“Since when do you like pickles? You don’t eat pickles, what are you doing?”
We’ve all been there. You’re out to eat with your mom and dad and you reach for something your mother knows you used to hate as a small child. I think for every mother, there is an inherent desire to look at their children as they were in their purest form. Innocent, naive, and possessing a very rudimentary palate.
I’m not exactly sure when or how this happened, but at some point right around my graduation from college, the relationship between my parents and I changed drastically. It was a paradigm shift that I never saw coming and quite frankly, am a little disappointed about. The one and only thing I do with both of my parents at the same time anymore is go out to eat. How did we get here? It didn’t used to be like this. As a child (and even as an adolescent teen), I would do things with my mom and dad. We’d go for bike rides, hit up a matinee, or I don’t even know what the hell we would we do. But I do know it wasn’t like this when I was still living under the same roof as them.
Now when I visit home or they come to see me in whatever place I’m living in at the time our entire day revolves around where we’ll be eating. It’s gotten to new levels of absurdity in recent years where I feel I need to address the problem next time I see them. And part of that is definitely my fault.
I haven’t lived in an apartment during or after college (up until now) that my mother would even step foot into to use the bathroom. The places I lived in? You couldn’t get her in there with a hazmat suit on and for good reason.
So do I need to be hosting my parents at my apartment more often? That’s essentially just moving the problem from a restaurant to my living room, though. Like, yeah, I could easily have my mom and dad over for a late lunch or dinner at my new spot but we’re still just eating food and watching whatever golf tournament is going on that particular weekend.
I’d take them golfing, but old age, my dad’s bad back, and my mom’s general lack of interest in playing the game aren’t really conducive to even squeezing a quick nine in with them.
I’d take them out drinking, but how long is that realistically going to last? I crush Manhattans with my dad all the time. I’ll have a few glasses of white on the rocks with my mom. But they’re hitting a wall after two or three drinks.
The sights are great, but we’d knock that out in less than a day and then what? I’m back to square one. Plus they get tired, and (more importantly) cranky very quickly. We’ll be up and around checking out the city by 9:30 or 10:00 a.m., have lunch, and by 2:00 p.m. they’re back in their hotel room getting a quick power nap in.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are painstakingly planned out. If there’s a new restaurant in or around my hometown you better believe my parents are going to get us reservations for 5:15 p.m. on the nose. Is 5:15 a little bit early for me to be eating dinner? Absolutely, yes. I’m used to eating dinner at 7 or 8 o’clock, but I get it. The older you get the less inclined you are to be outside of your home after the sun sets.
Look, don’t get me wrong, I love my parents. But I’ve been at my wits end trying to figure out what I’m going to do with them when they get into Texas next month for five days. Outside of eating and watching those fucking bats fly out from under the bridge, I’m at a loss. Hopefully, I can find a couple of solid restaurants to drink Manhattans at. .