Blogshare time!

It’s blogshare time again. The following entry was written by an anonymous writer somewhere out in the WORLD WIDE WEB. And in turn, I’ve written an anonymous post on some other random blog, somewhere in the WORLD WIDE WEB.

So until we meet again, enjoy!


Cycles of Life

Teenagers are chronically embarrassed by their parents. It is a rite of passage to go from idolizing your mom and dad in elementary school, to wishing that they would simply disappear from the face of the Earth (or at least that they would stay indoors until you have finished high school) because their very presence makes you cringe. I remember it well. My father was young, good looking and athletic, or so I remember. I was always so proud to be with him. Similarly, my was young and pretty. I loved it when I had friends over to the house. Mom would make wonderfully exotic snacks and tea sandwiches, and Dad would tease my friends and I, and make us laugh until we were out of breath. Ah, it was bliss.

It was around the time that I turned thirteen that my attitude towards my parents changed. I wanted them to disappear. It’s not that I wished them harm, but the stress of walking on egg-shells, praying silently that they wouldn’t say something to make me want to dig a hole and crawl into it or otherwise die of embarrassment was unbearable. My father, who once seemed akin to Prince Charming, was suddenly a loud, hairy ape and my mother went from being a fairy princess to an utter clod, almost overnight. As far as I was concerned, they were a couple of cretins, incapable of surviving in polite society and completely out of touch. Everything they said, did or wore was utterly gauche and I lived in fear of one or both of my parents volunteering the chaperone the school dance or helping out with the social studies field trip. I pitied the poor kid whose parents came along on the outdoor education camping trip and I felt blessed that neither one of my parents were teachers. To me, that would be about as close to Hell as a kid could get without actually falling into the pit of fire.

Fortunately, my parents became cool again the year I graduated from high school. We did a lot together that year – in public and even on school property. My dad was once again a hero and my mother was interesting and had great taste in food, clothing and wine. I took them to my graduation and when it was time for the first dance, I left my date at the table and boogied with my dad. Friends had similar experiences to mine. We all became quite proud of our parents and we were not afraid to show them off. It was a relief to no longer be ashamed and to publicly acknowledge them once again.

We had some good years, but it was too good to last. The last few times we have been together, there have been a number of really, really awkward moments and I am finding myself both astounded and embarrassed, once again. I cannot help but wonder if there was something besides hormones that made me feel the way I did when I was a teenager. It could be, just maybe, that my parents really are that obtuse. It’s not as bad as the high school years, so I do not feel the need to shun them as I did then, but still, it’s not like I’m rushing out to invite friends over when they come to visit. Dad is sarcastic with my kids, who are very small, and after he leaves from a visit I have to explain to them that expressions like “dumb-ass” and “shit head” are not appropriate and should not be used, ever. Mom prattles on with intimate details of their friends’ lives, regardless of whether or not I know them. On a recent visit she and Dad told me about a nice “Negro” couple they met on a trip to Maui. They were both doctors. Negro doctors. Astonishing. Oh, and my parents are horrified at how native people in North America have been robbed of their heritage. They called me one night to rant about this new discovery. I sat silently on the other end, drinking wine, surfing YouTube and punctuating the conversation with the occasional “You’ve got to be kidding”, “outrageous” and “those bastards” until there was finally a logical place to politely end the call.

Despite this regression into “uncoolness” by my parents, I hold out hope that this is just a phase and that we will cycle back into them being interesting, funny, witty, people, and that it will happen before my own kids have written them off and before I, too, become “uncool”. After all, it happened once before and it lasted for a good twenty years.

I am such a bitch for writing this.

9 Responses to “Blogshare time!”

  1. NGS Says:

    No, you’re not a bitch, you’re just dealing with parents. It’s a difficult relationship, that of children and parents and it sounds like you’re doing your best to muddle through. Don’t beat yourself up. Just keep your patience with you as much as possible!! Good luck with that!

  2. Stacey Says:

    This isn’t funny but it is. I can totally relate especially to some of the comments. I also have a small child who right now doesn’t understand but soon will and I’ll be explaining too. Just to give you an example; my mom told me last night she didn’t want to go to my uncles house (her brothers) because there were too many black people there when she went last time. I was like, oh my Lordy.

    You are not a bitch. It is hard and frustrating!

  3. 3carnations Says:

    I know exactly what you mean. My dad lives halfway across the country and we don’t see him much, but I have no problem asking him not to use a certain word when he says it in front of my son – I don’t wait for him to leave and explain it to me kids. In my house, we don’t use certain words. Period.

  4. Courtney Says:

    You are not a bitch. You can’t pick your family, and you’re totally justified in being embarrassed/horrified at some of those things. Negro doctors? WOW.

    My parents routinely embarrass me, but it’s something I’ve learned to deflect so people don’t think it reflects on me. Maybe that makes me a bitch.

  5. -R- Says:

    I have to agree with everyone else that I don’t think you’re a bitch. Or maybe I am one too because I think it’s really funny that they are just learning about Native Americans. =)

  6. abbersnail Says:

    I have three words: THREE.THOUSAND.MILES.

    That’s how far away I live from my parents. I love them. They are wonderful, awesome, and amazing. They also drive me completely insane sometimes.

    You are not a bitch. Parents are tough. And, admittedly, it sounds like yours have been tougher than normal lately!

  7. Bree Says:

    I am very blessed to have great parents. While they are a bit nosy they are also my biggest cheerleaders. Parental relationships can be tough especially as you see things that you don’t like. You aren’t weird!

  8. mouthybroad Says:

    i totally get you. my friends and i tell similar stories about our parents who we love and can be great but it is like something has happened that makes them…out of touch? embarrassing? it is hard to label. but i wish this phase (and i hope it is just that) would be over soon.

  9. AK Says:

    My mom is such a nutcase that her stories are ledgend among people I don’t even know. I’ll be at a gathering meeting new people and they’ll say, “Oh! You’re the one whose mom almost got arrested last Thanksgiving until you showed up to claim her.” Yeah. That would be me. I know the importance of doing damage control with the kiddos after one of her visits. Like someone else alluded, the price of sanity is living several states apart. She’s a riot on the phone, but quite a handful in person.

    You’re not a bitch and you’re not alone.

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