Being proud of weird kids
December 5, 2014 2:40 PM   Subscribe

Having parents who go the extra mile to show their support can make a big difference. German Ad Doesn't Need Words To Speak Volumes About Supporting Your Kids (Huffington Post) and original ad on Youtube, Sag es mit deinem Projekt (Hornbach).

Each time one of my parent friends voices their weird kid/bad parent concerns to me, I trot out my own childhood, which was a complete circus. Literally.

At age 4, my brother (now an accomplished architect) once played “dog” for nearly six months. Rather than prohibit this behavior, my parents bought him a leash, which he wore everywhere.

Weird Kids: is raising children unconventionally really bad parenting? (Aeriel Brown on Babble)

On a previous visit my kid was the one running around after a group of older boys and hissing at them. When I asked if he was trying to play with them he just replied, "I like to hiss."

I am the parent of a weird kid, and I know I'm not alone (Sacha Davis on Offbeat Families)
posted by Margalo Epps (57 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
German Ad Doesn't Need Words To Speak Volumes About Supporting Your Kids

Oh, man...the HOA is gonna come down and that guy like a ton of bricks.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:53 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


At age 4, my brother (now an accomplished architect) once played “dog” for nearly six months. Rather than prohibit this behavior, my parents bought him a leash, which he wore everywhere.

I was obsessed with the idea of being Garfield around this age. (?? I guess I just wanted to never grow up, and sleep in a box and eat lasagna forever.) It has had no bearing on my life of the moment... I don't even have cats. It is weird to me that people would see this kind of kid-weirdness as anything other than imaginative play! And a sign of sensitivity and artistic temperament if nothing else. *buffs nails haughtily*
posted by stoneandstar at 2:59 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


Shipping all that home improvement equipment from Germany to Canada must have cost the father a small fortune!
posted by Yowser at 3:16 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I never set out to be weird. It was always other people that called me weird.

Frank Zappa
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:18 PM on December 5, 2014 [9 favorites]


shit yeah, goth dad

goth it up for your teen

embrace the shroud of melancholia that o'ertakes your soul like the raven of the night

read some Sandman
posted by Greg Nog at 3:21 PM on December 5, 2014 [23 favorites]


That's really cute.

(I'm still goth on the inside.)
posted by brundlefly at 3:24 PM on December 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Surely part of the goth thing for a lot of people is to rebel against your parents and have a distinct identify from them? If your parents starting following your lead, would that be supportive or annoying? ("Dad, its not just about painting everything black, you don't get it, that just makes you a poseur!"). When goths grow up and have kids, are the kids likely to be goths too? We need some stats on whether gothness can be hereditary. I suspect it isn't.

In general I agree with the sentiment: yes support your weird kids. But that advert isn't a good example because being a goth isn't being weird per se, its more about identifying with a specific subculture in order to have a distinct identity (often, distinct from your parents).
posted by memebake at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


There is a tension between constructing your own disparate and diverse identity from your family, and still being loved, supported and accepted by them. Occasional outward displays of support are different from 'following their lead' and it depends on context as well.

Like, I was a weird bookish nerd reading SFF in school - the fact my mother was the same didn't ever 'support' me (got me the books) because there wasn't a context in which that could become a kind of obvious conscious 'this is my kid and my kid's choices are fine'.
posted by geek anachronism at 3:48 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Once again Ray Smuckles proves to be a paragon of good parenting.
posted by rustcrumb at 3:53 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thank you for reminding why I spend inordinate amounts of time and money making cosplay stuff for my daughter.
posted by Requiax at 4:22 PM on December 5, 2014 [8 favorites]




Germans don't live in houses like that.

A suburban DC or Connecticut mansion that's probably worth a few mill. Girl has studied look that probably cost a shitload too.

I don't find this cute or sweet at all. Rich white girl who spends an hour on her "look" has supportive dad. Big Fucking Deal.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 4:28 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


Between this and the series of ads with Blixa Bargeld reading from their catalog, Hornbach probably has the goth/industrial market totally locked up.
posted by kenko at 4:38 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


(Previously. Ads collected here. Es gibt immer was zu tun!)
posted by kenko at 4:40 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Germans don't live in houses like that.

