Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ryan Quinn: Parent

I won’t ever assume to know what it’s like to be a parent until I actually am one, but when that time comes, one thing I will make sure I never do that I’ve seen many parents do before me is forget what things were like when I was young - in other words, what things were like in reality. Strict-parents act like they have no memory of their former years, no memory at all, like they all used to pop Rohypnol recreationally or received an acute knock to the back of the head on their thirtieth birthdays. It either has something to do with the changing times or the simple fact that emotion cannot coexist with objectivity and perspective. If it’s neither then I don’t know what’s wrong with them, perhaps the drugs that were passed around during the seventies nullified their brain’s ability to see logic. So, before all of that paternal-haziness sets in for me and I get rug-rats of my own, I’ve put together a list of all the things that I have both learnt from my journey through youth and from the stupid mistakes that I’ve seen parents make during said-youth, this way I won’t be subscribing to the same nonsense.

Sex happens between midnight and 11.59pm
That’s it; job done. Thank god! Haven’t you heard? Two in the morning is sex o’clock. So, have your kids in the house by then and the battle for their innocence has been won. Phew! Isn’t parenting easy? Nahhhht! I love this, because parents have this dusting of the hands moment when they have their children home at night, like that’s their job well done. Because, that’s right, sex is a werewolf, but fuck the full moon, it comes out every night looking for your daughter’s v-word! Yeah, okay. And here comes the dumbest part - come daylight, they’re all like ‘do whatever you like; the world is your playground!’, you know, because nobody has ever had sex during the day. Reality-check, aisle four!

Sex happens everywhere
So, if not letting your children out at night is somehow an act of sex-prevention, then by that rationale, I wouldn’t get them a car that has any back seats in it or one that has the letter ‘P’ on the gear stick. You see, quite a while back, the French created this thing and it’s called ‘having sex outside of the house’, heard of it? Since then, kids have been doing it everywhere; take it from me.

Other teenagers are not the sex-police
Apparently, sex doesn’t happen when other people are around either. Despite the fact that I wish this wasn’t the truth, you can’t sit around in your lounge room kidding yourself that who’s around makes much difference, in fact, sometimes they make it worse. These kids just have to pull down the volume when they pull down the pants, that’s all. I personally cannot tell you how many times I’ve been to a house party where a couple has just disappeared for a while or one of the doors mysteriously won’t open. Moreover, something that shocked me is the super-secret, but not so secret, under the shirt shit that I sometimes spot in nightclubs. With all of those people around, not to mention the security guards, this truly debunks any delusions parents have about the whole group-mentality. In fact, this up-market club I went to a few years ago had these very suspect unisex cubicle-type things. I, uh…don’t really know what they were and regretfully (or maybe not) I didn’t investigate further – let’s just say that I was afraid of what I might see.

I also often like to indulge in the parental-misconception that their daughter’s best friend is always the best chaperone in situations that they observe as potentially-amorous. Another thing that the French created was this thing they call a ‘Ménage à trois’, you know, a threesome. Typically the idea of a good ‘ol Ménage is the guy’s and, take it from me, his fantasy does not involve crossing swords over his girlfriend’s naughty bits. So, if and when she agrees to a scenario which involves four or more breasts, who’s the first person the girl will suggest? I’ll give you a hint: it’s probably going to be the person she feels most comfortable with. So, perhaps the whole best friend approach isn’t as full-proof as some parents have fooled themselves into believing.

‘Formal’ and ‘Friday’ may start with the same letter, but they aren’t the same
Alright, so your child, whom is actually pretty much an adult, wants to see this dunce Friday night, but you won’t let them because the person is a dunce. No harm done because luckily there’s a new Friday night every seven days. Year ten and twelve formals, however, don’t tend to come around quite as regularly, so why ruin it? I can’t help but get this image in my head of me forty years old, showing my children photos from my formal and then having to think back on why my girlfriend wasn’t there, somebody whom could quite possibly be their mother, and why? Because my parents felt uncomfortable with the idea? Fuck that! Great, thanks for ruining my life, Dad! If I do nothing else as a father, one thing I will do is write them a blank cheque for their formal, because who the fuck am I to ruin that for them. Contrary to popular belief, some things are actually sacred to a teenager.

Overseas is not safer than here
I left this one ‘til last because, get this, there is actually a loophole to strict-parenting and it is – I love this! – lots of water. It’s so funny! Parents treat their own dumb rules like they’re the Wicked Witch of the West or something. Apparently, parents who dry-reach at the notion of their kids sleeping outside of the house on Australian soil have no qualms about them doing it for months on another country’s soil. It’s not just baby-prevention that water melts either, all of the rules that applied here seem to get confiscated by customs before you fly internationally, and understandably so. But the part that gets me the most is when the kids get back and the Australian rules get reinstated. So, as opposed to the whole getting approval to go on a vacation thing being a sign of growth, it’s actually just what a lawyer would call a ‘loophole’. I don’t know about you but I always struggle with the logic here, because being able to sleep overseas but not in the next suburb is a lot like if murder was no longer a crime but manslaughter remained reprehensible. I can tell you one thing, my rug-rats won’t be going on a trip anywhere with any more freedoms than they have here in their home-country. I just don’t see any point in playing mind-games with them.

Yeah, because I'm nuts...Speaking as somebody who dates their daughters, I’ve copped quite a lot of shit from parents in my time, usually to the point where I start to feel like Mark Wahlberg in ‘Fear’, the only difference being that I don’t beat people up or decapitate dogs. Evidently, birth sends people insane. The insane part being that I’m a really nice guy, but that’s never stopped a healthy bulk of the parents who have laid eyes on me from reducing me down to a dangerous sexual-predator within a matter of minutes. Some of them could’ve burned me into a pile of cartoon-ashes with those eyes! It would seem that with great paranoia, comes a not-so-great, nor useful, superpower. Slow exhale. I don’t know anymore, it looks like ‘reality’ is a dirty-word in some households, which is ironic because I’m having it inscribed on my family crest.

Oh yeah, and while we’re on that, if you hurt my future-daughter…Bang! Bang! Bang!

Bang! Bang! Bang!

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