If The Name Fits: An Absurd Conversation With An Amusing Friend

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“Oh, you got to have friends, the feeling’s oh so strong….” 🎶

A friend who I shall call Wendy was telling me about something someone had said to her that had irked her. This wasn’t a case of trash talking but she felt she’d been dissed.

The someone had told Wendy that because she was the matriarch of her family, Wendy should keep her adult children in line– and that she hadn’t been doing that.

The comment was meant to be a criticism of Wendy’s mothering skills and how her adult children lived their lives.

The person saying it to Wendy was a someone who Wendy described as a snob, a social climber, a fraud. She didn’t usually pay attention to this someone’s opinions, but in this instance Wendy was peeved.

This someone had got her goat.

I figured that Wendy had taken offense at the idea she was failing as a mother because she allowed her adult children to be who they are, but I was wrong.

That was not the case.

Nope, Wendy had no problem with a criticism leveled at her parenting skills, she didn’t care about that. What bothered Wendy was that she’d been called a Matriarch, a name she found insulting because to her it meant she was old. It was in her mind an example of agism.

[Even though Wendy is the matriarch of her family, but let’s not get stuck on reality here.]

Looking for a way to put this perceived slight into perspective, I suggested that being called a Matriarch is better than being called a Crone, an ugly old woman. That’s a word I find derogatory and Wendy agreed.

She wasn’t a Crone.

Continuing on with the idea that there are worse names to be called than Matriarch, I suggested that at least this someone hadn’t called Wendy a Sea Hag, an old witch who lives near the sea. To me that seemed more demeaning than being thought of as the head of a family with the power to influence family members.

But you know what?

Wendy liked the idea of being called a Sea Hag. She said she enjoyed walking on the beach by the ocean so the thought of being a Sea Hag made her happy. She could easily accept that name because it was more in tune with who she is.

And with that admission I said the only thing I could think to say. I said three important words that keep friendships alive, I said: I believe you.

Because I do.

Questions Of The Day

Putting aside any concerns you might have about gendered language, would you take offense if someone called you the Matriarch or Patriarch of your family? Why or why not?

Thinking of all the names, positive or negative or neutral,  you’ve been called in your life, how much do you care about the way in which someone else refers to you?

Do you feel, like I do, that friends who are able to not take themselves too seriously are put on this earth to keep you laughing with them… at yourself… at life in general?

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So This Is Where I Belong…

I took the What Generation Do You Belong In Quiz.

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You Belong In Generation X

You fit in best with people born between 1961 and 1981.

You are fun, laid back, and very independent.

You are willing to take risks and live your life however you see fit.

You are casual, accepting, and friendly. You see everyone as your equal.

• • • 

Yep.  That’s me.

I’ve never fit in with the Boomers.

They baffle and frustrate me.

But Generation X makes sense to me.

We are who we think we are, eh?