Archive | May, 2011

How to Deal with Your Parents

10 May


It would appear that your relationship with your parents is not where you’d like it to be. They’d prefer that you’d stay 15 and unsullied forever while you’d rather grow up and get on with the sullying.

I would imagine this grip will loosen once you meet the right man, preferably an upstanding fellow with a string of Ph.D.’s after his name and/or a string of 0’s after any other digits in his bank account.

I understand this issue all too well. My parents were incredibly strict. Why, I was nearly nine before I realized our house even had windows. I didn’t actually get to enjoy the front yard until I was fifteen.

My two brothers and I were protected from anything and everything, not so much for our sakes, but to allow our parents to live their lives as though it were still several decades earlier. We were kept inside at all times and busied ourselves with sweeping the dirt floor, dusting the dirt walls and reading selections from an 1897 Sears-Roebuck catalog.

Our parents kept our interaction with either sex to minimum by teaching us at home. We learned a mixture of Amish farming techniques, quadratic algebra and the holistic teachings of John Harvey Kellogg. Occasional visits from mailmen, milkmen and Social Services gave us a glimpse at life on the “outside,” which seemed to be filled with various stern-looking men in ill-fitting uniforms.

When we were finally set loose on the world during our later-teen years, we found that our training in the areas of barn-raising, pre-calculus and cleaner living through regular enemas left us ill-equipped to deal with a society that had moved on without us.

We planned to enroll in the local community college to broaden our extremely narrow horizons, but the call of the draft board derailed that dream permanently. In mere days, we were at the front, munching on corn flakes and drawing complex equations in the Korean snow.

Still, we found that our lack of a formal education did not diminish our status in the Army, which declared that each and every one of us was “equal,” and thus able to serve our country proudly as “pawns” in an international game of “Chinese Checkers crossed with Russian Roulette.”

Take heart, Livenlove. Your problems are only temporary. Sooner or later life will throw you a “curveball” that will make all your parental woes seem insignificant by comparison.

Clifton L. Tanager