I’m an only child, which might explain some of my “attention-whoreness,” but I did grow up with tons of cousins and tons of friends.
And while I enjoyed having my own room and first dibs on the front seat, I was always a bit envious of my friend’s that had older brothers and sisters to kind of clue them in socially. They got to hang out with the “cool” kids and see what they wore, listen to their music and pick up on the slang.
Then there was me, occasionally crimping my hair and slightly confused on the fashion front—middle school was around when “Blossom” was popular, just for a reference point—with a mom that was all about “self-expression” and letting me do my own thing. My own thing often included instructing “Get In Shape Girl” classes on my front lawn, rousing games of “Double Dare” and Mariah Carey concerts complete with foam balls in my training bra (that I didn’t need but was purchased out of pity.)
In other words, my mom was no help.
My point is not that I was a social misfit growing up—I had friends and my childhood until middle school was pretty darn good. Heck, when I wasn’t outside I was happy watching “Small Wonder” and “Who’s the Boss” in my T-shirt, shorts and jellies.
My point is that I often wished I had that older sibling to tell me it was no longer acceptable to wear my snap bracelets and blast PM Dawn from my little portable boom box. It always seemed like I was left to figure things out on my own, and while that’s a wonderful thing in the big picture, sometimes I just wished I had more of a clue.
Now, at almost 30 years old, I still feel the same way.
While being single and embracing my introverted personality is (to some extent) my choice, I often still feel like the little kid who knows more about sports and poker from hanging with the guys than the 20-something successfully navigating her way through the world. I know this is normal, but on so many levels I still feel like I want someone to guide me. I want someone to tell me that doing “this” is a better idea than doing “that” or, even better, I sometimes just want them to do it.
Problem solved, no?
I’m not talking about a professional that I’m paying to financially or professionally advise me—those are many dimes a dozen—but rather someone else to share the adult responsibilities I get sick of thinking about. I couldn’t care less about fashion or popularity. I’m talking about retirement stuff, insurance forms, car maintenance, family issues, thatching my front lawn—I want to split up some of these things or at least pretend to know what I’m doing better than I feel I do.
So while I enjoy being able to stretch out on the couch watching the game in my T-shirt, shorts and jellies and the freedom to forge my way through the “professional” world of whatever, once in awhile I wish I didn’t still feel like such an only child.
My mom, again, is no help.
“People aren’t going to help take care of you if you never let anyone in.* You choose this lifestyle and you can’t have it both ways.**”
*Please note that I have never said I want someone to take care of me, as I am perfectly capable. That’s not the point of this rant.
**Also note that this was said as she was dropping off my laundry last Sunday, as we have an agreement that I do her grocery shopping and she does my laundry.
I guess being an only child does have some perks.