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 »