Saturday, July 12, 2014

Family, Friends and Acquaintances

(Here is how busy it's been - I wrote this on the ride back from Las Vegas and just got around to posting it.)

Been a busy week or two and just had a bit of time to blog sitting in traffic on the way back from Las Vegas. (Don’t worry, I’m not driving. No laws were broken in the making of this blog.)

Between Jenn getting married and Ronda’s fight, it has been a lot of time with family and friends.  Here is one of my pet peeves – few things irritate me more than when people say,

“Oh, your daughter is just like family to me.”

Funny coincidence here, they only say this about my daughter who is getting rich and famous, not my other equally wonderful daughters. Oh, and by the way,  Ronda had a lot less “family” when she was working as a bartender.

As the official word-definer of this blog, let me tell you what family means:

These are the people who are around your whole life. You don’t always have to like them, but you have to love them. Relationships with your family are a two-way street. Sometimes you make sacrifices for them and sometimes they do things for you.

For example, when Jenn finished elementary school, she was accepted at two high schools, one much more expensive than the other. I told her that between Maria at NYU, Julia’s nanny and Ronda’s travel for competition, there was not a lot of spare money. If she chose Marymount, we wouldn’t be having a lot of trips to Disneyland, dinners out or vacations for the next four years. Jenn said she did not want to go that badly. (Of course, for the next ten years she brought up how it was all my fault – until she got her masters from USC at 24 and decided perhaps she was not so academically stunted after all.)

If Ronda had been an only child, I could have traveled around the world with her to her judo camps and competitions, but because I had three other children to support by running a business, that was not feasible and she ended up moving to Boston at 16.

Shared sacrifice. People in your family are with you through good times and bad. Sometimes you have to give up what you want to help them and other times it’s their turn.

These people who popped up in the past couple of years who are “oh so willing to help” – what kind of help are they, picking up her tickets for some premiere so they can all go hang out and get their pictures taken?

It was the same thing when Ronda was in judo. So many people told my husband, “She’s just like a daughter to me,” that he asked me if I thought any of them would be willing to pay the insurance bill.

A big part of being family is a shared history.  People who claim to be family say, “I would do anything for your daughter.” People who aren’t family don’t say what they would do because they already have done.

While it is true that family will love you no matter what, it is also true that your family are the people who will tell you that you are an unmitigated ass when the situation warrants. (For the record, none of my children are currently behaving like an ass, this is just noted for past -  and future –reference.)

As I said, that whole claiming to be family thing really pisses me off. As Shakespeare said, “Methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

Or, as I say, “I’ll bet Wayne Gretzky doesn’t go around telling people he’s a good hockey player.”

Another part of a family is that you are always on the same side. Jim Pedro, Sr. used to tell me that he would back whoever was right, even if it was against his own son and I would tell him that I knew that I would not. No matter what one of my children did, I would side with them.

It’s funny because the girls used to joke that I was so biased that if they punched someone in the face I would say,

“The nerve of them, hurting your hand with their face.”

Last night, Ronda was in a fight where she punched Alexis Davis so hard so many times that she busted up her hand and needed nine stitches in it. When the doctors were checking it, Maria and I were both upset said,

“That girl hurt Ronda’s hand, let’s go get her and beat her up.”

Maria wisely pointed out, though, that Ronda already had (and Alexis actually seems to be a very nice person).


Cindy said...

Congratulations on Ronda's fight and the newly-married Jennifer! You have some good points about family and friends. Some people would want something when you become more famous. Your daughters are lucky to have you and other family members.

P.S. I am sure that you don't care about others gossiping on Ronda. Some mma fans seem to focus too much on the sports bras of your daughter during Alexis's fight and make some comments. I DO THINK it is none of their business. I wonder if they would spend so much time on male fighters.

John H said...

When it comes to family, you are absolutely correct Ma'am. It happens to us all though. When I was in my 20's and had nothing, I never had any "family" members around to stop at Subway, or buy that loaf of bread. Now as I retire at 46, seems somehow, my family has grown. I am sure, as Ronda's life changes, she will notice people calling her "checking on her", that we physically near by in the past, but mentally no where to be found.
The hard part is keeping the real family, mentally and physically, separated from the ones who have suddenly appeared.
Thank you Ma 'am for your thoughts on several subjects, including this one, you really are insightful.

traderez said...

HA!!! Dr.AnnMaria You should of
included the guy smitten
with the worst case of dumbass
syndrome i ever seen/heard intervewing you on Fox Sports and
asking what chance he had of dating
Ronda. You fibbed an said 5% lol.
He would be bed ridden
in traction before the first date
barely started. lol

Unknown said...

Mrs. DeMars...

I liked the paragraph about paying the some of the bills and then maybe you can be considered family.
It must be a male thing but I respectfully disagree with you about siding with family no matter what. I agree with Big Jim and have to choose objectivity over emotional subjectivity every time.
I got divorced for the fourth time over that same philosophical disagreement.
In my humble opinion...right is right and truth is truth no matter the source.
Try to keep the leeches at bay but don't distress and get too paranoid. This is just the beginning of Ronda's voyage and I know you know that the universe is limitless.

Always enjoy your thoughts and for what it is worth, I like hearing about the whole Ordemarsey clan...not just Ronda


Mike R

Unknown said...

Family is a funny thing. They can love you the most and hurt you just the most. I think sometimes people just have to be optimistic that they truly have your best interest in mind even when it seems the are being opportunistic.

Good news! I came in 1st place at my 1st judo tournament. :) I won with a pin ippon.

Anonymous said...

Hi AnnMaria. This isn't related to the post but I don't have twitter so I had to ask here about the video where you won gold in 1984. The commentator said at the beginning that you wanted to win the gold badly for your "6 month old son"? Dis you catch that? They kept saying your name wrong too, it was kind of rude.

Cindy said...

It is so nice to have the support of your family and friends. I know someone who does moderately well with his singing career and he did have some 'new' friends who claimed he owed his success to them. Fortunately, he has his parents and childhood friends, and they mostly help him deal with all.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Mike -

I think I was truthful about where my loyalties lie. Maybe it is a male thing. I remember watching a movie once with my daughters and the actress got angry with her husband because he did not believe her unlikely story of some events (which happened to be true). My husband pointed out that it sounded really unlikely so of course the husband in the movie would believe the other person. My daughters and I argued that no, if it's your family, you should be on their side no matter what and the wife in the movie was totally right to be mad at her husband.

April C said...

I don't think it's a male thing - I would also back whomever is right, even against my own family member (I am a female). I do agree with your movie judgement though - you should give your family the benefit of the doubt when there's no concrete evidence that they're wrong. I also loved your description of family being shared sacrifice.