Sunday, November 9, 2008

Kate-Like Traits

Submitted for post by SamanthaNC

Kate Gosselin has endured her fair share of criticism. Odds are that we all know a “Kate”- or at least someone with a few of her traits. Maybe it’s your sister or your best friend. Perhaps it’s that woman in the office you can’t stand- or maybe, just maybe there’s a little bit of her in you.

Whether you’re super organized or a germaphobe with awesome hair, most of us can relate to Kate in one way or another. I can identify with her in a couple of ways: I want my husband to help, but I have a tendency to expect him to do it my way, after all my way is the best way. (Yikes- that’s tough to admit!) I totally understand her when she says “I like darkness & calmness”. I absolutely hate bright lighting, their studio lighting would drive me up the wall! My mom used to joke that if I could I would live in a cave. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been accused of being an “indoor girl” more than a few times- so not true! Well. . . maybe a little.

I feel that Kate is very honest about her shortcomings, and the first one to admit that she isn’t perfect. None of us are. I think if we all look hard enough we’ll see some similarities. So spill it ladies- what’s your “Kate trait”?

42 comments:

Lizabeth said...

Great post!! I have to say I am definitely a bit of a control freak like Kate, but also through circumstances have gradually lightened up. I am not married, but definitely have the 'Kate' attitude towards my boyfriend at times. Instead of asking me how my day was or if he could help, there are many times where we talk for an hour about his work and activities when I am busy with grad school work and my new job. It is SO frustrating and I keep wanting to do as Kate does and say "I just want you to ask 'How can I help you?"!!" He and I have a great open communication so I do have the chance to ask that, but that does not mean it 'sticks' if you know what I mean.

More than that, like the previous thread, I know that I am not perfect and make mistakes each day. I think that human side of Kate that we see more often now is what makes me relate to her more. No matter how 'with it' and organized I may think I am, life always happens and shakes things up!

CeeCee said...

I am not a Kate fan at all but I admit that we share the "control freak" gene.

Not that I'm proud of being a control freak (attempting to control the universe doesn't really work for any of us) but it is what it is.

I think that Figure 8 does like to show Kate's "craziness" in an attempt to drive ratings although the latest episodes show, for the most part, a more calm Kate than earlier in the season.

Or maybe it's all in the editing. One thing for certain is that we will never know.

Jamie said...

My Biggest "Kate trait" would have to be keeping my daughter clean. I cringe whenever anything messy gets involved. Clothes are expensive and stains suck! Also being a young couple we tend to give love taps whenever necessary.

Daisy said...

From watching the show it seems to me that what drives Kate to make memories and take her children on trips is from her childhood. I can't remember the episode, but J&K were talking about how Jon got to travel and she didn't. And not making Cara & Mady practice their music lessons because she had to practice while her brother and sisters were playing.

I'm the same way with my kids, to a fault. Short of coloring her hair, I let my daughter wear her hair anyway she wants because I had to have mine the way my parents wanted it, even through high school. That's just one of many examples.

I can relate to Kate and understand her desire to have her kids have more experiences than she did.

Anya said...

Where to start?!

I can relate to her anxiety big time. It comes through loud and clear to me although I am not sure if this is one of the faults she has acknowledged.

Also, since childhood, I have had a desire for things to be "perfect" and when they aren't perfect (um, like usually!), I can be disappointed and moody.

One way I wish I were more like Kate - I wish I were better organized. I have the desire - I just never seem to put the time in that's needed to get truly organized.

indianprincess said...

I would have to say I have Kate's need to keep things organized. Everything has to have a place in our house or I go crazy. I could care less if the playroom is a mess as long as all the toys are in there and not scattered around the house in other rooms. My kitchen is OCD ville. Open my cabnets and everything is aligned right in order. I don't even like my Hubby helping in the kitchen because he typically doesn't put things where they are supposed to be so I don't let him in my kitchen. I know a lot of people who have the same personality as Kate like family and friends so watching her on TV just makes me laugh. Oh my shame..:)

marci said...

This is a great topic...and one I think that strikes dead-center on the reason people (women) have such strong reactions to Kate Gosselin.

I believe, whether you like Kate or not, that there's a little Kate Gosselin in all of us.

Now, I know there are those who would rebel at that thought and claim it an impossiblity, but my view is there wouldn't be such strong reactions to her if we didn't recognize something about Kate in ourselves.

I'll elaborate on that statement by saying I think that the "something" I'm referring to could be something as simple as human frailty. Some viewers see that frailty in Kate as a weakness, something they might dislike about themselves, and rebel against the comparisons to their own lives or behavior. Others see the frailty, also recognize it in themselves, but are able to face it, sympathize, and even laugh at the commonalities.

