Last week I turned 21. Thing is, when you turn 21, that’s 21 years of pain. Er. Parenting. The other half also deserves a lot of sympathy.
Except this is a review of my parents, and such niceness would be biased.
When reminiscing about our childhoods, I was told (twice!) “Your mum hated you!”. I insisted my parents spoiled me. I am trying, struggling, to remember why. The winning theory holds this is only because they’ve brainwashed me into believing them. I wasn’t allowed a Furby. Or a tamagotchi. Or a pony. Or Pokemon toys; I had to make my own out of pom-poms and pipe cleaners. I didn’t get chips or roll-ups in my lunch. I wasn’t allowed sleepovers.
In Year 8 I wasn’t allowed to learn violin. Apparently I’d get lazy. I feel like pointing out that later in the year I began studying Latin as an extra subject – I’m still studying it. Laziness? Bah! Years of wanting to learn piano also went ignored! The ukelele I bought this year was an act of rebellion; I was afraid my parents would be disappointed (no lie), that they’d scowl at me for wasting money as I’m capable only of laziness, not ~musical genius~. Instead I received how-to books for my birthday, with the words “I EXPECT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO PLAY WHEN YOU COME HOME“. Pretty cool.
I believe that is the only criticism I have. That, and they didn’t send me to a private school where everyone wore blazers dotted with dinky badges – even if I totez mocked those people. I feel like I missed out.
I never melodramtically declared they didn’t understand me and write terrible poetry about it. Surely this means they were doing something right. I didn’t rebel and do things without my parents’ knowledge. No wait. Once. I dropped Economics halfway through the year for Classics. They just thought it was funny I’d have eight exams at the end of the year.
The only major controversy the high school era brought was deciding on a university. Having finally convinced them that five years in Wellington would make for awesome times, I decided on Otago instead (the Dean was most charming on Open Day). I believe I was allowed to go on the condition that if I ever supported the Highlanders I’d be disowned. You wouldn’t believe how many months of persuading it took, only to change my mind. They must be relieved. Lucky parents.
My dad wins points for leaving notes around the house (“WE ATTACK AT DAWN. BE READY“). For a terrible sense of direction on Fridays after school, which inevitably meant we would “get lost” and need to seek “directions” at a dairy. For sometimes watching Top Gear with my sister and I. Not so much for firing water at me with a syringe, and claiming it was for my health. Or sneaking up and pouring water on my head…
My mum, for all the stories about her work in various law firms when I was little, which I suspect has had much influence. For being immeasurably proud of anything I did, be it rearranging furniture in my room or my single Merit in Year 12 Chemistry. For not letting me have an opinion without a good reason. For always having advice about anything. For listening to me talk and talk and talk (about nothing).
If I wanted a book, I got it. If I ran out of coke, I’d get more (teehee). I was allowed to see The Two Towers eight times in theatres, so I suppose they’ve been pretty good to me after all.
…But seriously, no Pokemon toys. Why was I so deprived.