Something a little unexpected about me…

I LOVE musicals. I always have. Grease, The Sound of Music, Phantom of the Opera, etc. I love all of it.

Today I saw the Frozen musical at the theatre. It was awesome. The little one came with us and she really enjoyed it too. She wore a fancy cat dress and had a good time. We actually visited the concession stand, which we don’t normally do when we go without her. We eat a big lunch before we go, so no need for snacks. But today was special for her, so we did it just for her!

I don’t think most people who knew me during my Air Force time would expect that I love musicals. I did not come across as…cultured I guess is that best word. I went to rock concerts and sporting events, but never any musicals. It was something I forgot that I loved.

My upbringing was extremely cultured. My grandmother wouldn’t have any less. My parents didn’t have a lot of money until I was in 7th grade, and even then we were solidly average middle class, not rich. But my grandmother gave my parents tickets to things, or my parents splurged on those things. I had ballet lessons (gross), ice skating lessons, trumpet lessons, and then all the marching band stuff. Then they paid some of my college tuition. The rest was loans.

In the Air Force, I felt like I had this tough image to live up to and it didn’t seem like other people cared much about theatre and that sort of thing. I did see Rent once during this time, but that was a huge departure from the football, baseball, and hockey games I was going to. Now, I do love all of those sports, but I felt like Rent was a step up from what I had been doing.

I think a lot of what I was doing was going along with what the ex wanted to do. I was shunning that “high class” life as he called and trying to fit in with him. I’m not sure why I thought I needed to stoop down like I was doing. There was nothing wrong with the way I was raised and it’s not snobby or uppity to enjoy the theatre. I think a lot about what I made myself “forget” or stop liking so he wouldn’t make fun of me or treat me like I was crazy. Things like decorating the house for holidays were a waste of time and effort in his mind. That made me sad because my mom loves decorating her house and it always made me cheery as a kid and when we visited my parents. If I wanted the house decorated, I had to do it alone. The problem with that was 1. I didn’t have the energy for all that plus the other things (everything) I was doing and 2. I’m actually not good at it. I like how it looks and feels to have a nicely decorated house for Christmas, but I can’t make it look like my mom does. And I especially can’t do it like my wife does. She is amazing with decorating for all of the holidays. It’s incredible. And it turns out that the youngest loves decorating too.

Last year’s Christmas tree

My parents used to have the kids over to help them decorate the house. For years my dad was make snide remarks about how they wanted the kids to experience a “real” Christmas house. And that we were just too lazy to do it. For years my parents treated me like someone who just didn’t care. It was like they had no idea how deep the hole I was living in really was. When I am doing all of the childcare, housework, bill paying, yard work, homework help, bathing, cleaning, and STILL working full time in the military, there was simply nothing left for extras like holiday decorations. But instead of talking to me about it, they hinted around it and treated me like a bad person. I want to forgive them for all of this, but it’s so hard sometimes, especially when I remember the way they spoke to me. The way they acted like I didn’t care about the kids and giving them the best possible life.

I really wish that they (and everyone else around me) understood that I was existing in survival mode for years. There was no energy for anything but surviving.

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