The differences in how we view Kate, and each other, are as varied as...well, the number of women on the planet.

If there is nothing about Kate's personality you would choose to claim as like your own, then there are the bonds that are undeniable...woman, mother, human being.

We are, all of us, inextricably tied together in this bond. We often fight against the "sameness" of it all, point out each other's weaknesses to avoid looking at our own, make someone else "less than" so we can feel "better than".

To make a rather sweeping analogy, we are, all of us, "control freaks." We stand up, shoulders squared, against a world, a universe, that is quite uncontrollable, trying to chisel out a place in that world for ourselves and our loved ones. We, as women, would take on that world with little more than grim determination if it meant protecting and providing for the ones we love. Is there any hope in controlling it? No. But we get up every day doing what we can to control our piece of it.

So here's to all the control freaks! We work hard. We love. We fall down. We laugh. We try to make each day better than the last. We hope we learned something. And...last but not least...we know there are others out there, our silent sisters, doing it the best they know how, just like us....just like me.

(We will now commence with the sacrificial burning of gum encrusted socks and empty bottles of Shout.)

SamanthaNC said...

Marci-

Great points- I totally agree. Laughing HARD about the socks and shout!

HowYouLikeThemApples said...

I'm torn. I like her, but then I don't. I don't know, but I will tell you this...she is funny.

We have the OCD about germs in common. I should have a holster around my waist so I can carry my GermX around at all times. :)

Mom said...

Hmmmmmm,

Control freak, er, um, yes.

Germaphobe, er, became one big time when my toddler was a baby. Have lightened up to the point that when he dropped some cheese in the shopping cart at Target yesterday, I picked it up and handed it to him to eat. LOL. I know, gross! Two second roll, right?

Bossy and snippy with my H. Was given the name "little general" when we moved to our house a year ago - I SWEAR I was so calm that day! (Scratches head.)

I confess to 'love taps' that have a 'cracking' sound. H doesn't seem to mind and I have yet to leave an actual handprint anywhere, so I guess I'm okay - LOL!

Oxyclean spray is one of my best friends.

I say "I'm exhausted" at least 3 times a day.

My closets and car are trash pits, so I guess it's safe to say I'm pretty normal! LMAO!

***thanks Samantha for making me realize I probably need a little therapy! :-) ***

Linda said...

I have the Kate trait of saying too much when I get frustrated.

I wish that I had the Kate trait of being a neat nick.

Anya said...

Marci, it may be because I have a bad case of PMS, but your post got me a little teary-eyed!

Your words are very wise and true.

Baby Mama said...

I am a fan because I am Kate's twin. Kinda. I really am into keeping the kids clean to the point that I look crazy. I argue with my husband just like Kate but without the couch, and I do dress my kids in similar clothes. I like it. I have been struggling with my daughter Mady's age as well. I am working on my dry humor that can be conceived as being bitchy or ungrateful. I make no apologies for wanting the best for my children. Please feel free to send me as many freebies as you like and I will show great appreciation (lol)!

merryway said...

My Kate trait is that I knew best for my children when they were younger. I was on top of everything with their father to make sure it was the right way. I loosened up as they got older, but the things that were important to me were still my decision.
Clean Clean Clean.
BTW, I was Kate, belittling to my first husband and all until I was 22. (it's okay, he deserved it)


I feel that Kate is very honest about her shortcomings, and the first one to admit that she isn’t perfect. None of us are. ...

I have felt the exact opposite about this which sort of started my aversion to her. When I watched the most embarrassing episodes I thought she might be admitting to some of her behavior. She didn't admit to anything and kept saying things that started with “a loving husband would.....” The conversation she was having with Jon about those moments must have been stuff that only they knew what she meant. It took me a while to figure out what she was trying to say to him.
After seeing some of her interviews and reading the reviews of her book, my opinion has changed. Now, I think she was overwhelmed with the situation and trying to survive and take care of everyone the best she could.

Guinevere said...

Great post! I also relate to Kate's anxieties - there are times when she acts in exactly the same way I know I would - for instance, being freaked out about walking barefoot on hotel room carpets, or the scene in which she mentions that she was freaked out by the alligator around Alexis because the keeper wasn't holding his mouth closed. I can really relate to the fact that I think she has a lot of anxiety and needs to find things to put it on, in order to let it out. These things aren't always reasonable to others, obviously.

