Reasons why we do not hate our parets

Amy Durazo

There are aspects of Thanksgiving I love: being lazy, being allowed to ask for third helpings, and being the only crazy person at the gym after dinner, working off my second slice of pumpkin pie. But being with my parents? Ehh, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my family (lerve, if you are familiar with Dane Cook). I thrive on heading home and vegging on the couch watching “The Simpsons” with my dad and brother, or HGTV marathons with my mom. But that is in the privacy of our own home, away from the gawking public.

Of course, we all went through a stage during high school when our parents so much as acknowledging us in front of another human being made us want to crawl into a sewer and start a new life with the rats, who wouldn’t dare judge us.

But why?

What is it about our parents that is more humiliating to us than falling up the stairs in front of Ms. Social Butterfly or having a gust of wind blow our skirts up in front of the basketball star?

Is it because our parents know all the things about us that we hope no one else will ever find out?

Because they changed our dirty diapers and have the power to tell anyone we might possibly date how disgusting it was? Or because they are just plain old and out of fashion?

This Thanksgiving, my mom decided that, instead of spending days in the kitchen cooking for ten or so of our favorite extended family members, we would spend turkey day with their close family friends, whom they’ve known since college.

This means fifty-somethings wandering the house, reminiscing about the good ol’ days at the University of Arizona and attempting to make slang words cool again. For example, Dad and his buddy Larry referring to their wives as “skirts.” Add alcohol and well … let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Thanksgiving dinner was worse. My candied yams were spoiled by Dad making an inappropriate comment in reference to Daisy the dog putting her head in his lap. Everyone at the table laughed, including my 15 year-old brother, while I cringed and scowled and rolled my eyes.

“Stop being a brat!” my mom cried. “You’re the only one not laughing!”

“They’re not laughing with him, they’re laughing at him!” I hissed.

Maybe they were laughing at me, because I didn’t get it. Not the joke, but the fact that these people know my dad. As the great person he is, not as the horrific joke-spewing alien trying to ruin my life on purpose that I sometimes believe him to be.

Later, as we watched West Virginia destroy Pittsburgh on what he called “high density TV,” my dad joked with me until I cracked a smile, which meant that I forgave him.

“This would make for a great column,” he said.

“Yes,” I agreed. “I could call it ‘Reasons why we hate our parents.'”

For some reason, it just didn’t sound right. After all, there is no reason for us to hate our parents, even if they make us get a job and tell us when we have to come home at night and yell at us for throwing our lives away. After all, our parents do know everything about us that we hope no one else will ever find out, they have changed our dirty diapers, and they are old and out of fashion, so they would never steal the spotlight away from us!

“Just wait 20 years,” Dad said. “Mom and I will be in wheelchairs and you and your sister will be arguing over who has to change our diapers.”

Thankfully, by that time, there will be a massive shift in power, and I’ll be the one attempting to embarrass (literally) the crap out of them.