This past weekend, my dad threw my mom a surprise birthday party. This is the second surprise birthday party he’s thrown her in five years, which is partly because I think he just really enjoys organizing surprises and partly because he really loves my mom and this is his way of making her feel special. My parents are still married, which is, yes, increasingly rare, and incredibly bizarre considering how utterly different they are. My mom is a Democrat. My dad purports to be a Republican. He’s an analytical nuclear engineer and she’s a palm-reading, feelings-focused guidance counselor (no, she does not read the palms of her students). Their personalities could probably best be summed up by the way they met. Keep reading »
On last night’s episode of “The Bachelorette,” the four remaining bachelors took Ashley home to meet their families. You can read all about the details of the episode in Kate’s recap, but the thing that stuck out most to me was the fact that each of the guys made sure to emphasize just how essential it was that their families approved of Ashley. And if they didn’t? Each dude seem to imply that not getting the thumbs up from mom, dad, and their siblings would make pursuing a more serious relationship impossible.
This was fascinating to me. There’s no doubt that having your parents like — and even love — your significant other is a wonderful thing, but I don’t know that it’s essential for me. Keep reading »
This story begins with an answering machine. Which means that, yes, it happened a long time ago—I believe in 2003. I was at home in North Carolina visiting my parents, and on the second day of my stay, I plunged my key in the lock of the front door, dropped my bag on the table beside it, and hit the play button on the answering machine—autopilot reflexes I’d perfected years before when I’d actually lived in this house. The first message was obviously for my parents—skip. Ditto for message number two. But the third message contained a familiar baritone voice—Liam*, the guy I’d dated my senior year of high school through my junior year of college. We hadn’t spoken in the two years since we’d broken up.
Oh, that’s nice, I thought. I haven’t heard from him in forever. We should really meet for a cup of coffee while I’m here. Wait a second. How did he know I was home?
“It was wonderful seeing you two last week,” Liam said, his deep voice echoing through the foyer. “Thanks for the advice.”
And that’s when it hit me—this message wasn’t for me. It was for my parents. Keep reading »
When I first moved back home with my parents after a nasty breakup, there was much to be embarrassed about. What was a 26-year-old (and eventually 27-year-old) doing moving back into her childhood bedroom? Why couldn’t I have become an investment banker so I had thousands of dollars saved for a situation like that? I had to see my parents every single day and answer their myriad questions about where I was going, what I was doing, and if that was what I was really wearing. (Yes.) I had to ask permission to borrow their cars. I had to explain to guys from online dating that I lived with my parents. And, of course, I had vibrators, lingerie and sex books to hide.
But moving back with the ‘rents was the best possible decision for sure. I don’t want to sleep on anyone’s couch and I especially don’t want to wear out my welcome on anyone’s couch. More importantly, though, I was a shellshocked. I needed some TLC, lots of margaritas, and several seasons of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” on Netflix Instant — as well as time, space, and rent-free living — to get myself back on my feet. When I move back to New York City into a new apartment next weekend, I will take my love and gratitude towards Mom and Dad right along with me. Here are four things I’ve learned after moving back in with my parents — for better or for worse — as an adult… Keep reading »
My parents are still married. They just celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary. But when I saw them again it was separately, first one then the other. It had to be this way. Seeing both of them for the first time in over two years would have just been too much.
See, I broke up with my parents two-and-a-half years before this visit. I called them on Halloween, after avoiding voicemails for weeks. My teeth were chattering. “I need a break from this relationship,” I said and my mom burst into tears. My dad, quiet, mirrored back what I said … then tried to turn the conversation to normal things. Keep reading »
For most single women out there, New Year’s Eve is a big deal. On December 31st, we’ll get all dolled up—preferably in sequins and heavy eyeliner—and hit the town in our 2011 New Year’s Eve glasses. (Question: How exactly are those going to work?) It’s one of the few nights a year where debaucherous drinking is not only condoned, but encouraged, and where grabbing a random stranger for a makeout session is not only okay, but tradition. The next morning, as we nurse our hangovers, we’ll have the satisfaction of standing up, wiping off the dirt of the past year, and jumping feet first into a new one—a fresh 365 days in which every possibility is open.
Yes, kiss or not, New Year’s Eve should be a great night. But for me, January 2nd will be a much bigger day. See, it’s my parents’ anniversary. As much as I think about it, I still can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea that, in less than a week, my parents will have been husband and wife for 40 freaking years. Keep reading »
Despite reports to the contrary, the recession seems to be alive and well–especially if you ask those of us in our 20s and 30s who are still looking for jobs, and who might have had to move back home. I know all too well what that’s like. When I was 26, I returned from a graduate program abroad and spent two months living at my parents’ suburban two-story house. It was the home I grew up in, and coming back to it in my mid-20s felt like a grand failure. I spent every day on Craigslist, searching through terrible job after terrible job. I took a series of low-paying positions, and would sometimes work two or three shifts a day, borrowing my parents’ car to get there. I saved some money and was able to put a deposit on a two-bedroom apartment with a friend and regrouped.
Eventually, I got a better job (well, better-paying, at least) and life stabilized. But I’ll never be able to thank my parents enough for allowing me to come home. Have you ever had to move back in with your folks? Keep reading »
It seems like the floundering economy has taken its toll on everyone in some way or another. Maybe you ended up in the unemployment line, or maybe your pantry’s stocked with nothing but store-brand food. And while the financial environment may have led you to cringe whenever you look at your checking account statement, our generation is lucky in that we have plenty of time to recover before we’re ready to start thinking seriously about retirement.
But what about your parents? If they haven’t retired already, they’re probably getting close, and they have much less time to recover if the economy took their finances down with it. Knowing how to help your parents can be tricky, but they may be at a point where they really need you. Keep reading »