Apparently it was filmed in Beeton, Canada. But, you know, it is a German company, and presumably the German audience is familiar with the kinds of houses Germans live in.

Surely part of the goth thing for a lot of people is to rebel against your parents and have a distinct identify from them?

Maybe for a lot, not necessarily for all?
posted by kenko at 4:45 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


My dad took me to gay bars, introduced me to Broadway and played the Pippin cast recording in the car when he'd pick me up from the mall. I appreciated it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:48 PM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


We need some stats on whether gothness can be hereditary. I suspect it isn't.

I don't know, but today I saw a group of three white women on the subway, one middle-aged and two in their teens or early twenties, similar looking enough to be family. All deathly pale, wearing tastefully dramatic goth-style eye makeup, all with super black hair, and all impeccably dressed in absolute black (including shoes, purses, winter gear).

It was impressive. Surely either hereditary gothness, or Vampires of Montreal. (Can't decide which option is better.)
posted by snorkmaiden at 4:50 PM on December 5, 2014 [21 favorites]


embrace the shroud of melancholia that o'ertakes your soul like the raven of the night

Back when I ran a book store, I had a couple of customers. They were very young and earnest, and he was very into black metal and she was very very goth. And they were the nicest couple you have ever met. They would come into the store, and I would say "hey, how is it going?" and they would be "life is an endless vale of misery and despair. We made cookies. Would you like some?" And they were always really good cookies.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:59 PM on December 5, 2014 [109 favorites]


Ha, I am middle aged and my gothiness has toned down a bit but is still recognisable. My teen daughter identified as goth for a while, still does the makeup and black clothes but seems to feel she is more of a soul-eating ginger. She has complete freedom to declare the house as gothy as she likes (Halloween decor stays up year-round). I come by my gothiness honestly, my parents used to go on dates in graveyards back in the fifties (although my daddy looked more like a Teddy Boy then) and my daddy always wanted a hearse. So, she is third generation goth? The two pre-teens also are pretty gothy, especially the six year old who is very loligoth. Us being the "weird" family hasn't hurt them socially as their friends feel comfortable being "odd" around us - a hard thing when you are twelve.
posted by saucysault at 5:10 PM on December 5, 2014 [24 favorites]


I don't find this cute or sweet at all. Rich white girl who spends an hour on her "look" has supportive dad. Big Fucking Deal.

You seem nice.
posted by dhammond at 5:13 PM on December 5, 2014 [72 favorites]


MetaFilter: I guess I just wanted to never grow up, and sleep in a box and eat lasagna forever.

It's possible that the German ad is "set in" Canada/North America. There's no dialogue and the message is universal. Like, maybe they had this goth idea but the whole idea of a kid adopting a subcultural identity and being bullied by preps is a stereotypically US thing and they didn't think the story would be believable with a German teen.
posted by No-sword at 5:20 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Unless things have changed recently the whole goth/industrial scene's much more popular in Germany than it is here.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:22 PM on December 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


My mom helped me paint part of my room black* when I was a teenager, and let my sister and me glue broken mirror pieces on as well. (Mine went onto the black ceiling to be stars, hers went around her door in a more funky art project.) Mom also thought it was awesome when I dyed a rainbow in my hair when I was eighteen and celebrating being bi. I like that it points out how sometimes kids need a big message to say they're awesome the way they are; I think us weird kids possibly need more reminders.

*I dabbled in gothiness but didn't really commit to it. As evidenced by later rainbows.
posted by Margalo Epps at 5:27 PM on December 5, 2014 [6 favorites]


If your parents starting following your lead, would that be supportive or annoying?

