Beware the Coming of the Parents

With the subject of my last post, that title could appear lewd, but I assure you, it’s not dirty. And I now feel gross for even having introduced the possibility of the unsavory alternate meaning that might cause some to picture their parents riding one another bareback. (Oh no, I did it again, didn’t I? I’m really bad at this…like everyone’s dad at oral sex…Ahhh, drat, I really poked the wrong hole on that one. What? That last one I was talking about trees and beehives.)

Image courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half
Image courtesy of Hyperbole and a Half

My parents will soon be arriving to stay at our relatively recently purchased home tomorrow. This is a touch of pressure. I know what people think: “It’s your parents, they’re probably just over-the-moon that you own property. They are proud.” Those who assume such a position, lack the petrifying clarity that comes with knowing the Uatu The Watcher-like all-seeing gaze and silent-building-to-gossipy-judgement that is my mother’s mutant power. She’s incredibly open-minded…until you leave the room.

I love my parents to pieces. I do. But I’m still completely stressed out at their ominous arrival. Simultaneous to knowing they just want to come and see our adult nest and enjoy the company of the adult they helped create, I also phobic of all the subsequent conversations that will be had when they return home.

There, that's Uatu, appearing and looking down on all, like my parents
There, that’s Uatu, appearing and looking down on all, like my parents

Here’s a sampling of my thoughts for the past month:

We have to clean but how deep so deep that the cleanliness is beyond reproach and if we’re called on that as though we missed a spot we have to be willing to lick the surface to prove our confidence in our cleanliness and possibly carry around a crazy-straw so that I can prove what great homeowners we are by drinking out of the toilet or our clogged sink and then we have to hide all of the potentially embarrassing things that all humans use or just set them on fire because my parents will ferret-out all of those things even if they were dipped in cement and buried under the remains of the Titanic and whatabouttheirdietaryrestrictionsTHISREQUIRESMOREPLANNINGTHANANOCEAN’S11HEIST!

It goes on from there, one long run-on sentence of worry and stress. I could have hired a cleaning team, but they aren’t going to get every crack and crevice that I most assuredly obsess over and that my mother would somehow end up leaning on then smugly dusting off her hands. She’s a treat, really, not the monster I’m making her out to be, but I know–not “suspect,” KNOW–after she returns home, she’ll have a conversation with my sister, who is a monster, and who will dig up reasons to feel superior, like an archaeologist of insecurity. It’s like friending an ex on Facebook after you break-up.


In other words, I’m really looking forward to hosting my parents for the weekend! (Or: there’s a reason I moved several thousand miles away from these people.)


Add yours →

  1. Being old both my parents have long since died, so I am now the parent who goes to my kids houses and I would just like to say two things.

    The first is most parents are keen not to hunt about to find things that they would rather not find, we just assume that all that stuff is hidden away. Most parents like most kids really dont want to know the fine detail of what their kids get up to in the privacy of their own home. . . . . . as long as its clean and tidy

    The second point is all those terrible thoughts about sex and your parents, well I would just like to reassure you it is probably much worse than you think . . .

    I haven’t passed by in ages, I hope all is well

    Rob Z Tobor


  2. Loved Rob’s comment….so funny to think about parents and sex. TMI, right. I try to not make any judgments when I’m in my daughters’ homes. Both are wonderful decorators, not always the neatest or the cleanest, but I don’t really care, and I definitely would NOT say anything to either of them about the other.


  3. This is the part where I lecture you about how lucky you are to still have parents you can talk to. Seriously, though: Kids and parents know each other too well and sometimes take offense at a facial expression or something that they believe means something it doesn’t.

    Except when it comes to dust, I mean. If there’s dust, she’s totally judging you.

    You’re still lucky. Probably.


  4. As . . . interesting . . . as your parents (especially your mother) sounds, your next post should give us all the dirt on your beyotch of a sister. Sounds like there might be some good stories there!


  5. Yes, when my parents come to the apartment, it’s all CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN and HIDE THE DIRTY THINGS until they leave. Luckily, I have a cat that distracts them. Did I tell you they love her more than me and refer to her as their grand kitty? Yeah.


  6. Until you leave the room? No kidding. What, they will ferret-out all of ‘those things’ even if they were dipped in cement… Hmmm I getting worried now…. And your sister is a monster?

    No wonder you’re Superpickleope. Great disguise too.

    Well, all I can say is give it your best shot. Just stay away from the Toilet Shot. Have something else to drink when the going gets tough.


  7. My grandfather would often go and stay with my parents after leaving hospital, dad would want the house to be super clean when he arrived mum was like I am flat out taking care of the girls and you to worry if the house is clean enough if he doesn’t like it he can go stay with Pat & John (aunt & uncle), however, in truth pop preferred to stay with my parents as our home felt like a home, nice and lived in unlike Pat & John’s home which felt more like a display house then a home.


  8. abeerfortheshower May 10, 2015 — 9:03 pm

    I’ve never been farther than 15 miles away from my parents. Which sounds terrible, but they visit so often that they’ve accepted my half-assed cleaning. They acknowledge that everything’s just permanently covered in a thick coating of dust that no brillo pad can scrub clean. And they don’t ask questions like “why do you use the couch as one big clothes hanger?” and “why is only 1 dish clean at any given time?” Because they already know the answer. Yeah, it’s pretty sweet.


  9. Well, Pickleope Von Pickleope, they will gossip regardless. Right? So who cares? Leave a speck of dust or two. Heck, put a whoopie cushion under the sofa pillows. Replace the liquid hand-soap with toothpaste. Feed them gravy drenched dog food and say it’s beef stroganoff. This could be fun.

    PS Hope it goes much better than you expect it will.


  10. Have you fled the country yet? Just checking….


  11. Hopefully, I can comment via “Farcebook”. Will copy and paste, just in case.

    Hosting your parents for the weekend and all the unneeded stressful thoughts that can play on your head. Then again, you love your parents to pieces. I hope that isn’t literal.

    Hope it turns out well. I was so impressed with my mother when she married another dude, that I thought, what the hell, why don’t I move eight time zones away…..:)

    Time for me to share drinking out of the toilet bowl with the dog….



  12. Well, using bloody Farcebook didn’t seem to work. I cannot see my comment. Yep, good thing I copied and pasted. So here is my copy and paste….

    No, my copy and paste has turned into my blogging address. Dammit, I forgot what I wrote. So here goes, yet again. I hope it all works out over the weekend. I wouldn’t want to think of you stressing out over how you present yourself and your new place. Besides, you love your parents to pieces. I assume that’s not a literal statement 🙂

    Must go now, the dog is drinking from the super clean toilet bowl and requests I join in…..



  13. Timely post. Mum coming to stay in 2 weeks. This gives me 2 more weekends to frantically sort and clean things that haven’t been touched in months. Will she actually care? As long as there is no blatant grossness, no, probably not.


  14. Oh my holy hell. I’ve been living with significant other for about 6 years now and have had my parents over exactly 4 times. FOR ALL REASONS LISTED ABOVE! The stress. Ohhh the fucking stress.


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