Wednesday, February 21, 2007

How ungrateful are you?

Who else did this as a child or teen? Give yourself ten points for every HELL YEAH answer.

When pulling up to a shopping center, start to scream wildly from the back seat “Don’t leave me in the car! Don’t leave me! Don’t leave me in the car! Please don’t leave me!”, causing onlookers to glare at the bewildered woman in the driver’s seat, who had no intention of leaving said screaming child in car, as well as having no idea where the “don’t leave me’s” came from.

When being met after school as a first or second grader, start to hyperventilate if mother was not the first woman you saw as you turned the corner, bursting into tears, falling to the floor and curling into a fetal position with fear. She’s not coming to get me. I knew she wouldn’t come to get me. Something horrible happened to her. Now I’ll have to go to the orphanage.

When getting that first puppy or kitten as a pet, burst into hysterical sobs at the thought of puppies and kittens being taken away from their mothers and siblings. Throw a fit at the pet store / breeder / rescue shelter insisting on keeping the animal family together. Finally after being threatened with we will leave this store right now young lady if you don’t stop this immediately, demand on the ugliest puppy* you see because you’re afraid nobody else will want it, much to the chagrin of mother who really wanted you to get that French Poodle or Irish Setter.

When old enough to pick out books on your own from the library, focus primarily on books revolving around two distinct subjects. You get five points for each: 1.) The slavery of African Americans – with specific focus on books about children separated from their mothers. 2.) The Holocaust – again with a slant towards the experience of women and children during the Holocaust, in particular mothers and children separated from each other during the Holocaust. 10 Bonus points for caucasian and/or christian folks only: Into adulthood, consider that childhood obsession not such a bad thing. Your readings left you with a better education and awareness than many of your counterparts, some of whom mistake the terms “The Holocaust” with the American-Russian nuclear arms race and “The Middle Passage” to mean menopause.

At family gatherings, eye female cousins in the 15-20 year older than you age range with suspicious “Are you my mother?” gazes from the corner of the room. Imagine that bitch of a mother of theirs forcing them to give you up. Jesus you always hated Aunt Sally, you knew she’d pull some shit like that.

Have recurring dreams about beautiful buildings with really dirty bathrooms. This has actually nothing to do with adoption. It’s just a recurring theme in dreams that freaks me out. What the fuck does that symbolize? Is there a Jungian psychologist in the house? Seriously – how screwed up am I for having this dream? Somebody tell me please.

In junior high and high school, strike up friendships with the cool female teachers in their thirties. Hang out after class and offer to help out with grading papers or cleaning up. Have chatty conversations about art films and literature. Be the BEST STUDENT in any class taught by a woman in that age range.

As female friends start to get into plastic surgery, despite having the financial means to do it, absolutely positively refuse to have the ugliest mole in the world removed from your neck, convinced that someday you’ll be in a store, and some older woman will look at your mole and start to cry. She pulls her scarf away from her neck in slow motion as the store speakers play a muzak version of “Mother and Child Reunion”, revealing the exact same mole. You rush into each others arms, crying, as you drop your shopping bags, revealing you were both shopping for the exact same things (cat food, coffee, cigarettes and half ‘n half).

EVERY SINGLE VIDEO ON MTV is about adoption. Every one. I’m serious, dude, I swear. Listen, I’m sorry you can’t hear the adoption themes in “The Safety Dance” but you would if you were adopted. You totally don’t understand, totally.

Be the last one of all of your friends to lose her virginity. By years I’m talking here, because you’re terrified of getting pregnant. The first time you have sex, use three forms of birth control at the same time. 10 Bonus Points: Continue insisting on the pill/condom/spermicide combo for the next three years. 10 More Bonus Points: Keep supply of pregnancy kits on hand at all times for the next three years after that and begin testing three days before your period is due. Every month. Even on months you didn't have sex.


0 points: You’re happy happy happy. You’re so happy happy happy you now work as an adoption professional matching loving fun financially secure couples with darling bundles of joy. Or, you're like this chick I found over at Amy's blog, who wants to criminalize searchers.

10-20 points: You only admit those things to yourself, and go to confession immediately after thinking them to repent for your sins. Three Our Father’s, two Hail Mary’s, and donate some money to charity for pagan babies. Your soul will be as good as new again.

30-50 points: You are so much better adjusted than I.

60-80 points: Not so much ungrateful. But thankless, you can call yourself that. You rank as thankless. There, that’s not so bad. Be grateful you rank as thankless.

90-100 points: Congratulations! You are completely and totally ungrateful for being special, chosen and wanted. You obviously could care less about hurting the feelings of your adoptive parents by searching for and afterwards invading the privacy of your original family who loved you enough to want the best for you. You simply refuse to get over it and let it go. All the things you were given and how much you were loved, and you’ve got problems? Really, now. Geeze if you’re so unhappy tell your mom she can adopt me already. You got the best stuff here. I wish my parents would let me have cable in my bedroom.

