas EVERY time she comes down. We're talking about a 26 year old throw away line here. I'm pretty sure we could drop that one as relevant anymore. Especially since even my 13 year old doesn't dare to voice such a belief. What can I say, I was young and ill informed.

My Dad might be inclined to 'take me on'. He does this niggly little male marking of his territory whenever they come to stay. I spend a couple of hours wishing I could rip his head off because he's so ornery....and then he settles down and we enjoy our visit.

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Ali, I can understand the cringing. I started cringing when my parents alluded to anything about my life around 1975. It never ends.

Tracy, What a hoot! I so totally relate to the off-hand comment that is never let go. I mean, NEVER LET GO. How do they remember this stuff, anyway? I can't even remember yesterday. Maybe it all comes back to you after the kids move out, I don't know, but it's torture to be on the receiving end.