The Winter holiday season is upon us, the end of yet another year of….whatever it was you did this year. You’re probably headlong into Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Ramadan shopping with last Thursday’s poultry but a distant memory. But I’m prone to reflection and I’d like to shed a little light on the meaning of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving means that you now have roughly 6 weeks of continued negotiations with your parents.
Like lots of people my age, I live in a different state than my parents. My mom passed about 15 years ago and the remaining parental – dear old Daddy – lives 2,500 miles away in Las Vegas. I have the best Dad in the world, and I’d dare anyone to challenge me. However, in spite of my paternal reverence, I generally prefer that at least a few states separate me from my father. Here’s why: he doesn’t think I’m an adult yet. I’ll illustrate what I mean by telling you a story from this weekend.
My Dad was in town for Thanksgiving, and we had dinner with family in New Jersey. Since I don’t have a car, we borrowed one to make the trip, and I volunteered to drive. Bad idea. First, let me say that I’ve had a driver’s license for over 20 years. My Dad taught me how to drive on the highways and streets of New York City, crazy cab drivers and all. In the past, I have actually owned a car and driven it throughout Los Angeles, North Carolina, and the NY Tri-State Area. Let me also remind you that I’ve lived in NY for most of my life so I know my way around. Finally, allow me to note that I’ve only been in 1 car accident in which I was not at fault. Why, then, must my Dad subject me to driving lessons, tips, and directions the likes of which I’ve not seen since I was 16 years old? If I hear anyone say “there’s a car coming up on your left” once more, I’ll throttle them I swear.
Hold on, I hear you say, your still his daughter, aren’t you glad he cares? Sure I am, but when driving one’s father to an airport that’s in spitting distance from your childhood home, one should not get directions on how to get there. Thanks, Dad, but I got it. I’ve actually visited a few airports in my day – business trips, vacations – and managed to get into and out of them without your help, so I’m all set. When I think about it, my Dad will probably always see me as a teenager because he still sees himself as a 50-year-old. And if we’re both over 20 years younger, I should probably start whining about an allowance and slamming the door to my room.
Tell me: does anyone else get the teen-age treatment when going home for holidays, or is it just me? Please, help me recover from over-parenting so I can make my Christmas flight plans without adding a hotel room.