I’m friends with my parents. It’s unlike many of the other friendships I’ve formed recently such as when I’ve forced co-workers into friendship through humor and stimulating conversations. And it’s different than the friendships I’ve had since high school when we became friends because of our love for coffee shops to order Italian sodas after school.
This friendship with my parents has developed through travels, both domestic and abroad, and from the various times I lived with them as an adult as I figured out my next life step.
I haven’t lived with my parents in over four years, but I do still travel with them, visit them at their house for a weekend every now and again, and attend Oregon Ducks football games with them. Essentially, we like to hang out now and again.
But today, my parents are exercising their squatters’ rights at my apartment. What am I talking about? Well, my parents came to stay with me Friday night before the Ducks game on Saturday. Then had planned to go home after the game, but my dad was tired so they decided to stay a second night. When my mom realized that an NFL game was on this morning, they decided to stay a bit longer. I find it hilarious. My TV is a 13-inch VCR/TV combo that I bought back in 2001. It’s a crap television, but I have cable. My parent’s don’t have cable so watching NFL football real-time on my 13-inch TV is absolute heaven.
When they started joking with me about them overstaying their welcome, I laughed. I really don’t mind as long as they respect my decision to blog and write letters while they watch Marcus Mariotta and company take on the Oakland Raiders. (I’m not really a football fan; I attend Ducks games entirely for the social aspect.)
I think it’s fun to be friends with my parents. It changes the dynamics of what we’re able to do and how I can spend my time with them that likely differs greatly from how my siblings interact with them.
One of my prouder moments of our friendship also came this morning when my dad and I talked about women’s equality. He told me that our conversations in the past year about women’s equality have made him notice things differently. He noted that movies from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to films made in the 1990s depict female characters in small, traditional roles of secretary, mother, etc. and that there were no strong, female leads in films he has seen. My immediate thought: Duh, Daddy. It’s relatively recent that female actors are in key roles in film. But – as Tina Fey joked in her sheet cake skit on an edition of this summer’s SNL Weekend Update – people won’t show up for those powerful films with strong female leads. It’s frustrating. And yet honestly, I am incredibly grateful that my dad is starting to notice this and that he finds it weird. His friendship with me alone should show him that sassy and strong female characters make any story, travel, and adventure more interesting.
I enjoy being friends with my parents. Despite the fact that I disagree with their politics, I find them quite wonderful people. And I appreciate having an adult friendship with folks who are the very reason I was brought into this world. It’s kind of cool.
And honestly, if they want to exercise their squatters’ rights in my apartment any given Sunday, I’ll just learn to make due and enjoy it.
Tata for now.