Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spite Success

They tell us that our successes are ours, alone, and are not due to the influence or the benefits of others since we are the ones that actually perform what needs to be done in order to achieve the goal. It's not to say that there isn't gratitude due to those who have helped us along the way, but to look at your success and feel indebted to another is sort of benign.

It's a running gag in my family. No matter what anyone does, a certain aunt always steps in and preaches about people not being able to be where they are today if not for her help. Bow down and kiss the ring, because a simple thank you will not suffice.

My father subscribes to this backwards logic. He spent most of our lives here kissing his family's ass, making himself a bloody martyr all in the name of paying a debt he feels like he still owes them for having helped him get my mother and Troll here from the Philippines all those years ago. He's given them the time he should have been home with us, his health, his sleep, and I'm surprised he didn't offer up an offspring as an offering to their insatiable appetite for accolades.

There isn't much I don't do for my family when they ask it of me. There aren't many times I've turned my back when my help was needed or when a favor was wanted. However, they don't appreciate any of it, and at the end of the day it's as if I should be the one thanking them for the opportunity to do something nice for them.

I've already written about the rift I had with my father and his sibling after my uncle's death earlier this year. I felt how cold all those fuckers were when I went down to VA for my cousin's baby shower this month. I knew a lot of them didn't show up because of me, and I felt bad for my cousin because of it. But, my dad's family is full of assholes and he's one of them.

I know my work with cakes has come a long way since I started with my first lopsided catastrophe. I know I've learned a lot over the last few years and I've held myself to a higher standard since I started. In the beginning, I was grateful to my aunt for thinking of me when she heard about the culinary school program. I was happy they tried to encourage me, even when I felt like my efforts were useless.

I charge a lot more now. My cakes are written about on blogs and local newsletters. Strangers who have never met me pay me a couple of hundred dollars for my efforts. I get more gratitude and respect from 6 year olds who love their Yo Gabba Gabba cakes, than I do from my own family.

My family is a family of psychologically fucked-up, emotionally crippled vampires. They take and take and take and offer not one note of thanks or a nod of gratitude for any of my efforts. I don't need a stamp of approval from these fuckers to know I've done well, but their snide immature comments still bug me.

I don't mean just "bug" me where I get a tick of annoyance. I  mean, I'm really so annoyed I want to take a closed fist to their mixed-race white-ish skin and summon a big, purple mark to let them know I was there.

No, of course violence isn't the answer. It's not like they would even understand the act anyway. They would be sitting there, with a black eye, bitching about how right they were about how low-brow I've been brought up by my "bitch mother".

Still, knowing they are a lost cause who will never see the light, part of me wants to do well in spite of them.I don't just mean, open my own place and be successful. I mean, I want to rule the fucking pastry world. I want my name and my picture on every fucking billboard on every fucking road they drive on when they come and go. I want commercials on every television time slot. I want my own show. I want my stuff in magazines so that when they're waiting on line at the grocery store buying their fucking Stop and Shop pound cake, they know that my hard work turned into something good.

I fucking hate my family. I'm surprised I have such loving cousins who were spawned from the loins of these assholes. Before they die, I want to prove that I managed to make life work out for me- DESPITE all of them. And as cold and as shallow as I sound, it's important to me.

I know they look at me like some sex-crazed emotional failure due to the divorce from the mistaken marriage and the two or three subsequent relationship failures after that. They knew about the miscarriage with Joel. I don't even know if they know about the abortions, but let's face it. Do we really need another generation of "Raffy's" crawling around out there (despite my awesome DNA)?

I may die unmarried and childless, but I know my business will thrive long after I'm gone. I know that will be my only burning reason I want to do well- to slap it into all their fucking faces that I may not be a college graduate or hold down a 6-figure salary from some accounting job, but I am more than they will ever hope to be in this lifetime, and I'm a better person than them.

I don't need to be richer. I don't need to have cuter kids. I just need to be a better person than they will ever hope to be. They can click their worn rosary beads together and kneel down before a clay statue of the Virgin Mary and do their prayers until their lips fall off- they are horrible people, and will I never turn out like they do.

At least, I hope I don't.


  1. hey lover, all good? I take it you got a nasty phone call in the middle of the work day- your familys usual MO?

    Not that you really need me telling you this and I don't want a response because i know what you're gonna say anyway----the measure of your success is set by YOU and no one else. fuck these people. your family sucks ass and I odn't just mean that flippantly. they are comeplete dickhead assholes and they raised spoiled brats. your cousins are pampered little princesses and princes. do you know why you do so much for your cousins? its because theyre too pampered and ill-equipped to do for themselves. they are college grads and accountants because their parents paid for it.

    your parents never paid for shit, everything you own today, everything you are is because of YOUR hard work, sweat, blood, and tears. you stayed with a womanbeating sick son of a bitch just so you didn't need to crawl back home to them so as far as your blood relatives go--tell them to go fuck themselves

    you can say youre successful right now and you'd be right. you can have a hundred queenie cakes all over the country and be successful and you'd be right. you can have a little food truck selling 5 cupcakes a day and you'd be successful- why? because you did it. not them. YOU

    You dont need a husband and babies to flash like some trophy to prove that you made it. You live your life on your terms and not many people can say they can do that. Even men you've admired (not to name names) can't take a step without looking back at mommy or sissy to ask if it's ok. So be proud of you. Not every decision you make will be a winner but at least you can say it's YOUR choice and not an idea that your family drummed into your head.

