Convincing My Kooky Parents That I am Still a Writer
My quirky aging parents are a subject I blog about often, and some readers tell me it is their favorite topic that I write on as I make them seem hilarious. I swear I don’t make anything up and I don’t exaggerate. As they have aged, their quirk is merely more pronounced, and stubborn and at times annoying.
For example, as any of you know who are actually reading my blog at my new site, or have found my new site, I recently removed my personal blog from a site based at the Houston Chronicle. I am still a contract writer for the Chronicle, busy as ever. But I wanted my own site for my blog, to be free to write anything I wanted to write about. So far I am happy with the move, and hope that the rest of the Chronicle blog readers catch up to me.
I of course announced the news of moving to my own site to friends and family. My parents do not have a computer, because if you will recall from earlier blogs, they are stuck in a 70’s time warp. Austin Powers has nothing on them. Not only do they not have a microwave or a telephone answering machine, they do not have a computer or even a smart phone.
So I did NOT announce this news to my parents. They don’t access the internet and never have read my blog, so I did not feel the need to tell them.
Now it is true that I don’t tell them bad news of any kind because they then make it on the level of a catastrophe. (Like a simple flat tire evokes the horror on the level of a bad car wreck) Sometimes this bad news I withhold from them, like my son having major surgery for example, travels back to them via cousins.
I adore my cousins, but they sure have big mouths.
At any rate, since my parents know that I do not tell them any negative news, they are always suspicious I am hiding something from them. They try to probe me with questions to see if I will let any bad news slip out. They simply won’t believe my life is wonderful and perfect – can you imagine that?
They recently visited my wonderful cousins for Thanksgiving. I stayed in Houston with my family and friends. I think my cousin was trying to tell my parents that I moved my “column” (blog) and somehow this information got to them that I left the Chronicle.
The conversation tonight went something like this:
Mom: How come you aren’t writing for the newspaper anymore?
Me: (Genuinely confused at first) Who told you that? Nothing could be further from the truth – I am busier than ever.(Note – again, they have no internet to quickly validate this and they live 1200 miles away)
Mom: Are you sure? Because that’s what we heard at Thanksgiving.
Me: Who would tell you that? It is simply not true.
Mom: If it is true it is a shame – it is very good to write for a daily newspaper and you shouldn’t give that up in this economy.
Me: But it isn’t true.
Mom: Well I don’t know why someone would tell me that if it is not true. (Continues probing because she just KNOWS I am hiding something only this time I am not)
Me: Oh, I know! My cousins must have told you that I moved my column (They never understood the term blog being stuck with a 70’s terminology vocabulary to match their décor, so I always called it a “column”)
Mom: No, I don’t think that was said. They said you weren’t with the Chronicle anymore.
Me: Yes, that part is true, my column is no longer at the Chronicle site, I have my very own site.
Mom: I don’t know why you would want to give up a newspaper job in this economy.
Me: Tell me about your last stomach attack again. (Distraction tactic always works if I ask about her health)
Back to this blog: I used to send my parents tons of my clippings: magazine stories, cover features etc. so they could see my name in print and see my writing since they live so far away and don’t access the internet. One day my mom called me (this was years ago) and forbid me to send any more of my stories.
Mom: Arlene, we simply do not have the space for your stuff!
Me: Why don’t you just throw it out after you read it so it doesn’t cause clutter?
Mom: But we never get around to reading it – so it just builds and builds and causes clutter.
Me: (Visualizing mounds of my materials just sitting there.) Sigh.
But GUESS WHAT? I am going to have to get out my scissors this week and clip out all of my stories to send to them via snail mail. The moratorium on not sending them articles is over since I have to now PROVE that I am still writing. (Hopefully, even if they don’t read it, they can catch the recent date on them and know I am still writing.)
And now for that email to my well meaning cousin, where I link this blog!!!