Teenagers rebel against their parents. That’s pretty standard. It’s a rite of passage, really. It’s how we learn to differentiate ourselves from our parents. Forget child birth; the teenage years are when we work to sever that invisible emotional umbilical cord so we can make it on our own.
My teenage rebellion was a challenge. See, my mom was a hippie. She ran away from home, did drugs, dropped out of high schoool, married at 18, became a teenage mother, was divorced by the age of 20…the whole nine yards. She was the quintessential troubled teenager. By the time I hit my high school years, she had cleaned up her act (for the most part) and was even working at a juvenile detention facility, helping other teens who were troubled like herself. She had done it all and seen it all.
How do you rebel against that?!?
I mean seriously, there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t be able to handle. Drugs? Been there, done that. Criminal record? Child’s play. Promiscuity? Not really an issue because I was not the girl guys dated. I was the buddy. I couldn’t be a slut if I tried.
So how did I rebel against my mother?
By joining the Young Republicans.
And guess what? It worked! Totally unhinged her. All I had to do was say, “MOM! I need a ride to the Young Republicans meeting!” and she would set off on a tirade of epic proportions. Threats to ground me. Making me walk if I was going to “that damn meeting!” Questioning my values and why on earth I felt aligned with that. It was FANTASTIC! Then I started dressing more conservatively, wearing oxfords and sweaters and skirts. And saddle shoes. Saddle shoes! She hated them. Made me save my allowance to buy my own pair because she wasn’t going to buy them for me. Had I wanted hooker heels, no problem. But no daughter of hers was going to wear saddle shoes!
I also rebelled by listening to soft rock, although that wasn’t a rebellion so much as a genuine preference. It was another way mom and I were miles apart. She was really into the heavy metal hairbands. She loved Bon Jovi, Poison, the Scorpions, and the amalgamation of hair metal that Grandma and I ceremoniously dubbed GreatWhiteLionSnake.
My favorite band? Air Supply.
Mwah ha ha ha haaaa! Take that, mother!
After about a year, I came to my senses and realized that the Republican Party’s platform really didn’t jibe with my world view. Now I try not to delve into politics too much in this blog because it can get real ugly, real fast. But I think it’s no secret that I am a pretty liberal person. And being a Republican was fun for a while, if only to piss off my mom.
And meet Gopher from The Love Boat.
Fred Grandy was my Congressman for a while, so I got to meet him when I was doing some leafleting. But mainly the benefit was driving my mom batty. Meeting Gopher was just an added bonus.