Grandma's Curveball

By: Lily Lauzon

Unexpected Family

A curveball is defined as an unexpected event in someone's life that can be very challenging. My grandma, Emily is 73 years old and I decided to ask her what her biggest life curveball has been. My grandma's response was her unexpected divorce. My grandma states that she had always expected having a traditional family which included children, marriage and a house. Unexpected, my grandma became pregnant at the age of 17, was divorced by the age of 18 and didn't have a house. The curveball she experienced was being divorced and raising a child as a single mother. The normative life trajectory this curveball disrupted for my grandma was the expectation of having security because she believed that marriage was more secure than being a single parent. Another way this curveball affected the normative life trajectory is that she didn't know anyone else back then who was divorced so she felt very different from the rest of the families she knew. The socio-cultural expectation this curveball violated was the traditional family she always imagined and hoped for. The divorce violated the socio-cultural expectation she had because she always believed no matter what, couples are supposed to stick it out for better or for worse. My grandma explained how she did not receive the same opportunities that couples received, such as invitations to parties together or dinners. The curveball my grandma experienced was influenced by social-cultural values because there were no divorced people and also because of her religious beliefs that violated her cultural expectations.