## Sunday, 25 November 2012

### Let me make my own choices!

I'm interrupting a rather nice post I had going on in essay form to bring a ranting message. It really upsets me that aunt A is so judgey. She judges everything. She judges fat women for wearing short shorts. I tell her it's just as hot outside for them as it is for other people and they should be allowed to wear little clothing if it makes their life easier. People shouldn't design their wardrobe to avoid hurting her eyes. She can choose not to look. If she absolutely must, why can't she go without saying anything?

I found Burberry perfumes in the form of 5 perfumes for $40, which sounds very reasonable because after the tax was included it means I got 10 presents for about$8.56 each, which is very reasonable indeed. I knew they were small containers. I hoped they would be bigger but I won't look a bought horse in the tooth. The purchase has been made. I found them online in a store and made up my mind to buy them. Aunt A gave me a look when I asked her to stop with me at the store to buy them because I know she though "It's too much money. You can't afford it. Don't buy them." Well, last year's late Christmas presents were also a lot of money and I couldn't afford them but I bought them anyway. I have a gift philosophy going on. I have to give back because everyone here has done so much for me. Once I start, it's hard to leave anyone out. I might as well make the gifts as cheap as I can get them.

I was talking with my parents through Skype and I showed them my purchase. I told them about the other purchases I've made and the ones I'm planning to make. They agreed that my ideas were very thoughtful. I intend to buy everything I need to make a necklace for aunt A, paint T-shirts for cousin S, BCM and her husband, and get something for LC4. Cousin S's T-shirt will be a replica of the "Science: it works, bitches." xkcd shirt, BCM's and her husband's will be hand drawn by LC4 first and drawn over by me. I got uncle A the Blu-Ray discs of the series he saw the trailer for at the cinema and I got SmTn the xkcd book (which I intend to make notes in). They're kick-ass presents and present ideas. Even the "silly" perfumes are pretty neat, being Burberry and all, no matter how not-so-thoughtful.

But, and there's a "but," of course, if I'm ranting, mum asked to speak to aunt A and aunt A noticed the opened packages of the perfumes. She decided it would have been better to buy them at her favourite department store. She thinks they would have been cheaper. They wouldn't. I checked. Maybe with a discount by her friend, but that's not the point. The gifts are mine to give. I'm paying for them with my money. I also know the money I could have saved with her friend's discount couldn't buy the gift I can get from the other store with the points I'm making. I don't need her judging over how much money I can spend or not. I've otherwise spent next to nothing since I got here. I know she means well and wants me to make good use of my money but that's not what I have in mind when I go shopping for gifts. I've already planned out how I'm going to spend the money the old man's sent my way. Some of it is going to pay for a ticket to visit BCN, some of it goes away in gifts, some of it is going to pay for cookies and means of sending them, the rest stays put (unless I become crazed and absolutely can't help buying a pair of cheap lipsticks). I'm managing my money.

I'm not even counting on the little money BCM owes me for babysitting, or the money I "lent" (gave) aunt MT and she promised to pay (but I don't expect nor want her to). I'm not even counting on getting money for Christmas presents. The old man says he'll send some but I'll try to manage without (unless I absolutely must when I go out with AOB). I haven't thought of Christmas presents for myself. If I ask for anything at all it will be a bottle of foundation. If I can pull it off, I'll try to make that a M.A.C face and body foundation because I know it's good value for money if it sits well on my oily face. That. Is. It.

I need a job. I know that. I'm hoping to talk to someone tomorrow and see what can be done about that. Once I get a job I can offer to pay for my tuition so I don't feel like I owe uncle A and aunt A quite so much. Once I get a job I can start to think of getting myself a car. Once I get a job I can think of sending some home and saving some so my sister can study abroad wherever she chooses. In the mean time, I have a little money I'm not using on myself and want to spend on gifts. I should be allowed to use it however I want without being judged for it.

I won't deny aunt A has an eye for bargains. But bargains are worthless if you buy things you don't need. She also can't shouldn't deny that she's impossibly annoying when she tries to coax me into doing things her way. She told me to choose jewellery to give as gifts for mum and my sister. I chose a couple of things. One of them was a necklace for my mum she decided was too short, too ordinary and not of a brand she liked. Fine, it's her money, she can spend it on whatever she likes and I won't push the subject. But she told me to choose something. Does my opinion not count at all on what my sister and mum might like? Why did she jump on to say that all jewellery but the one she deems the finest goes bad immediately? I don't care! I chose something nice and have to assume that quality standards are about the same for all things!

Why does she care that I eat organic cereal or pastries? Why can't I be allowed the simple joys of eating food children enjoy, just because it's nice and sugary? Same goes for cheese. Same goes for jam. Same goes for shampoo. Same goes for sunscreen. She uses an SPF40 tinted sunblock, I use an SPF25 moisturiser and then layer a little foundation. She thinks the foundation will clog my pores and the SPF is too low because whatever she's using is the only acceptable level of coverage. Never mind the fact that upwards of SPF30 you're getting about the same protection no matter how high the number. Never mind that I don't spend an awful lot of time out in the sun (at most an hour, maybe an hour and a half, when we're in the car every day). Never mind that she doesn't need the coverage of a full-fledged foundation like I do. Never mind that high SPFs are associated to clogging pores. She's got one way of doing things and that absolutely must be the right way.

I won't even go into the Coffee Cream debate again. She's not the one eating it. She has no good (scientific) reason to think it will harm me. I particularly hate the double standards behind every one of those statements. "Don't eat Coffee Cream"? Why use so much powdered milk in your diet (not just in coffee, I've noticed the jar runs out far too quickly). "Don't eat non-organic food, don't use chemicals"? Why eat chemicals every day in the form of pills and sugar-free food, not to mention eating lots of unhealthy (organic or not) food? "Take vitamins"? Why take so many useless pills and forsake modern medicine and the science that says it's not a bloody problem? Nonsense!

All that said, I'm thankful to her (and uncle A). She offered me to look for something for myself and I got some new clothes today. She didn't even wince at the price of the denims (I genuinely thought she would). On the one hand, she probably did it because she'd bought so many things for herself so she'd have gifts to give (come now, I know I saw her looking for things she likes, in her size, under the pretence of "I don't know what I'll wear on Christmas!"). On the other, she could have gone without offering and I would have never asked for anything. It's fair to say it was a nice gesture, and I'm thankful. I'm just sorry I couldn't enjoy it for what it was without breaking into a fit. Something about the rebel teenager in me resisting others' opinions on what's right for me completely ignoring the fact that I'm quite smart enough to have a decent idea on my own and learn from whatever mistakes I make along the way.