Tuesday, September 13, 2011

“Two Sides To Every Story”

Before I would get into trouble or get yelled at for something I did wrong my mother would always say “You know what Mariah?” My father would not even give me a warning. He would give me this evil look that made me know I was definitely in trouble. My mother and father both have different ways of dealing with me. Being that my mom is Caucasian and Black and that my father was a country Black man from the south, I was able to experience to different types of lifestyles.

Growing up with my mom was probably the best thing that has happened in my life so far. Pamela, my mom, grew up in Gardena, California with her mother as well. Being a citizen of California in my eyes, meant things were competitive but easy at the same time. My mother took it easy on me as well as her being a loving and caring mother. My mom believes in proper language, healthy eating, non-violent discipline, and always doing the right thing. She never talked to me like my dad would. She made sure that her sentences were grammatically correct. When I did the wrong thing or when I did things I was not supposed to, she would always talk it out with me by using her words and not her actions. My mom probably only whipped me once and that was when I was about four or five. Ever since then I have never seen another belt unless it was being used to hold my pants up on my waist. Mom would always say to me, “Two wrongs don’t make a right!” By this she meant that if someone did you wrong that doesn’t mean you would be right by trying to get even with them. She felt that being the bigger person got you further in life then being the one that always wanted to retaliate. Since my mother had white in her, I experienced things I would have never experienced with my dad.

Paul, my dad, is total different person. You would probably think, “Hmmm were they really together at one point of time in life?” Well the answer to that is yes! My dad and mom are so different it is hard to believe such a fact. My father’s childhood was the toughest moment of his life. Living in Arkansas was beyond different from the fast city life like a Californian. My father believed in “nothing comes easy or free”, non-stop working, hands on discipline, and did not take much pride in his grammar. In the south where my dad is from, he grew up with a hard lifestyle. Growing up in Arkansas was not easy like my mom growing up in California. The “nothing comes easy or free” mentality comes in to play because my dad is from Arkansas. He made me work for anything and everything I wanted. When I wanted a lap top instead of a desktop, my dad made sure I brought home nothing but good grades and that I respected all my teachers. He also made sure that I stayed on top of my daily chores. Of course, he would end up giving in and give me what I wanted but at the same time he made sure, I knew that if I wanted it, I had to work for it. My dad was the one who believed in whipping. He believed that if you messed up or did something bad, there would be no talking it out. It was all action with him. If you did not take that whipping at that moment, it would be worse for you later on. “I haven’t hit you yet, but I will” is something he always says to me when I talked back or got smart with him. My dad never hit me though so I am very lucky for that. Grammar was not as important to my dad as it was to my mom. As long as he understood, what he was saying that is all that mattered. My dad has this thick southern accent so it sounds nothing like my mother’s or mine. My dad shows me a different way of life every time we are together.

The conflict between these two comes in when I am around them at separate times. My mom and I talk to each other a certain way that my dad probably would not approve of. Another thing is that my mom and I have a way of understanding each other. Since I am around her more than my dad, it is hard to switch over to my dad’s ideal way of me acting. My mom lets me cuss in front of her and she lets me do just about anything I want. She does not care as long as I am safe and she knows where I am. For example, because I party a lot when I am back home in California, our conversations tend to unfold as so:

“Yo Mom!”
She would reply with, “What do you want Mariah?”
I then say, “Just to let you know, I’m going out tonight in LA. It’s a house party.”
Mom would say, “Alright, have fun and be safe. Call me later!”

When I get around my dad, I have to change the way I talk or I will end up in trouble. I do not like doing this because of what I have already adapted to. Sometime I end up slipping and saying a bad word. Luckily, my dad does not always catch me. When I am around my dad, I am not as talkative as I am with my mom. My mom and I talk about everything in our own way. When I am with my dad, it is pretty mute and calm. If I need something from my dad, it’s usually straight to the point and that’s it. We don’t take time to discuss it as my mom and I do. When I speak to my dad, sometimes he doesn’t understand it because of the way I speak and vs. versa.

Dad: “Mariah!”
Me: “Yes Father?”
Dad: “Go in that room over der and pick up them thangs and bring them to me!”
Me: “Dad, what things?”
Dad: “Them thangs on the floor! Ya know by that other thing.”
Me: “Um OK dad.”

When my dad spoke to me like this all I could do was reply with okay or alright. I never got to figure out what “thangs” he wanted. For the simple fact that he is my dad I try my hardest to understand what he says to me when he does have a conversation with me. My mom always tells me to adapt because the way my dad and me are aren’t going to change anytime soon.
I feel that since my mom has white in her I have it easier with her when it comes to many things. My mom is so calm with me to where I expect that from my dad. Just because I expect it doesn’t mean that it’s always going to work like that. My dad is tough and hard on me. When I’m in pain or when I feel that I need to be softly spoken to, my dad is the one that tells me to get over it and toughing up. He talks about how when he was growing up it wasn’t easy or calm. My father makes sure I appreciate the lifestyles I live by. He believes that if you are spoon fed, you will never be able to take on the harsh parts of life. My dad didn’t make anything easy for me.

Overall, I appreciate how my parents both raised me. They raised me two different ways that I am proud to be known by. I admit at times its not easy and at times it’s a little too easy. With my own mindset and knowledge, I have learned to take both and use them in a conductive way. If I didn’t have two parents who were completely different I wouldn’t have gone through those conflicts that have made me the person I am today. Because my parents are two different races, I was able to experience separate lifestyles at the same time.


  1. the writer showed the conflict very well, the essay was kinda repetitive though. in the essay she talks about how she gets along with her mom more because her and her mom talk the same way, it seems she doesnt like her dad because she cant communicate, its confusing because at the end she talks about how greatful she is they both rasied her but it seem she is ashamed of her dad and doesnt fit in with him at all. overall the essay was good though. good job!

  2. I agree with tara. Overall, this is a good essay that meets all the requirements.

    But you tell us a lot instead of showing us in scenes. I really want to see more conversation difference between you and your parents! There's a lot there that says worlds about their discourse communities without you having to do it for them ;-)