Remember when you thought you knew it all? Those two old people who lived with you and gave you life didn’t understand your problems or what it was like to be young or the pressures you faced. They were the epitome of lame with their constant nagging and stupid rules.
Fast forward a few years and look in the mirror. Who do you see? That’s right! You’ve become your mother/father. It’s not something that happens overnight. It creeps up on you gradually, kind of like those extra pounds that further prove you are no longer your teenage self.
It starts with dressing for the weather.
I remember when I didn’t care that I would freeze on my walk to school. I would just die if my friends saw me in that ugly down coat. And boots? No way! I just had to wear that totally cute pair of sandals that by some miracle of fate would make my crush du jour notice me. What?! You expect me to take an umbrella and possibly even use it? Why don’t you just slap a DORK sticker on my back and call it a day, Mom?
These days boots, warm coats, gloves, hats and scarves are my BFFs and I’ve got a whole collection of umbrellas in a variety of patterns and colors that I don’t hesitate to carry if there’s even a hint of rain in the air.
I am my Mother.
It continues with being frugal.
I had far too many important things on my mind—like boys, clothes, boys, talking to my friends, and uh, boys—to worry about such trivial matters as wasting money, food, electricity, or anything else. Who cares if I don’t finish everything on my plate, Dad? It’s not like we can ship it off to the starving people of Ethiopia. So what if I left the light on in my room, stood in front of the open refrigerator staring mindlessly inside, or spent my whole allowance on snacks at the movie theatre. Money grows on trees, you know.
Today, I follow the Big Man around the house shutting off TVs and lights, and nag incessantly about wasting paper towels, paper plates, and tissues. Leftovers get stored in containers and put in the freezer for another day. And when I go to the movies, I usually stop at the Dollar store beforehand to buy my snacks.
I am my Father.
How to tell when the metamorphosis is complete.
There’s no single indicator that lets you know when you have completed the conversion process and become a mini me of your parents. It’s more of an accumulation of traits, habits, and patterns of behavior. To help you figure it out, I’ve put together a list of signs and symptoms:
- You don’t care if you wear black socks with your white athletic shoes and shorts.
- You think “Mom jeans” are comfortable AND flattering.
- You ask your kids if they would jump off a bridge just because everyone else is doing it.
- Tales recounting your walk to school take on mythical proportions of duration, difficulty, and weather conditions.
- You believe you worked much harder than the current generation.
- A minivan is your vehicle of choice.
- Soft rock is much more appealing than it used to be.
- When you play a game, no remote, mouse, handheld controller, or joy stick is required.
- You realize your parents were right about a lot of things.
If you answered yes to any of these questions, congratulations! You are your parents. Now get out there and start yelling at some kids about playing their music too loudly!
I love you, Mom and Dad!