I'm an advice column junkie. I can't help it. I kick off my morning with a frothy soy latte, my “Crack”berry and a heavy dose of the “Dear crew”. When I'm lucky, I can persuade David to play along with a game of “What would Abby do?” If he's is in a particularly sporting mood, we can delve far beneath the layers of the written word. What if the husband, “Chip,” is really in need of Viagra, and is not, in fact, having an affair as “Horny in Hoboken” thinks? What if the meddling mother-in-law, “Madge,” has a point-- maybe “Good Mommy in Leavenworth” is, indeed, a bad mommy. Normally, I can convince myself that it is a game of good clean fun. The anonymity of Chip, Madge and Horny are fascinating and comforting--these semi-fictitious characters have problems too.
Today's column was just plain disturbing. It involved a mother who is a newly retired homeowner with an outstanding mortgage. Unless she was the CEO of a major publicly traded corporation, this lady is on a whopper of a fixed income. Now get this—she has two butthole sons, aged 22 and 24, living in her home and she has asked them to pitch in and pay $30 a week. “Stressed-Out Mom” says that they are now “ranting and raving and calling her a bad mother.” She goes on to ask if she is being unreasonable. What?
Kick those pot-smoking, Cartoon Network-watching, little punks out of your house! How can you even ask if you are being unreasonable? It's time for you to grow some balls and live the life that you have worked your butt off for. They are friggin' able-bodied men who are completely taking advantage of your enabling ways. Are you going to raise their kids, too? Because sooner or later, one of them will actually get a date with a loser girl who doesn't care that she's seeing a guy who lives with his mommy. Then you are going to have quite the zoo on your hands.
I'm sick and tired of hearing about Boomerang 'Kids' and how hard it is for them to make it on their own in the big, bad world. Granted, our generation tended to be more involved with our children's education, nurtured their every talent, made sure they were safe from balloon-related latex allergies--but the helicoptering MUST stop at some point. The longer we wait, the bigger and badder the world will seem to our offspring.
“Stressed-Out” should have started her sons along a different path a long time ago. Isn't part of the job to teach your kids to care for themselves? I didn't raise my son and daughters to be good kids, I raised them to be real adults. That means once they are of age—they are on their own. They began hearing about this early and often. As they headed off to college, they didn't expect to hear, “Honey, come back any time things get hard.”--“Watch out for the screen door,” was a bit closer to the mark. They know I love them. Enough to want them to have lives they are proud of. That's not going to happen in my basement.