When one is a naïve, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed teenager, you believe your parents can be reasoned with and be made to see your side of things. When you enter your mid-twenties, you realize this belief was but a laughable fantasy. As you grow older, you discover inescapable truths about handling your parents that will drive you to the brink of madness, but will have to suck up and deal with because they are your parents, and they will not change — not even for you.
1.) Your parents, in particular one’s mother, will ALWAYS call just as you are going to start writing an essay, put on your makeup, head out the door, down a shot, go to the bathroom, get on a plane, prepare a delicate soufflé etc. etc. Accept it, as much as you want to howl to the heavens.
2.) Everything in life exists on their schedule. Any attempts to suggest another date or time for an event/meeting/day out will be met with subtle, yet substantial, passive-aggressiveness and sighs about how they “thought it would be the best time for everyone.” In your parents’ eyes, your time is their time.
3.) The majority of the music, television series and films, and articles you recommend will go unlistened, unwatched, and unread. Consider this a stalemate, for you do the same to them; you do not comprehensively read most of the newspaper articles or listen to the podcasts they forward to you.
4.) You could solve world hunger, cure every strain of cancer, run a marathon and learn how to turn coal into gold in one day, your parents will still be able to find THE ONE THING you didn’t manage get done and burst your bubble of accomplishment.
5.) As they get older, your parents will become further ensconced and insulated from world events. When you attempt to have a serious discussion about any of the baker’s million of catastrophes and injustices happening in the world, they say “that’s such a shame,” and go back to watching The Voice. Do not judge them too harshly; they deserve to live out their put-out-to-pasture years in comfort. And who can blame them for tuning out from the madness that is current world politics?
6.) Their suggestions, ranging from “you should check out the farmer’s market this weekend” to “don’t forget to visit your fourth cousin whom you haven’t seen in well over a decade” will always be a knee-jerk stress reaction. Remember they do not offer these suggestions to purposefully spike your blood pressure; they genuinely only want to help. Take a couple of deep breaths and then pick through their suggestions for the kernels of parental wisdom.
7.) No matter how much you tell yourself, you will never get any work done when they arrive to visit — so plan ahead accordingly.
8.) Instead of being frustrated by their complete lack of understanding of technology, the Internet and social media, you will become eternally grateful for their ignorance. The last thing you need are social media helicopter parents.
9.) When they talk about how “things were different” when they were younger, you will need to swallow down your retorts of “if you think we have it so easy, then why don’t YOU switch places with ME?” Keep the peace, grin and bear it. You can drown your frustrations in booze later.
10.) Every cringe-inducing, eye-twitching, soul-curdling thing they do, they do out of love for you. There are worse things to which one has to surrender.