Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Are You a Good Son or Daughter?

I'm going to go to my parents' place after work today. I have to make a scheduled time to do it, or I will get lazy and go home, so I booked a Wednesday. It's not a bad deal, because they cook me the meal of my choice, and my dad is an awesome cook. He usually loads me up with other leftovers, so I have free meals for a while, and my roomies are loving that too, especially when there are cookies.

It's always good to see them, and to see the dog, but it's just in a suburb the opposite opposite way home on the interstate, away from Chicago. After work I'm just so drained. Like today for instance, staying late with the most defiant, manipulating, work-avoiding student of all time. I'm basically staying here until he's done, and he's pulling every trick in the book on me. So, I'll have 5 days like these, then I say I'll go on the weekends, but then I work Saturdays, and Sundays I wake up late, turn on the Bears game, and before I know it, it's too late.

Give me some input here, seven readers. I'm just trying to figure out if I'm a lousy son or not.

How often do you all see your parents?
Do they live near by?
How often do you call? Do you call when you have something specific to tell or ask them, or do you ever call just to chat?
Do you have a specific activity, like weekly, that you always do with them?
How about this kicker: Do you exchange, "I love you's" at the end of the conversation?

Thanks in advance for the input. Hey, it doesn't always have to be funny. We can delve into a little introspection and learn a little about ourselves too . . .

-The Gancer

21 comments:

classyandfancy said...

I see my parents about 2x's a month, but even though they are still married, I don't always see them at the same time. Weird, I know, but they have really different schedules and interests.

They live near-ish by, but it is really hard to get motivated to take the brutal traffic ridden trek that is Southbound on Interstate 55.

I call at least once a week and with my dad, since he is home during the day, I am on messenger with him once or twice a week for about 10 minutes or so. It's an interesting experience and we usually talk about sports, my family, or Old Style (which is an extended family member).

I don't have a specific weekly activity with them except for the phone calls.

I always exchange "I love yous" at the end of a conversation with my mom and sometimes with my dad. It's strange though, that when I am on messenger with my dad he always ends our conversation with "luv dad".

So, in sum, I don't think that you are a lousy son, you are a busy son with a stressful job and limited free time. This may sound cheesy, but I think as long as the time that you do spend with them is worthwhile and of quality, it makes up for the deficit in your overall time with them.

classyandfancy said...

God damn I had a lot to say! Am I experiencing daughterly guilt?

trinity67 said...

1. I see my parents (my mother and stepfather) about once every two weeks.
2. They live less than a ten-minute drive away.
3. I call about once every two weeks.
4. I call them when I have something specific, we're not big chatters. But when we do see each other face to face we chat.
5. No set activites. Just birthdays, memorial services and celebration of holidays.
6. At the end of a phone conversation with my mom I always say "Kiss" in Ukrainian and then follow it up with an actual kiss sound. With my stepfather he says, "Kiss" in Ukrainian. With my father he says, "I love you very much, kiss kiss," and with my ex-stepmother we say "Kisses" in Ukrainian.

I think you're a good son. If this visiting arrangement works for you and for your parents then it's all good.

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Classy: Keep doing what you're doing. Especially the Old Style talks.

Trinity: So, how do you say kisses in Ukrainian?

Cherry Ride said...

One of the reasons I moved back to Chicago in February was to be closer to my parents -- so I am the MOST AWESOME son alive. ;-)

I see my parents about 1-2x a week. Usually Sunday nights (for dinner) and maybe once more during the week if I am bored.

They are about an hour drive to the South Side. 35 minutes if the Dan Ryan wasn't torn up.

I call about twice a week. Most times it is just to say hi, not because I have something I need from them.

Sunday night dinner is becoming a regular tradition. Aside from that, we will all venture to my family's lake house in Indiana a few times during the summer. My family has not gone on an actual vacation together in about 5 years (when Mom, Dad and my brother came to visit me in Portland for XMas).

I'd say the "I love you" quote comes into play about 25% of all conversations. A little more when it is my mom, a little less with my dad -- because, you know, we're manly men and all.

I agree with Classy and Trinity - you sound like a good kid to me.

hamburger helper said...

um...i wouldn't say you're a bad son, but if you're feeling guilty, then something should probably change.

i see my mom and dad at least twice each week. usually once for dinner and once over the weekend. my husband comes with for the dinner thing, but the weekend visit usually has a purpose. like wasting the afternoon away with mom at the mall, or some fun home repair with dad...you know, the usual. my sister (i know we're not focusing on siblings, but they count, too) my sister and i barely see each other. which is just how i like it. is that bad? am i a bad sister?

anyway, the i love you thing just doesn't fly with my fam. we're just not that touchy feely. my in-laws however say it ALL THE TIME!! which for a heartless gal like me, is just annoying. but that's a completely different blog all together.

chuckdaddy2000 said...

Don't know anyone here (random guy at the party!), but was just surfing about and thought this was interesting. You all are such good kids, you're all making me feel guilty. Thought I'd give a out-of-towner example.

I see my parents twice a year b/c they live in Chicago, me Portland. Not sure how much we'd see eachother if we lived in the same town since I left after high school and never returned. We talk about once every 2 weeks, but it's starting to feel like less. My family is very non-emotional so I can't remember the last time we said, "I love you," but I am always surprised that my normally reserved dad gives me a full-on bear hug when I come home.

Nice meeting you all-

darci ann said...

whoa, who are these dorks who are so tight with their parents?!? ;-) To balance out the equation, I've seen my dad like 3x in 10 years and see my mom maybe once a month averaging it out over the year - neither are local of course.

