The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

just an update about the other rant

I told my mum that I thought about the trip and that I decided to not go. I also told her that to flesh out my thoughts I blogged about it (she doesn't read my blogs, although I link them at the end of every email) and that after getting opinions from a gazillion different people (and thus, a gazillion different opinions), it seemed like the best decision. Of course, she doesn't like it when I ask other people for opinions, and I realized that in the end, it's only my mum's opinion that really matters. Since. I live off of her.

Although she didn't read my blog post, she assumes that I made her out to look like a villian. She repeated this a few times on the phone and it freaked me out because...I'm pretty sure that I didn't. My intention was to look at the issue as rationally as I could--as a 20 year old, at least. I could've ranted against my parents in a more infatile manner, but that's not what I do. I don't think I made her out to look like a villian. Hopefully you all got the impression that I understand what motherly tendencies are and that she's just concenerned for my safety.

She kept saying that she thinks if I keep meeting people online in real life (after counting, I came to around 20 people, and last night I went to a concert with two awesome friends that I met online), I'm going to get into trouble someday. (She also used the example that if you drive more, then you're more likely to get into an accident. So...yeah, I understand the logic.) She could be right, but the same thing could happen in real life. Don't people mix with "the wrong crowd" and get influenced by not-so-awesome people that they meet in real life, the real life that my mum for some reason thinks is so safe (or...I dunno what she was getting at, perhaps not that real life was safe but that online life is inherently dangerous)? I'm pretty sure it happens. But you know what? It's never happened to me. And of course I've met people in real life; I just don't get mixed up with people I wouldn't want to mix up with. It's kind of easy.

She asked why I can't get to know people in real life. ...I have! I have some friends I've made in school and I hang out with them sometimes, although admittedly probably not as much as people I meet online because...we're not uber-close friends, aside from a few people. If I didn't make friends with people online, then at the very least I would have those people in real life. Aside from when I lived in Taiwan, I haven't been as successful at making friends in real life than online. As I've mentioned before, there are more people online, so it kinda makes sense (well, to me) that it'd be easier to meet people online, even if that's not my intention.

Honey suggested that the only way I'm going to get my mum to realize that the people I meet online aren't dangerous freaks is if I bring them home to meet her. My mum has only met Diana, so she's perfectly fine with her. I see her point, but of course I'm not going to drag all my friends to NJ to meet my mum.

My mum said that I'm making it seem like I won't ever be able to do anything I want. "I won't be alive forever. You won't be in school forever. I'm not preventing you from doing what you want to do; you'll get your chance." She said after I graduate then I'll be able to do what I want. Or perhaps later. I figure by that point, if I have a job and whatnot, it won't be quite as easy to just...pick up and go as it may be during my college years. Also, other people's lives will change too. She implied that my logic was off in that when I get more freedom as an adult, I'll actually have less freedom to do the things I want to do.

...In a sense, yes. It depends what I end up choosing to do. I may have more freedom. Or less. I don't think my mum is one to say since I think her marriage prevented her from establishing her own career. I wouldn't choose the same path as her, but I think she knows that.

The trip to Norway felt right now. It seemed to work out well. Really. But I know it'll be there next year, hence why I don't mind waiting longer. ...Well, I do mind a little, but eh.

Honey and Yetta (the most musically passionate people I have ever met) suggested that I just contact Even and say, "Hey, I'm visiting Norway; can I stay with you?" That's possibly the most horrifying idea I could think of.

I'm leaving comments open, not that there's anything anyone can do that would lead me to actually go on the trip I had planned before. And I don't think anything could happen. Next year is fine. Year after, maybe still fine. Or maybe not. Things change.


Just had another conversation.

Is there a difference between a site like eHarmony and my blog? I'd like to think there is. My mum said I'm not very open minded because I knock things like eHarmony (I think she was telling me about someone she knew who used it), but I know I have my own opinions about who I want to meet and who I don't want to meet.

As I said before, I don't make websites to meet people. It just happens. I put my personality on my websites and people notice; oh, how horrible. If I actually knew someone who used eHarmony and had success with it then I'd think that's cool, but I don't. So I guess...what I should say is that I can't make a well informed opinion about eHarmony because I don't have any experience with it. I guess my mum is right in that I shouldn't say bad things about it.