    Thye may make more money than you. They may have bigger houses. THey may drive nicer cars. Maybe they spawn cuter kids. And who cares if you never set down roots on the west coast???

    LADY, YOU LIVE LIFE THE WAY YOU WANT TO!!!!! Don't you get it? You already won. Game over.

    1. I just needed to vent. I really, really strongly dislike my relatives. I think the word "family" is too good for them. And I know that you've seen a lot of the destruction they've caused, and I know I've cried on your shoulder a lot back in those days. I appreciate what you said. You think I'm this rock all the time and I know all this, but sometimes I really doubt whether or not I'm capable of doing everything I really want to. And sometimes I do feel like a huge failure. I'm really appreciative of having a friend like you for so long. You've seen me evolve and devolve and come back around again. I know I'm not perfect, and thanks for understanding.

      With that being said, I really fucking hate my relatives.

  2. Is it wrong for me to feel sadness reading this? I'm not saying you're wrong or you're family's great, because I only know a little bit of you and them and from what you've described, they've been unkind over the years towards you.

    I'm not trivializing your traumas, but piggybacking off what Mike said the choice has always been yours, and haven't you praised your father for sorta giving you the sink or swim dumping into the pool upbringing? It toughened you up, didn't it?

    Can't you say the strengths you have within you now is because your family isn't the hug and cuddle type? I'm not defending them or saying you haven't suffered emotionally, but it's so easy to hate people. Shouldn't we try harder not to hate our own blood? At the end of the day blood is supposed to be thicker than water, and your family should be there to catch you when shit happens.

    You're insecure of your own strengths and abilities- UNTIL someone comes along and challenges you. Then you get angry and work harder to prove them wrong. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but name one person who wins all the time? That's just not how life works, Katherine.

    I don't know what they did to you today that caused such an emotional vent post, but IMHO I think you're already a better person than most people. You don't need to work hard to prove them wrong. You just need to work hard to make yourself happy.

    That's all I'm trying to say.

    For the record, I'm one of those guys who still look to my dad before I made any big decisions. I grew up really sheltered, and my family has always been my strength. They've never let me down in the past, but I know one day I'm gonna have to take on the world on my own without the benefit of the safety rail they put up around me. I'm hoping that when the time comes my father will be able to let me go without any resentment, which isn't always the case with other "hands-on families, as you've experienced with various people you've been with. Not all close families are evil and not all cold families are evil either.

    People become who they are because of or in spite of their families. I think you'll be fine.

    1. hey man, I'm gonna disagree with you & don't take offense to what i'm saying cuz I know you're good people but I know her from way back here I go

      I'm sure your family is awesome & I surmise that you come from a very tight community where your neighbors are like family too, right? You grew up like that & its cool but not all tight familys are loving. Kats family isn't just emotionally damaging. A lot of her relationship pitfalls stem from her inability to accept unconditional love. Your family is supposed to love you no matter what & her family put conditions on their love & affections & set the detenators on a hairline trigger that went off no matter what she did. The things that happened to her are near criminal, without going into complete detail I personally would've put her father in jail becaise of what he tried to do.

      I actually think her people are more damaging than helpful, & she's the person she is today IN SPITE of their fucked up blood, not because they toughened her up. I think referring to her upbringing as a toughening-up really minimizes the insanity she went through.

      Bro, i'm not hating on your family chemistry or anything, but if you were in love with a girl & your fam did everything in their power to push her out of your life, would you just belly up & do what they wanted or would you try & fight for your girl? Honestly I don't know you well enough to anticipate how you'd answer that, but it's just one scenario. What if you wantd to take a job far away from them & they were against it? Would you turn the job down? There's a fine line between leaning on the advice of your family who've never failed you before & leaning on them so that you don't have to be responsible for your own decisions. I'm not saying you're one or the other cuz I just don't know you but you & I both know what I'm talking about.

      I've met her family. I've spent time with them. Theyre complete assholes. They're so fucking lucky to have her around & they take advantage of that.

      The best thing she can do is pick up & move as far away from these lunatics as far as she can get. She'll thrive in a place where they don't exist.

      No hard feelings man. I think you're a good guy. I just have a different insight to these people, & that's why I'm defending my view on them.

    2. Josh, I'm sure your family is awesome and it's great that you and your father have such a close relationship. I don't want to discuss someone elses family. It's really not healthy trying to debate something that doesn't matter anymore one way or another, and I appreciate your take on it. It's always good to hear a different point of view.

      Mike, I'm sure I don't need to ask you, but please don't bring up certain things here. I'd appreciate that.

      Anyway, today is a new day, and I just got handed a bunch of cake orders for Memorial Day. I also just got called into another meeting- probably about my day off On Tuesday and my string of latenesses. Fingers crossed, fellas!