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January Condition of The Month

January 6, 2013

It’s that time again. Time for all four princesses to answer one burning question.

Question: What is something that your parents don’t understand about you that you wish they did?


My parents and I don’t have fun in the same ways. To be honest, these days it seems like my parents live a pretty boring life, just working and then coming home and watching TV in the evenings. They don’t have kids at home anymore, and they haven’t yet found any hobbies to replace us. They are very set in their routine, and they don’t like to disrupt it. As such, they don’t do much that could be considered fun, at least in the way I define fun. 

I, on the other hand, need a healthy dose of fun in my life. Playing sports, video games, board games, trying new recipes, reading, traveling, social events…these are all things I’ve made a place for in my routine because they enrich my life and make it just plain more fun. And some of these things just aren’t ever going to be a part of my parents’ lives, because they won’t make the effort. Their idea of fun is different from mine. An example is alcohol. Around the time I turned 21 I of course started experimenting a bit with alcohol. We’re talking sharing a bottle of wine with the Naughty Princesses, or ordering a gin and tonic at happy hour, not blackout binges. Yet my mother never understood that having a drink, or even two, could be fun; to her it was dangerous, uncouth, and borderline immoral. Now that I live in a dry country, making wine and hard cider at home is a hobby I enjoy, but you can imagine what my parents think of that.

My parents and I have fun in different ways, but at the same time I know I’m more like them than I’d like to admit. I too love to just kick back on the couch and watch TV—there was a Man vs. Food marathon on over Christmas at my parents’ house, and I was loving it! And maybe many of the differences between us have more to do with age than with inherent differences. I guess I’ll have to wait until I’m 60 to find out if I’m still an illegal booze brewing, world traveling fun-seeker, or just my mom, 2.0.

Snow Whore:

My mother and I are polar opposites, so let’s just say there are probably a lot of things about my life that she doesn’t understand. However, one thing that I probably notice and get irritated about the most is our differing ideas of propriety.

Now this covers many different areas. One of the funniest  being the guest towel incident. I live in a two bedroom apartment and have unfortunately made the mistake of letting my parents know there is an extra bed at my place, meaning they crash there all the time. I wouldn’t mind that so much if my mother would just be appreciative of the shelter I’m offering instead of nitpicking. But of course, it’s my mother. In the morning she asked where my guest towels were. I said “well I don’t really have a specific extra set of towels, but there’s an extra one over here that’s clean.”  With a horrified look on her face my mother then exclaimed “you don’t have guest towels?!? How is it that I have raised a daughter who doesn’t provide guest towels?” At which point she picked up her purse and informed me we had to go to the mall to rectify the situation and buy two matching sets of towels, hand towels and washcloths. 

That’s the best example of what I’m talking about, although the propriety issue can range from everything from not speaking as loudly as I do, to crossing my legs sitting even when I’m in jeans, otherwise I look vulgar. I know she grew up in a different time than I did¸ but I just wish she would accept me as I am instead of still trying to be my personal Emily post.  I am an adult now, and married, and I want her to understand and be ok with the fact that I run my household different than she does.

Sleeping Booty:

So I had a long talk with my mother last night. And when it comes to my mother, by long talk I really mean a good long listen. Usually my dad gets the brunt of these rants, but he was out playing basketball and since I’m living at home now there wasn’t much I could do to avoid it. Luckily this particular conversation was about my brother and his lack of direction-a topic which I have a great many opinions on, but still, it took all the soothing tones I had to keep her voice from breaking my ear drums.

 Her concerns are valid, my brother turns 21 in a few months and has yet to reach sophomore standing at college. Our parents pay for his apartment and schooling (if you can call failing the same class FOUR times schooling) and he works at a movie theater a few days a week for some extra video game cash. My mother is about to lose it, mostly because he never calls and seems oblivious to the work they’re putting in to provide for his opportunities (namely the half price tuition he gets through her job-which she’d rather be working part time). She thinks it is time to cut him off, to stop paying for his apartment and only pay for school if he lives at home. He needs to learn some responsibility she says, and stop playing around.

 My dad, on the other hand, wants to send him to Europe. Yes, an all expenses paid trip to Europe this summer where he would learn to live on his own and see a world bigger than his own. To him, my brother is just confused, not sure what his time is worth or what he cares about and it’s true. And a break from the daily grind of watching TV and failing classes is just what he needs to kick him into gear.

 It’s a tough choice really; reward him for his mess ups or punish him for his ignorance. And who is to say either one will work? He needs a kick in the ass all right, but handing over a trip of a lifetime or having him move home isn’t exactly fostering independence.

 The thing I wish my parents (and my brother) would understand is that communication is essential. My brother has no idea that they’re at the end of their rope, my dad can’t see that he’s walking on eggshells around his son and my mother refuses to even consider the Europe trip as an option. I’ve always been fine walking the middle ground but lately I wish they would work a little harder to understand each other.

The Little Merskank:

   I actually had a pretty hard time answering this question.  My mother and I are really close; I tell her most of the goings-on in my life—I even tend to tell her most of the boy-drama that goes down.   However, of course, even though we are close she doesn’t and can’t understand everything about me: no one can understand someone else entirely.

            So, yes, after some thought, I came up with the answer: my mother doesn’t understand my need for romance.  My mother is very down to earth, and in her relationships, specifically, she is the most practical person I know.  She doesn’t see love or marriage as something made up of deep feelings or passions, instead, she sees it as companionship and commitment to another person.  She is not a person who goes in for red roses, and passionate embraces.    In a lot of ways, I appreciate my mother’s perspective on love—it is so different from the ideals portrayed by the media, but it is more real and lasting.   Anyone can have moments of passion but those are transitory and true companionship and commitment are things too often lacking in our world.

            But…. I still want there to be romance.  Maybe not something elaborate and extreme like what’s on the silver screen, but still I want to feel a thrill when I see that other person.  Maybe moments of passion don’t last forever, but I want them there at least for a while.  I don’t need someone to buy me a dozen red roses but I want them to hold my hand and to say they love me.  And this is something that my mother simply doesn’t understand.  It’s probably also part of the reason that I have such a hard time committing to different guys:  I want to feel something, and if I don’t I drop them.  Who knows, maybe someday I will give up on my unfilled dreams of romance and mystery—but until then, well, my mother can just never understand. 


2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2013 2:56 am

    I think YOU should get a free trip to Europe, Sleeping Booty! GIving someone stuff for free clearly hasn’t motivated him up til now, so why should your parents pour more money into it?


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