Growing up, I connected with each of parents over one thing. I read Vogue with my mom and watched horror movies with my dad. Aside from family ski trips in the winter and afternoons on the water in the summer, it was pretty much just school for me. I went to a school for 10 years that was 30 minutes away from my house which meant leaving at 7 Am, and we had required sports afterwards so we got out at 4 pm every day. On top of that I almost always had some club sports practice in the evening so I essentially was away from home from 7 am to 4 pm from when I was 4 until the upper school, and then 7 am to 7 pm or later until I was then sent to boarding school. My friends who also made the commute to the country day school and then were shipped to boarding school and I joke about how we only lived in marblehead in the summers, and with the exceptions of weekends and the times we were asleep, it was unfortunately kind of true. Long story short my parents value education more than anything. If you were to add up the acceptance rates of both my mom and dad's under grad and graduate schools included with my sister's current school, it would be about half of the acceptance rate of my current school. I think I featured that in an essay for the personal essay class I took my senior spring of high school. I wish I remember how my class reacted to that snippet into my underachieving trauma as my high school itself had an acceptance rate of 12% and I was purely there for my athletic abilities, because my sister was two years in, and probably because the old theatre had my last name written on it.
James Bond and Pirates of the Caribbean are my two favorite movies when asked off the spot. But when I have time to think about it, Jaws, Endless Summer, Sweet Home Alabama, Oceans 8, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter Series, The Holiday, Atomic Blond, and anything Adam Sandler come to mind. I blame my dad for my love for action movies, although it wasn't action movies we watched. My dad and I had (and have) many different opinions on a lot of things: how important math is, what is classified as politically correct, the validity in Fox News, what is tacky vs trendy, etc. He didn't have any sons, not that he's the football watching or playing type as he's actually been the president and reigning mens singles, doubles, and mixed doubles champion of our town's badminton club, but he can at least talk about physics and economics with my sister. Me and him, there isn't much. He just thinks I'm funny and a little bizarre of a human. But horror movies, horror movies we could watch. They were our thing. I hated them and they gave me such bad nightmares I couldn't leave the door to my balcony open at night until this summer (yes I'm 19, and no our 300 year old house wasn't built with the intentions of saving room for AC units.) Despite my still fear of the dark and outstandingly dramatic fear of sharks, I don't regret any of those movies because I got to spend time with my dad. This is my 6th year living away from home and I only wish we watched more.
Spending at least 12 hours away from home Monday to Friday all throughout middle school wasn't the end of the world because it's not like I would've seen any more of my mom if I had gone to any of the schools in my town. She worked more than any other mom I knew. She used to go to several countries (including South Africa, Dubai, and India) multiple times a year, some trips falling on my sisters birthday and multiple sports tournaments. She made an incredible effort to drive me around showcases for lacrosse in the summer and she even made it to my several sports games at school, including a ski race or two. Her job however is also the reason you're reading this post on a blog. Her job is the reason I felt the need to live in Paris the summer I was 16 and New York City the summer I was 17. Her company makes (up until this year) the paper for Vogue, the fashion magazine I have every issue since 2007 in my room. I remember her coming back from trips or us only having the weekends or even a late school night here and there if I finished my homework, and we would sit on her bed and read Vogue. We critiqued each look from cover to cover full Anna Wintour and Joan Rivers style, and those magazines held just about the fondest memories I have with my mom. She would say something about the ugly clunky jewelry, or the fabulous shades of brown, or the far too thin model, and I would repeat it in awe. As the years and editors went on I gathered my own opinions and gained the courage to tell my parents I wanted to be a fashion designer. I actually have my dad to thank for this too because he mentioned it to my art teacher at parent teacher conferences and I preceded to design and make my own dress that spring. I have since sewn more things than I can keep track of, and my dad even agreed to take out of school to attend a fashion show I was invited to in LA my junior year of high school. I guess it's not the typical dad duty to watch horror movies with your elementary age daughter and then take her to fashion shows a few years down the road, but it was my dad's.
They called me this weekend because they saw a TikTok I made about how life is all about having fun and that nothing matters, aka the floating rock mentality my best friend who goes to UVM and I rely on for our freedom. They said they were worried about my future, and how they've spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to send me to schools ever since I was four. I said its not that deep, deleted the tiktok, and quickly hung up.
They have a point. Things do matter and it's not all about have fun. But I always dream about having grown up on a small island where we would have to go and catch dinner to feed ourselves and could run around with cruzans under the sun until the stars came out and then until the fire went out. I didn't pick the education, and it might very well have been a waste of all of my parents hard earned money. But it is what it is and I'm doing my best.