Dec 7, 2006

On Clueless Parents, Late Night Calls, and Sleep Deprivation

AT&T cordless phone(Toledo, OH) I have to vent, so I apologize in advance for what is likely to be seen as a post that contributes little to the collective advancement of human knowledge.

My 18-year-old son moved out earlier this year after graduating high school. He's a good kid, but his girlfriend was moving to Columbus for college, and he "discovered" a culinary arts program that just happened to be very near his girlfriend.

Of course, my wife and I tried to dissuade him of the notion, noting that Owens Community College has an excellent food service degree program in the Toledo area, and also that young relationships rarely last, and that - if his love was really meant to be - the relationship would stand the test of time and distance.

Unfortunately, the mother of his girlfriend not only convinced him of the brilliance of this plan, but actually co-signed on an apartment lease for him. The woman almost singlehandedly created for them a cozy Columbus love nest.

As he is an adult, there was little we could do beyond voice our disapproval and hope that things would work out for him. Stubbornness and young love are a strong combination, to which most of us who survived our teenage years can attest, but we did our best to pound some common sense into his head.

Alas, the young lovers have broken up, and my son has learned some expensive lessons about life in the real world. He is moving back home in a few weeks, as he is tired of living nickel-to-nickel as a grownup. Here, however, is where the tale becomes Springer-esque.

I am an occasional insomniac, and I truly value the nights when sleep arrives on time. I had just nodded off when the phone rang about 11:15, waking my wife and I. She answered it - dutiful, worried mother that she is - and proceeded to be on the receiving end of a seven-minute rant from the aforementioned daffy mother of my son's now-ex-girlfriend.

It seems that the clueless mom not only helped my son get an apartment, but she also gave him a full-size bed that was once owned by her mother. My son informed her that she will have to arrange for the bed to be picked up, as he cannot afford a U-Haul truck on the return trip to Toledo, and he is essentially driving back with one carload of belongings.

So there I was, listening to my saintly wife trying to be understanding, and all I can think of is grabbing the phone and telling off this psychotic fool: I just wanted my sleep back.

The goofy woman ended up hanging up on my wife, which made me doubly mad, as not only did she badger my spouse, but she also roused me from my sleep. Rather than call or write this fruitcake, I have decided to follow the example of Hooda Thunkit and use the blog as a form of therapeutic release.

Dear Nutjob:

Do not call my house in the middle of the night with petty bullshit, as I am likely to enter ballistic mode. Actually, just don't call my house at all. Period.

Furthermore, since you are the idiot adult who facilitated the young-lovers-on-an-adventure scenario, it is only fitting that you should be on the hook for any unpaid rent or lost family heirlooms you loaned an 18-year-old. Cosigning for teenagers is a pretty stupid idea, but it was all yours.

Finally, my son is an adult, and makes his own decisions. Perhaps you could actually learn something about maturity yourself, and recognize that you are a parent, not a buddy, to your children.

Oh - and that bed? Before you wax too sentimental about it, think for a moment about how it has been used well nigh these few months. Maybe a can of gas and a pack of matches might be a better solution.



Lisa Renee said...

Having lived thru similar experiences?

Bravo! Very well written rant.


Calico Jack said...

You show more restraint than I would have. I just missed making a fatal mistake of this kind when I was 18 or 19. She wanted marriage, I wanted to wait and see how things got along. She dumped me to get hitched to someone who wanted a wife and kids.

An older and wiser man gave me some good advice about this kind of thing: OK, so she had a good line. If the sex was good, then it was good while it lasted. Either way, you're better off, because with a girl like that the screwing you got will never be worth the screwing you'll get. Believe it. And another thing - go out to a club on Saturday night and look around. At least half the club is women. Think about it.

He was right.

One thing your son will never believe is that the apple never fails to fall far from the tree. If the mother is nuts - and she is - the daughter is going to be nuts as well. I'll bet the mother's single, too, having run the old man off some years back. Think about it; what would you do if your own ball and chain was busy obsessing about her daughter's relationship in the middle of the night. Would you actually let her call some poor schmuck and wake him up with her nutty ideas after 11:00 PM?

I have a small amount of insomnia as well, and I hate being awakened in the middle of the night. Rest assured I would not tolerate a wing nut like this one handing my Main Lady a load of crap about bedroom furniture that’s destined to become kindling wood if she ever calls back. You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.

The Screaming Nutcase said...

"One thing your son will never believe is that the apple never fails to fall far from the tree."

How true.

Mike, love the rant...especially the last full graf.

-Sepp said...

HM, I'm laughing my azz off right now! A can of gas and a pack of matches...priceless!

Mark said...

Wow. Two well written rants: one by Mike, one by Calico Jack. bravo, good sirs.

I only wish to comment further by saying that, as I move through this life, I find more and more parents who should never have been parents. Of course, every parent does the best that he/she can with what he/she has, but some...well, some just haven't got a clue and can't get a clue. Aforementioned nutjob appears to be one of those parents.

I find the problem particularly bad out here in the Chicago suburbs, where I live now, where the majority of parents seem to have two very important words missing in their vocabularies: "No," and "Discipline." They tolerate things that my own parents never would have, to say the very least.

And to think I thought things might be better out here, away from my original home in Toledo. Alas, like your son, I am learning things the hard way. With some things in life, that is just the way they will be learned.

Valbee said...

Well done, Mike. I haven't had that particular experience (yet?) but the boys seem to be rather particular about who the females they involve themselves with. With the exception of one girl that JL dated briefly after he graduated, the girls they've dated at least seem to be remarkably grounded. I'm hoping that's the result of growing up with a single mom. The girl that JM is dating now lives in Amherst and goes to Kent State. He has no immediate plans to relocate and I don't think she'd allow it anyway.

My issues with my kids appear to be mostly related to budgeting. *sigh* I think it's getting better. I hope it's getting better....

Peahippo said...

Well, Mike, I'm sure you realize by now that many, many parents are no more mature than the teenagers they're allegedly providing examples for. Any parent that sets up the "teenage love nest" is a teenager themselves and must suffer all possible consequences of such a silly act.

After watching parents have their credit ratings damaged by all this co-signer bullshit, I'd have to say that there's nothing to be done about it. It was unstoppable to begin with. You'd have to have your maturity significantly questioned if you do any such thing ... without testing your young adult's creditworthiness first. Too many of these co-signers either watch their kids grow up as excess-spenders, or they have no knowledge of how their brood handle money -- right before doing the big co-sign.

We've entrusted immature people with all the rights and responsibilities as adults. The alternative is to raise the age of majority. THAT would be a terrible plan ... so there's nothing to be done. Stupid people deserve to suffer, since it's only by suffering that they can conquer their stupidity (if ever).

P.S. Calico Jack's words should be treated as gospel, chiseled out in stone, and emplaced as lintels in Toledo homes. Crazy women raise crazy women, and around Toledo, the frequency of female nuttiness is well in excess of the national average.

Anonymous said...

I'da lit the b***h up with a Tazer.

Crawled out of bed, drug my rear to the car and drove my silly ass to her house, ring her doorbell then light her up.

It would be so worth the 6 months.

Hooda Thunkit said...


First, thanks for the mention..., I think ;-)

You have produced an excellent rant, you should be proud of yourself!

The mental picture of a burning bed in a former teen-age "love/lust nest" is priceless :-)