Opening the Kimono

– Contributed by Wee C

Growing up the daughter of an RCMP officer would lead you to believe that the odds of being well-adjusted and generally stable, with a surprisingly low desire to challenge authority, would be about as possible as Paris Hilton spawning the next Einstein. Police officers’ children, ministers’ kids…we’re all known to suffer the same plight in life: throw your respective parental unit’s career choice in their face, get arrested for drinking underage at 16, get pregnant (or impregnate someone) at 17 and leave home in a torrent fit at 18. A bit of a mass overgeneralization? Hardly. Which is why I’m sure you’ll stop everything you’re doing in shock when I tell you that I didn’t do any of those things. Really. Believe it.

No, I grew up as respectful of my parents as ANYONE I know. And I don’t know one soul who would argue that point. I can’t recall a single knock ’em down, drag ’em out fight with my parents. Oh, sure, there were a couple of tiffs, but nothing monumental or memorable. I can count on three fingers the number of times I disobeyed my parents – and they likely involved staying out an hour past curfew, not calling when I said I would, or sneaking down the road to play Barbies with the older girls. Send me to Juevi, I know. I didn’t drink, party or have sex in high school (or most of university for that matter). And I did my best nearly every hour of every day to behave in a manner that my parents would find acceptable and approve of…after all, Papa O had made it clear (not oppressively, just in his eternal wisdom) that my behaviour reflected on him, so act accordingly. I loved and respected him (ok, and feared just a little bit…have you heard a Mountie voice?!), and Mama O, too darned much to tarnish their personas.

But perhaps most noteworthy is the number of secrets I haven’t kept from my parents. Mama O always told me that if I lied, she would find out. Every mother tells their kid that. But unlike every other kid, I BELIEVED MY MOTHER?! So, like a good doobie, I diligently told my mother nearly everyone of my deep dark secrets (because there were oh-so-many of them). But not begrudgingly or with disdain – although, I won’t lie, my guilt complex was often a less-than-altruistic motivator – but because I genuinely wanted to share my life with my parents. I wanted them to know when I had screwed up, because I wanted their advice about how to fix it. I wanted them to know when I had behaved outside of the lines, because I was scared to death someone else would tell them…and because being honest had always earned me a lot more privilege than lying ever did. I wanted to tell them because they’re the first people I always want to laugh at myself with, even if it is because of something they wouldn’t necessarily approve of. And because no matter what, I always knew that they would quickly forgive, nearly immediately forget, and always be proud, even in my stupidest of moments.

So it’s amazing to me that it took me nearly four months to tell them about this blog. On it, I’ve opened the kimono (figuratively and literally) on my life. I’ve shared with total and complete strangers, as well as some of my dearest friends, the most personal and exposing thoughts I’ve had. And I’ve literally transformed my life and found a passion outside of work that I didn’t know could even be found…at least not for me. And, yet, for some reason, I didn’t tell the two people that I’ve always told everything to. Not because I didn’t want to. Because that’s not true at all; I desperately wanted to tell them. But because I feared the embarrassment I would bring them. Not surprisingly, my parents are reasonably private folks; you don’t share many secrets or expose much of yourself to others when you’re in the RCMP or are a family member of someone who is…it’s a wee bit risky, really. I also feared that they would think I had become someone totally different; someone who goes to strip clubs, gambles, parties until all hours of the morning, and takes off all but their skivvies to have their picture taken. Oh, wait, what?

Here’s the wild thing about blogging. Sometimes people read your crazy foolishness. Sometimes they tell other people. And sometimes, when the world seems to be falling off its axis, people get really excited about what you’re writing and saying. Yeah, that seems to be happening with this little project that Big L and I have undertaken. So my nerves were getting a little testy as the risk of someone else telling my parents about my rendezvous with Mr. Ralph and his bevy of beauties, before I did.

So I spilled. I spilled in true Wee C form, standing in my parents’ kitchen, confessing everything I could as fast as I could get the words out of my mouth, rationalizing, explaining, and where necessary, apologizing, for every nuance of my behaviour and choices. Not that Mama O gave me any indication of being upset, but because I had made all kinds of possible responses up in my head. And, like always, none of my crazy made-up scenarios (you know, the one’s that you concoct in the mirror when you’re pretending to talk to the other person…) came true.

Instead, as Mama O has always done, she patiently asked questions in order to collect all the pieces of information. She neutrally digested. Warmly nodded. And then asked for the link. She was proud of me. That is unless I allowed someone to post my Boudoir photos publicly on the Internet. Probably wouldn’t be so proud then. She and Papa O have shared the link, told others and cheered me on. As always, they’ve fueled my fire.

Amazingly, I did 30 Things to change my life, but it wasn’t until I did the 31st that the change became real and authentic. I’m not sure why I’m so surprised…my Mama saw me with my kimono opened long before I even knew that you should be embarrassed by being that exposed.


2 responses to “Opening the Kimono

  1. Oh, Wee C, from one Mountie Child to another, “I understand.” Both of my parents were police officers, my dad RCMP, my mother Sydney City Police, back in the day. They put the fear of God in you, sometimes, yes? One giant pat on the back for you – opening the kimono is a huge leap…especially when our folks arrest people for flashing! YAY YOU!

  2. I can only imagine how VERY PROUD Mama and Papa O are of their totally amazing, totally brave, Wee C!

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