When kids are punished, their parents ground them for a week or a month. They get sent to their room. An earlier curfew is enforced. An allowance is withheld. As a teenager, I used to babysit a lot of kids. Their parents would advise, “If Mary starts acting up, you can give her a time out.” A wuh? This sort of discipline was all very foreign to me–as I was raised by foreigners.
My mom never resorted to the disciplinary actions mentioned above. Nope. Instead of time outs, my sister and I got ‘The Glare.’ Even if that did the trick and we had learned our lesson, but my mom still hadn’t satiated her threshold for punishment, we got ‘The Slipper.’ I’m not talking about a flimsy, plastic flip-flop that she used to pat our behinds. No sirree. My mom brought out one of her wooden heels and unleashed vengeance upon our very extremely sorry little asses. She called it ‘The Slipper.’ Because she’s an immigrant, I’m going to cut her a little slack on her vocabulary, but it surely wasn’t a slipper. It was more like a sledgehammer in the form of a shoe!
Either way, being punished by my mom was not pretty. Punishment aside, I’ve always wanted to please my parents. I want them to be proud of me.
That said, my previous post caused quite a ruckus recently. At my nephew’s christening last week, the topic of my marijuana overdose came up–much to everyone’s dismay. I ignored the catty gossip and presumed it would never come up again. But my aunt sent my blog link to my mom. In turn, my mom (who probably has my blog bookmarked now) sent me an email expressing her concern. She warned me to stay away from people who would offer me drugs. ‘Do Not Trust Anyone’ her subject line called out. Essentially, I was told to cut the reckless behavior. The email of course was espoused in love and concern. My mom hadn’t given me The Glare. The Slipper hadn’t come out, but I still felt awful. Mentally, I felt like I’d been grounded.
I love my parents. I love my sister and brother-in-law. I love my family and friends. But I don’t handle criticism very well. So listen up. I’m an adult now. Parents have approximately 18 years to mold their children into the best adults that they can be. After that, you’ve got to cut your losses and say that you’ve done the best that you can. Because after the age of 18, you can say sayonara to whatever grip you had on your kids.
I’m 30. I can make my own decisions and I appreciate your concern. We grew up in different environments, different cultures, different time periods. Growing up in the 50′s in the Philippines is not the same as growing up in the 80′s in America. I may be the child of immigrants (which, by the way, I’m very proud of), but at my core, I am an American–a risk-taking business girl in love with corporate America and a hippie who demands absolute freedom.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank the family members who ratted me out to my parents. Thank you. By the way, do you know that your kids do drugs, too?! But so what? Maybe it seems like a big deal because the value of a nickelbag of pot is equivalent to the GDP of the Philippines. Maybe marijuana seems so awful because it’s a DRUG. God forbid, our kids are doing drugs. Oh no!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. People do drugs. Do you honestly believe that Bill Clinton did not inhale? Should I steer clear of people who do drugs? Stay away from the ex-president? I realize I should stay away from him for other reasons. Right, Lewinsky?
Mom, if it was such a concern, you shouldn’t have insisted that I go to Berkeley. The 60′s. The Free Speech Movement. Hello??? Those plants and shrubs surrounding the campus…that’s marijuana! If I should stay away from people who do drugs, then that means I should not talk to a single person that I graduated with. Everyone at Berkeley tried it at least once. Yeah, and they’re smart, successful people. They’re lawyers, doctors, politicians. These same people still take a whiff every once in a while.
Society condemns drugs. Drugs are bad. It’s what we’re conditioned to believe. And they are bad in excess. Anything’s bad in excess. Anything’s bad if it impedes you from living a productive life. Sure, people die. That’s unfortunate. There are also athletes who suddenly keel over and die from heart attacks. Does that mean I should stop exercising?
I believe it’s all about self-discipline. I don’t abuse drugs. I know when enough is enough. At Burning Man, I went too far and now I know. It won’t happen again. Like I said before, this issue made me feel like my parents had grounded me. Like I’d been sent to my room, or given a time-out. A double entendre is there as well. My parents raised me right. My family and friends support me. I’m mentally grounded in who I am to make my own decisions and to live with the consequences. Life is what you make of it.
For the first time, I’m going to open my blog up for comments. I hadn’t before because I didn’t want people commenting on my life. But I might as well make it a free for all. This is what I get for publishing what is sort of like my own personal diary on the web. Let me hear your thoughts. Fess up, all you drug addicts. I can’t be the only black sheep in a family.