Fads come and go. We are moving from the townhouse that we've been in for three years and I am determined to take this opportunity to minimize. Yesterday was spent going through the guest room closet and deciding which clothes that I haven't worn in three years are finally going to get donated to Goodwill. I think I impressed my wife a little bit with finally being able to discard the things that I have been fiercely holding on to. I looked at the clothes that I have been hoarding (yes, there is no other word for my habit except for that) and I came to the conclusion that as much as I despise fads, I sure was a willing participant. Pleated pants, check. Cuffed pants, check. Double breasted suits, double check. I tried on some of the clothes, and I just shook my head in regards to how odd the clothes looked on me now. I also realized that I really, really need to lose weight. That was the double whammy of relegating those articles of clothing to the donation pile, because not only do the clothes look ridiculous, I couldn't fit my fat ass in them anyway. I guess it just breaks my heart that I spent $300 on a pair of pants that I can no longer wear. A good lesson to learn from this is to not spend $300 on a pair of pants anymore. The label whore in me isn't going to be very happy about this, but I guess as I'm getting older, it's becoming less and less important who designs my clothes.
I thought back to that time in the late 90's and early 2000's when cuffed pants were the thing. If you had asked me back then, I would have argued that cuffs were classic and not ever going to go out of style. I also believe that cuffs are much more popular in the US, and my time in Europe introduced me to different preferences. Nonetheless, 90's Derek would have been a stubborn shitbag about it and told present Derek that he was still right, and that cuffs were something that would always be in his repertoire. Maybe currently I'm being an idiot and several years from now I will insist on having my pants cuffed because it's back in style. I would like to think that I have now finally cemented what my desired image is and I will just follow that. For example, I'm always going to wear French cuff shirts. No matter what. If it becomes the rage, cool. Currently, it isn't that popular, but I don't care, it is what I prefer to wear. I'll always wear jeans and a blazer. No matter what. It's just who I am. So hopefully cuffs won't be on any more pants of mine, because it also makes me look a lot shorter, and I don't need any more assistance in appearing short, I have that look down pat just fine.
There is a term that is all the rage in the KAD group that I consider the equivalent to cuffs. That term is "narcissism." It is mentioned several times a day in different posts. It is argued that every single adoptive parent suffers from this in one way or another. Maybe I'm just more reluctant to join any bandwagon quickly, but this trend makes me feel very uncomfortable. Many adoptees are now framing a narrative that their childhoods were adversely effected because of the characteristics of their parents. It's possible the argument is that adoptive parents are taking an unselfish act and making it all about them. Perhaps that's true. Perhaps it's also possible that it only seems that way through our skewed lenses. I really don't want to cast broad nets around thorny issues like this. What I do know is that the younger version of me spent most of my time blaming my parents for my shitty childhood -- particularly my mother. As time has passed, I am less willing to throw all the blame on to my parents and am much more willing to accept a large portion of blame on myself. I was not an easy kid to raise. Most of you understand that I'm kinda an asshole. What you don't realize is that I was an even bigger asshole as a kid. Poetic justice would be for me to have a kid that was an equal asshole to me. That is why I am not a parent. I don't want to run that risk, because I don't think I'm emotionally prepared to handle having that little monster running around. I've come to the conclusion that there are some genetic lines that just shouldn't be continued, and my genes are solidly in that category.
I theorize that narcissism feels right for these people because it is what is trendy. As we get older, perhaps the diagnosis will change. I'm fairly certain that it will. It will be replaced with the next buzzword. This worries me and makes me sad. Are we that desperate to conform? I suppose the answer is "yes." Is it more pronounced for KADs? Again, I suppose the answer is "yes." I wish I was smarter so I could provide a better solution, but all I can come up with is this: Beware a trend that is not developed internally. Following is important and constructive. Independence in thought is equally critical. Claiming "My parents are narcissists, too!" doesn't feel like independent thought. One of my favourite lyrics of all time comes from a terrific song by Savage Garden called "Affirmation." The lyric is "I believe that our parents did the best job they knew how to do." When I heard that line, it was a shock to my system. It helped the healing process and allowed me to become more open to a better relationship with my parents. Narcissism is definitely a two way street, and I believe that this is yet another situation of pointing the finger of blame toward another side when many of the fingers are directed right back to ourselves. Of course, I could be wrong. The piles of outdated clothes going to Goodwill prove that quite handily.