Call Me Marvin

This week’s question:

Growing up, was there something about you that made you feel as if you didn’t belong to your family?

I could never doubt that I was a natural-born product of my family .Even though my sister tried to tell me that I was adopted when I was 3 or 4, and I was smart enough not to believe her,.I was always told that I looked just like her and we resembled my father’s side. Strangely, we no longer look much alike. However, I have often been told that you can tell that my brother and I are related, (indeed, since he has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes the last few years, all of the staffs have been saying so on a regular basis), but even when my sister and I would be asked if we were twins or even mistaken for each other, I never heard anyone say that there was a resemblance between the two of them.

Strange.

There is one big difference between me and the rest:

I am an introvert.

I was terribly, horribly shy.

I still have to fight it.

My father was not always a social man, but put in public or with others, he could laugh and joke and have a good time. Everyone liked my mother; she kept friends from her youth and gained more all the time. Our family dynamics would become greatly interrupted, so the amount of people in our house ebbed and flowed, but when things went reasonably well the place was full with everyone…
except my friends.

Not that they weren’t welcomed when they came, but they were few and far between.

Plus, mine never got very far as becoming a ‘family friend’ as my brother’s and sister’s friends did. My brother’s friends still contact me, as do my sister’s. Her friends called my mother “Mom” more often than not. My brother’s friends would come by later in life just to see her.

My sister was (is) a clever girl, but would rather have died a hundred deaths than have anyone think of her as a nerd. (Thank Goodness, I see the lines blurring for my grandchildren; you can be popular AND smart now.) She underachieved in school because she was a beauty queen and popular and would not allow herself to be seen as smart. (She was smarter than she let on). I, on the other hand, shirked what could have been fun-time at school to lunch with the quiet, bookish girls, (with whom I had less in common than you’d think), rather than have my brains not be taken seriously. But then, my teachers would not let me hang out with anyone with whom they thought would be a bad influence on me, which was darned-near everyone. I really had no choice; once you are labeled as a ‘child genius’, no one cuts you any slack. Papers and school work must be exemplary, behavior that was anything less than perfect was punished hard and immediately in public, even if the infringement was misunderstanding or a mistake.

Mistakes by me were simply not tolerated.

My classmates were allowed to be kids; my sister got away with murder and any boyish conduct of my brother’s was laughed-off.

My brother was quite smart. Even now, in times when he is most lucid, he can give you all sorts of details about everyone on the old TV shows, including all of the guest stars on “Gunsmoke”, or the history surrounding a certain event on any show. He was not a genius, more of a solid B student, with an occasional A in history and math. However, he could walk into a room and walk out being friends with everyone there, everyone of every age. His teachers were crazy about him, (it was curse to have former teachers of either of my siblings later on for completely opposite reasons), and his friends’ parents were very fond of him. They trusted him their cars …and their daughters.

Me?

Not very popular. Not At All.

And it hasn’t gotten much better.

I’ve tried to buck-up and be out-going at times in my life, but I know that I tried too hard in some circles and more often than not, made a fool of myself and became more of an outcast than ever.

I guess I tried to overcompensate for my talented, but underachieving, parents.

So, less than magnetic personality-wise, introvert-wise, I am far from most of my family most of the time.

My sister still says that I am a Martian.

I know that I said this before, but the Warner Brother’s cartoon “Rocket Bye Baby”, where a Martian baby is mixed-up with a Human baby, begins with the phrase “In the Summer in 1954…”, (which is when I was born). This is what my sister says that is her proof of my Martianhood.
(Never mind that the babies are boys; they passed me off as a boy for the first few weeks of my life, but that is another story.)

However, it’s all my family. One friend said “I’d go so far as to say that I have a sense of family to a fault.”

I don’t believe that that is possible. Martian or not.

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About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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6 Responses to Call Me Marvin

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    What a shame for anyone to hide one’s intellect and/or talents. I’m so glad it’s not so common now for girls to feel that having smarts makes one less feminine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. Also for boys.My grandson has been playing the violin since 3rd grade.I feared that he would give it up by high school, but we went to a performance of the Louisville Youth Orchestra when he was in 4th grade and I pointed out (to my own surprise) that most of the fellows there looked almost like jocks; not wimpy. Then he went into the STEM program as well. Neither would have been considered ‘cool’ in my day or before. PLUS, the girls in the orchestra and band have been some of the beauties of the school, some of the school…and some of them were also in STEM.
      Education may not be quite to the standard I’d like to see all of the time, but the fact that most teachers are kinder is an improvement, as well

      Like

  2. Jeff Salter says:

    I’m sometimes asked if I’d ever want to re-live my childhood…and (although I have fond memories of many aspects) I would never want to have to go through all the stress and anxiety of “growing up.” The battle between being athletic or not, being smart or not, being popular or not, being entertaining or not, being “wealthy” (though that definition varies by where one is on the scale) or not — all those struggles are simple too much hassle for me to want to re-live them.
    Possibly because I grew up as a “compromiser” — being the middle child of three siblings — I guess I was able to navigate the social waters of my school years by being athletic enough to get by, smart enough to get by, popular enough to get by, entertaining enough to get by, etc. Even though I never excelled in ANY of those areas. As far as wealth, our family of five lived on the income of a chaplain (working for the state)… which was roughly $100 a week. That, at the time, was what public school teachers were making to start. That said, I knew kids with much less than we had… as well as kids with much, much, much more.
    Anyway, I lost my train of thought. I guess I’m saying, growing up was a struggle and I would not wish to endure all of that simple to re-experience the many fond recollections and periods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No.I did have good times, but there is no way I want to do it again….any of my past years, not without retaining knowledge. But I believe in having Divine Direction and that all has a purpose, so I try not to regret, but I’d rather not do it again!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    My mother and sister were extroverts, but my father and I were introverts. I wasn’t like your sister in school, but I did have a small core of good friends, and that was enough for me. One day you’ll have to share why your parents passed you off as a boy.

    Like

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