I can also relate to her sense of humor. Sometimes she'll say something drily funny or self-deprecating and I'll think it's funny and totally get it, but then I'll read comments from people who are just appalled by how she talks about her kids, or don't even get when she's making fun of herself and take her seriously. I think some of this is just people not liking her and putting the worst possible cast on everything she says and does, but I also think some people truly don't get Kate's sense of humor.

I'd like to think I'm not quite as bitchy as Kate, though I'm sure I have my moments. I'm not quite as aggressive as her about thinking that my way is the only right way. I think she can be good about understanding and acknowledging her faults, but I also think she has moments where she really can't admit she's wrong, even when she obviously is. The embarrassing moments episode is one example, and then the episode last week when J&K were semi-bickering on the couch about the airport leading/following argument, and Kate insisted she was right, which I don't think she really was (I don't think Jon was entirely either - it just seemed like a dumb little fight - but I can't say he was wrong and she was right). I can relate to having trouble admitting I'm wrong at times. I think that's pretty normal and natural, but I also think it's a manifestation of insecurity - the need to be perfect so that people will love you. I think (and maybe I'm projecting here) that if Kate had healthier self-esteem she would feel more comfortable admitting when she's wrong.

This is such an interesting topic! I do think a lot of female viewers either hate or sympathize with Kate depending on how they relate to their own similarities to her.

Saint said...

I love this post!

Remember last week when they were walking to their gate and Kate kept hounding Jon to lead? I have done that exact thing a million times. I also exaggerate to get my point across. :~)

Nina Bell said...

I do not have to hound my husband to lead. He is a natural born leader and he drives us all nuts because of it.

I also remember the episode where they went to Sesame Street in PA and Kate exaggertaed about how long it would take to change the kids into different clothes. I think she said something like two hours. I knew that was a bit of a stretch but I also knew that is something I might have said just to get my point across.

My sister is more like Kate than myself. She is a perfectionist and expects her husband to be the same. There is a lot of nagging and correcting going on there(I am so glad she does not know about this blog). But she has been married to the same man for 32 years and they truly are still very much in love. And like Jon her husband can give it right back to her.

jace said...

I grew up with a rather domineering father and I think that I inherited the control gene as well to some extent. I have mellowed considerably after 15 plus years of marriage but under times of stress and uncertainty I can still slip back into drill sergeant mode. I give my husband a lot of credit because he doesn't put up with my crap. And he's right; a lot of times I just need to get over myself and relax.

cali-mom said...

Oh I def. se myself in Kate, I think thats a lot of the reason I like to watch the show. I can watch it and feel like I'm not alone in my craziness!! lol
I am def. a conrtol freak and I dont like my kids to get dirty, but I'm getting better at that too.
I also give the "love" taps. My dh doesnt mind, they dont hurt. I too have a hard time admitting when I'm wrong, but I will admit it, even though it kills me to do so.
I wish I had some of her other traits, like the organization and neat freakness! My house is always a mess, and I am horrible at organization.

dotsicle said...

I had to think verrry hard to find a trait that Kate and I have in common, but I decided that it's the odd sense of humor. A lot of people just don't understand it. I don't mean like the times she is trying too hard to be funny with the camera, slapping her leg and guffawing, but I mean like when Kate is talking about her kids... "you never know, with Mady" or "potty-boy Aaden"... you know, the stuff that makes some people on other blogs upset....

Anya said...

dotsicle said..."I mean like when Kate is talking about her kids... "you never know, with Mady" or "potty-boy Aaden"... you know, the stuff that makes some people on other blogs upset....

I can relate here too. I understand it's different because what she is saying is broadcast on t.v., but I think it's somewhat natural to make fun of our kids. It's a stress reliever. Most of the time (and this is sense I get with Kate), there is plenty of love there too.

Her sense of humor is dry and I like it. I tend towards that myself a bit.

One final note, in "Multiple Blessings", Kate makes mention of Collin's big old head at least 3 or 4 times. Again, it comes off kind of funny, but it is also said with love. One passage was illustrating why he was slower to walk than the others - he had his head to contend with!

floridamom said...

I truly don't have a Kate-Like trait. I wish I did. I wish I could get my kids to eat more veggies. I wish my house didn't look like it suffered a minor explosion. But, I've come to the conclusion that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around.

I do feel sorry for the germophobes of the world. My sister-in-law is one. I want to tell her that all the Purel in the world is not going to stop your kids from getting sick on occasion. And when you take your kids to the doctor, there are more germs on the doctor's stethoscope than on all those other surfaces you are constantly bleaching. (Gross but true) Life is too short to live so freaked out by everything.

