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Memorial Day: A Day to Remember... - Kurt's Life (or lack thereof) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kurt Onstad

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Memorial Day: A Day to Remember... [Jun. 2nd, 2004|09:40 pm]
Kurt Onstad
[Current Mood |happy and cranky]
[Current Music |Wandering - Ben Folds - Speed Graphic]

So, my parents came out this previous weekend. Friday they showed up after work, and we had dinner at their place (the RV), then we attempted to see a movie. I actually convinced my mom to go see Day After Tomorrow (I tried for Shrek 2, but she still refuses to see "kids movies"), but unfortunately the showing was sold out when we got there (would have had to wait until 10:30, and none of us wanted to do that...). During dinner, I explained the whole car situation, and how it was now starting to lose power and rev during inappropriate times. We also went over my budget, to see how much I could conceivably save each month to work on getting a new car (turns out, not much...), and talked the usual subjects (work, school, and women [or lack thereof]). My dad took my car for a twenty foot test drive, and decided that it was the clutch that was going.

Near the end of the night, we talked about our plans for Sunday, which was supposed to involve going to see Denise (my sister), Ed (brother-in-law), and Natalie (my cute-as-a-button niece) in Newbury Park. I told them I didn't think it was safe for me to drive out that distance in my car in its current state, so they let me borrow their tow car (Honda CRV), and told me that they'd pay for my train ticket back (so they could get the tow car back...). I arranged to have someone pick me up from the train station, and prepared for another day of interrogation.

Sunday arrives, and I make the drive out there. Natalie, who in all the times I've talked to Denise, has never cried once, takes one look at me, and starts bawling. My family decides that Natalie doesn't like the beard. Oh, yeah, I think, this is going to be a fun day...

After about a half-hour of exploring my face, Natalie decides I'm not that scary after all, and is okay with me, as long as Denise or Ed is close enough to see. By Monday morning, she was comfortable enough with me for me to watch her while everyone else was elsewhere. Yay!

Anyways, back to Sunday...About an hour or two after I show up, Denise brings to my attention the foam alphabet pieces that Natalie plays with. They've been put together into a big square. That's nice, I think. Then I notice that in the fourth line, the word "Kurt" is spelled out. It takes me a minute or so to piece together that all of the letters pointed in one direction are spelling something out. Taking out all the extraneous pieces, it says:

That's right. My parents bought me a car on Saturday. A Black 98 Ford Contour. Quite nice...I give shocked hugs to everyone, and go for a quick test drive with my dad. He explains that there's also a check waiting for me back at the house to pay for tax and license and such.

I get back, and about ten minutes later, Mom says this to me:
"So, considering how nice we were to give you this car, would you do me a favor?" (Pause) "Would you trim your beard?" And there went nearly all of the good feelings I was having for my parents. If she had made the request on its own, that wouldn't nearly have been as bad, but to tie it into the car just pissed me off. Now it felt like a bribe (a really expensive bribe, mind you, but a bribe nonetheless) to get me to change my appearance to their desire. I told Denise about this later, and she was shocked. She explained that she had brought up offering the car in exchange for a beard and hair cutting completely as a joke, and that Dad had emphatically said "No. That's wrong." Mom, on the other hand, seems to have decided that it was somewhat okay. When she made this request, I stood up and started to walk away. "You don't have to do it right now," she said. I turned around for a second, couldn't think of the right way to say, "Fuck you if you thought that's where I was headed," so I turned back around and walked into the kitchen for a drink.

Mom made one more attempt to get me to trim my beard right before I left Monday morning. "Please. For me?" she asked. I just said goodbye, and drove off.

I know, I could trim/shave my beard. It's not like it won't grow back. Ironically, I could completely shave it off, and by the time I see my parents again, it'd be back to the length it is now, or longer (they're going around the country and won't be back until October for Natalie's first birthday). I've been very good lately about keeping the mustache up above my lip, and I actually do plan to trim the beard itself soon, as it has started to interfere with eating. But, I refuse to do so as part of some master plan of my parents to make me more socially acceptable. Maybe I'm stuck in "teenage rebellion" phase to a certain extent, but every time they go to these great lengths to get me to cut my hair or shave my beard, it just pisses me off. In the past year, my parents paid for me to go to a career counselor (my sister later told me that they had hoped the counselor would tell me to cut my hair and shave my beard...), my mom called into a radio show to ask what she could do to convince me to cut my hair and shave my beard (Dad told me about that one), and now this. Cripes! It's just hair, and it's the way I like it! Why can't they deal with that?

[User Picture]From: emailgirl
2004-06-02 09:59 pm (UTC)


I'm glad your car problems are fixed. I was worried.

As for your beard, most women (me) find facial hair attractive. It's a shame your mother is so mean and unsupportive.

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[User Picture]From: shironiku
2004-06-02 11:03 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you got a "new" car, and it sounds really cool how they surprised you with it, but I'm sorry to hear that your mom soured the deal like that. I know how you feel, though; my mom's been trying to get me to grow my hair out ever since my first short haircut a couple of years back. She doesn't seem to understand that my hair won't grow and that the reason I shaved my head (which she gave me a remarkably small amount of shit over) in the first place is because I'm losing it on top. Moms will be moms, I suppose. There's just no pleasing them sometimes.

I read an article recently that claimed most women didn't like facial hair on men, but then again, most women don't like guys who read comic books and play Dungeons and Dragons well into their adult lives. To each her own.
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[User Picture]From: tommyomega
2004-06-03 08:57 am (UTC)


Mothers do that. They have this idea of what their child should (or has) looked like and they don't like changes. Lord knows my mother's been griping about my hair and my facial hair (as if it's easy for me to show anything on my face) for years. Now, I will shave when I feel like it but I'm leaving the hair alone.

(Maybe you should photoshop your hair into punk phase, into designs that would drive the viewer insane and send the pic to your mom as a joke. That'll teach mom.)

Now, keep the car. Screw the request. It's just a request, not a term or a condition, right?
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[User Picture]From: eowyn42
2004-06-03 12:37 pm (UTC)

mommy's preogative

It is a parent's progative to inform you when they don't like what's going on in your life - they gave birth and fed you, so they get to comment,
BUT you have entered the amazing world of adulthood and thus the opinions of parents are just that - opinions.
Smile and nod, wave bye-bye until next time. POint them in the direction of their granddaugther (cute-as-a-button = good distraction).
And consider a trim if you don't want to hear the commentary for their next visit - otherwise who cares?
Love and cookies,
Anne the Merciless
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[User Picture]From: astridsdream
2004-06-03 04:56 pm (UTC)
Parents are spoons sometimes. Just smile and nod and say you'll consider it. Eventually she'll figure it out.
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[User Picture]From: technomonkey
2004-06-04 08:05 pm (UTC)

Devil's advocate

First off, very cool about the car! (/jealous) All the same.....byyyyyyye, Joey!

I think I've said this before, but to be on the safe side, I'll say it again. (Note - this is NOT in support for how you mom did this - obviously I agree that she's way out of line) When your beard is trimmed (not even necessarily short - just, you know, even), you look good. Like, if I were a chick or if I swung that way, datable good. When you let it go scraggly, you look like you just don't care about how you look. I appreciate that it's the way you like to have it, but I don't think it's a good look for you.

Just my thoughts.

(The hair, though, looks fine. Do that however the hell you want! =) )
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[User Picture]From: speedball
2004-06-05 01:20 am (UTC)

Devil's Radio...

Actually, I agree with you. It's not my best look. But, in this case, the look isn't the most important aspect of it for me...
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