Maybe I’m the only person on the planet who will occasionally wonder how other people view me (no, my days are not filled with wondering what people think of me. Most of the time, I could care less. This is why I publicly blog: I don’t much care what people think of me), but somehow I doubt it. I always find it strange when someone has a perception of me varies wildly from who I actually am. Sometimes, it makes me want to correct the misconception, yet other times it tickles me pink to let them think what they want. Life is absolutely filled with more humor that way.

When I got pregnant with my first son, I had a role in my family: The Fuck-Up. Disregarding all of the surrounding circumstances (my mother’s relapse and subsequent torture of me), the blame for all of my actions fell squarely on my shoulders, at least as far as my family was concerned. Although many of my actions were not *ahem* the most mature, my family gave me far less credit than I deserved, especially considering that I was 20 years old.

When my pregnancy was announced, my parents were shockingly supportive of me, well, at least until I found out (much later, of course) that they had asked my brother (who is 10 years my senior) and his future wife if they would adopt my child in the event that I “freaked out.” They had such a low opinion of me that they honestly believed that I wouldn’t assume responsibility for my child (note: I am amazed that the keyboard has not ignited with the fury of a thousand suns as I type this).

As my family (save for me, of course. I get a special CHARGE when I get to confront people who have pissed me off.) is so non-confrontational that one might assume that each member is far meeker than they really are, I rarely heard about what a Fuck-Up I was considered to be. Aside from snide comments here and there about responsibility, everyone was pretty mum.

When I met, and subsequently married The Daver, was the point in which I realized just how poor my family’s opinion of me truly was. You would have thought, by their reactions, that Dave had rescued me literally from the streets, where I was selling crack and dancing badly for spare change (Dance Monkey, DANCE) and somehow turned my life around for me. You would never have guessed that I was at the top of my nursing school class, TA’ing for Organic/BioChem AND tutoring for A & P, while working as a waitress 20 hours a week BEFORE Dave walked into my life.

My brother, who I have a long and sorted history with, decided that if Dave (whom he adored/s) liked me, then I couldn’t be all THAT bad. My parents finally accepted that I had become a more mature and responsible person, although their time line was off by a factor of about a year and a half. In their minds, I only began to turn my life around once I had met my husband.

I do, of course, appreciate that my family loves my husband as one of their own (honestly, if we were to divorce, I have a feeling that holidays would have to be split up into Dave-time and Becky-time, or more likely, just Dave-time. I’d have to find myself a new family to celebrate the holidays), but I just wish that they could see that as wonderful as Dave is, he did nothing to change who I am and what I will do with my life.

It dawned on me, as I prepared my home for hosting Thanksgiving this year, that if asked, my family would probably mention that they were “having dinner at Becky’s house” and something to the effect of “she’s really turned her life around, hasn’t she?” Like I was some sort of street urchin in a Lifetime Original Movie who had some sappy predictable plot line: unmarried, younger girl gives birth to a child out of wedlock, heads down the “wrong path” until she meets “the man of her dreams,” and she miraculously changes her path, learns to cook and clean, and becomes a responsible upstanding citizen with an immaculate home. Who can, and does, crochet platitudes to hang on the wall.

While I can never discount Dave’s role in my life, the Lifetime Original Movie would be completely wrong (and not just the part about crocheting platitudes), but because I never, ever open up to my family about this sort of thing (in my family, despite the mental illness, we almost never talk about our feelings, because that would be too corny), it’s what they think of me. It’s incredibly doubtful that I’ll ever change their misconceptions of me, try as I may or may not to show them my true colors (I see your TRUUUUUUEE COOOOOLLLLLORS, and that’s why I LOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVE you.). I’ll chalk trying to explain who I really am to my family as yet another exercise in futility, because, honestly, it’s probably going to be easier to train my cats to unload the dishwasher or teach the coffeemaker to speak Ebonics than it would be to change their opinion of me.

It just sucks that they have to be so off-base with their perceptions, I mean, why can’t I be mistaken for a Fighter Pilot rather than a Fuck-Up (more accurately now: The Becky Formerly Known As Fuck-Up)?

I know that I’m not alone here. I just can’t be.

What do people think about YOU that is completely inaccurate?

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

17 Responses to Who Do You Think You Are?

  • Andria says:

    My husband and I lived together before we got married, oh the absolute horrors, and my in-laws still view me as the skanky slut who turned their son away from Jesus, although it was their son’s idea, he refused to marry me without living together. I finally quit carrying what they thought about me. They can talk about me behind my back all they want, doesn’t even bother me anymore. Much.

    I guess my parents thought I had turned it around when my husband took an interest in me as well. I do think they like him better than me.

  • Josh Hawkins says:

    Ah, families that don’t discuss feelings. I’m with you there. I’m guessing it’s okay to discuss anger though, that’s the only emotion that’s always fine. I don’t get it.

    I think mostly people, until they know someone a bit, and usually well, have an inaccurate view of someone else. That’s just my view. God knows the number of times I get looks from people that scream, “You’re Weird!” or “You are a really Creepy guy!” (for those who don’t know me, I am weird, not dangerous, just quirky, and anyone who knows me well doesn’t think I’m creepy, just quirky.) But this is also all based on have to interpret visual cues, which can be inaccurate and biased.

    Personally, to hell with it, people will think what they think and it ain’t my problem, I ain’t going to bother to listen to it unless they know me in which case I take their opinions gratefully, and I’m just going to go live my life. (I’m going to live life through typing?)