I do not think blogging is anything like eHarmony, but my mum does for some reason. That's the impression I got from our conversation at least; maybe I interpreted it wrong. What I find funny is that my mum expressed to me that you can't get to know people well through purely online means (I disagree), but that eHarmony is okay, despite that it's thing?...I don't know. I might be twisting her words, which I shouldn't do.

I don't blog to meet people. This is apparent from the past gazillion years of blogging that were really just for my friends, as not many other people read em. Some of my best internet friends were made from my music sites, in which I'm just trying to share information that isn't personal.

...I dunno what else I'm trying to say. My mum said I shouldn't assume that she's any less open minded than I am. And I didn't say that, although I might think it. We have different opinions about things. I'm trying to get MORE opinions via this blog and talking to friends so I can get more opinions from people with different experiences.

It's a lovely day. I'll be inside for most of it.


Another thought. I know I'm a pushover. My mum knows I'm a pushover. If I heed my mum's words, does that make me a pushover or just a good daughter? My mum stressed to me that we (my brother and I) were brought up to know how to make good judgements, or at least that's what she tried to do. We're not the best kids in the world, but we're not that bad; I don't think I ever implied that my parents failed in some sense and that we made bad judgements. To be honest though (with my fuzzy memory), I couldn't really tell what my mum was explaining to me and it's hard for me to remember everything she said verbatim.


Another thing (although I'm sure by now you've nodded off while reading this entry), related to the eHarmony thing, which is an irrational comparison in my opinion...

One of my friends (who is much smarter than I am and thankfully wrote this out so I can quote it verbatim) said something that stuck with me: "In my experience and from what I see, one doesn't go seeking a relationship, exactly; rather, one seeks to feel a certain way. Those feelings emerge from meeting someone with whom you FEEL a connection."

I found no point in explaining to my mum what I didn't like about eHarmony, not that I mean to say the website is wrong for EVERYONE (because if it were, who'd use it?), but that it's not something I'd ever imagine using because it doesn't fit in with the kind of person I am. I think my friend verbalized whatever I was thinking much better than I could (which is why she wrote it...because I couldn't express what I was thinking in a comprehensible manner). However, some people DO actually just seek out a relationship, even if my friends and I aren't in that category; isn't that why sites like eHarmony exist?

I'd explain more but I'm tired of feeling like I'm repeating the same thing over and over again.


Mochene / April 15, 2006 2:02 PM

I'm confused and that may be due to the fact that I consumed alcohol last night (no hangover though). But your mom doesn't want you to meet people online because it is dangerous, but she's not against eHarmony? Isn't that basically the same thing (even though you're not intentionally meeting people through your blog)? And can't you get mugged in real life coming home from work or school or something? Real life is dangerous enough. At least online, you can shut off your computer to get away from the crazy people.

Thanks for letting me give my opinion. I have nothing against your mom, really. I love moms. I have one of my own.

amanda / April 15, 2006 3:39 PM

Robyn, first off, your blog is NOTHING like Eharmony. Foodblogs (and music blog) are just a way for people with like interests to get another persons opinion and find out new things they perhaps would never have found out otherwise. Trust me, after my last break up, my best friend decided to buy me a membership to eharmony to get over and move on. BIG waste of money. Those dating things are just that, a place for people to meet who want to hook up, date, and possibly marry (gasp!). I read food blogs to see what great cuisine is out there, get ideas, and read opinions from other people that share similar interests as me. I think your mom is way out of line for comparing food and music sites to dating sites. I do understand that the is a difference in generations and the opinions they do not seem to share as far as the internet is concerned, but in this instance i think it's a little irrational, or perhaps just her making judgements about things she simply knows nothing about. Anyway, just don't let her keep you from blogging or making good friends!

Annie / April 15, 2006 6:19 PM

Try not to engage with your Mom. That's your first order of business. Anything you don't have to tell her, don't tell her. And be as polite to her as you are to your friends' parents.

Those are two completely mechanical suggestions. I'll tell you the reasons they work sometime but for now, just do them. It will lessen the emotional pain.

roboppy / April 15, 2006 6:38 PM

Mochene: I'm confused too! AND I'M NOT INTOXICATED!!! (Which is why I should never be intoxicated; I'm already inherently confused about everything.)

I find lots of contradictions, perhaps because I'm interpreting everything incorrectly (I think that's what my mum thinks) or because...I have the right to be confused. Or. I don't know. I already said I was confused. She never suggested that I use eHarmony, but rather that I should respect people that do (which I can do, just that I don't personally know anyone who uses it), but then the comparison to my blogs and websites really threw me off since I don't think they're comparable.

