day 279: cling

Clingy.  An interesting word that I thought about tonight while I was standing in the fitting room trying on a few dresses.  Clingy on my legs?  Doable.  Clingy on my chest.  Eh, ok.  But clingy around the equator?  I'll pass, thanks.

Then there is clingy in relation to family.  Immediate family?  That can be okay, unless it becomes too close to codependency.  Extended family?  Not so good.  Marriages have ended over this one.  Grown women with families of their own who spend every Sunday at their parents' houses eating their mothers' cooking.  I have really weird feelings about that.

I am not against proximity, in good doses, but I have lived 2000 miles away from my parents since I was 20 years old, so maybe I am just used to independence.  And I am converted to the idea.  For me, I was not about to figure out who I was until I was forced to- through distance and circumstances.  It is a process, and at 46 I am still at it.

Life is like that fuchsia dress I tried on tonight.  A little cling works, just not everywhere.

13 comments

LisAway | May 25, 2010 at 1:18 AM

Totally agree. (about dresses and families both!) I left home at 17 and since then only spent one summer there again. Visits are nice, but I am my own person. Also, it took a few years for us to establish our own Christmas traditions because we would go to the in-laws for the first couple of years (since they live 4 hours away it was necessarily an extended stay) and now we always go on Christmas day so we can have our own Christmas Eve and morning traditions. It's great. I'm so grateful for a husband who loves his parents but isn't crazy about them. He likes them in small doses, too. (they will have been here for almost 2 weeks by the time they leave on Thursday and that is just TOO long for me! They are clinging to the grandkids, though, and I think that's kind of a good thing. . .)

Mrs4444 | May 25, 2010 at 5:27 AM

I'm sure the sizing was just incorrect, haha. I agree. I also don't think that just because people are family they should hang out on Christmas eve. I love my family, but I also like having my own, meaningful traditions with my husband and kids. Most of my family respects that, but a couple don't, and that's okay.

Lara | May 25, 2010 at 6:43 AM

For the first 4 years of our marriage, we lived only a few miles from both sets of parents. It was hard. It wasn't us that wanted to be clingy, but our parents struggled. It has been much better ever since we first moved, and even our last few years in Utah were 3 hours away, so we didn't have to deal with too much proximity.

Great post.

Bossy Betty | May 25, 2010 at 7:55 AM

I also am 2000 miles away from family members. Sometimes I like it; sometimes I miss it. I grew up with grandparents just down the road; my kids see theirs maybe once a year.

It's all in how you look at it, I suppose.

No clingy dresses for me either.

AnneMarie | May 25, 2010 at 8:17 AM

I know this post isn't really about the dress, but that phrase about being clingy "around the equator" made me smile this morning!

April | May 25, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Being so far from parents is a Catch 22. It can be such a great thing for children to have grandparents to love them unconditionally. But for the grownups who are "clingy" to their parents. That is just not healthy. And as always, your analogy rocks!

Kazzy | May 25, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Glad you smiled, AnneMarie! :)

And April, I miss ya. Coming north this Summer?

Kimberly | May 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Amen to that. I often wish I'd lived on my own longer before I married (I moved away from home two months before meeting Neil). It's a rocky process, this figuring out who we are and can be, and clinging to who we WERE isn't the way to get through it. Thought-provoking post as always!

Valerie | May 25, 2010 at 11:54 AM

I agree on all counts! :)

Luann | May 25, 2010 at 12:41 PM

I'm a convert too. Extended family relationships are so important, but sometimes they can get in the way of self discovery.

AS Amber | May 25, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Loved this post! And I agree with you on all counts. Except I live 60 miles away from my parents and it's WAAAAAAY too far! It seemed to get even farther when my dad died. Now I just want to "cling" to my mom.

Connie | May 25, 2010 at 8:29 PM

I wish my dresses were clingy on top!
Too much cling can make a body weak. There needs to be some distance for strength.

gigi | May 25, 2010 at 10:58 PM

Amen. I graduated when I was 17 and never went back. But they have always been 3 hours away.