Awkward gift

My husband’s two sisters and baby came up to visit this week.  We stayed in a hotel with waterslides and ordered pizza and watched a movie.  Lil’T loved it! 

They are lovely people and have really made an effort to include me in their family.

One of the sisters is Lil’T’s favourite person.  Lil’T spent the whole day painting pictures for her fave aunty.

As the aunt came in the door, she ran up with a picture she painted.  I saw hair, eyes, and  dots and squiggles on a pink background.  I assumed it was her face. 

Lil’T explained the picture.

“That’s you!  And there is your hair, ‘cept the colour didn’t work.  And there are your eyes, and mouth and breastes.”

I saw the alarm on the aunts’ faces, but it was too late.

“And there are your arms, and belly button and your pee hole.”

The aunt was gracious and thanked her.

“And this is a painting of a giraffe and this is a purple dinosaur with lots and lots of legs,” Lil’T went on.

I saw the nude portrait being covered quickly with the orange and black giraffe.

Then I noticed that I still had the painting I was working on sitting on the table.

A gift for the midwives, it shows a breastfeeding baby from the mother’s perspective.  Yep, naked breasts.  And a naked baby.  Cuz naked babies are cute!

One of the aunts wears bikinis, but never breastfeeds without enough blankets to disguise the fact that there is a baby under there.  The other covers me up with blankets when I breastfeed, even if I am already covered.  Just so that no one can tell there is a baby close to my chest.

Awkward.

The rest of the conversations were awkward too.

These women embrace their gender roles in all their stereotypes.  I can’t.

They love to shop to relieve stress.  Shopping is a huge stress for me.

They love to watch movies, especially romantic comedies.  If I watch a movie, its generally a documentary, a drama, or a musical spoof.

They make fun of their dad for taking vitamin C.  I work at a health food store.

Its hard to find conversation topics.  So, they told me about the frustrating dynamics* with the other sister-in-law.

“Mom was saying, at least with you,” the sister-in-law hesitated.  “At least you can disagree and still be nice about it.”

The only disagreement we’ve had with them was whether my facebook pic with the bare shoulder and shirtless baby was appropriate for anyone but my husband to see.  

I’m glad we can still be nice about it 🙂

I can’t wait to hear what they’ll say when they find out other differences of opinion we may have :~

*and I can’t share any of it :p

9 thoughts on “Awkward gift

  1. D'Ma says:

    Oh my! I chuckled at the mental image I got of an aunty’s face receiving such a special gift. And what are you thinking with semi-nude facebook pics? Shameless I tell you, shameless!

    Incidentally…I haaaate to shop. My favorite store is Lowe’s. 🙂

    • prairienymph says:

      Apparently, I am shameless. And look at where its led! I’m sure they will be terrified that everyone who hates to shop will end up not wearing shirts and then they’ll stop going to church! And then what? What could be worse?!
      Better get back to Target.

      My husband loves to shop, for which I am very grateful.

  2. dsholland says:

    My wife hates to shop. While I’ve been out of work I’ve been doing it and find I don’t mind it at all. When I’m working again maybe she’ll let me keep the shopping job.

    When I’m working again maybe I won’t be bothering people on the internet 🙂

    Remember your post on leadership? I think you said you liked to “lead from the middle”. Remember my comment to black and white? It was about me not about you.

    The Tao Te Ching says: The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid. Everyone knows this is true, but few can put it into practice. (or Proverbs 15:1 if you will allow)

    The error of my comment on black and white was that I shared about me, not its truth or applicability. I suspect the sorrow implicit in your closing statement is that you feel the caterpillars around you cannot or will not see a wider truth.
    If you would lead from the middle you first need to know the value of your wisdom (its source) and that you have need (call) to share it. Then remember it is about them not you. Once those things are in order you will find a way to share. Whatever their beliefs they are real people and most are not so shallow as we might think.