Oh my God it would have changed my life if my parents let me know they liked me no matter what I was wearing.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:32 PM on December 5, 2014 [38 favorites]


Not really apropos but: 15 years ago a bunch of us Chileans went to Hannover, Germany for a month to set up a Chilean exhibit thing at the Messe. We worked hard and needed to blow off steam at night, and we found this small goth-industrial-whatever club . We were most clearly none of the above, wore colors, smiled, etc. Everybody else in there was super serious and danced this very controlled, in your place, sort of half step backwards dance which I assume was how it was done in german-goth-industrial-whatever clubs in '99.

Anyway, they were cool, and tolerated us freaks who danced non-goth-etc dances, laughed and jumped and goofed around. I think one of them even smiled at me once.
posted by signal at 5:50 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


As a father of an original girl this made me cry.
posted by grubby at 5:51 PM on December 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


My dad helped me stick up my mohawk. He took me to salons to get my hair dyed wild colors, because he was worried I might fry my hair if I did it myself.
posted by autoclavicle at 6:06 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


In high school my dad asked, "Child of Satan, what do you have on your face?" (It was white pearl lipstick mixed with black eyeliner. Silvery grey, looked great, tasted awful.)

I said, "So that makes you Satan?"

Without missing a beat he replied, "Nope, it's your mother."

Child of Satan has been a term of endearment ever since.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:15 PM on December 5, 2014 [39 favorites]


It took my mom a long time to realize she had a weird kid. She didn't want a weird kid, solely because she knew how hard it would be for a kid who wasn't "normal," and who knows how to deal with a kid who is weird and does her own thing? It was hard going for us for a long time, my family and I. I was always strange, always odd, the kid who was smarter or more clever and always always apart.

But you know what? My mom learned to be super fucking proud of being the mom of a weird kid to the point where she became the go-to person for the queer kids, the lonely kids, the kids whose parents neglected them. She became the person that people from my high school remember for a kind word, a hug, and a chorizo-egg burrito.

I am a weird kid that turned into a weird woman. And my mom is proud to tell any parent that will listen that a weird kid is still a good kid.
posted by Kitteh at 6:44 PM on December 5, 2014 [19 favorites]


My parents, 15 years after I left home, 13 years into an adult life that has included conference presentations, academic graduations, any number of things signifying my general ability to be half-decent at what I do, are only now starting to give a shit and want to come to things.

It's unsettling and awkward. I've been blocking them out, to the point of outright lying, and my partner finally sat me down this morning and said "you know, people change and that's okay, they want to support you now" but it's a hard lesson to unlearn. They've never wanted to support that part of my life, or be involved, so I developed an entire life that excludes them and suddenly they want to support me? Fucking weird.

And the thought of my kid, being in her thirties, and upset because I have requested to attend public conferences she's speaking at? That's yet another layer of upsetting.

So yeah, showing an interest would have felt supportive, if it had happened 20 years ago. Not necessarily following my lead, but interest and actual support? Would have made a world of difference then and now.
posted by geek anachronism at 7:13 PM on December 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Very luckily, my parents didn't so much support my cross-dressing (from 8th grade; off and on), but didn't seem to have a problem with it. My dad taught me how to tie a necktie when I was 16. No big deal. I got lots of compliments from them when I wore a dress, but it didn't stop my mom from complimenting me for wearing a fedora-type hat (she thought I looked snappy in it) and butch clothing.

Not so much weird. Definitely not goth. But it was really something (in hindsight) to have parents who were not yay, oy, or meh.

So this commercial gets the "aw, that is so sweet" from me, because it's not how I react, but that the girl in the ad liked the supportive attitude/act. And you know what? It's not a monolithic universe. And you know what? Whatever creates dialogue makes progress.
posted by datawrangler at 7:14 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


We need some stats on whether gothness can be hereditary.

I saw a three generation goth family once : Grandma had long white hair in a braid, witchy shawls, and a skull topped cane. Mom was pushing Mortica Addams with the heavy makeup and long black dress. Dad was gothabilly in a dark purple bowling shirt emblazoned with bats and lots of silver jewelry. Olderish teen daughter was straight up Betty Paige in red and black and the younger biy at a black dress shurt buttoned all the way up with black dress pants and shoes and sunglasses.

