“Are your kids nagging you?” I asked Marcia.
“Yup, and frankly when I see them calling, I don’t always pick up the phone.”
“Mine too. They are hovering and full of an opinion a second. They are dissecting our every move.”
“Yup, mine are no fun to talk to anymore!”
The kids are so worried about us because we are over-age. It’s risky this over-age thing. The kids worry about us like we worried about them when they were under-age teenagers. Now the tables have turned. When we leave the house they’re afraid we’ll get in trouble, contract “the virus” and ya know…..kaboom.
Here’s the way the calls have gone all week….
Me: “Jesus Christ, leave me alone. I told you I didn’t go outside!”
Nagging Kid (NK): “Ma, I can see you’re lying, I saw you on Find my Friend and you were outside.”
Me: “Fine, but I had to get out and I didn’t go near anyone.”
NK: “What was so important?”
Me: “Seriously, did he just ask me that and do I have to answer?” But, I didn’t want to start a big argument so I took a big breath and a soft tone and explained ever so calmly….
“Well, it was nice out so Bill and I went for a 25 mile bike ride. It felt fantastic and I felt a little guilty about it as it was so lovely. We were getting our Vitamin D intake which is supposed to be good for us. Exercise, mental health, vitamin D and sipping water alot…I think that’s ok, n’est ce pas?
(NK) “Really! I feel like you just don’t get it! You are making me nuts. What if something happens on the ride? Are you being careful, maybe you could go out at 7 am so there’s no cars.”
Me: “I promise, we are super careful, we are hyper-vigilent!”
NK: “Mom are you washing your hands like they tell you too. I mean really really washing them.
ME: As a matter of fact I was thinking I had mastered hand washing until I learned a few more secrets about washing in between the fingers and making lots of bubbles. I’m getting so good at it and just so I wouldn’t forget I video-taped my friend Susie showing me.
NK: “Mom, looks like you are closer than 6 feet to Susie”
ME: “What a Nag You are becoming!”
NK “Mom, how come you didn’t answer the phone last night?”
“Well,” I lied, “I didn’t notice you called.”
Truth: Bill and I have been renting in Florida and the weather was pretty nice this week so we have been getting into having a cocktail outside. We go down to our building’s pool area and have a drink. We sit way more than 6 feet from any other couple and chat. It’s such a friggin relief. We can’t tell the kids even though we are appropriately distanced. And we definitely can’t talk after cocktail hour because we have discovered how precious that Vodka and lime is. We don’t want any finger waving about the drinking either. But at least we aren’t driving!
NK Texting; “WTF, I just saw you took a walk on the beach. Don’t you know those idiot spring breakers are there — you are acting like stupid teenagers.”
ME; “Not a soul was there, we went after 5 pm and literally not a person was there!”
NK “Can’t you just stay inside, why is that so hard?”
ME: “Ok, here’s the truth about our generation. Most of us don’t have 24/7 jobs that are remote and easily adapt to distancing and technology. Most of us haven’t spent our working years like you guys on screens with earphones jammed into our heads so it’s not easy for us to just disappear into our work.
We don’t like all your Netflix shows and we don’t like spending all day on our screens. We were born to socialize. We were raised with a cocktail hour and it’s hard to break that habit and truth is, we don’t want to. We aren’t like you guys. We hate being isolated by technology and have worried about your generation slipping into the habit of thinking that texting is truly communicating.
Picking up the phone, having a conversation, just hanging out together..this is how we grew up and we wanted that for you.
We are not luddites, we don’t resist change but we are social beings. That said, we will act responsibly for our community, your famlies and ourselves. We will do our best. We won’t socialize, and if we do, it will be outside and we will stay 6 feet apart so we won’t end up 6 feet under because apparently you care alot about us. But we are sad for your generation and for ourselves. We all want to do the right thing and the truth is ….thanks for caring about us.