"Tim, sometimes you have to just get over it."
"Well, I don't think I have to get over it because I am not under it. It's just that sometimes, I wonder what makes our parents say things to us as children. Didn't they think that it would somehow affect our upbringing?"
"You think too much."
I do. I often wonder about things I was told as a child. As an adult, I think I am relatively normal. I haven't had any psychological issues. My issues tend to be physical but almost always about weight. And, actuallly, it really isn't an issue because I lost 60 pounds of fat about 18 years ago. And have kept it off. So, not really an issue at all. To be honest, I think the overweight issue was mostly due to me being closeted.
If there is one thing that may render me helpless it may be financial situations but only if I have no finances. But that isn't something I worry about much anymore. I do know that my frugality stems from trying to survive in New York City on my own. And growing up with parents who understood the value of a naira (anyone know what currency that is?). But other than that, I wonder why I didn't develop more psychological issues.
When I was a child, my mother used to tell me to pinch my nose for five minutes each day so that it would grow longer and more narrow like a white person's. I laugh at this now but when I first analyzed it, I found it very disturbing. To think that my parents would want me to change the way I look to fit an ideal of their making. Or, most likely, of marketing. I've never asked why they would want me to do this. I probably never will. But it does give me pause when I remember them telling me to do this. Needless to say, I never did grow a longer or narrower nose.
At dinner time, my mother always had a plate of hot steaming rice with hot meat & vegetables for us to eat. I would sometimes complain that it was too hot. She used to tell me to sprinkle a few drops of fish sauce (which we used as a condiment) all over the food because it would cool it down. Of course, once you sprinkled the fish sauce all over the food, you would mix it up, disapating the heat, hence cooling down the food. Why on earth would she not just tell me to mix the food up so that the heat would escape? Especially since, at a very early age, I understood the idea of steam/evaporation as a form of cooling. As I got older, I did ask her why she would create this old-wives tale instead of just telling me to expose more surface to allow cooling. She just shrugged it off.
There are other things that my parents told me that makes me wonder why I am not more psychologically disturbed. Things about a witch coming to kidnap me if I did not go to bed by 9:00pm. Or that there was a monster that lurked under the bed that would eat my legs if I got out after bedtime. Or that eating too much meat will make you fat. Or that my almost-flat feet would render me unathletic. Somehow, I made it past all this stuff. Which, I expected to. Which, I am sure they expected me to as well.
I just wonder why parents like to make up stories. And for who's good? Not the child's.
Child: Mom, are those burgers vegetarian?
Mom: No, they are for meat-etarians.
Child: Are you sure?
Mom: Sir, aren't these burgers for meat-etarians?
Tim: Actually, they are for carnivores.
If any of you out there have kids, don't make up stories. Don't lie to them. Think about how you felt when your parents lied to you. Later.