I thought they might have beem a band or something but it was clear they where related. A friend poked me and said, with great reverence and respect. "The Munsters are real."

The family that themes together stays together.
posted by The Whelk at 7:23 PM on December 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


On the flip side, I'm going to be disappointed if my kid isn't at least a little weird.
posted by ohisee at 7:34 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I have a weird kid, though his weirdness is not the same as mine or his father's, and sometimes I think that makes it harder. I know how to be the type of weird kid I was, but not how to be the type he is. And I do a lot of second-guessing when I feel the urge to make him do something or stop doing something; am I unfairly trying to make him conform or teaching him something he really does need to master?

What I'm saying is, it's not all flowers and lollipops when you say "Oh I love my weird kid for his weirdness!" because of course you do, but you still have to deal with trying to find the best ways to help them be weird but also not neglect teaching them things they do need to learn in order to deal with other humans.

This is what parenting does to you. I prepared for either a kid like me and his dad or a kid more "normal" like my siblings. I wasn't prepared for None of the Above. So these articles are only semi-comforting. Like when the second writer says "everyone loves playgrounds" haha no not my kid, except under certain circumstances.
posted by emjaybee at 7:36 PM on December 5, 2014 [11 favorites]


My mom went with me to get my first tattoo because she wanted to make sure I wouldn't be alone for that experience. I remember the guy at Pain & Wonder (Athens, GA) being very surprised and pleased when she started to ask him how he was going to spend his Thanksgiving.
posted by Kitteh at 7:36 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think my family were all pretty weird kids.

The swing story in the last article reminded me that every day at recess, when I got to go out for recess, I would go to the swings and spend the entire time singing How Much Is That Doggy In The Window at the top of my lungs. It made me happy at the time, but ... yeah, I would like to thank the good people of Coloma Wisconsin and my parents in particular for not taking me out to the woods and tying me to a tree so the bears could eat me.

I also recall that my littlest sister, the one everyone regarded as the normal, popular kid, said she wanted to be a marble when she grew up.


Many years later, when we were talking about...stuff, Mom effused about how Bobby Hill was her absolute favorite character on TV and it was great, because it was palpable in that moment how much she loves weird kids. Not in an "I will grudgingly tolerate your weirdness and hope you grow out of it" way, but in a way that celebrates and treasures Kid Weirdness, and the weirdness in all kids.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:33 PM on December 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


My mom was so amazing when it came to supporting my choices as a teenager. As I remember, when her friends wigged out about my purple/orange/blue/whatever-shade-it-was-that-month hair, her response was "It's her hair, she can do what she wants with it. Besides, she knows that if she wakes up Monday morning too embarrassed to go to school, she gets to put on a hat and go anyway."

(I miss my teenage years. The guy who did our hair was a friend, a brilliant artist in his own right (cutting hair to pay the rent), and a creative collaborator of Mom's, who would do four-color Cellophanes on me for "…I dunno, how about $40?")

My friends loved my mom because she listened to them and regarded each of them as an individual person.
posted by Lexica at 9:53 PM on December 5, 2014 [4 favorites]


Girl has studied look that probably cost a shitload too.

In my goth days, there was a few who were upper middle class or rich and they'd buy part of their look off the shelf. But most of them didn't have a lot of money and they'd painstakingly build their outfits through hitting second hand clothing stores, low rent antique stores, doing their own sewing, and sometimes mixing in this one black thing they'd find on the cutout rack at Penny's. Even the few rich kids did this to an extent, or pretended they did, because the DIY ethos was a key part of it all.

The girl who always had the best look, and was always the belle of the dark masquerade, supported her darkness purely from what she was paid at Taco Bell. I still have no idea how she did it.

On topic, her mom was mostly supportive, and my mum, despite being quite fundamentalist, always took the time to tell me she thought black was a great color for me. She also appreciated the simplicity of my laundry in HS. She liked the dark blue hair color, but thought the bright red was a bit much. Only things she worried about were satan worship and drugs. When I told her I didn't do the latter, and the former was just a passing acquaintance unworthy of much devotion, she was quite content.
posted by honestcoyote at 10:42 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


This is what parenting does to you. I prepared for either a kid like me and his dad or a kid more "normal" like my siblings. I wasn't prepared for None of the Above. So these articles are only semi-comforting.

