Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Youngest (Rant Alert)

This will come as no surprise to anyone who is the youngest sibling--and possibly anyone else towards the bottom of the list in multi-child families.

Being the youngest makes us (me) a little thin-skinned about being treated like a baby. Yes, sometimes we regress and sometimes we can be spoiled little kids, not to mention somewhat lighter-hearted and flaky than Oldests and even Middles.

The issue is that I've always been WAAAAY younger than everyone in my family (of birth); not just a little younger, WAAAAY younger. And when I was 10, it was appropriate to treat me like a kid.

With four older sibs of my own I have done my best over the years to 'grow up' and be myself. I have also worked (mostly) for and with people older than me. Most of the time, I defer. Most of the time, I'm OK with being the younger/dumber one. Mostly I understand that "Oldests" and my elders may actually have some information about life that I haven't yet accrued.

I can't tell you how tired I am becoming of (some of) the older-than-me Boomers.

And I really. really. really. do. not. need. anymore people in my life who treat me like their kid sister. Cuz,
  1. I'm 45, thus patently NOT a kid [even if I cry too often for some peoples' comfort];

  2. None of my siblings are around here, and for good reason. [why do you think they are all far away? Hmmm, let's let that percolate for awhile, eh?];

  3. Even my sibs don't treat me like this (often) anymore [although I know someone who might disagree with this rather vehemently].

  4. I'm not an idiot.
So yeah, please, if you don't mind, I'd like to spend some of my adult, workplace years at least attempting to impersonate a grown-up. Here's a list for you if you aren't clear on things:
  1. If I'm crying, it's not necessarily your fault, and I'm not doing it to upset you. Usually. huh I understand that there may have been a disagreement that preceded the crying, but, truly, it is not all about YOU. I'm aware of that. You can't "make me" cry. So stop assuming ... well, everything, frankly.

  2. When I'm being treated like a child, it's quite likely that my first response is going to be childish. I may snap at you. I may bark. That's my issue and I am trying to deal with it. I will almost always be the first to apologize for doing so, but jeez, just once in awhile would it kill you to go first?!

  3. Don't ignore me.
    Don't talk over me.
    Don't patronize me and/or be condescending.
    Don't assume I can't handle the realities of life.
    Don't keep secrets from me, and gossip around me without including me.
    Don't tell me you were "just kidding" when you were being a bitch or a prick, because that is what precedes "Can't you take a joke??", at least in my head.
    In short, don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining (ty, Judge Judy).

  4. Examine your behavior once in awhile. You are NOT the Omphalos for anyone but your own beautiful self. Accept appropriate accolades gracefully but don't assume you 'deserve' them.

  5. For most of the world: I'm not your sister. Don't assume I need a big brother/big sister to get be through life. I don't. Really. I'm good. Go (the fuck) away already!

  6. Did I mention apologize first sometimes? Oh, yeah, I did.
I've always liked people younger than me better, overall. I used to worry that it was because I could lord it over them--there may be some of that--but young people at least have the courtesy of not treating me like a baby. [I'm sure that will come when I reach old age! I'm going to be quite a cranky old person if that happens, though.]

Like Aretha, I'm just asking for a little respect.

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