• http://idolreview.net idolreview

    Yeah, when i was 13, doing a back handspring was #1 on my list, too. Doing the splits was a close #2 (for cheerleading, of course.)

    Now at age 24, I CLEARLY have more important priorities, like correctly predicting who is voted off American Idol.

  • http://pbfh.blogspot.com Lori

    Sounds exactly like my 2 daughters. #1 is a perfectionist & #2 is super laid back.

    Kudos to you for recognizing their differences and supporting both.

  • http://www.psycholomo.blogspot.com Lomo

    I used to say my sister was born as a result of the mailman. She is blonde and thin and tall, with naturally curly hair, not so straight teeth, and hazel eyes. I am dark and not so thin, about 5 inches shorter than her, have naturally straight teeth, and my hair is bone straight. She is good at math and science, I rule at english, the arts, and music. She never worries about anything and flies by the seat of her pants, I worry about EVERYTHING, and I plan everything too. My mom even told us stories about how people would actually approach her and demand to know if we were from the same father, because they couldn’t see how that could be. Crazy.

  • http://www.fernypants.com fernypants

    In high school I was a slacker that wanted to be an over achiever, so I ended up somewhere in the high middle. Then I graduated, realized none of it meant anything anyways, went to college with no desire to be an over achiever, and am now just a slacker with a lot of run-on sentences in this post. And now I look back on my A’s and B’s with fond rememberance of how, at one point, my guilt over not wanting to get my ass in gear was enough to get my ass in gear…

  • http://dailypiglet.blogspot.com/ Piglet

    Aw, that makes me want to cry out of joy! Best answer to that subject ever Dooce. It’s cool when we can help others based on our own experiences. You are awesome!

  • maddy

    My brother, 10 years my junior, while not exactly like Mariah, had the maturity at a young age to think about what he wanted to do with his future, and while it wasn’t charted out in detailed, he knew that to achieve anything he had to work hard.
    My 15-year old sister who is 14 years younger than me (I’m sure my parents had a plan with the age gaps  ) cant think beyond the next hour. Shes at the stage where she wants to do what’s glamorous (like be a fashion designer) but not work at it (like learn to draw).

    I worry to no end about her future and WHEN WILL SHE SNAP OUT OF IT AND REALISE THAT NOTHING IS GOING TO MIRACULOUSLY FALL INTO PLACE. Today’s post helped. I just need to stop fretting so much and know that she’ll eventually figure it out.

    On a side note, Dooce, you ROCK!

  • Angela

    What you said to the younger sister is the kind of thing that only a really good mother knows to say. Lucky Leta.

  • http://figcookies.blogharbor.com Caren

    If I could go back in time and have a sit down with my 16 yr old self, I’d tell myself that high school isn’t the be all end all of life, and to not be so uptight about life.

    High school is such a crappy mandatory four years,

  • http://cribceiling.blogspot.com Krisco

    I have no idea what a hard stretch is either. And how do you combine it with making money? Is the smart remark a reference to – robbing a bank and doing hard time?

    I don’t know. I do know my list at 13 would’ve included things like End world hunger and Be huge important CEO. On the other hand, I still can’t do a backhandspring. Maybe her list makes more sense.

  • http://minxyland.blogspot.com Minxy

    Yay for saying what you said instead of what you thought; what you thought wasn’t really bad or negative, but what you said was better.

    I was kind of a mix of both of them. In my earlier years of school (7,8,9 grades) I didn’t care much about my grades and only worried if I got a C- or something. As I got older, I started to freak out if I got a B-, but that’s as far as it got. I worried about the almighty GPA, but only because I wanted to graduate with a higher class ranking than my older sister (which I did by 1 or 2 places…hehehe). I was still pretty easy-going about schoolwork and only tweaked when I had major projects or papers to do, both in high school and college. My perfectionism was more that I was worried that I wasn’t a perfect daughter, girlfriend, employee, etc. Mostly the daughter part. Growing up as both the middle child and the “easy” child was a double whammy in the fear of disappointing people realm. I still worry that I need to be perfect so I don’t disappoint people and the fact that I’m not perfect means that I AM a disappointment. I’m sure it’d be worse if I wasn’t in therapy and on the meds. Do you ever get over perfectionism?

