Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feminist in the making

It all started because I was talking to my parents about one of the men I'm dating in Portland. I had been telling him about a time when there was a girl at a party that was much prettier than me, and I said something about her getting more attention than me. He said something like the following:
"I don't know how that could be! You're so funny!" I think he said I was smart, too.
Naturally, I was flattered. Some dude thinks I'm interesting.
Naturally, my parents thought this was a reason to tease me.
"Did you tell him about your beauty?"
"Did you tell him about that time you got in a fight with that girl?"
"Uh...I don't know?"
"In preschool! At ballet class!"
"You know, that girl!"
"When was that? Nineteen-eighty...TWO?" (I sputtered out the "two" because I was trying to remember in what year I was two. Ok, that explanation doesn't make the statement any less stupid.)
"You weren't born yet in 1982. Anyway, it was when you were in preschool, and that little girl asked what you wanted to be when you grew up."
"Oh, I remember that. That had nothing to do with 'my beauty.'"
The next part of the conversation I'm not proud of. I was insistent that the girl from the story was a friend I had growing up through high school, Kristina. My mother told me several times that NO, it was a different girl who had been adopted from Korea. Someone I never saw again after preschool. I guess I always just replaced that mystery girl in my memory with Kristina, the only adopted-from-Korea girl I remember from my childhood.
Anyway, here is the story. When this girl who was NOT Kristina asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied, "I am going to be a queen when I grow up."
"You can't be a queen!"
"Yes I can! I can be a queen if I want!"
"No you can't! You can be a lot of other things, like a policewoman..."
I remember that part distinctly, because I thought, "WHO wants to be a policewoman?"
"Well, I am going to be a queen!"
"You don't have a crown!"
"I'll get one."

Apparently, at this point the little girl who was not Kristina announced, "I'm going to be a pediatric surgeon when I grow up!"
"I'm going to be a queen."


LS said...

A preschooler wants to be a pediatric surgeon? Talk about parental imprinting. Good for you, be whatever YOU want.

Sarah said...

That's pretty much what my parents said. They were not, like me, horrified at my early obsession with being a princess. When I was in preschool, I was convinced that in the early 2000's be married to a handsome dude (prince), wear lots of pretty dresses, be BEAUTIFUL, and also blonde. I guess that's forgiveable. It wasn't until I was seven or eight that I discovered ferns and wanted to be a botanist.

Sarah said...

I mean, my parents both said, "What kind of preschooler wants to be a pediatric surgeon!?"