Stuff I Really Kind of Like about My Life at Home: My Parents

December 9, 2012

As I’ve mentioned before, since returning to the States this summer I’ve been living at home with my parents.

Well, not exactly with my parents.

You see, they live in a house. As, you know, people tend to do.

I, on the other hand, live in their barn.

I live in the less barny looking barn.

Which, I think we can all agree is infinitely more awesome then living in their basement. Not that I really have anything against people living in their parents’ basements. I mean, seriously, you guys. I live in a barn. It’s not like I can afford to be all judgey here.

And, while I know living at home with the parents is not exactly every thirty-six-year-old single woman’s dream living situation, I can’t really complain.

After all, I spent five years in Asia living with my coworkers. And, no offense to my former coworkers or anything, but that shit was whack. (Excuse my language. But, I couldn’t really think of a politer way to say it. And, well, that shit was whack.)

Besides, if a girl’s got to live with her parents, you can’t really get much better than my parents.

Seriously, you guys, my parents are awesome.

And I’m not just saying that because my parents read my blog. Well, actually, only my dad reads my blog, as my mom’s not really into the Internet.  Which is probably a good thing. Because if my mom knew I was posting photos of her in a chicken costume online, I’d probably have to go find a new barn to live in.

If my mom asks, this never happened.

I’m saying my parents are awesome because, well, they are awesome.

In fact, they’re so awesome I’ve started to suspect we’re not really related. I mean, sure, I’ve got my mom’s dark hair. And I’ve got my dad’s nose.

See? We also both happen to look really good in bibs.

But, other than that, we don’t have a whole lot in common.

You see, my dad’s the type of person who can wake up at five in the morning on a regular basis even when he doesn’t have to.

He can drive for twelve hours straight without stopping.

And he can fix pretty much anything with a piece of wire and some duct tape. Sometimes he doesn’t even need the duct tape. Like, the other week, he fixed my toilet with a paper clip. See? Awesome.

I, on the other hand, can barely wake up by nine. And that’s only if someone’s paying me to get up at that time.

My forty-minute drive to work everyday makes me want to punch everyone in the face. Including myself.

And I can fix… umm, lemmethinkforasecond… breakfast? Does that count?

I made this, you guys!

My mom is also all kinds of amazing.

She can milk a goat, upholster a couch and bake a mean pie. Which, sure, may sound impressive as is. But did I mention she can do all of that at the same time?

My mom made these. While milking a goat. And refinishing an easy chair.

You know what else she can do at the same time?

Give birth to three babies.

I’m the cute one.

And she didn’t even send any of us back, you guys.

I, on the other hand, can hardly think and walk at the same time. And if I ever had triplets, you can guarantee I’d put them in a box on the street with a sign above it saying “Free Babies.”

(Ha, ha. Just kidding. I’d totally sell those suckers on eBay.)

(Ha, ha, still kidding. Come on, guys. I would never do that. I mean, I don’t even know how to use eBay.)

My parents and I also have very different ideas of how one should spend one’s free time.

In the evening, while I’m inside watching reality TV shows in my bathrobe, they’re outside doing chores. I don’t even know what these “chores” are, but I suspect there’s a lot of physical labor and wrangling of cows involved.

Then, last Sunday, I discovered my mom outside in the rain putting up Christmas lights.

On the chicken coop.

Possibly the most festive chicken barn ever.

And this Sunday, my dad was outside in the rain chopping down trees.

Meanwhile, this is how I like to spend my Sundays:

Sometimes I add cookies if I’m feeling extra industrious.

So, yeah, as they say, the apple has fallen pretty far from the tree.

In fact, this apple kind of rolled down the hill, went under a bush, and ended up fermenting into something alcoholic.

Mmmm… appley.

While I certainly can’t complain about my parents, I’m sure they have plenty of reasons to complain about me.

I mean, I wasn’t the easiest kid growing up.

I spent a lot of time pouting and stomping and slamming doors.

I’m the pouty one.

When my parents asked me what I did at school each day over the dinner table, I’d grunt back at them. Or sigh melodramatically and complain about how other parents didn’t make their children do horrible, evil things like tell them what they did at school that day.

And, when I became old enough to drive, I developed something of an uncanny knack for running their car into mailboxes. Or barn doors. Or really any inanimate object ever. And then would pretend like I hadn’t done it and would claim that the side view mirror had always been hanging off the car like that and they just hadn’t noticed it.

While I’d like to say I’ve matured and become a much better person, there are times when my inner pouty, stompy, melodramatic teenager comes out and decides to mow down a few mailboxes.

Like anytime I’m stressed.

Or haven’t had much sleep.

Or am hungry.

Which is pretty much all the time, so maybe I haven’t changed at all. At least, I don’t have the poofy bangs anymore. So there’s that.

I also don’t have all those eyebrows. So, there’s that as well.

As I’ve said before, returning home after six years overseas has been pretty stressful.

