Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: questioning authority

So what?

In the last post, I was talking about rules and why I don’t give a shit about them. I learned a new word today: contumacious. It means to be stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority (usually in a legal sense). See also: anarchy.

I don’t believe in anarchy, actually. I think it’s good to have rules that benefit the general good of the community. Like, imagine driving if there were no rules about who had the right of way. And I believe in rules that protect the most fragile members of the community. Minorities often need to be protected or they will be exploited (see, also, service workers during the pandemic).

But, yeah. I will question rules that don’t make any sense to me. I didn’t use to do it willfully–it was just me not understanding how to be normal. I still don’t, to be honest. Things that are self-evident to others make no sense to me. The marriage and kid thing, for instance. I mean, yeah, I get why people want to do it (in a theoretical sense. I don’t get it personally because I have never wanted either, but I can see why people might want it. Barely), but for me, it just wasn’t ever a thing I felt I needed. Or wanted. I assumed I’d get married and have kids because that’s what everyone did back in the day, but I was very gloomy about it. I was like, “Oh, yeah. I gotta get married and have kids one day” and felt as if a collar was tightening around my neck–and not in a good way.

I didn’t want it; I just felt I had to. My mother pushed it relentlessly until I believed I had to do it. Same with college. I had no choice in the matter–except where I wanted to go. I chose places next to my then-boyfriend, and he got accepted at all of them (Ivies) because he was fucking off-the-charts smart. Like a literal rocket scientist. (Well, not quite, but an actual astrophysicist. Literally.) He told me that if we didn’t go to college near each other, we’d need to break up. Which, honestly, was where I was heading, anyway. He was a good guy, but we were young. I was ready to move on. I did not know how to say that, though. There was a cute guy working in a different shop in the mall I was working in, and I wanted to date him. Not because of him (he turned out to be a jerk), but because I was trying to break free. I was eighteen, just started to descend into a severe eating disorder, hated myself and my body, and felt as if I was being forced to do something I had no interest in doing (college).

My mother: You have to go to college, get married, have kids, and have a professional career. Oh, and go to church on Sunday. And be a perfect size 2. And never say no to anything your mother (me) asks from you. Oh, and have I mentioned giving me grandbabies? Because, grandbabies are definitely the most important thing in this list. DID I MENTION GRANDBABIES????

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