A friend of mine doesn’t believe in sharing anything with her parents. She lives in the same house…but I would say that physically and mentally she doesn’t really share any space with them. Till today, I thought “well hey, parents are painful, but you don’t shut ‘em out like that.”
I’ve always been really open with mine. I’ve told them stuff about school, about college, about work, causing one acquaintance to acidly remark that I was still attached to my mother’s tit.
At times, I used to wonder if I was too close, especially in the last couple of years when my mother’s behaviour grew increasingly old fashioned and her opinions increasingly frustrating. Boyfriends were bad, girls were no longer good, yada yada. This from a woman who said she’d grooved to the Beatles and Boney M in college. Whatever happened to Baby Hippie?
Today, we had a huge fight. My father told me off, I cried and my mother watched, pseudo compassionately jumping in from time to time. Maybe next week, I’ll be less teary. But I know one thing for sure – my friend is right. You should never tell your parents anything. They just don’t get it. They never will. They never can.
Every generation has its gaps. Every generation think they invented sex. Every generation, at some point, I guess meets. A pit stop on the eternal parallel roads of parents and child.
For me, the pit stop party is over.
Today, in a heated discussion that became a fight, every single thing I have told my parents over the last two years has been thrown back at me. Increasingly frustrated by an advertising career that seems to have stagnated if not gone south, at least for me, I got into the habit of confiding in them. And in trying to exercise my funny bone, might have presented things and myself in a less than flattering light.
And now, it’s boomeranged on me in a way I hate to remember. I feel like a fool. I trusted them, treated them as cool parents. And I got peed up on.
My accountant father cannot understand why, me, a feckless writer, cannot do an MBA. And cannot fathom how idiotic being a copywriter must be is that an MBA will be no help in it.
My mother is the silent partner. For years, she was the vocal one, the one who brought us up, taught us not to pee on people and now suddenly, my father is the one who seems to be speaking for both of them.
Dad, you may be right. Maybe I have no direction, I have no clue, and I seem to have no ambition. But please, remember. I have not taken a penny from you for more than five years now. I put myself through whatever post-graduate diploma I did. And if I’m having problems, then you telling me that you’re really worried about me ‘coz you’re close to retiring isn’t helping.
What this whole episode means to me is that my friend is right. From now on, I keep my mouth shut around the ‘rents, and handle my meltdowns/panic attacks/doubts by myself.
This must be what everyone means by ‘growing up’.