Gigi said...

This is the most fabulous post ever. I realized long ago that I have MOST of Kate's character traits. This realization came after weeks of watching the show and thinking about what a controlling bitch she was. All of a sudden one day it struck me like a bolt of lightning: YOU ARE JUST LIKE HER.

To wit:

OCD clean fanatic;
organization is my middle name;
my way is ALWAYS the best way;
critical of everyone and everything;
husband does most of the stuff around the house;
husband used to get on the floor and play with the kids when they were younger, not me (probably too busy cleaning);
think motel rooms are disgusting;
slept in while husband got up with the kids;
had to have kids dressed perfectly when we went out;
don't do outdoors. Ever.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

Our main difference is that I have many, many close friends and have had some of them forever. If you're my friend, you're my friend for life. Oh, and I'd never give the hubster a love pat.

Anya said...

Does anyone want to nominate Gigi's friends and family for sainthood?!? Based on what she has written, it must a hoot to be friends with her. It's simply amazing that she can "keep friends for life" and yet admits to being "critical of everyone and everything" and a "controlling bitch". I have known people like her, even been friends with them for short periods of time, but I don't stick around!

Gigi, I have to say I see at least one important difference b/t you and Kate (I could go on, but you get the picture), Kate isn't nearly as sarcastic or mocking as you are.

Nina Bell said...

Well Anya,

I posted that because I felt it proved exactly what she was saying about herself. Didn't she call Kate a bitch and then say she was a lot like her? Maybe I am confused.

Anya said...

Well, Nina, you simply can't be any more confused than me! It's been the typical Monday from hell for me. We are in the middle of Open Enrollment and I can't even think!

I think Gigi's post was disingenuous. Yes, she rattled off the laundry list of the things that Kate is accused of and said she is the same, but she made sure to list them all out, didn't she? As if it is accepted by everyone that Kate is uniformly a "controlling bitch." Then she finishes by differeniating herself and says at least she "has friends" (unlike Kate, we get it).

Why all the smoke and mirrors? If you don't like her, come out and say it. Dotsicle and Ceecee aren't fans, but they contributed something to the conversation instead of mocking.

If I am reading too much into this, I plead a case of the Monday's.

Gigi said...

Whoa there Anya! When I finally figured out that Kate and I were separated at birth I decided that she was great! ;)

Not disingenuous at all here. I just found it ironic that the things I was being critical of Kate about were, if I was honest, the same things that were not so wonderful about myself.

And yes, my husband is definitely on the fast track to sainthood!

chick said...

I was actually a defender of Kate when I first saw the original show. Why? Because I would be very very like Kate in her position. I'd be a clean freak, I'd be a demon for organizing, I'd be less than patient at times, and I would also long for peace and quiet, and want to get the chance to sleep in whenever possible.

Yep, I sympathized with Kate. I felt for her, and defended her odder behaviors.

Then I saw her give Jon a "love pat". I saw her talk down to him, and I saw her dismiss her "difficult" kids one too many times.

I realized then that while I may have many parts of me that are like Kate, I wasn't like her in many very important ways.

So, while I do feel for her when she's obviously struggling with certain issues, I don't like her at all any more. Because she exemplifies what I would be if I didn't have the ability to see when I was acting badly and then appologize for my bad behavior.

Guinevere said...

Gigi, if you are being sincere, then I think maybe you should be less negative and easier on both yourself and Kate Gosselin.

Can I ask why you think Kate is "great" if you see so many negative qualities in her?

jace said...

Regarding hotel rooms: my husband travels a lot for business. He saw a special report on 20/20 or some other news show about cleanliness and has been squicked out ever since. He immediately throws the bed comforter in the corner of the room and doesn't touch it. He even wraps the remote to the TV in the plastic bag for the ice bucket. It is kind of nasty to think about what might be crawling around in the rooms.

erin said...

Jace said: "It is kind of nasty to think about what might be crawling around in the rooms."

I agree with this, and this is one area I give Kate a full pass on. People do nasty things in hotel/motel rooms. I don't walk barefoot in the rooms either. My most recent horror story is from Columbia, SC, I stayed in a hotel room with some other people who insisted (even though the room was dirty) that we had to stay there, I took off the duvet (which was clearly stained white in at least one area) and underneath the sheets/blankets had a large yellow stain on them. Ever since the thought of staying in a hotel has grossed me out. My own dirt I can handle, other people's dirt, not so much.

indianprincess said...

