May 23, 2006 | Family & Life

The following is a typical conversation between parent and young adult child. It is fictional only if you don’t have adult children.

The scene: Parent is sitting on the deck. It’s a beautiful afternoon. The sky is blue, birds are singing and the temperature is in the mid-70s’. You’re having an ice cold drink. Daughter comes out to join you. Great, quality time.

Parent: “Hi honey. How’s the job search going?”

Young Adult Child: “Are you saying I’m not looking for a job?”

Parent: (quizzical look on face.) “No, I didn’t say you weren’t looking for a job. I asked how the search was going.”

Young Adult Child: “I’m looking. I mean the tone in your voice sounds like you don’t believe I’m looking.”

Parent: “I didn’t say you weren’t looking, honey. Your Dad and I know you’re looking. Many jobs in your field may already be filled. A lot of graduates were interviewing early in their senior year or last winter.” (Bad comment, should have not said it)

Young Adult Child: (Now sulking) “So what you’re saying is, I really haven’t been looking? I mean I had a full schedule this last year. I’ve been looking. I’ve got a couple of interviews lined up in Rome next week.”

Okay, she’s really not going to Rome for interviews, but by the time this conversation is over, you may want to send her – in a FedEx box.

Parent: “Rome? Next week? Have you discussed this with your father? Do you have a passport? Hey, who’s paying for the trip?” (We know the answer to the last question, but hell, why not ask it.)

Young Adult Child: No, MOTHER. Not Rome, Italy. Rome, New York. I’ve been looking at airline ticket prices, but no one will discuss this with me. Daddy’s not speaking to me. I hate to ask you for money, but until I have a job, I have to. You don’t think I have interviews, do you?”

Parent:(Now wishing there was rum in her cold drink) “Huh? I haven’t heard you say anything about airfares and with the holiday weekend coming up, prices are sure to increase. As for Daddy, he’s been working on a really difficult deal at work and trying to talk to him at midnight, ain’t such a good idea.”

Young Adult Child: (Now whose voice has gone whiny.) “Now you’re telling me I spend too much of your money. I really do have interviews, see you still don’t believe me? I can’t wait to get a job and move out. I don’t think Daddy likes me anymore.”

Parent:(Hmm, maybe I should move out) I didn’t say you were spending too much money. We expect to pay some of your expenses until you find a job. If you haven’t found one in your major by the time we return from the family vacation, you can get a part time job. You shouldn’t take a job unless it’s what you want to do. And your father does like you. What gave you such an idea?”

Young Adult Child: “See, I told you, you were mad at me. And what about this family vacation. You asked me what I wanted for graduation. I told you and it turned into a family vacation. We’ve never been on a family vacation. I think I need a new cell phone. Will you buy me one?”

Parent: “Buy you a new cell phone? Why? You bought that one because all your friends have it. Considering how much the vacation is costing, I don’t think so.”

Young Adult Child: “So it’s my fault the family vacation is costing so much? And Daddy’s mad at me.”

Parent: (This child really should go to law school) “For the last time, Daddy is not mad at you.”

Young Adult Child:”Why are you yelling at me?”

Parent: “I’m not yelling -yet.” (Takes a sip of her drink. Thinks she’s having a heat stroke.)

Young Adult Child: “See, I told you, you didn’t think I was looking for a job. I really have.”

Parent: “Right.”

Young Adult Child: “What do you mean by ‘Right’? You’re hurting my feelings. It’s just like at graduation when you promised you’d come to the BBQ and didn’t come.”

Parent: “Okay, for the very last time, we didn’t KNOW where it was. You didn’t give us directions.”

Young Adult Child: “You hurt my feelings by not coming. Everyone else’s parents were there.”

Parent: (Silent. Understaniding why some animals eat their young.) “Well, what were we talking about? Oh, job interviews.”

Young Adult Child: “Well, can we talk about this later. I’ve got to meet my girlfriend. Here’s the information I got on flights. I tried to find the cheapest one. You don’t have to worry, I have Soro Sisters to stay with. You think Daddy will give me some spending money?”

Parent: (Okay, brain says don’t say this, but what the fuck)
“Just out of curiosity ( and pure evil on my part), how did you manage job interviews around the holiday? Won’t some companies be closing early?”

Young Adult Child: (Silence-stalling) “My interviews are after the holiday weekend.”

Parent:”Okay.” (This is also a party visit – gotcha)

By now, Parent is totally exhausted and needs a nap.

Be warned, this is purely a defense mechanism used by children. They are caught in between being a child, dependent on their parents, and be an adult, not quite able or ready to cut the string that bind. If they’ve been living away from home, it’s very difficult to return to the nest, although they love being caught in the safety net. Their behavior should not be taken to heart – unless they’re still living with you, five years after graduating.

JGirl really should go to law school and become a defense attorney for white collar criminals. She could get Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skilling acquitted in no time.
I can hear her argument now, “It’s not their fault they lost billions of dollars. Someone should have been watching them. Can you show me the actual dollars?”

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3 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Okay. How slow am I on the fact I didn’t know your blog had moved?

    Man. I thought I was good at working my mom when I was younger but JGirl…I had her my crown and bow to her greatness.


  2. Yeah, Jenna. She’s good, real good. I pity the man she marries. An ex-Marine would be good. Someone who has undergone extreme torture at the hands of the enemy.


  3. Woman, you are a scream! I sympathize cause I been there. The future will be better. I promise you.


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