Our experience too. I was a weird kid, but much of my weirdness was about wanting to be different, to stand out. My son's weirdness is alienating, and he really feels sad about it sometimes. And we are always treading that fine line between 'let your freak flag fly you crazy diamond' (and we are the 'weird family' in our community anyway) and teaching him to realise that there are societal expectations and sure you can go against convention, but it's not always easy (and being a rebel does not always mean you are special).

I am finding, both online and IRL, that the rise of the popular media popularity of geeks has also seen a rise in a certain set of parents who insist that their kid is weird and that they are awesome support parents of their oh so special weird child, and other people just don't get what it is like having such a weird kid and did I humblebrag about how awesome I am for supporting my weird kid. Many of these parents are the same ones who insist their child is gifted (when usually they are not), that their child has 'intolerances' and whatever the trendy 'My child is so different in the way it is currently popular to be different' is. Parenting is hard, and it is great to see parents who support their kids, no matter how like their peers or not they are. But often it seems like performative parenting is more important than being supportive.
posted by Megami at 10:51 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]


> "Surely part of the goth thing for a lot of people is to rebel against your parents and have a distinct identify from them?"

Can't speak for everyone of course, but ... nah, not for me. It was much more about finding a way to express myself in fashion and style in a manner I found appealing, while simultaneously encountering a subset of contemporary popular music that I really liked. (It was kind of like, "Wait ... I can feel *pretty*? Wearing clothing and make-up I personally *like*? And I can *dance*? To music I *enjoy*? Without feeling like an *idiot*?" Rather a revelation at the time.) My parents really couldn't have cared less and they didn't really factor into it.
posted by kyrademon at 4:33 AM on December 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


(I mean, I think it might have led to a lecture from my parents once or twice, but not a disciplinary lecture, I mean, like, a literal lecture, like "Oh, are you participating in a gothic revival movement? That's very interesting, have we ever told you about the pre-Raphaelites?" "Yes, actually -" "The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Their intention was to reform art by rejecting the mechanistic approach -" "That's very interesting, but I need to -" And then they would segue without pause into Romanticism, The Castle of Otranto, revival architecture, and eventually Egon Schiele.)

(Weird parents. I tried to be supportive.)
posted by kyrademon at 4:48 AM on December 6, 2014 [29 favorites]




I prepared for either a kid like me and his dad or a kid more "normal" like my siblings. I wasn't prepared for None of the Above. So these articles are only semi-comforting. Like when the second writer says "everyone loves playgrounds" haha no not my kid, except under certain circumstances.

Yes, exactly. That's the hardest part -- figuring out how to parent your own kid, especially in all the ways in which they aren't like you. For my daughter one of the more minor ones was dolls. It wasn't that hard to tell people to stop buying her dolls and let her give away the ones she had, once we'd figured out she really didn't like them. It was incredibly hard to tell my parents, who had saved two handmade dollhouses for 25 years, that she just doesn't like to play with dolls, even though the houses were lovingly crafted by my dad.

From the last article:
Life with a weird kid is isolating. You spend a lot of time tamping down that parental anxiety when your kid is freaking out and it seems like all the other kids are sitting nicely and cooperating. You explain over and over that your kid just doesn't like circle time or story time or most organized activities. I've learned over time to respect my son and the way he functions, and there are a lot of activities we simply cannot do because he can't handle them. I've learned that the reason it seems like all the other kids can cope is that the parents with the weird kids are staying home. I've felt completely and utterly alone as seemingly everyone else went around with their perfectly normal, average kid.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:47 AM on December 6, 2014


As the weird kid of incredibly anti-weird parents (that were really not into having non-normal kids), it makes me really happy to see the amount of weird support that MeFites got, and seem to give to their kids.

