Rubber Nesters

I’ve noticed that a faction of the general population has diminished at an alarming rate; I’m talking about Empty Nesters. They almost don’t exist…an endangered species…not unlike the Asian Panda…defeated…not even wanting to mate anymore…gives me the willies… They are the people that did their jobs as parents, raised their children, and provided them with a good base of morals and convictions, despite the fact they rarely had any of their own… They helped them through the rough Middle School Years and the near impossible trials of High School.

They dragged their half dead bodies out of bed, pushed them out the door.  They forced them to study, asked them repeatedly if they had homework? Was it done? Was it already late? They helped them fill out their college apps and FAFSA forms. Revealing to most of them that they weren’t poor just broke which didn’t seem to be much help. Them housed them, fed them, cleaned up after them for two decades plus. They send them out into the world, as their parents had done to them. Except, as if like the video games they endlessly play, they could hit the reset switch and start over, they turn up at their doorsteps, long faced with an even longer story of woe. They have returned to the nest, not sure when and if they will attempt to give it another go.

The Walk in closet that was their bedroom is now gone. The man-cave you waited forever to get was now history. The harness you had installed to hoist the Mrs. In a gravity free position for the benefit of your knees and her hips is now unhooked and in a burlap bag in the attic. They are no longer the ambitious go-getter you had sent out to earn their fortune. They return not broken and heads hung low, but with their heads held high, admonished in the fact they gave it the old college try; Even if they never attended a college other than for a Frat party or to buy some weed in the south end parking lot. They give you the same look they had when they got that participation trophy in 3rd grade little league, even though they were put back in the draft every year with a batting average of .006.

They tell you how hard it is today, “Everything is so expensive!!”  Yea I know! Weed has tripled in price since the 90’s…life’s a bitch. They will tell you how hard it is to get a career; you tell them “then get a job!”  They ask for gas money with an empty Gatorade bottle half filled with the rancid remnants of dip spit. Hmmm, had the money for the Gatorade and dip…just none for gas??

Did we do this? Hell yes we did! We gave them all the modern conveniences we never had, like a Xbox, Cell Phones in Pre-K and GPS for their Big Wheels…Oh course we did this to them, it’s our fault, must be…who else?  Them?  Nahhh… couldn’t be!

I think it all goes back to leg warmers… sweaty shins somehow affected the DNA of this generation. That warm and cozy feeling their mother’s enjoyed from knee to ankle somehow made them yearn for that same feeling in everything they do.  Maybe it was the massive overdose of fluorocarbons their mother’s were exposed to from excessive Aqua Net application. Nah I think it’s more nurture than nature. It started back when we put them #1 in everything we do, which is normal, except we had to let everybody else know just how special little Connor was!! We stuck suction cupped signs to the windows of our cars stating boldly to the world, “Baby on Board”! Who Cares? Everybody! They Better! My child is in this car, strapped down with belts, buckles and a sign!! He’s special! So cut off somebody else…flip someone else the bird as your pass on the right, I can use this lane…I have a Baby on Board…I’m carpooling bitch!

We made our little daughter’s Mothers as soon as they could clutch a cabbage patch doll, they couldn’t just have a dolly, we had to teach them something…not maternal instinct, but the Law. They had to sit down and go over the adoption paperwork at 4 years old. You are now responsible for Eunice; she is your child from this moment on…so the foster parent payment will stop immediately!! “Mommy what’s a dead beat Dad and what’s this stuff called child support?”

We have over-stimulated these Rubber Nesters from birth, scratch and sniff stickers were born with them. You shouldn’t have your first olfactory memories preceded by scratching, it started an entire generation of finger sniffers, regardless of what they touch they smell it…what have we done?  We sat them down in the playpen with Teddy Ruxpin, a robotic bear that more scared them into silence than entertained them. I often thought the expression on their face was more of a, “Is this thing going to eat my face?” look than anything else.

As we try and assess the blame on ourselves, society, culture, the one person we’re not hammering is the one that takes the last beer in the fridge EVERYTIME, The one that takes your laundry out of the dryer and stuffs it in a basket to put their stuff in, making your new shirt have more wrinkles than Dorian Grey’s Portrait, The one that  always shows up as the third as soon as the Chinese take-out for two arrives.

We will never be empty nesters…we have become rubber nesters with them bouncing in and out whenever you think you’re home free!  I’m willing and ready to share tips on how to get them out!

More to come…………………………………….