Am I What My Parents Expected?

We spent the afternoon celebrating my Dad’s birthday yesterday and while my husband and I grilled dinner and we all enjoyed a few beers, I thought to myself; Is that what my Dad pictured when they brought their little girl home from the hospital?

The Philadelphia Flyers advanced to their second series in the playoffs and as we yelled and threw ourselves out of our chairs with rants aimed at the TV, I couldn’t help but think about his expectations. Did he intend to have a sports-loving daughter, who can yell passionately (and at times like a sailor) at hockey players that will never be listening? Did he think about having weekly hangouts with her at the local brewery, where they’d hang out like pals and try the new nitro on tap?

Probably not.

But I’ve always been a Daddy’s girl and this was bound to happen. Having profound love and respect for my parents, as well as my heritage, I think I’ve adapted so many things from my Mom and my Dad. I just think no one expected the outcome to be such a 50/50 split. I go to tea rooms with my Mom and eat finger sandwiches but ended up marrying a man that I’ve taught the fundamentals of sports to. I know it’s trendy and annoying to hear a girl say they are a “guy’s girl” or “one of the boys”. I used to say that. I don’t know what I am now, except that I’m Shannon. I love sports, beer and rock as much as (some times more than) any guys I know. I also love cheesy romance books or movies.

Sometimes being a mix of what society considers being boyish and girlish can be frustrating though. I’ll never look like the girls who look like they stepped out of a salon or a Mac store because I’ll always be a little rough around the edges. 
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It’s Ok To Be a Girl

I usually consider myself to privately be girlie, but every now and then it sneaks out; like when I play dance around the house to girlie music (secretly) or peruse the make-up department for an hour.  Lately it happens more and more.  I don’t know if I subconsciously pretended to not be so feminine or if I am just a late bloomer, both of which are highly possible.  My greatest girlfriends are the same way.  We can challenge the best of the men out there on most any topic with fervor.  There are times however, that I just want to be a girl and find its ok to cry at the commercials about the doggies in the animal shelters.  Damn you, Sarah McLachlan and Pedigree commercials!

Today was unexpectantly one of those days.  It was a lazy Sunday, with no plans.  As my husband and I woke up, we laughed about a line from the movie “I Love You Man”.  Pretty much anything with Jason Segel or Paul Rudd is hilarious, and after stumbling around the house I was pleasantly surprised to find it on TV today.  So “daily dose of laughter” could be definitely checked off the list.  Humor is incredibly important in a world that is far too serious.  (“Slappin’ the bass mon!”) This was followed by some manly portions of Texas BBQ for dinner and a trip to Home Depot.  I hate that I love that store sometimes.

Hubby took a nap and I flipped through the channels because I didn’t feel like writing yet.  I stumbled upon “P.S. I Love You”.  You can gag if you want to.  I’m not the biggest Hilary Swank fan, but I love this movie and embarrassingly own it…and the soundtrack.  But that’s it; I’m not rocking any chick flick posters or anything.  Unless there is one of Gerard Butler out there, then I might consider owning that.  Still, I know that I have to be in a particular mood to watch it.  I have to be ok with crying.  And cry I did.  Something else you should know, I don’t cry in front of other people.  Somewhere deep, I perceive it as weak, though I’m really not sure why.  My parents never raised me to think that, but I inherently try to be much too strong until I break.

So of course I know the movie and I know what will happen.  It still upsets me and I’m certain it’s because I draw on personal emotions since I don’t truly care that Hilary’s character is a widow.  I realize she’s an actress getting paid a healthy wage.  But I’m quite fond of my husband and he is amazingly clever.  He’s the type that upon impending death, would arrange for flowers, cakes, letters and trips after he’s long and gone.  I think it affects me as much as “Father of the Bride” does because I’m close to my Dad.  Ugh, sometimes I hate being a girl.

So every now and then, since no one else can see me cry, I’ll watch these and let it out and then get on with my day.  I think I’ve made strides to let my solitary emotional release diminish slightly, and let them take place in front of my husband, but he’s keen on being emotionless.  Usually we get by, by teasing each other when it comes to these things.  Sure, it probably sounds pretty immature.  Sometimes it would probably be best just to comfort and accept that cheesy movies can make us relate to a part of our lives we rarely think about.  It’s hard sometimes to admit we’re not the super strong person we thought we were or pretended to be.  So now I will scrub the tear residue from my contacts and drift off to sleep, and hope that I never have to actually know what it’s like to receive letters from my dead husband.

Photos courtesy of Dreamworks and Warner Bros.