My mother actually apologized to me on the phone yesterday for picking my bio-dad, as a sperm donor … imagine that!
It came on the heels of a discussion of my daughter's attitude which my mom likes to blame on my dad. I said, "Well none of us get to pick our relatives so we just roll with it." As for my parents teaching me what to look for in a mate, that didn't happen.
My mom's favorite pass-time was to run my dad’s family down and blame him for whatever was wrong with her life and talk trash about all her sisters and their husbands and kids and everyone else she knew and the entire world while she was at it.
That habit only served to make me more open minded and accepting and trusting of people because she was so ridiculously out of proportion with her blanket of hate. Her ideas of morality were warped as well. My cousins and I were not allowed to pretend that our Barbie dolls had boyfriends, because that was “nasty.” They were only allowed to have girlfriends.
Even as a tiny toddler, I recognized something foreign about my mom's attitude toward people. She especially blew it when she told me that her own mother (whom I idolized at the time) was “not as clean” as she was. As a four year old, I was told to “put paper” on the toilet seat at my own grandmother’s house. That was one of the defining moments that clued me in to what she really was. She drilled me daily that everyone else was “nasty” and we could not expose ourselves to "their germs."