  • http://smosey.com Elizabeth M. Johnson

    Probably a good thing you didn’t tell her that. Wait ’til she’s legal. Or whenever she decides she wants to leave the church in style.

  • tarable

    I have just begun enjoying you so prior to today I had no knowledge of the sockless baby incident and want to tell you to be sure to do an underwear check as they get older. My son was having his 5th grade check up and the Doc asked him to strip to his underwear and to my absolute HORROR he was not wearing any that day. Thank goodness my doctor knows that I provide underwear (due to my other 4 kids being her patients)and was not a neglectful reject of a parent.

  • http://www.jujubeejenny.typepad.com Jujubee Jenny

    I soooo am not looking forward to having a teenage daughter. I know I have some time before it happens, but if she is anything like I was? Well, I’m preaching to the choir…I know you as a mother must have the same worries. We all do. Unless she asks you to smoke a bowl tomorrow morning in bed…then you know you done good.

  • http://www.macwebguru.com doog

    Shhh…. peeps won’t burn in hell…. THEY’RE DEMONS!!!! AHAHAHAH


  • http://www.monkeythoughts.com monkey

    Criminey, I JUST finished my Bachelor’s (@ 28) and remained as obsessive over my grades till the very end. I can’t help it. (My brothers, on the other hand, could give a shit less about their grades or school- With the exception of my oldest brother now…he’s competitive AND a perfectionist.) My husband has tried to console me that a B is not the end of the world, but it will not work…unless he’s providing me with a LOT of alcohol in the process. Then I’ll believe anything.

  • http://www.lostinthought.net/blog Vicky

    I love you for saying what you said and not what you thought :)

  • http://www.wateringplace.blogspot.com MomVee

    At my son’s first grade parent-teacher conference, his teacher said, “If I could teach R. one thing this year, I would make him believe that everything he does doesn’t have to be perfect.”

    To my intense surprise, I found my eyes filling up with tears. I didn’t believe that, and I was 32.

  • Kala Lily

    My list at 30 is very different from my list at 13. I wanted to perfect that backhand spring too and get straight A+s. Being an overachiever kinda sucked!

    Now here is my new list:

    . Learn how to do proper tequilla shots
    . Meet cute men
    . Learn to scuba dive
    . Travel
    . Meet more cute men

  • babbling

    I’m positive that she needs to make that map, so when she’s on the Amazing Race in the future and might possibly lose her map, she can draw one from memory, and still win the million dollars. I find this to be a very thoughtful lesson to learn in school. Just imagine those adults that didn’t have that lesson. “Ohhhhhh if only I’d memorized and drawn that world map when I was in school, we’d have won the million dollars,,,,,” As far as the baby sock goes, it’s far more embarassing when you take your 8-9 year old son to the store and realize he found it totally unnecessary to put on socks with his shoes. Suddenly you feel like you have “THE MOTHER WHO DOESN’T CARE ENOUGH TO PROVIDE SOCKS FOR HER CHILD” written on your forehead.

  • http://www.myspace.com/holycrapbrittany BrittanyGifford

    I’m not like anyone in my family…

    Holy crap! She has to draw the whole world from memory!? What for???

  • tonya | adventure journalist

    Hey man, *I* grocery shop in bare feet.

  • http://islaygirl.typepad.com islaygirl

    umm, wth is a hard stretch?

  • http://tarawhitney.typepad.com/ Tara Whitney

    nobody cares about high school ONCE YOU ARE OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. nobody cares about college either, once you are out of it. only that you have a stupid piece of paper to prove it.

    poor kids. :)

  • http://http:www.starshinereport.com Star Shine

    I love that God lets us have moments like that. It’s like a glimpse of the past in the present. Sometimes I feel the same way…like I wish I knew then what I know now, but I guess we just have to go through it to get that knowledge and wisdom. And the journey’s pretty good, too.

