Friday, November 23, 2012

Why can't I just keep my mouth shut?

I catch myself doing it.  Yesterday was Pink Shirt Day at school in support of anti-bullying.  Rissa loathes pink - she was wearing a coral coloured shirt.

"I thought you were wearing pink today... for the anti-bullying thing."

"This is pink."

pause, 2, 3, 4...

"That's not pink."

"Yes it is."

"Rissa I hate to say, but it's not."

"It is."

This is where I pressed my lips together so tight  that they were now between my teeth and I could taste blood.  Don't say anything....  Don't say anything...  Just turn around and leave...  I managed to make it out of the room without shouting to Rissa, the world and the universe,  "THAT SHIRT IS NOT PINK!!!" 

It doesn't matter.  It doesn't matter that she wasn't wearing true pink.  She'd go to school and say "This is the closest thing to pink that I have."  Of course she'd be lying, because I just checked in her closet,  and she totally has a fancy pink tanktop and a pink 1950s style shrug - both bought by me because they were cute and would look amazing on her, because despite my never wanting to dress my female child in pink, it turned out that she looked freaking amazing in pink and when she was an infant and had next to no hair, people kept mistaking her for a dude, so we dressed her in pink for a while there; but since about the age of 3, Rissa hasn't liked pink, so she's never worn either of the pink items in her closet.

She's 12.  She should be able to wear whatever she wants to - I mean I'm not going to let her out of the house at the age of 12 (or 19) dressed like Slave Leia, but if she wants to wear a coral shirt for Pink Shirt Day - I should just shut the fuck up and let her.  EXCEPT I CAN'T.  Because when she said the shirt was pink I could clearly see that it WASN'T

I chatted with David about it over lunch.

me:  I'm now writing about how hard it is to keep my mouth shut with Rissa.
David:  hah!
me:  I'm trying to be better, but that shirt totally was NOT pink this morning.
David:  no - it was not. does seem to be a natural inclination to open your mouth in certain circumstances...
me:  HAH!  It's like telling me that a cat's an elephant.  It's almost impossible for me to say that a cat is an elephant when it clearly isn't... THAT CAT IS NOT AN ELEPHANT!!  That's like saying that a table is a chair...  or the sun is the...  Oh, good God - I'm the Shrew.*  FUCK.
David:  hah
me:  Rissa's mother is the fucking Shrew. BLARGH!
David:  choose your battles... that's all I can say. 

Wow.  That was a revelation!  I am the Shrew.  So I can either a) continue to be the Shrew and eventually drive my daughter away with endless nitpicking and the need to be right or b) I can keep my mouth shut and let her figure out her own shit and wait for her to ask my opinion.  (epiphanic sound of angels' chorus)  I've got to give up the 'being right.'  It's not gonna kill me to bite my tongue if she wants to define colour by a different spectrum than mine.  It might give me angina, because my body reacts to even the smallest of stressors in the most fucked up way possible, but it won't kill me.  And scotch can totally help the angina.

*Katherina Minola from William Shakespeare's  The Taming of the Shrew.  In my opinion his best comedy, but really NOT popular with the politically correct who can't seem to take it in historical context.

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