a mother’s approval

Originally written Feb 24, 2009

i ramble like it’s my job.

I’m working on not being a slave to my family’s approval of my choices. It’s difficult, since I like to get along with everyone and have their respect and excitement about what I’m doing. I am realizing slowly that it doesn’t matter in the long run, and they’ll still love me even if they don’t like what I like. Still, approval is something I hope for.

So I talked to my mother about my trip to Germany at some length last night. All she knew before was that I had a fabulous time and she saw some pics. She felt left out, so I didn’t mind telling some stories.

Well, after I waxed romantic about how much I care for him and such (while she typed on the computer, might I add. I could hear her), she goes:

“If you two are really serious, I just want to let you know that I don’t approve of you marrying a German and moving to Germany. I don’t want that at all. I wouldn’t pay for the wedding, so you’d better elope.”

wtf, mom.

I honestly thought she was kidding because my mother always wants the best for me and always has encouraged me in my dreams and relationships, even if she doesn’t think a guy’s right for me.

the problem is… she sounded really serious. No chuckle, nothing. I’m going to ask her to clarify, simply so I’m sure I’m not misunderstanding her. I really think that she meant it, though.

this may not seem like a big deal, but i wanted to vocalize it anyway. i know it’s hard to understand family dynamics from the outside.

My family’s like the mafia. We’re very loyal and loving to those inside the circle, but there’s a pretty intense trial period and an interrogation that goes on when the family meets the SOs. They all feel like they have the right to give permission for someone to date/marry their sister/brother/mother/daughter. I think my family’s really fun, but they’re very intimidating at the same time as being welcoming. It’s like “welcome to our home! before you get too comfortable, tell us exactly why you deserve to be with Julia.” If they don’t approve, the SO is not part of the club, and they will make it a point to remind you constantly why you shouldn’t be with them, teasing and declaring judgment.

1. She doesn’t know Stefan at all, and has no reason to dislike him (except that she knows he’s a non-christian, and i guess that ruins it for her right off the bat). I think this lack of personal knowledge freaks her out, and that’s why she doesn’t approve. Stefan honestly thinks she hates him.

2. Damn the wedding money. i’m the eloping type anyway. she previously promised me money from my dead father’s trust to help pay for a wedding–because both my siblings got some for their weddings–but if she doesn’t want to support me, i don’t care about the cash at all. not like that’s a motivator for changing my heart

3. I know I shouldn’t care about her approval, but I’m still very puzzled and surprised. I think a convo would smooth things out.

does family approval matter to you? be honest, because i expect a lot of the tough “not at all, i do what i want.” responses and i know i’m not alone