  • http://www.omarphillips.net omar

    My brother and I are polar opposites as well. It kind of makes me nervous about having a second kid, since the one I’ve got is pretty good. I’m figuring that this means any subsequent children will be hellions. Or worse, salesmen. *shudder*

  • Sean Duffie

    I’m a Junior in high school, which means that I’ve had three years of people telling me that the Mariahs of the world will one day conquer all and that the Merediths will become Bagpersons (Rather than baglady, because, face it, if she was a Mike, would you have any doubt why she was distracted from being anal with schoolwork?)
    In 3rd grade I told myself I would be valedictorian. The next day, I forgot to turn in a homework assignment and, so I thought, my dreams were shattered. I still don’t do my homework because a part of me quietly reminds me that I will fail in life and that, if my “dreams” follow through and I become a teacher, I probably will fail the kids too.
    So, I’m slowly tugged from being Meredith to being Mariah. Every day I’m still constantly reminded that upper middle class snobs, such as myself, will have to fight to get into college and get scholarships – and that my Meredith moments will disgrace my family as though we lived in a Confucian society. But, I wish that for one day I could drop all remorse for my school transcript and my dismal 3.2GPA and live like a hippy and worry about all of the cute girls instead of Mao Zedong and the Pythagorean theorem – but this just isn’t the environment for that.

    I don’t know what to say. Maybe Meredith missed the day the other kids on the playground decided to make Mariah as determined. And while both have noble efforts, ten years down the road, they could be a completely different person. So, I still don’t know who is better. However, I do know how hard it is to break this caste of slacker-wanting-to-be-an-overacheiver, and that one day, none of it will matter and we will all order fastfood at the same day.

    Praise Buddha that I, uh, still have my wits…

  • http://www.billygean.co.uk Billygean.co.uk

    Oh Heather, I was like you in high school. And now I’m a reallllly small fish in a large university full of people who speak Latin. Even though I’m still (probably) the most anal, I am now Average – maybe even below. Soul destroying, every minute of it recorded on my blog!


  • http://nowseriously.blogspot.com LeafGirl77

    It’s a similar situation in my family.

    Me? I’m pretty boring in that I’m the older child who is very organized and pretty responsible. Although I never figured I’d make it to university (lackluster grades in high school), I worked hard and was always relatively confident that something would work out.

    My sister? She’s sixteen now and figures everything will be handed to her, because everything HAS been handed to her. She’s threatening to move out, get a job and still go to school. Everyone knows that she’s dreamin’, but it won’t stop her. I just know she’d do it just to spite everyone.

    I wish I learned earlier on that high school isn’t the be all and end all…but just a stop along the way to real life…whatever that is!! I would have said, done and been whatever I wanted, and not given a shit what other people thought. Hind sight is so hard sometimes.

  • moongarden

    Dooce, I thought of you when I saw this:

  • kelly.

    Meredith’s list of goals is admirable. And much easier achieved than my own. I might have to swap a few on my list for a few on hers.

  • http://mrstalkington.blogspot.com Amybobamy

    I was definitely more like Meridith, and my mother was you and Mariah. You can imagine her disappointment that I did not take on her ‘capacity’ for straight A’s… or rather caring if I got them at all.

    I also could have been my aunts daughter, and my cousin could have been my mothers daughter… go figure.. Genetics are a crazy land of drunkards who don’t always line things up right.

  • http://www.kirida.com Ramona

    When I was in high school, I would hyperventilate if I thought I wasn’t making an A. I wish I could write a letter to myself back then, advising me to inhale like the other kids and chill out.

  • http://thefathousewife.blogspot.com/ Strizz

    I’m 27 and all four of those things are still on my list.

  • http://www.nothingbutbonfires.com Nothing But Bonfires

    I’m twice as old as Meredith and if I wrote my list of goals right now, I’d have exactly the same 2 and 3. In fact, the only good thing about being 26 is that I’ve now at least learned how to do hard stretches.

  • http://www.justsayjes.com jes

    oh, wow. the whole world? and every country?

    i would fail so very miserably.

    I could try to be obnoxious and name them all here, but I fear that my lack of knowledge would just embarrass me.

  • ailouron

    Hey! Innate confidence is admirable, but confidence built from difficult accomplishments, even if they weren’t necessary, means a lot as well….right?

    My parents sent me to college with a letter telling me all the reasons they would still love me even if I got an A-.

    Although at 21 and four weeks from graduation I’m finally getting over it, I’m not too sad about what I’ve done and believed. Sure, I stressed a lot and probably gave myself an ulcer at some point, but I actually learned how to study and bear down on something unlike a lot of my friends. Except I’m not actually over it. At all. As a theoretically cured perfectionist, would you mind telling the rest of us how /you/ got over it?