"At least online, you can shut off your computer to get away from the crazy people."

Haha....yes. Thank god.

Amanda: Thanks for the input, especially from someone who's actually used that website. I figured that it's "a place for people to meet who want to hook up, date, and possibly marry", which I already expressed a gazillion times is not my intention, nor should it be anyone else's if they want to have a friendship with me. I could say more, but I'll leave it there.

Annie: Although I'm sure you mean well, I have to admit that your advice is the kind that my mum would freak out over and even I find faulty. Of course, if I take your advice then she wouldn't know about it, but I need to communicate with my mum. First off, she's a good mum; perhaps if I knew she wasn't, it'd be easier to ignore her, but I actually want to know what she thinks about things (she lashed out at me though for not liking what she had to say, or something to that effect, which...ugh, I can't go into that). I can't treat her like just any other parent since she's my...mum, who raised me and whatnot, thus she probably deserves to know some things. I don't think I'm rude to her, or at least I don't hang up on her like my roommate does to her mum (they actually have a very close relationship, just ...uh, phone calls get turbulent sometimes). I don't tell my mum everything unless I think it's important and I obviously had to let her know that I wanted to go to Norway. If it's possible and important to communicate, I go for it.

Marianne / April 15, 2006 7:03 PM

You're such a cute thing, Robyn. Don't feel like you have to defend yourself and your relationship with your mom, you know what is best for you right now and maintaining a close relationship with your mother is obviously very important to you. Personally, I think it's great, as long as you are still forging your own way in life (which I think you are).

Come down to Tennessee and I will feed you loads of fried food and take you out on the lake. It's much less threatening than Europe, and a cute ultra-liberal married couple isn't nearly as scary to the parents! Ha.

hxy / April 16, 2006 6:36 AM

umm... how about asking your mom to go along? or is that worse than not going at all? ;)

Teresa / April 16, 2006 12:44 PM

Hi there! I'm one of your many silent readers. I also live in NJ but have been here for merely 6 months. I love reading your posts as it gives me good ideas on restaurants to try out. I love your candid entries too. Keep on blogging the way you are.

I decided to make a comment this time as I think I can relate to your dilemma. Moms, dad, and other old folks (aunts and uncles, grandparents, and other people in authority within the family) are generally revered and respected in our clan. So whatever they say in any endeavor we do is important. I grew up feeling that if they don't approve on what I do, it puts me at risk. That said, I can relate how you feel that your mom give you her "blessing" on what you want to do.

Her thoughts on meeting people online is very valid. I don't know how old your mom is but what I know is that during her time this is unheard of. But then again, meeting online is no different from meeting through blind date, yesteryear's pen-pal system, set-up, bars, party, through relatives, etc. One thing important to know is that what happens next after two people who meet on the above mode is up to them. Any kind of friendship or romatic relationship that happens afterward is up to them. And this is after getting to know each other in many aspects and exercising utmost judgment on each other's intentions and character.

I am now married for 2 years. I met my husband online. We were on the opposite end of the coast but we were furtunate enough to have blessed with the opportunity to meet up and develop a relationship "in person". Most of my relatives don't know this, especially my mom. Did I lie? No. I only know that I did not need to give her this detail as the more important thing for her to know is that my now husband (then boyfriend) is honorable and honest man who loves and cares for me very much. (I'd like to let you know too that I have quite a number of friendships made online.)

It seem like your mom taught you to exercise good judgment all the time. I know you will take that with you throughout your life. There are things you should tell your mom and things you should keep from her for her own sanity. Just be cautious all the time for your own safety.

Hope to read more of your entries and enjoy your Easter Sunday!

roboppy / April 16, 2006 3:30 PM

Marianne: I am forging my way! WITH COOKIES. Or something!

Oooo fried know how to tempt me! Stop stop! Ahh! And out have a lake? FRIED FOOD AND A LAKE?! That sounds like heaven. ...Kinda. Yes. As long as I don't drown in the lake after eating the fried food.

hxy: HAAHA...oh man, I highly doubt she'd wanna go. She already told me that Norwegian food isn't that good, despite never having eaten it before (which is part of the reason I want to go!). Also, a trip with parents isn't the same as a trip without, ehhh?