With Hotel rooms, I can understand Kate's OCD with Hotel rooms also. I was a room attendant for a few years in my early twenties and some of the practices for cleaniness was not my idea of standard so I can understand not wanting to walk on the carpets with barefeet and hotel comforters are just gross.

Anonymous said...

When I first started watching the show I recognized that I shared some traits with Kate. I certainly experienced frustration with my husband and didn't always express it in the most caring, supportive way. I had a lot of empathy for a young mother dealing with such a large family. I am glad that there were not cameras around documenting some of my meltdowns. However, what turned me off of Kate is her inability to apologize. Even when I've had my biggest freakouts on my kids or my husband, I have eventually calmed down and recognized that behavior caused emotional distress to my family and APOLOGIZED and tried to change my behavior. During the episode with the Disney World ice cream freak out she was asked by the producer during the couch time if she thought she overreacted. She said no and went on to justify her behavior. I understand that she has concerns about laundry, etc but the fact that she won't recognze that these extreme emotional outbursts are damaging to her family is shameful.

Nina Bell said...

Anonymous

Please pick a screen name and type it in under name/url. We do not allow strictly anonymous posting but I did not want you to think we rejected your post because of what you had to say. So in the future, please pick a screen name.

Thank you

Tricia said...

Please please please stop with the OCD comments. I actually have OCD, and it's offensive to hear people just throw it around as an excuse for behavior that some regard as strange. Does Kate have OCD? who knows- she says she does but I'm pretty sure she does not (most of us don't like to admit that we have it).

Not liking germs does not mean you have OCD. Please just know what you're talking about before you do.

Anya said...

Anonymous said..."However, what turned me off of Kate is her inability to apologize. Even when I've had my biggest freakouts on my kids or my husband, I have eventually calmed down and recognized that behavior caused emotional distress to my family and APOLOGIZED and tried to change my behavior. During the episode with the Disney World ice cream freak out she was asked by the producer during the couch time if she thought she overreacted. She said no and went on to justify her behavior. I understand that she has concerns about laundry, etc but the fact that she won't recognze that these extreme emotional outbursts are damaging to her family is shameful."

I think this a fair observation. In my opinion, it is an area she struggles with. Further up in the thread, a couple of posters gave what I believe is are valid reasons as to why this may be. Nevertheless, it's understable that this behavior would turn others off - both in her personal life and viewers. One can hope it is something she is working on. Saying sorry really isn't that hard. (Can you tell I have had to do it a lot? LOL).

Nina Bell said...

I would have to agree Anon and Anya.

That has always bothered me about Kate. I remember the Christmas episode where she was yelling at Jon in Toy's R Us. When they were out by the van, I kept saying to myself - just apologize already.

That is one thing that I have learned to do, but maybe that comes with growing older. I think you realize what is important and what is not. Or it could just be a character flaw in Kate. Lord knows we all have them.

SamanthaNC said...

Tricia-

Most people don't really understnad what OCD is, I can assure you thatthe posters here arent trying to offend anyone. As a person with OCD (it was severe in my childhood, but I have a handle on it now) I feel okay trying to implore you not to take it so personally. She is what many would consider obsessive and compulsive in her need for cleanliness, though it probably isnt on the disorder level. I don't think anyone is trying to give her a clinical diagnosis, the fact that the phrase is becoming common place makes me happy bc there was a time when people knew nothing about OCD, or when it was considered something to be embarrassed about. I can see how you might be upset about its use but for me it makes it seem more "normal" that the term OCD has become so mainstream.

Tricia said...

sorry SamanthaNC,
I forget this isn't the other blog- where I got slammed for saying the same thing I did here- I guess I get a little testy when people use OCD as an excuse for whatever people dont like about them. It just makes OCD out to be something you can use to blame bad behavior on. I don't get as offended as I used to, but thanks for your kind response.

MonicaW42 said...

Samantha,

Love your post girl :)

I would say my most Kate trait is how I am with my husband. Not all the time, but I do see snippets of that. I also used to be a neat freak a long long time ago. It was so bad when someone would use a bathroom sink I would go in and wipe it down dry. It's weird but after I got remarried I noticed I wasn't as anal about things as I used to be.

SamanthaNC said...

Tricia-

I totaly understand, it can be a mental prison of sorts. If you ever want to talk to someone who gets it, email me :)

Monicaw42-
Thank you for your sweet comment, It was Anya's idea :)

Kelley said...

I also agree with Kate that Hotel rooms are icky. My mom trained me to Always wear slippers in strange places and wear shower shoes in strange showers.

I also like things to be a certain way and get cranky when they aren't the way I think they should be.