I love my parents. I really, really do. They are obscenely loving and generous people, freakishly smart, surprisingly successful, charming and funny and affectionate and everything we want parents to be. In fact, I'm so spoiled in parental wealth, that it's the teeny tiny little things they do that drive me insane.
I've spent the weekend here, coming and going as I please, showing up at 1am, eating their food, drinking their wine, getting into huge discussions regarding Catholicism and gay rights over dinner and generally intruding on their space. I awoke this morning and within a half an hour, I was eyeing the door.
It takes me awhile to wake up. I need to shuffle around a bit just to get my synapses flowing. So my mom screaming, "Good morning, Sweetie!" when I walked into the living room kinda stressed me out. How can she possibly be so awake, so happy, and so annoyingly thin at 10am? I sat down, hoping to be ignored or perhaps silently be brought coffee, when my father approached, clad in a bright plaid bathrobe and somehow covered in newspapers. "Who loves Bethy!?!?"
I am supposed to respond, "Daddy does!"
But I am 27 years old and in no mood. It suddenly occurs to me that I'm annoyed because my parents are being too nice to me. That makes me a horrible person, but it's the god's honest truth. I need to be left alone, so I hide in my father's office and dive into CNN.com. My father's office overlooks the deck, the very deck where my mother has now set up shop with her crossword puzzles. She spies me through the window. "Bethy! What's a 6 letter word for Lionel Ritchie's 1983 hit song?"
I silently sip my coffee, hoping she'll move on to challenging questions that are more her speed. My mother will know every answer to the very difficult New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. Any answer, that is, save for those pertaining to pop culture. In the past, my need to prove that I was just as smart as my intellectual parents meant that I would gladly spout off a seven letter word for a Britney Spears album or a three letter word for the anchor of Weekend Update. But this morning, I want no part of a eleven letter word for something about Shrek.
I wander past the kitchen and notice that there is someone in the bathroom. The door is closed, movement and peeing sounds emanate from within, but there are no lights on. Why, I ask you, does my father insist on peeing in the dark? And more importantly, why does it drive me nuts?
From room to room they rapidly run, full of energy and talking, big plans for the day and things to say to each other. My father finally leaves for his parade, but only after saying goodbye seventeen times. My mother eventually departs as well, and I must move my car to let her out. I don't even apologize for blocking her driveway, sulking down to the car willing to move it only because it will allow me to bask in solitude. As I open the door to Rhonda the Honda, I discover that my father has placed a bottle of wine and an updated Yellow Pages phonebook on my seat.
I genuinely like my parents. Odd are, I like them more than I like your parents and would gladly select them had I been given the option. I mean, my father actually wanders around the house looking for things I might need.
I just don't understand what possessed him to grab a phonebook...