Deb: She'll love you if you bring your chocolates. ;)

Teresa: Thanks for unsilencing yourself! And you live in NJ? HOLY CRAP! I didn't know that many cool people lived in NJ. Now I know. The foodies are comin' out...

Yeah, this Internet relationship stuff is definitely unheard of in my mum's time. :| I'd like to believe that meeting people online (that I've developed some kind of relationship with) is a little different from a blind date (if it's totally blind and you barely know anything about the other person)...well, it depends on who you're meeting yeah, this wasn't a well thought-out sentence.

Sounds like you've made good judgement with the people you met online. :) All that matters is that your husband cares for you, and vice versa. I don't see anything wrong with that, although I wonder what my mum would think...hohum. It's okay for me to make friends with females my age of course, she seems to have more of a problem with guys, which is funny because I've never shown any tendency towards having relationships that go beyond friendships with any of my male friends...

True, some things I probably shouldn't tel my mum. In this case though, I want to give her every opportunity to understand where i'm coming from. If it doesn't work, then I can say I tried my best. :|

santos. / April 17, 2006 10:27 AM

>Honey and Yetta...suggested that I just contact Even and say, "Hey, I'm visiting Norway; can I stay with you?" That's possibly the most horrifying idea I could think of.

the most horrifying thing i can think of is if one of them were to contact him and ask for you. make sure they don't do it!

re: the whole mom thing. i agree with marianne, it seems like you've got a good relationship with her, and that you just need to sound/write things out to get them less murky in your head.

after you're done with fried food and lakes in tennessee, come to guam and the philippines for...fried food and oceans.

A / April 17, 2006 2:24 PM

Robyn -- you're not a pushover and yes, you seem like a very good daughter. I very much respect what you said about your mom and how you would like to keep the relationship you have with her. She did such a good job with you!

I think intent has a lot to do with how people interact in person and online. Sites like eHarmony are for the express purpose of hooking up. It's not like you have a shared interest and it morphs into a shared interest in each other. That's a bit different. And something like eHarmony may not necessarily be an online relationship -- it may just start off that way. It's another source of possible mates rather than an entire cyber relationship (romantic or not). Ya know?


elas / April 17, 2006 6:46 PM

Ohh.. The period of time when you're kind-of an adult but not really. it seems so long ago though I'm not sure I'm an adult yet...

So, you asked your mom if you could go to Norway to meet a guy you met on the internet and she said you were crazy and forbid it.

That's really shocking.

You add all these other details which is great and all, but that really, all your mom is going to see is what I said above. If your mom is any sort of normal mom, she isn't going to change her mind. As somebody said before, our parents are not familiar with the net in the same way that we are. They use it to buy airline tickets and email the friends THEY ALREADY HAVE.

They certainly don't use it to express their feelings and thoughts in a public forum or meet new people. So maybe they are OK with the eHarmonys of the world (big brand names with tv ads give parents comfort - they feel like it's a sanctioned meeting system) but they watch the 6 o'clock news everyday and hear stories about young girls running away to meet a 45 year old married man in Florida and it freaks them out.

What can you do?

Well, you don't need to tell your mom everything, for one. At some point you'll learn that your mom isn't going to approve of alot of your life decisions and going through the trouble of telling her about them all will cause both you and her undo frustration.

But I hear you, she's paying your way and you're trying to play the part of good daughter - you'd like her approval, and you're probably not too sure about this whole thing anyway and mom would be good for reassurance. or perhaps you weren't thinking at all when you told her, you were just excited about this trip to NOrway and how perfect it was working out

So are you wrong in being upset? No. Should you go anyway? Probably not or maybe. I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen? Your mom would be mad at you for a few weeks?

But do be prepared for the trip not being as perfect as you think it might be. I'm sure Morten is nice but he's still a guy and you're still a girl and girls are incredibly naive about these sorts of things. Maybe he doesn't make a move or maybe he does or maybe you start to like him and are hurt when he doesn't or maybe he pees himself when he laughs and you make him laugh alot and the whole thing is all very disgusting. The point is that if you decide to go, and you probably should go, be prepared for a little "i told you so" if everything doens't go according to plan.

On another note, as far as using the internet as an escape for the real world, I think that's both true and false. Some people do never come out of their internet hole and spend vast amounts of time chatting with people online that they'll never meet and if they did would have problems dealing with in a real world situation.

