Parents just don’t understand / Don’t understand parents

So I yelled at my mom this morning, a fact that I’m not proud of. And if you remember back to the beginning of this blog, I yelled at my mom earlier this year when she made mashed potatoes in a most unappetizing manner. Today’s trigger: the internet didn’t work. And yes, there will be some of you that will say: it’s always unacceptable to yell at a parent. And then there will be others that will say: no internet, man– I would lose my mind too.

So the core frustration was the lack of internet. I mean– how am I going to job search and otherwise be productive without access to the internet? And my mom admitted she was the last one to use the computer and she is not at all tech savvy so it wouldn’t be too much to think that she kicked something or tugged at something she shouldn’t have. And to be fair: I wasn’t yelling at her for possibly messing up the system. I was really just annoyed and frustrated and yelling for the sake of releasing internal anger.

There is a lot of pent up frustration in the house, I suspect: me with my parents and undoubtedly my parents with me. Most of my friends have noted that their parents have started doing weird things now that they are approaching older age. I’m not talking about being more forgetful or sluggish– those things everybody expects. It’s stuff like hoarding empty food containers or repeatedly engaging in activities that don’t make a lot of sense. For example, my mom will save old food containers and engage in this weird ritual of filling and refilling these containers with food from other containers. This makes up a majority of her free time and I really don’t understand it. I found her this morning filling an old plastic container with oats. Except oats come in their own container. So why bother? I don’t understand.

My annoyance with faulty internet is just one part of my general annoyance with the anti-technology stance of my parents. The computer in the home is something from the late 1990s, I believe. Whenever monitors started getting skinny– that’s the era of this beast. And for no clear reason, my parents refuse to adopt a laptop (even though I am offering my old one– purchased 3 years ago– for free). And they refuse to replace the computer though it is totally infected with a Trojan horse virus (confirmed– and has led to my Facebook and Hotmail accounts being hijacked). The screen doesn’t even turn on immediately– you have to wait. They didn’t even have wifi in the house until I broke down and bought a router a few months ago (and have been in wifi heaven ever since). I get that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but why my parents so totally refuse to adapt to technological changes baffles me. Oh yeah. We still have a landline. And it is accessed through a rotary phone.

My parents cannot understand how to use a GPS system. They explicitly refuse to use one. When they drove down to San Luis Obispo a couple of weeks back, I had to print out a number of Google maps for their journey.

Now I’m just gonna talk about all annoyances, not tech related. Purging.

My mom hoards stuff (and I do too but I blame my behavior on her, FYI). She bought up a huge stock (like 8 bottles) of Arm and Hammer liquid laundry detergent b/c it was on sale at the store. She stored them in the garage. Then my dad, who fails to understand the importance of looking backwards when backing out of the garage, rolled over one of the bottles causing a bubbly waterfall of liquid detergent. I have to admit that one made me laugh. It was very schadenfreude for me and a sort of hysterical karma against my mother’s hoarding and inability to store her hoards properly.

I have now engaged in tough love to fight my mother’s ridiculous impulses. I don’t like my mother’s spaghetti sauce– it’s always super sweet and weird tasting. I used to just eat it out of wanting to be easy going but she insists on making a vat of it every time. So finally, I had to tell her I didn’t like it and if she was making heaps of the sauce for my benefit, that she could stop. So what did she do the other night? She made another vat of the spaghetti sauce. I had a little bit and it was not very delicious. So now, I refuse to eat the sauce. Because honestly, for having only 3 people in the house, she needs to stop this and hopefully when she throw out a whole vat of wasted spaghetti sauce (b/c neither she nor my dad really likes it), that will help her to learn that this is not worth time or valuable food resources.

My mom feels she needs to make a comment all the time about everything. It’s what my grandma used to do and I think that’s why she picked it up. It ends up sounding critical and it drives me crazy. She asks why I am wearing what I decided to wear. She asks me why I always wear my hair in a ponytail. When I make myself a basic lunch, she asks when I will learn to cook or what I could possibly offer a male companion. She suggests I go for walks. IT NEVER ENDS. When I don’t respond, she wonders why I am being moody. When I am being moody (which most people realize is a sign that they should avoid the person) my mother will go out of her way to be around me, trying to figure out what’s wrong. I must get out of this house. She is making me crazy.

My parents have a stash of semi-dirty paper towels next to the gas stove. There is ALWAYS a stash there. If you use a paper towel, throw it away. If you want to reuse, store it somewhere where it may not potentially catch on fire. If you’re going to reuse it, consider a towel instead. I can’t figure out why they are there and why my parents don’t understand the fire risk.

My mother never measures anything. She will end up cooking enough food every night to feed 20 people and then carefully pack the food into repurposed food containers. Half of that food will end up in the garbage.

Bananas always go bad in the house b/c, for a family of 3, my mother will always purchase way too many bananas. Like enough to feed a family with a banana addiction (which we do not have). As a person who will buy literally 2 bananas every time she is at Trader Joe’s, I cannot figure out why my mom has never made the connection between overripe bananas in her home and the dozen bananas she consistently purchases on every shopping trip.

My mom likes trying out new foods…. by buying the monsterpack at Costco. Half of that food goes in the garbage.

My parents never plan. My parents don’t know how to plan. My parents are always yelling at each other b/c of the terrible outcomes from their shared inability to plan.

My mother will lay on the couch from 8 pm until midnight, start doing the dishes, cruise the internet until 2 am, go to bed for 6 hours, wake up to see my dad off and then pass out on the couch again. I would really like for her to have a more regular sleep schedule. This can’t possibly be good for a middle aged woman.

I think that’s it, at least for now.

— DOA

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