And, while I’d like to think I’ve been a relatively decent person in public, admittedly, I’ve been less than decent at home. I’ve been cranky and uncommunicative and prone to holing myself up alone when I probably should be helping out around the house.

And when I do help out around the house, it ends up looking like this:

These were supposed to be crescent rolls.

I haven’t managed to run the car into anything yet. But, give me time.

I’ve felt pretty bad about being such a brat lately.

So I took my parents out for dinner and drinks after my last class on Friday. As a way of thanking them for putting up with me for the past six months and to celebrate the end of my semester (and to, hopefully, convince them not to kick me out of their barn because it’s nice and warm in there and it’s not just me, you know, I have my cat to think about now) .

We scarved down a pile of nachos.

And kicked back an entire pitcher of margaritas.

And, then, we chatted about reality TV shows.

I started to think that maybe the apple hadn’t fallen so far from the tree, after all.

That is until we got home and my parents announced they had to go to the barns to do chores.

Meanwhile, I made my way to my barn.

To do some of this:

It’s a hard life.

Did you fall far from the tree? (Feel free to answer that question figuratively or literally. Or, you know, you’re welcome to just talk about your favorite Sunday activity or your preferred alcoholic beverage. I won’t judge. I mean, I live in a barn for crying out loud.)

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On December 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm Lindsay Hartfiel said:

    Love, Love, LOVE this! I can completely relate, especially to this part: “I’ve been cranky and uncommunicative and prone to holing myself up alone when I probably should be helping out around the house.” I feel that when I return home I automatically resort back to my 10-year-old self. On my own, I cook, I clean…I’m pretty darn independent! I love my parents but living at home after being abroad is not always easy. I guess all of us “adult” children who return to our parents barns, basements or rooms above the garage (in my case) should be thankful they still welcome us back!

    • On December 10, 2012 at 6:57 am Sally said:

      Yes, I’m definitely thankful my parents are so cool with me breezing in and out of the States and showing up to live in their barn every couple years. I don’t think everybody’s parents would be cool with that. It’s nice to know that I always have some place to come back to… that is until they kick me out of the barn.

  2. On December 9, 2012 at 8:28 pm Tom @ Waegook Tom said:

    Well in terms of looks, I look identical to my dad – the only gene I’ve got in terms of physical appearance from my mother is hair that is starting to go prematurely grey. Thanks, mum. Apart from that, me and my mum are pretty similar in terms of personality, but she’s another one of those weird parents who seems to be into the whole chores thing. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get on board with that.
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..Seoul’s Waterway: Hangang

    • On December 10, 2012 at 6:54 am Sally said:

      I hear ya. I have my mom’s dark hair but my dad’s prematurely greying hair (my mom claims to have never gotten a grey hair in her life… uh huh, sure). So since my hair is so dark, the grey hairs are super obvious. Thanks, Mom AND Dad, for that.
      And, yeah, chores? Hell, no.

  3. On December 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm MaryAnne said:

    By the time my parents were my age, they’d already bought 2 acres of forested land, which they then proceeded to clear themselves and then built (by their own library-researched plans) a house, a giant workshop, a chicken yard, a duck yard (both with fowl-appropriate coops), an orchard, a veggie garden so prolific we never bought veggies, and a woodshed so well filled by my dad’s excellent axe-work that our house was heated solely by the cast iron stove in the living room. Very Little House in the Big Woods. Oh, and they’d been married about 17 years and had me by then.

    I’m still living in furnished rentals in Asia with minimal upkeep. I briefly had a cat (for about 3 years in Istanbul) but she’s now living with my folks in Canada. Apparently my one strangled gasp at commitment and responsibility was short lived.
    MaryAnne recently posted..Notes on Not Running Away Again: Dealing Sensibly With a Shanghai Winter

  4. On December 9, 2012 at 8:46 pm jan said:

    Please tell me you pay lots of board money to your parents, by way of making up for your not helping in the Chores Department, and posting chicken photos of your Mum 🙂

    Seriously they will be loving having you home for a while (long while…) so you can probably get away with doing nothing at all.
    jan recently posted..Fantastic Friday – Fresh Seafood Hanoi Style

  5. On December 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm Priya said:

    Girl, I’m soooooooooooo far away from the tree that I can’t even see the tree. I’m glad you’re enjoying your time in the states! Will you be doing some traveling now that you’re done with all that grading that kept you from your drinking time? Well I’ve never lived in a barn, but I did work in a barn, you know, by accident. Does that count?
    Priya recently posted..5 Things I Learned From Doing 46 HOT YOGA Classes In 30 Days

  6. On December 10, 2012 at 12:13 am James @ Fly, Icarus, Fly said:

    I feel so sorry for my parents. Whenever I go back to the States for a visit, I load up on watching celebrity gossip shows and tennis re-runs. Then I steal all their free coupons to local restaurants. And make them buy me cheese. Lots and LOTS of cheese. I can’t seem to convince them that I’m actually an overachieving workaholic in my “real” life. But I’m sure they know that. Right? RIGHT?
    James @ Fly, Icarus, Fly recently posted..The Repro Men — Saigon’s Anonymous Artists