  • lelu

    Very accurate description of Heather in high school!!! I’m gald to see you’ve chilled out. I love your blog!

  • http://www.issasworld.typepad.com Melissa

    I am cracking up. That is my girls. Although they’re young, I can already see it. They will be so much like that when they’re older.

    Oh and I read the half-socked baby post too. To freaking funny. I adore baby feet. I would have been nice enough to tell you, not to whisper behind your back.

  • Lane Meyer

    Funny thing, this entry made me a bit teary eyed. I could sum it up to PMS but I think honestly just the energy from it struck a cord with me. I can relate to the perfectionism personally and I see the very same thing in my son daily. He settles for NOTHING less that sheer perfection. He is 8. E-i-g-h-t.

    As corny as it sounds coming out of the keyboard on my laptop, every single time I read your blog I say to myself (and often out loud in a shrill scream), “God, she freakin’ rocks!”
    Rock on, Heather, rock on!

  • TripDaddyNJ

    I have 6-month-old triplets. Cannot wait to see how all that turns out.

  • http://fishunderwater.blogspot.com jaime

    ohh, my sister and i are those children. sort of. i did the weird thing of being very competitive about grades, but also really lazy about schoolwork. she’s just bad at math, and has crazy tattoos.

  • http://kassig.squarespace.com/ Kassi Gilbert

    Thats very sweet. It is so cool to see such differences in the people in my family, and it is great that you have such a positive influence…even if you have to hold your tongue. I know that they will appreciate you in their lives.

  • sarahinLA

    Is it just me or does Meredith quite possibly have the meaning of life figured out?

  • Kari

    Seriously, I hope Nifle is in another country, because even if you’re on the east coast, where it is after 8 p.m., it’s too early to be reading Dooce drunk!

    Unless you’re dying easter eggs…

  • rockr girl

    i have always danced to the beat of my own drummer (and possibly the music of my own band). however, i was always terrified that my actions, while they might be ok by me, would disappoint the people i care most about. i still worry about this, and its probably the reason for a myriad of my life’s problems.

    however, i desperately want my niece and 4 nephews to live thier lives outloud. so much so, that the 6 year old got “Sneeches” for his birthday this year. Along with a hand-written note from auntie megan urging him to learn from the Sneeches – no matter how different you are (or aren’t), you are still you. And its being genuinely you that will make you deliriously happy in life.

    is that too deep for a kid who has a hard time tying his shoes??

  • oromat

    You are a good mommy, Heather. It doesn’t matter what we did/do at that age, kids have a right to screw up/excel all by themselves.

  • http://lesliel.typepad.com Leslie

    My parents have four girls and for some reason we’re staggered twins. The oldest girl is almost 6′ tall, brunette, super sensitive, and is married. The second oldest is barely 5’6″, blonde, thick skinned, and vows to never marry. Then there is myself who is just like the oldest. I am tall, brunette, I cry at the drop of a hat and I am married. Finally the youngest is short, blonde, borderline insensitive, and also isn’t interested in marriage. If you saw the four of us in a room you would think that the brunettes are sisters, the blondes are sisters, but there is NO WAY you would think all four of us are sisters. My facial features are even just like the oldest sister’s but nothing like the other two. Aside from appearances, my personality is also more like the oldest where as I can’t be in a room too long with the other two or they drive me crazy. Genetics can be a strange phenomenon.

  • Nifle

    Read Dooce drunk…it’s 100 times funnier…which is PRETTY damn funny.

    I was the same as you Heather (I had to scroll up to remember, I am drunk) about grades in school. There is no point to this message…just that I love DOOCE!

  • http://www.ursulagross.com/blog Ursula

    Funny, Heather, I never pictured you as a super-type-A personality from your writing. Either you have learned a lot like you said, are an excellent writer, or both. Probably? Both.

  • http://www.freetherapy.blogs.com J P

    The oldest of my two girls must have accidentally missed your family and landed into mine. There are moments when I have to walk out of the room when she’s doing her homework for fear that I will shake her…and then I do my best to resist the temptation to go back and change all of her answers when she’s not looking. Just to build character.