I'm convinced that I'm gonna end up with super normal kids with super normal interests. Then it'll be the same situation in reverse, where my kids will be into stuff that I can't possibly understand, and I won't know how to support them at all.

Weird Dad: "Are you sure you want to go to the school dance? You don't want to skip it and hang out in a parking lot listening to "Disintegration" by The Cure on repeat? You sure?"

Normal Kid: "jeez, Dad, why can't you support me!?!" *goes to super-normal room, slams door*
posted by DGStieber at 8:55 AM on December 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


"Oh, are you participating in a gothic revival movement? That's very interesting, have we ever told you about the pre-Raphaelites?"

this is like the greatest dad joke ever and i am totally saving it for when i have kids
posted by narain at 9:13 AM on December 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Surely part of the goth thing for a lot of people is to rebel against your parents and have a distinct identify from them? If your parents starting following your lead, would that be supportive or annoying?

Reminds me of what the Obama parents threatened to do if the Obama daughters got tattoos:
"What we've said to the girls is, ‘If you guys ever decided you're going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place. And we'll go on YouTube and show it off as a family tattoo," Obama said.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:08 AM on December 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'm convinced that I'm gonna end up with super normal kids with super normal interests. Then it'll be the same situation in reverse...

That’s like the wonderful Monty Python skit about the playwright disgusted with his son who’s become a coal miner.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:01 PM on December 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Black houses are not that big a deal.
That reminded me of the black houses of Olympia, Washington.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:10 PM on December 6, 2014


emjaybee: "I have a weird kid, though his weirdness is not the same as mine or his father's, and sometimes I think that makes it harder. I know how to be the type of weird kid I was, but not how to be the type he is. ... This is what parenting does to you. I prepared for either a kid like me and his dad or a kid more "normal" like my siblings. I wasn't prepared for None of the Above.

Oh, I have the same thing and it stresses me out. My husband and I were both weird kids in bookish, quiet, nerdy ways. My older son is a weird kid who is the most outgoing sociable child in the universe. I worry that I have no idea how to support this, and I often find myself flummoxed trying to support his need for a robust social life AND to be weird. I mean, so far, it seems to be working out for him, he has a zillion friends despite doing some very weird kid stuff. But I worry.

We were in a meeting with a bunch of his teachers/support staff (he has an IEP) and I mentioned this, that I worry about supporting his social needs because my husband and I were both kinda shy kids, and I swear I could tell which teachers were parents because they all laughed and nodded while the non-parents all looked puzzled by the sentiment.

From further up:
"> "Surely part of the goth thing for a lot of people is to rebel against your parents and have a distinct identify from them?"

I think for a lot of kids who are goth, it's about rebelling against high school and its normative demands and cliques, not your parents.

My mom was not really pro-weirdness but she was really smart about picking her battles. Was I going to school, getting good grades, obeying curfew, and not doing drugs? Then if I wanted to dress like a homeless person for several months on end, she was going to quietly hate it but not say one word. And if someone else made a snide comment, she would leap to my defense. So she wasn't like, "Let me help you fly your freak flag!" but she gave me the freedom to fly my own freak flag. This was just as good. My friends all thought she was -- not permissive, she was actually on the strict end w/r/t curfews and drinking and that sort of thing -- but supportive and sympathetic. They all liked to talk to her about problems (to a point that sometimes actively annoyed me because GEEEZ guys that's my MOM stop TELLING her things) not because she was a "cool mom" who let kids drink in the basement but because she was sympathetic, unruffled even by horrible stories, and had MOM solutions to things. If you were flunking out of school or had an upsetting stalker boyfriend, my mom was the adult who could come in and ADULT that situation to start fixing it. I guess her attitude was, "Well, children make mistakes, that's why you are children, adults are here to help get you back on track, so let's start cleaning this up." She wasn't into yelling or recrimination or shaming; when people told her the worst part of their story, the most judgmental thing she'd say was, "Well, that was dumb" or "You certainly won't make that mistake again!"

