Friday Five: Like Family, Part 2

  1. In what good ways are you like your father? Some people would see this as a bad thing, but I have his love of food. He’s always said that my mom and brother eat to live, but he and I live to eat. We’re willing to pay a lot of money for high-quality food, and we really appreciate the food. I also inherited some of his musical taste–he’s instilled in my brother and I both an appreciation for older music, but he insists anything past approximately 1990 is terrible and that musicians started sucking when they became politically or socially active. In his mind, there’s a direct correlation between activism and good music, but I think it’s more likely that he disagrees with them and loses interest. He also doesn’t really care what people think of him, which I inherited to a point–I have just enough to where I do my own thing, but I’d like more so that I could brush things off easier but not so much that I’m an asshole like he is.
  2. In what good ways are you like your mother? I have her strength, work ethic, and independence, most of which I never fully realized until I moved out on my own. Brandon and I were discussing her strength in the past few months–we’ve definitely seen her angry, upset, and crying, but we’ve never seen her completely break down. She’s always kept on going, especially when Dad was deployed. My parents don’t have a great marriage and probably haven’t since Brandon and I were little, but his deployment was still a huge stress. I never saw her falter. The world was still moving, and in retrospect, I think that had a huge impact on how Brandon and I handled the deployment. I’ve realized this especially in comparing her to Paul’s mom, who had numerous meltdowns when his brother simply enlisted and went to boot camp, and in turn, Paul and his other siblings were more stressed and more worried and struggled, too. I wouldn’t say Brandon and I took it in stride, but we coped. Her independence is probably part of this, and I joked recently that she accidentally taught me not to rely on a significant other because she didn’t, and I saw that growing up. She takes care of herself. She bought a damn house while my dad was still deployed and rarely turned to anyone else for help, though Brandon and I could pretty much take care of ourselves at that point so it was unnecessary. And she was always the breadwinner–she always made more money than my dad, so I always had this example of a woman who went out, made her career, and didn’t rely on anyone else. So now I’m living on my own and don’t ask for help, even when I probably should. And that ties into her work ethic. She was always bringing things home, and if she wasn’t she was studying for the CPA exam or taking classes for it or working late. She is a CPA now, but she does still stay late and she does still bring work home all the time. I just got promoted and was told they basically had to fish for something to tell me to improve on. I put in overtime, I stay late, and I do writing and editing in my evenings for free because I like it and think it’s a great resume-boosting career opportunity. Meanwhile, Paul called me a workaholic last night and said I’d probably never let him 100% financially support me. Nailed it.
  3. In what good ways are you like your sibling(s)? I think Brandon and I actually have pretty similar personalities–we’re mostly pretty laid back. We tend not to freak out about things, don’t really get jealous in our relationships, and handle adversity pretty well.
  4. In what good ways are you like another relative outside your immediate family? I have a lot of various cousins that are really, really fun.
  5. In what good ways are you completely unlike anyone you’re related to? I’m the only writer. I’m the only vegetarian. These things aren’t exactly good or bad, they just kind of are, but obviously they’re qualities about myself I like (and chose, at least to a point–I’ve always been good at words).

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