Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Fine, Kids, Call Your Mom Five Times a Day!

"I'm a 23-year old undergraduate at a small liberal arts college. In my view, there's nothing inherently wrong with having a very close relationship with your parents. Calling your parents five or six times a day–why not, especially if you consider them your friends? Just because the Boomers (and the Gen X-ers, to a certain extent) had bad relationships with their parents doesn't mean we need to repeat that experience."
This comment, in response to Terry Castle's essay on what it's like to teach the current crop of parent-attached young people, is pretty amazing! It's gonna be a long couple decades.

32 Comments / Post A Comment

I don't think I know anyone I want to talk to five times a day.

lempha (#581)

Honestly, though, what is wrong with these parents who want to listen to shitty twenty three-year olds yack about their problems while having to be at all times in all situations placating and affirming and never ever being able to Real Talk? The parents are weirder!

ejcsanfran (#489)

@lempha: Do you think they still co-sleep?

Is it too late to invade Iran?

Matt (#26)

I'm a 23-year old undergraduate at a small liberal arts college
I'm a 23-year old undergraduate at a small liberal arts college
#I'm a 23-year old undergraduate at a small liberal arts college

Snarkastic (#233,236)

@Matt It didn't occur to me that something was amiss until you said it three times. There could be any number of extenuating circumstances that prevented this person from attending college earlier in his or her life, but that fact that he speaks to his parents several times a day paints a depressing picture. No more, I say. NO MORE!

melis (#1,854)

I'm a 23-year old undergraduate at a small liberal arts college, going on 24, I've got to call my mom
Finals were hard
Can't afford my car
This is our Vietnam

Totally unprepared am I
To face my student bills
Timid and shy and scared am I
Please mail my anxiety pills

I need someone
older and wiser
telling me what I need
You are 54, going on 55
Have you seen my house keys?

Mr. B (#10,093)


@melis 23 and a half!

hman (#53)

@Matt SNOB.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@Snarkastic Hey, I resembled that remark. Just because you didn't "take a break" after high school and didn't "get two D.U.I.s within one year" and didn't get your undergrad degree until age 26, doesn't mean you don't call your parents all the time.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Shouldn't that read five or six times a YEAR???

barnhouse (#1,326)

I loved the essay (and Terry Castle in general) but I don't think you have to be either alienated, or not, from your parents in order to find fulfillment or success or whatever. I'm sure it was true about V. Woolf but what about all these father and son super scientists and whatnot. There aren't rules for any of this stuff.

I must say, too, I am glad that my own kids are less alienated from me than I was from my own parents. Maybe not five-times-a-day less alienated, but still.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

auto-erotic asphyxiation via umbilical cord.

melis (#1,854)

ew ew ew awesome ew

@Art Yucko I'm totes bummed cuz ma Momz can't make the Sig Ep cuddle party.

College: You Are Not Doing It Right

turd_sandwich (#5,660)

@Clarence Rosario srsly. i needed to pop and adderall and smoke a bowl and five cigarettes to get through a conversation with my mom at that stage.

The very notion of parents wanting their offspring to regard them as "friends" is the number one root cause of horrible parenting excesses in the last decade or so.

I mean, I'm not against friendly ties to mom and dad, but when the "parent" role is supplanted by "friend," the result is a gross, double-edged neediness that doesn't look good on anybody.

hyperion_nyc (#216,508)

"It's gonna be a long couple decades" — and then these umbilicals will start getting elected to Congress and I will be sitting in my Depends undergarments and, who knows, maybe they'll at least save Social Security. So their parental BFFs don't starve.

Who am I kidding? In twenty years we'll all be fucked.

turd_sandwich (#5,660)

i find this article completely disturbing. not just that this is the way things are, but do these yungins question anything? about the world or themselves? it's like the idea that things COULD be another way isn't even on the radar, and that's fucking terrifying. someone spike the stanford and harvard water supply with a few gallons of LSD, please! the future will thank you!

This message brought to you by turd_sandwich.

Bittersweet (#765)

@turd_sandwich: No, it's all about memorizing The Right Answers so you get The Best Grades and then you get a Good Job so you can afford all those calls and texts to the 'rents. Keep up, turd.

hman (#53)

The Chronicle of Higher Education is what you read when you're out of college, and you read about all of the things you didn't do.

C_Webb (#855)

OK, I love my children desperately, but may I just say: IF I'M SPENDING 50K A YEAR FOR YOU TO BE SOMEWHERE ELSE, GO ENJOY IT AND LEAVE ME ALONE.

flossy (#1,402)

@C_Webb Seriously. If I had kids in college and they called me for non-emergency reasons more than once a week I'd kick them off the family phone plan (and maybe block their numbers).

Pop Socket (#187)

I'm a 23-year old undergraduate at a small liberal arts college.

Worst. Penthouse. Forum. Letter. Ever.

Pop Socket (#187)

We were seriously perplexed when our college student son called us twice in the same month and didn't ask for money either time.

ejcsanfran (#489)

Is this another story about Lena Dunham?

faience (#206,496)

I left the country to get away from my parents who I call once a week and maybe see once a year; this has been the pattern for about ten years now. But the new cohort of MAs (Im an ancient PhD) definitely spend more time with their families than with each other especially in comparison to the cohort I started out with. As a result, the department seems increasingly fractured as none of new people seem to want to socialize with us old folk.

Hirham (#1,709)

@faience This sounds so much like me I had to check I didn't black out earlier and write it.

jkonrath (#9,354)

It's pretty hard to not talk to your parents at least five times a day if you're still nursing at 23.

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