about Blogs book exercise mamalougues contact Image Map

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I'm a Good Girl Right?

I realized the other day that I have a real problem.  I want to be liked.  I have always wanted to be liked.  I guess that makes sense for a girl in Kindergarten, but for someone my age, it seems like a rather pointless quest, and one that I'm sure I'm failing at.

I have gone out of my way to acheive this, by attending numerous at-home parties. Like, pampered chef or whatever the hot product is that women are selling that year.  Then I feel obligated to buy something, because if I don't then they won't like me.  Which is really crappy because I am usually the only one who shows up. I mean, sure it's no problem, I will just prepare a dinner or my family ahead of time, get a babysitter, stretch our bank account and travel in the dead of winter so I can purchase a candle warmer.

I understand that being in sales can be difficult. My first job out of college was in sales. It was by far the worst job of my entire life. I worked for a local radio station, and I had to go out to local businesses and sell advertising space.  I was basically selling air.  Back then I didn't even listen to the radio.  I had a CD player in my car with a Snoop Dog CD stuck in it, so my commute was spent listening to Gin and Juice.  With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

But I didn't make any money.  The first reason is that my boss was a jerk who made me mail a standard letter to all of my potential clients.  When I told him that the letter wasn't my style he responded with "You just got out of college, you don't have a style." He also told me my skirt was too short for office attire. In a nut shell, he was saying I didn't have taste or style. I bit my tongue and sent it out anyway. When I didn't get any response from the lame ass letter, I had to visit the client for a "follow up".  Most of them were local business owners who thought that $2000 for a 30-second time slot for a prime air time was too expensive, I would agree with them.

I preferred being liked by strangers more than my boss. Obviously that job didn't last long.  When I quit, I actually skipped out of the office, hiking my short skirt to an even more unprofessional level.   But, because I wanted to be liked, I returned when they asked me for an exit interview.  They wanted to know why I quit, and all that office bologna.  I told them that I wanted to focus on my own personal style, because someone had told me I didn't have any.

This idea of being liked has been on my mind lately.  And I believe it has everything to do with the fact that my in-laws are in town.  Don's parents and my parents are very similar, except my parents seem to like me.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I know they love me but at the same time, they get me gifts that say otherwise. For example, my mother-in-law got me an apron.  I immediately thanked her and put it on as I served the pizza out of the cardboard box it came in.

They seem perpetually annoyed with me when I don't clear the dinner plates before I serve dessert. And I'm even annoyed with myself that I morph into the Suzie Homemaker role when they are around. I mean, I work from 8-5 each day, as does my husband, (their son).   If I was home all day, I might have the opportunity to make dinner for eight people.  But, if that were the case then we wouldn't have the money to purchase the food I was going to need to prepare, for my family... and them.

Despite loving their son, giving them four amazingly adorable grandsons, there is an underlying notion that I am not the daughter-in-law that envisioned for their son.

Last night I went to see an author that I love, speak at our local performing arts center. A friend of mine had invited me. When I said yes, I had forgotten that they were going to be in town. Ok, maybe I had just let it slip my mind.  So after I had cleared the dinner plates, I announced that I was going to get a drink and going to a show with my friend Joel, and I could almost feel the seething disappointment. I mean, I had just been at work all day, and then I come home and LEAVE?  And with another man?? What kind of wife/mother/daughter/friend/human am I?

When I got home, I felt like a teen coming in past curfew.   I tried to make small talk about the show, but it was met with coldness.

As I got ready for bed, and Don came into the bedroom and plopped face down in complete exhaustion.  This isn't easy for him either. I mean, we are both trained actors, but this daily show is exhausting.  Even Broadway actors can be  "off"  This is 24/7 "on".   "I'm a good girl, right?" I asked. You would think that at 38 years old being considered a good girl wouldn't be a top priority, but for me it is.  I want so badly to be a good girl.  Its just the one thing I haven't exactly figured out how to do.

Trust me, I try.  But sometimes the bad girl wins. For example, I text my BFF really awful things I am thinking about certain people who post annoying things on Facebook. Like, a friend whose children may be perfect, and smart and win all sorts of awards, but are not pleasing to the eye, like at all.  But I'm not announcing it to the world, only to her so in that way I suppose my good girl is trying to compensate. My BFF will respond and say that I'm so bad...with a winky face.

I just want to be a good person but some days, or in this case, a week it is so damn hard.  Don told me that I was, when I wanted to be.  " What the hell does that mean?"

So maybe the truth is, I don't want to be a good girl. And maybe in writing this I just decided that.  I mean, good girls are bad girls that never got caught right? I think I heard that somewhere.

I don't want to give the impression that I don't love my husband's parents. They mean well, and the only fault I give them is that they set the expectations for his future wife based on an ideal that originated before I existed, and that woman doesn't exist in 2015. Or if she does, her husband plays for the NBA, and she is on the real housewives of Atlanta. Or she is part of a cult.

I have a few friends who are stay at home moms, who work their butts off and still would crack under the pressure of having their in-laws stay with them for an entire week.

The struggle is real, and it has gotten the best of me. We are only on day two.  I'm trying the best I can.  And even if I will never ever hear the words "you're a good girl, Noelle" at least I'm trying.


  1. You don't have to be a good girl to be a good person. It's a shame that your parents-in-law are so caught up in this strange ideal of a good daughter-in-law that they don't seem capable of even getting to know you. What a stressful week! I guess the bright side of this is that you don't have to spend time with them year round. I hope you are able to take care of yourself as much as possible during this visit.

  2. Maybe they just can see through your BS.