  7. On December 10, 2012 at 7:25 am Sid said:

    From my mother, I inherited my love of animals. EVERY time I see a dog in a bag, I squeal like a little kid. (And now I can’t stop singing, “i got it from my momma”.) From my dad, I got my grumpiness …
    Sid recently posted..Just an average Saturday afternoon

  8. On December 10, 2012 at 10:42 am Carmel said:

    No, I’m just like my mom, hence why we can still fight like nobody’s business. But then we just break out the whiskey and all is well.
    Carmel recently posted..Thanksgiving Recap

  9. On December 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm Kate said:

    Wait, you take your parents out for dinner AND margaritas? Girl, you are making me look bad!

  10. On December 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm Diana said:

    I hope your parents are smiling/laughing as they read this post! This reminded me of a line from The Last Lecture where Randy Pausch made it known that he “won the parent lottery”. Looks like you did too. 🙂

  11. On December 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm Sarah said:

    I have been living with the ‘rents for A YEAR. I am going absolutely mad. I packed in my rented property when I went travelling around the States for a couple of months, then thought I’d only be a few months looking for my next ‘forever’ place. I am just now refurbishing my new home… which is a good thing, because if I was here for very much longer, they’d have to start putting me in nappies again – that is how much I’ve reverted to childhood.

    I can safely say I will not ever live at home ever again. Ever.

    PS. Getting up before 9am should be a crime, so you are doing nothing wrong.

    • On December 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm Sally said:

      This is actually the 2nd time I’ve moved home after living abroad. The first time was for a year and a half. I’m hoping this time is just for a year. I do have to say the barn helps, though.

  12. On December 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm Kieu said:

    I think I’m from a different tree.. lol.
    Kieu recently posted..A Walk Through Hobbiton, in Photos

  13. On December 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm Selly said:

    Love this!!! Sometimes I too wonder but then I remember that uncanny stubbornness my dad and I both share and the fact that I can argue with him like I wouldn’t dare argue with anyone else…it’s those times that I realise he must be my dad. That and he actually understands that I’m grumpy and like to spend some time alone and down coffee after coffee… He doesn’t judge, just let’s me be… That’s got to mean that he’s my dad. There’s no other way to explain it. Also, I think your parents are pretty awesome. Then again you’re not so bad yourself 😉

    • On December 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm Sally said:

      Aww, thanks, Selly. And, yes, it’s nice to be with people who totally get your quirks and your grumpiness. My dad’s a morning person, but he doesn’t seem to mind that I don’t want to talk before noon. EVER.

  14. On December 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said:

    I fell waaaaaay far from the tree! Your parents seem beyond adorable!!!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..NASCAR: Day 3

  15. On December 12, 2012 at 12:11 am Tawny of Captain and Clark said:

    Girl, I WISH we had a barn to live in! We’re bouncing between our parents’ houses and my very religious mother won’t even let us sleep in the same room when we’re at the house. Did I mention that we’re 27, engaged and have been dating for 5 years? It’s great for the romance.

    As for apples and sh*t, I think I was split right down the middle with my parents. I look so much like my mom but act nothing like her. I definitely got my sense of adventure and rebelliousness from my father. I think it worked out for the best. I don’t know what I’d do if it was the other way around! I’m a hybrid-ish apple.

  16. On December 12, 2012 at 7:19 pm Gloria of You Wish You Were Here said:

    I love this! I just came back after 2 years of traveling and this is me.

  17. On December 13, 2012 at 8:21 am Julika said:

    I can SO relate to this, Sally! I just (temporarily!) moved back in with my parents. And although I really like my parents a lot, I feel like I’m 15 again… Sometimes it even sounds like my mom and I are re-enacting my teenage years with all those endless discussions about my room being way too messy and my stuff lying around. I think the parent-kid-relationship just gets a lot easier when you aren’t sharing the same kitchen… Thus, I do envy your cozy barn a little 🙂
    Julika recently posted..A Tale of Temporariness

  18. On December 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm cosmoHallitan said:

    I used to think I’d fallen far from the tree, but the older I get, the more I realize how much I’m like my mom, especially when I talk sometimes. Just the other day my husband goes “wow that sounded just like your mom.” Not sure if he was happy about that or not. And my dad and I share a stubborn streak that can have us arguing like nobody’s business. Since I’m an only child, they spoiled me rotten when I was a kid and that continues to this day. They adopted my diabetic cat when I moved to Shanghai and now give her insulin shots twice a day. And when I went home for two weeks over the summer, they drove me around to all sorts of places so I’d have stuff to write about on the blog. Awesome parents indeed!
    cosmoHallitan recently posted..Celebrating Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai

  19. On February 16, 2013 at 12:06 pm Ceri said:

    I’m about to find out! … Moving back in with my parents in 8 weeks and this should be a right riot!
    Ceri recently posted..The Next Big Move


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