Go easy on yourself - guilt and obligation are evil.

Matt said...

I usually visit the parents up in Oxford every couple of weeks for the Sunday roast, which is about 50 miles, or one hour away, so not too far out of reach.

The Sunday roast is is pretty much tradition, and somewhat like a mini Christmas; we have a big meal, followed by me and my Dad falling asleep in front of some old film on TV.

I do speak to them on the phone, but they usually call me before I call them. Not often for anything specific, just to catch up on things.

I don't think the "I love you's" ever come into it, it's just an unspoken thing. I'll chat with my Mum, but conversation with my Dad is more a series of short manly grunts. Most people can't understand me and my Dad talking!

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Cherry: Damn! You sound like the son of the year, for real. Three cheers! After this weekend, when we're more officially BFFs, do I have an open invitation to the lake house?

Hamburger: You'd appreciate this, either that or you'll be super offended, during our basketball league last night my roommate angrily called the ref "Jew 'fro." Anyway, thos in-law I love you's sound like they're coming in fast and furious. Be afraid . . .

Chuck: How'd you find us? Glad you came! I'll tell you what, a lot of us live in Chicago, so we'll visit your parents for you.

Darci: We ARE dorks. You're so right. 3 X a year is what the cool kids are doing. You are a rebel, you crazy helmut girl you! Keep it real.

Matt: You said "mum." Hee hee. Do you say "bum" for ass too? Hee hee.

God's Child said...

Mom, every day. Dad bi-annually I think maybe.
Mom lives upstaris. Dad lives 2 states away.
I speak to Mom on the phone several times a week, even though she lives upstairs. I speak to dad every few months or so. I never call just to chat. Unless I'm away from my Mom, then we'll chat.
No activities. Somtimes I go to church with mom.
My dad likes to squeeze it in there at the end and I feel like I have to say it back. I don't really want to though. Makes me feel like a liar.

Matt said...

Sorry, forgot to translate for the American audience, I'll have to brush up on my American English before the trip in March!

And we have arse instead of ass over here :)

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

God's: Do you want to share with us the source of your resentment towards dad? Just kidding.

Matt: Saying arse kicks arse! We are going to get your arse drunk when you come to Chicago.

Drunken Chud said...

unfortunately, i live with the 'rents though, before i moved back, i saw them seldomly. talked to em once, maybe twice a month. saw them maybe bi monthly. except for holidays, i'd usually try to make those. as far as conversation ending "i love you" mom, 100% of the time. dad, he says it, i say, "later on" as in, catch ya later. i don't feel that men should say i love you on the phone. it's unnatural. heh.

Steph said...

My parentals moved seven hours away, but this poses bigger problems.
If i don't call at least once a week they get shitty. If i don't visit at least once a month they get shitty. And if they come to my home town and i don't make time for them they get shitty.

So pretty much they're pissed at me ALL THE TIME.

Cherry Ride said...

Dr. Ken:

Sorry we messed up and didn;t make it to the second bar (long story!)

AWESOME time last night, hanging out with you. I just posted about it. With photos. Proper!

PS - send me an email, let's hang out some time.

NAME: Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

Steph: They're pissed because they care.

Cherry: PROPER!! Let's you and me spend get change for that 5 you found and check out some field goal kicking in the buff.

God's Child said...

@dr.kenneth
it's probably the same as everybody else who has resentment--varying degress of "you never took me to the zoo"

Loudlush said...

How often do you all see your parents?

Honestly? 1 -2 times a month. I hated even writing that I see them so little.

Do they live near by?

About 20 - 30 minutes away. I drive that far for a good pizza.

How often do you call?

Once every couple of weeks if nothing is happening. More if there is stuff going on. More if I'm having a crisis. Less if I'm having fun. Gah, am I Satan??

Do you call when you have something specific to tell or ask them, or do you ever call just to chat?

See above. I'm going to Hell.

Do you have a specific activity, like weekly, that you always do with them?

No... try to go fishing with my Dad though.

How about this kicker: Do you exchange, "I love you's" at the end of the conversation?

Always. Didn't used to until my Dad had a heart attack and quadruple bypass surgery (at 50yo.. how much am I loving my DNA) but I always do now. And they say at back.

Katie in the UK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie in the UK said...

I'll be random girl at the party to compliment ChuckDaddy. I have to say, you all make me feel like the worst child on the planet...well, except for Darci. Darci, you make me feel lots better.

How often do you all see your parents?
My mom - maybe once a year (she comes to me). My dad - maybe once every 18 months (I go to him).

Do they live near by?
No. I live in London. They live in Alaska.

How often do you call?
Mom calls every Sunday but sometimes I can't be bothered to answer the phone. We never go more than 2 weeks without chatting. I call my Dad about once a month. Sometimes he's home, sometimes I leave a message.

God, that sounds really sad.

Do you call when you have something specific to tell or ask them, or do you ever call just to chat?

Clearly not. Although, sometimes I will call just to chat to my mom but then she gets all "mom" on me and I get frustrated cause I didn't want advice I just wanted to talk.

Do you have a specific activity, like weekly, that you always do with them?
Sad that I can't even put talk on the phone here...Although, when we were kids my Dad had a stint where he took us bowling once a week. I think mom told him he needed more kid time. I am still a pretty crap bowler.

How about this kicker: Do you exchange, "I love you's" at the end of the conversation?
Yes. We definitely do that. Ok, maybe I am not such a bad child after all!