Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Appearances- A Vent
There is a chance that I'm going to sound very judgemental with this post. I thought about trying to explain away the judginess. I thought about trying to excuse or explain what I was feeling in such a way that I would feel better about it. But a vent is a vent is a vent. And this one has been building up inside of me for a while. Appearances. Sometimes my jaw drops at the appearance that people choose to put out into the public eye. I'm not talking about what people choose to wear. Not that kind of appearance. Instead, I'm talking about the image that people build of themselves. The stories they tell, the pictures they share, and the way they present who they are to the rest of the world. I have friends on Facebook who are young. Friends who are in college or even high school. I have to admit that those college kids... I'm not surprised if I see pictures or read posts on their wall that might be a little embarassing. Maybe that's wrong of me. But I admit that I'm a bit more forgiving if I read about a late night party, drinking at a concert, sneaking out to some frat something or whatever. Let's say that I have a friend that I know in "real life" but primarily know through Facebook or Twitter or blogs. Let's say this friend loves to be social. Loves having a tight group of friends but also loves having a large circle of connections. This friend has a very busy social life. She frequently goes out with the girls, out to concerts at venues big and small, throwing and attending parties. She talks of her fun. She shares a lot of pictures of her fun. She lives a life that seems pretty wild- most of the stories and pictures include a lot of alcohol. What if my friend was a college age girl? That could have been me at some stages of college. What if my friend is a mom? With older kids? Does that make a difference? For me, yes, it does. I'm not saying moms can't or shouldn't have fun. I love to go out and have fun! I go out for sushi and wine and hang at a local pub with good friends. I'm hoping to eventually plan a weekend getaway with Christy where we visit several wineries. I like to have fun with my friends. I like to have fun with my husband. I might share a pic of my drinks. I might post about letting loose. But you can be guaranteed that I'm not making an ass of myself. That my neighbors aren't embarassed to see me in front of my house. That my husband isn't worrying about who I'm meeting and what I'm doing. That my kids have no reason to be embarassed about what mom is doing now. I have to admit that I lose respect for people when it seems that all I see or hear is about this night out and this much to drink and sneaking alcohol in here or there and how many stupid things were done and... I start to lose respect when I know that the kids in the family are seeing it and hearing it, too. When they aren't seeing the example set in how to party and how to cut loose with friends in a responsible way. Teagan knows I drink wine and beer. She knows wine and beer are adult drinks. She knows I go out with Christy and other friends sometimes. Zach, of course, knows the same thing. My friends on Facebook have seen pictures of my food, a glass of wine, a flight of martinis. I talk about a night where I get to go out and have fun. But my husband will never worry about where I am and what I'm doing and who I'm with. My kids don't have to worry that their friends might see my pictures on their moms' Facebook pages of me half dressed, drunk, and running around with my friends. I live my life as who I am. And maybe that's what really bothers me. Maybe I have friends who are also living as who they truly are- and who they are is a hot mess. And they seem to be content with that- as long as they are considered a hot something. I'm all for letting loose and having fun. I'm even more in favor of being known as the best wife Jeff could have, the mom best Teagan could have, the best mom Zach could have, the best friend Christy or Jim or Ashli could have, the best employee 3M could have, the best daughter my mom could have and so on. And I'm not going to accomplish any of that if my focus is on getting drunk, being hot, hanging on strange men, being identified as a MILF and making an ass of myself in public. I'm also thinking of implementing a hard and fast rule. If you post sexually suggestive, half dressed, strutting around pictures of yourself, the friend will be automatically deleted or at least hidden. I really have a problem with parents being sexually suggestive online- when they are friends with their kids and connected to friends of their children. My husband should be the only person in my home who sees me as a sexual creature. My children and their friends should witness the emotional intimacy and simple signs of affection- holding hands, a kiss, a hug- between my husband and me. But beyond that, I really feel like it is inappopriate to be showing off your, um, alleged assets for your children and your children's peer group to witness. Vent over.