    Again the Tao Te Ching asks: Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself? (or 1 Corinthians 4:5 if you will allow)

    Be of good cheer, I expect a job offer soon 😉

    • prairienymph says:

      Good luck with your job prospects. I’m sure your wife loves that you do the shopping!

      Part of my sorrow in people accepting ‘truth’ or not isn’t about whether they agree with me. It is about the harm that those beliefs do to people.
      I have moved from a 2D world to a 3D world and sometimes do not have the words or graciousness to explain it to those intent on staying in a 2D place. I assume that there are more dimensions that I simply do not comprehend as of yet. And certainly some of those who read the bible in 1 or 2D may be living other parts of their lives in a fourth dimension.

      The frustration I feel is because the 2D world is damaging. There are women who are told that they are only on earth to please & serve men, that they are more sinful and more weak and less capable than their husbands, brothers, and sons. There are men who are told that unless they have a dictatorial style of leadership, they are not real men, which is somehow better than being a mere human being. Not to mention other harmful teachings.

      I don’t want the job of leader, but I do not want to see more people squashed and more marriages tarnished. I tried to use the bible to support the full humanity and responsibility of everyone, which you can do. But the bible was incomplete and contradictory. There are more passages in the bible to support elitism than humanism. By using the bible as my only tool, I was severely at a disadvantage. There are a few wonderful parts to the bible. There are horrific and subtely dangerous parts.

      I wasn’t listened to then, I don’t expect to be listened to now. You’re right, its about them. Some don’t listen out of pride, some out of fear and some out of habit.

      You gave some good advice. Part of my frustration is that it would just be easier to run away and let everyone who stays alone. And that is what the leaders would prefer. But, what about the 12 year old girls being forced to cover their heads and stay silent about certain things in shame?

      • dsholland says:

        As I said, I have been in a similar place. It is not that you want to lead so much as you want those who are to do a better job 🙂
        Unfortunately when you try to help them to “improve” (leading the leader?) it doesn’t usually go as planned and you end up feeling like Cassandra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassandra).

        I don’t know what you are/were being taught but I am familiar with some of the verses I think you are alluding to and I must admit I don’t see them as quite so devastating as you seem to (and I don’t think the obvious “not a woman” response will hold up under scrutiny but I’m willing to discuss it). For example I do not remember any passages instructing women that they are only on earth to please and serve men. I do seem to remember passages that all of us, men and women are to focus on pleasing God rather than ourselves.

        So let me tell you a story I read about a young prince who wanted to have the moon measured. His adviser observed the moon through a window and concluded that the moon filled about half the window. He then measured the window and reported the size of the moon. The story goes on to expose the problem of interpretation and perspective.

        Now let me remind you of your own post on (over) sensitivity and gently suggest that maybe your mud has not settled yet.

      • prairienymph says:

        That is nice to know that you’ve had a different experience. Your church background is obviously different.
        Please allow that I do speak of what I know as well. I’m not debating the bible, but working out how it was used in my life.
        Where do you think I got those wounds I was referring to? Unfortunately, my experience is not unique. Look up “No Longer Quivering” for similar stories.

        If I wait for my mud to settle, I will be dust and ashes. Waiting for perfection before action does not work 🙂

  3. How awesome that Lil’T finds no shame in the female body. What a wonderful mother you are to teach her that.

    I hate shopping so much that when I need clothes, if I can’t order it online then I try to buy in bulk. I shop only when I absolutely have to. I can’t imagine how shopping could be considered a relaxing activity by anyone.

  4. dsholland says:

    I spent some time this morning with Cognitive Dissenter (my heart goes out and your story challenges me) and then looked up NLQ. My background is closer to QF than LDS. That said I notice the post “testing the spirit…” has a very good discussion and effectively uses scripture to address the excess described in QF (let God be true…).

    I did not mean to discount your wounds, just to say that if you want to be effective in showing (living) a better way you need those wounds to heal. That takes time (in my own case many years).

    Waiting for your own perfection doesn’t work, I agree. I did not intend to suggest that.

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