I've met many of these people. Before blogs there was IM and before IM there was IRC. I met several people from an IRC channel (#nin) in person back in 1994 (I was 17). A number of us became good friends because of our similarities and spent increasing amounts of time offline with each other as well as online over the next 2-4 years. We were, at times, a pretty tight group and most of us were in highschool - college, though some were older.

I don't think that caused any of us to become seclusionists. Some people clearly were not good in social situations but I don't think you can blame the internet on that. I think that those tendencies were already in those people and either they would've had friends on the internet or no friends at all.

roboppy / April 17, 2006 7:35 PM

santos: Thank god I will never give Even's contact information to ANYONE, cos god knows...they probably would contact him. (If Yetta had been at the Living Room show that I wasn't old enough to go to, I KNOW she would've talked to Even and "made" him somehow get me in, which would've semi horrified me.)

FRIED FOOD AND OCEANS! (rubs belly) Sounds delicious.

A: I think my mum and I are fine now. We just don't talk about the Norway thing...and we're fine. HAHA! Yey. :)

Intent does have a lot to do with how people interact. Which might explain why I don't interact much in real life, especially not with guys. I don't really have any intentions. ...Well. Besides eating. Yeah.

elas: "So, you asked your mom if you could go to Norway to meet a guy you met on the internet and she said you were crazy and forbid it.

That's really shocking."

Haha. Sarcasm.

My problem is wondering at what age will it be okay. Morten will still be the same person (for the most part) in a few years, when I figure I'll be old enough to meet him. And. He'll be the same. I'll just have waited longer. Will that make a big difference? I don't think so. I guess it's surprising that I've been allowed to meet so many online people, never with any bad consequences. It's like she assumes that older people never get into problems either. And maybe they get into less problems because they've had earlier ones to learn, I dunno. If I've learned anything, it's that my judgements are pretty good.

But maybe I'm wrong about everything.

My mum uses the Internet to play games and buy stuff mainly. (sigh)

Yeah, I don't have to tell my mum everything. There honestly isn't much in my life not worth telling her. Because not much goes on. Or I tell her something that excites me and she doesn't really care, but eh.

I know I'm naive, but I don't think meeting Morten is one of those situations. He would not "make a move". No moves would be made. Can I say that with 100% certainty? No. But I can't say with 110% certainty that I won't die tomorrow, so ...[shrugs]. My heart's in another place, so that whole...issue...isn't an issue.

"I think that those tendencies were already in those people and either they would've had friends on the internet or no friends at all."

That description is definitely pertinent to me. I'm not totally inept at making friends in real life, but I'm not very social. (I was always socially unpopular, waay before the Internet came into my life.) But I don't see what's wrong with that. I'm not saying it's optimal, but I only need a few good friends, not a bunch of casual contacts.

Susie / April 22, 2006 12:24 PM

Robyn -- I'm late to this, but had to weigh in. No time to explain the whole story, but something very similar happened with my parents and I when I was exactly your age. It had to do with going to LA for a two month well-paying job. My parents threatened to disown me if I went and lived with a friend because he was a guy and they didn't know him. Big drama. In the end there were many tears over my parents being crazy, but I went.

Here's the wisdom:

#1 Your mom is overreacting BIGTIME and you will be fine, and you need to be an adult and she doesn't understand how smart your are. Also, she doesn't understand the Internet, and how it's a totally valid and focused way for you to set up shop, make friends, express yourself, but that's another story.

#2 Sometimes, even when they are irrational, damnit, parents KNOW a thing or two. And luckily, when the poop hits the fan (like it did with me when the guy friend from college I went to stay with turned out to have become a crazed crack addict after graduation from my fancy college and living in a rat infested crack house who assumed we'd be sleeping together when I arrived-- SERIOUSLY) after you've gone and done something stupid, or just had bad luck, they, your parents will be there for you with no "I told ya so's."

So, like, all I'm saying is, life is ODD. Try to laugh at the things your mom doesn't "get" (the eHarmony stuff? PLEASE!) and try to understand that she may have a point about this Norway thing. Still, the choice you make is up to you. Just know that your mom's job is to keep your ass safe. She's wired that way. And it's hard, if not impossible, for her to stop being your personal bodyguard. This can suck, but really, is there anyone else in the world who cares more about you? No. You'll appreciae that more when your older.

End o' old 30-something woman advice!

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