I have read in the past about this phenomenon called “helicopter parents”. These are the parents of kids, apparently it is really just parents of my generation, who involve themselves in the lives of their daughters and sons far beyond what was considered appropriate in the past. These parents call teachers, even in college, and argue about bad grades. They have even been known to call employers and argue about missed promotions and work schedules.
My dad and step-mom have not gone to these extremes; they try to hover over me (which is tough to do these days) but they are mostly content with…caring. I know, caring sounds like this great thing. But hear me out. Because it’s not great. It was great when I didn’t know that all this caring was going on. Now that I recognize and feel the harsh consequences of caring, it is both distressing and inconvenient. I have written recently about my troubles with Finite Mathematics and, not to steal TheBigShow’s style for a moment–well, I am stealing it, but it’s a good style–I think you will see how those troubles are multiplied by last night’s conversation with my dad.
Me: I think I am going to fail Finite Math.
Dad: You better not.
Me: Dad, it’s not as though I am trying to fail, it just may happen.
Dad: What are the odds of you failing? 50%?
Me: I don’t know, dad, Finite Math is a prerequisite of Statistics.
Dad: Don’t be a smart mouth, Meg. Have you sought additional help? Have you made an office appointment with your professor? How about a tutor?
Me: *shrugs shoulders, even though he cannot see me* I don’t know.
Dad: You seem rather cavalier about the matter. Math is an important skill, Meg, I know people say that, but it’s true. How do you expect to handle your finances without math skills? Not to mention that you need this course to graduate.
Me: The internet does all of our finances now.
Dad: More smart mouth. Do we still need to review all your assignments like when you were younger?
Me: That was last year. Besides, is that a rhetorical question?
My father is convinced he can call my school and they will provide him with a progress report at any time. I am certain that he can’t, but I have underestimated his ability to interfere in the past. This doesn’t start to describe the fact that my step-mom uses Twitter and follows me. This has lead not only to a precipitous decline in my Twitter usage, but a heavy increase in the need for me to remind her not to talk to me on Twitter. Or Xanga. Or anywhere outside of the confines of our home or a private phone conversation. Alas, she doesn’t listen.
Helicopter parents are a real phenomenon. I wouldn’t mind those army-helicopter style parents who destroy everything in their path to right any wrong that has been perpetrated against their offspring, but the guns tend to be aimed only at me.