110-130 Points – You are my twin! I knew I had a twin damnit! We were separated at birth, damn them, damn them, damn them to hell for what they’ve done to us! We’ll get them, we’ll get them all. They’ll pay, oh yes, they’ll pay.


*PS. It was this kind of puppy. Whom to me was beautiful but I was afraid that no one else would think she was. And that's why I wanted her. Mom really wanted either that Poodle or Irish Setter. A few weeks months later puppy disappeared. Supposedly she was "insane". An Irish Setter replaced her shortly. RIP Puggy

11 complaints from ingrates:

Lizard February 21, 2007 at 12:19 PM  

Well, it comes as no surprise that I am officially ungrateful. lol Although I couldn't relate to the "cool female teachers in their thirties" thing, I still scored 100 points (10 HELL YEAHs), and I really ought to get some bonuses of my own on some of the same themes.

Rebecca February 21, 2007 at 12:45 PM  

This TOTALLY struck a nerve with me! My two favorite books are Night by Elie Weisel(about the Holocaust) and To Be A Slave by Julius Lester (described as a book about what it felt like to be a slave told in the words of the men and women who lived it). I NEVER made the connection to my interest having anything to do with being adopted. Crazy. I'm not quite your twin but I'm definately ungrateful. Very thought-provoking post, Theresa. Thanks for writing it. Hugs, Rebecca

Anonymous,  February 21, 2007 at 1:14 PM  

I totally would have gotten the same puppy.

L February 21, 2007 at 1:43 PM  

Yeah, I'm pretty ungrateful. I got a 70. Not as ungrateful as some but I'm working on it. ;)
I'm off to listen to Safety Dance. NOW I know why my brother loved that song.

Doughnut February 22, 2007 at 8:06 AM  

It is pretty warped thinking that kids should be grateful for their existence and then have to deprogram oneself into being ungrateful just to get to a sense of normalacy (if that is even the right word since it is "relative"). I would wonder what I did wrong if my kids thanked me for bringing them into the world. It is us as parents who should be (and I am) grateful everyday that they (our kids) are here with us.

I imagine that this really hits home as an adoptee when they have children of their own. Its probably then that you score highest!

Anonymous,  February 22, 2007 at 4:44 PM  

You had a pug?

I read the whole thing but then the photo of the pug disarmed me and it's all that I can comment on.


Anonymous,  February 23, 2007 at 2:08 AM  

My Shrew thought the book "Are You My Mother" was a great little find for a girl like me.

i was reading books by the age of four.

At the age of 23 my so-called Mother told me she once had a baby girl, but she left. I did something to her. I killed her.

As far as SHE was concerned, her baby girl was dead, and I was to blame.


i felt the same

about HER

she killed the little-girl in me


don't make me laugh.

Ungrateful Little Bastard February 23, 2007 at 6:11 AM  

Julie you are beyond ungrateful, I already knew that. And yeah, I know you've got plenty of extra credit as well.

Rebecca I didn't make the connection then, but it's sad and clear now. All I knew was that some horrible 'something' had been done, and because I was still in happy happy grateful adopted child mode, I didn't know what it was. So I went in search of anything where mothers and children had been separated from each other. It was like I HAD to read about the two worst things I could imagine: slavery and the Holocaust.

Beth, thankless is very good! All thankless means is you're not as whacked as I am ;) I actually do need to do a post someday about songs that really do remind me of adoption. Lenny Kravitz "All of my life, where have you been?" always struck a cord with me.

Lee I could write an entire blog about being an adoptee and a parent. The biggest hurdle for me is the overwhelming guilt I feel all the time. I replay the mistakes I made as a mother time and time again until they overwhelm, shadow and dwarf all of the many things I need to remind myself that I did right.

Kerry OH MY GOD. That image of killing the inner girl child really hit home.

And to the fans of Puggy :(

Thanks Jessica. She was a great puppy.

And Kim I don't know what it is about pugs, but they *always* totally disarm me. I'm not sure where I saw your pug first, (maybe it was a myspace link off your page?? or the blue hat pics?? I have no memory) but it threw me. And thank you.

Ungrateful Little Bastard February 23, 2007 at 6:17 AM  

PS Kerry I tried to leave a note over at your space, but MSN Spaces doesn't like the security settings on my browser, or vice versa I think.

Doughnut February 23, 2007 at 9:57 AM  

Theresa...I would like to hear more about the feelings you have experienced as an adoptee and a parent. Probably some of the feelings are what parents in general feel about never doing enough or doing the right things but I think because of what you have experienced those feelings are much more pronounced?!

Ungrateful Little Bastard February 23, 2007 at 9:49 PM  

Lee that's exactly it, and it's a never ending topic in therapy. What I consider my mistakes I blow up out of all proportion to reality. What I try to focus on is everything I did right and on how I am as a parent in the here and now. Somedays are better than others :)

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