I did not really mean to get on a tangent there but I guess my point was, picking your battles can sometimes be just as good as joining in.

(You know, now that I think about it, the one thing my mom would never let me be weird about was my hair, that was where she drew the line, and it was extra-annoying because she let me SIBLINGS do weird things with their hair, but I think it was because my dad particularly loved my hair and my dad is so super-relaxed about 99% of things that in that 1% where he has an opinion, everyone defers to him. Which was a bit of a shame as I REALLY wanted purple and white streaks in my hair for a while there.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:19 PM on December 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


> It's possible that the German ad is "set in" Canada/North America.

It's like when I discovered that a German university had a Department of American Studies. "You mean they study us, just like we study them? I would never have guessed that."
posted by benito.strauss at 3:20 PM on December 6, 2014


Oh, I do have one friend who, when her preschooler does weird things, rebukes him, "Don't do that, that's what weird kids do."

I am finding it progressively harder to remain friends with her.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:21 PM on December 6, 2014 [2 favorites]




> A suburban DC or Connecticut mansion that's probably worth a few mill. Girl has studied look that probably cost a shitload too. I don't find this cute or sweet at all. Rich white girl who spends an hour on her "look" has supportive dad. Big Fucking Deal.

Ha, if you think this is a mansion, you haven't seen many actual mansions. That neighborhood looks upper-middle-class, but decidedly not a truly wealthy neighborhood. As this did depict upper-middle-class suburbia, please note that the clothing of her classmates was easily just as expensive, if not more so, that what she was wearing.

If you think most teenage girls don't spend an hour on their "look," (no matter how implausible this may seem from the end result), you haven't known many teenage girls.
posted by desuetude at 4:06 PM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I spent an hour on my "look" as a teenage girl and I was super poor, AND you couldn't even tell because I didn't know what the fuck I was doing! And I didn't even wear makeup! So there!
posted by stoneandstar at 7:32 PM on December 6, 2014


I spent like nearly an hour on my ablutions this morning and I'm a 30 year old man.
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 PM on December 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you guys ever decided you're going to get a tattoo, then mommy and me will get the exact same tattoo in the same place.

My mom would look awesome with my tattoo.
posted by Margalo Epps at 12:56 PM on December 7, 2014


I'm a pretty conservative, well, some would say even uptight, person. But I try not to be. Anyway, when sonny-boy went away to college and was in his junior year he went away to an island research station in Canada one autumn and contact was pretty sporadic for a while. We got an e-mail every now and then. One day, I opened an e-mail to find pictures of someone getting a haircut.

-G., what's this about?, I asked my lovely daughter, who had already opened her copy.
-A. got his haircut, she obliging replied.
-No, this e-mail, here, what's all this? Who is this boy A. is sending us pictures of?
She came over and pointed over my shoulder at the screen, with the patience of one speaking to the infirm.
-Mom, that's A. He got his hair cut. It's a mohawk!

I hadn't even recognized him.
I cried. I swear I had tears in my eyes. And for weeks I could hardly look at the pictures he sent us of his activities there. The boating, the snow, the seaweed gathering, the tidepools trips, all I could see was the hair.

And the awful thing was, I knew I was being ridiculous. I mean, its just hair, for gods sake. I helped him bleach it in high school! But I couldn't bear the thought of seeing him like that. What would I do when he came home? How could I look at him if I couldn't even look at the pictures?

In the weeks that followed, my husband and devised a plan to help me over the hurdle.
Step 1: We bought cheap wigs and faux-hawked them. Goth Black for the daughter (who did the makeup and looked awesome), brassy red for me and neon pink and green for the hubs.
Step 2: Go galavanting through the airport terminal to pick the boy up. Make sure you are not late. Allow extra time to answer questions and get your picture taken with be elderly tourists delighted to see the weirdness of Los Angeles close up.
Step 3: Watch the boy collapse in laughter when he finally recognizes his family.

And he was so handsome and such a delight!

Anyway, I try to be supportive, but sometimes a person can only manage just so much.
posted by SLC Mom at 3:11 PM on December 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


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