  • Karen says:

    I think my family has the total opposite view of me. In their minds I am the “strong one”, the “smart one”, the go to person in a crisis.

    My sister gets to be the baby. She has basically zero responsibility at 24 years old. And my brother gets to be the “golden child”. We can’t bother him with any problems because he is such a busy man. I have to be the one to step-up and problem solve.

    I think my whole family would be totally surprised to realize that I am insecure and unsure a lot of the time.

  • Juli says:

    My mother went to her grave (OK, her box on my sister’s living room shelf) with the perception that I was a difficult, troublemaking child. Mind, at the time of her death, her other daughter was divorced with two kids, had been through drug rehab and had NOT been through alcohol rehab, had terminated an unwanted pregnancy and had several speeding tickets and a DUI. One son had three years in a state prison for counterfeiting, three children out of wedlock (by three different women) and $16,000 in driving tickets; her other son had spent two years with a breathalyzer-powered car (seriously, he had to blow into it to start it) because of two DUIs, and was dealing dope.

    Me? I’d pierced my ears when I was 16 and gotten a tattoo… when I was 40. Granted, I was pregnant on my wedding day, but so was my Mom on hers – twice.

  • Ginger says:

    I’m kinda in the same boat with you. Ok, I’m 50 yards away in another boat.

    Seessh, I can’t run a business and the increase in sales, surely is because the door is open and she’s not busting her ass working.

    Also, people think – thought I’m ditzy, I’m not. I’m just not comfortable with people I don’t really know or don’t really care about knowing who I really am.

    Meh. I want vodka.

  • becky says:

    Josh, the first time I met you, you asked me if I gave good head. It was a shining moment in my life, and has endeared you to me forever. Thanks for that. (you’re not creepy)

    Andria, I am fairly certain that both of my families prefer my husband, and I suppose that’s okay. I guess. Sort of. No, I’m lying: it hurts my damn feelings.

    Gingie, I’ll toast to that.

  • Pauline says:

    Oh Becky, did we grow up in the same house? I, too, am “the fuck up”. Funny that my graduating with honors, earning a Master’s Degree, getting married, and owning a house, haven’t changed their opinion of me, isn’t it? They like N way better than me, too. Like you, if we were ever to split up, they’d spend the holidays with him for sure. The one day in my life my mother actually told me she was proud of me was the day I got married. Now, not discounting that that was a great and wonderful achievement, but HELLO, I’ve done one or two other things in my life that merrit praise, no? Anyway, you are SO not alone.

  • Cricket says:

    In movie-speak, you’ve described the flick, Pieces of April, except they didn’t know her Dave yet. And in an odd way, you’ve described Fred Clause, the bad Clause brother who wasn’t really bad, he was mostly short changed. The movie isn’t nearly as bad as it’s being made out to be.

    Thanks for coming by. Delurk whenever you like.

  • Gail says:

    People think all sorts of things about me that aren’t true. Most especially, that I’m a bitch. I’m not, you know.

  • becky says:

    Dude, Juli, you are one wild and crazy rebel.

    A TATTOO? HOLY SMOKES.

  • Kristine says:

    I have a reputation as a good listener. It’s because I sit there quietly while people talk. I may or may not actually be listening. And those people I’m not listening to, will never know the difference, because they never shut up.

    Also, I’m billed as the good girl. I’m very good at getting away with the bad stuff.

    (I added you to my blogroll)

  • Kim says:

    and I LOOOOOOOVE the new look!

    I have had too many whiskey and diet cokes to reply to the (oh so worthy of a reply) post. I’ll save that for tomorrow when I’m safely tucked in at my desk at work.*chee chee chee*

    but you should know, I have a total of 8 holes in my ears to put in gold hoops, and three tattoos, thinking of #4….and I was not preggers when I married, my current husband’s previous wife was when they divorced….(a long off line email will explain that one to my Aunt Becky)

    One more drink and it’s off to bed…sleep well, My Pretties, for tomorrow is yet another day in the blogesphere and I’m glad to share it with you all.

    k

  • becky says:

    Pauline, the more I get to know you, the more I realize just how shockingly similar we really are.

    Gail, I’ve never thought that you were a bitch. Hell, if I were gay and we both weren’t married, I would SO want to date you.

    Kristine, hahahahaha. I totally do this sometimes.

  • becky says:

    Dude, Kim, I AM TOTALLY HAVING A WHISKEY/DIET COKE WITH YOU TONIGHT! That sounds delightful (and my favorite drink, btw). We MUST be related SOMEWHERE!

    You need a blog, Kim.

  • Meg says:

    Hmm, yeah. I am a bit of the fuck up in my family too. I am the Broken Golden Child, who went off the rails and became a big, hippy, hills-dwelling, steiner-child rearing, left wing fuckup.

    Which is all soooooo ridiculous. I am a fucking schoolteacher for christ’s sake. How much less out there can you be?

  • becky says:

    This completely boggles my ickle mind. I always thought that I was pretty much alone in having my family completely misinterpret who I am at the core of it all. I am simply speechless at all the other people who are sitting in that boat, RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

    Amazing. Completely amazing.

  • Shana says:

    I’m still reading through your old posts and know this was posted a long time ago but it’s nice to know that someone else feels that way.

    My co-workers assume that because I’m young I’m a huge party-er, which I am on the weekends but not on work nights because hangovers make this place that much more unbearable… I know this because in the last two years whenever I have been late (due to the magnificence that is the CTA) they ask if I’m hungover and tell me I don’t look so good when I hadn’t even left my apartment the previous evening – people who judge blow.

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