Friday, January 16, 2009

New Father's Survival Kit: Item #5 Reconciling with your parents

So, the 'rents screwed you up royally, huh? They unleashed such a wicked suburban upbringing on you, you had to run all the way to Brooklyn and remake yourself into the hippest, baddest, urbanest Dad on the planet. They messed you up GOOOOOD. As you and your shrink have concluded, THEY are the reason you're like Chip in The Corrections. In fact, you're convinced your upbringing was criminal... You wish you could, like Gary Coleman, sue the crap out of them for parental malpractice. But that would be too gauche. It's better just to immerse yourself in your artsy career, in your alterna-clique, here in the land of the Gowanus.

... Or are you just imagining it? Do you just have a persecution complex? Are you running away from nothing?

Either way, here's the thing... You've been thinking about your parents more and more lately. Because you are coming to realize that, well, raising a kid in New York City is hella expensive. I mean, sure, you make good money, even great money... And before you had your Life Force Sucker, you, like me, the Unit, had mad disposable income. You tried on hobbies like they were T-shirts at Old Navy: You tried snowboarding, guitar playing (did you need that Les Paul?), art collecting; you even adopted a Vespa that refused to run no matter how much money you poured into it.

But now you are spending your wad on diapers, on DAYCARE. And unlike in First World countries like France, where daycare is subsidized, you're spending after-tax dollars for your nanny or your daycare center. (...I know childless folks have no idea what I'm talking about here; after tax wha wha wha?...)

Look at the facts. Here's your monthly budget:
  • Daycare = $2200-plus a month, depending on how many DATE NIGHTS you and Mrs. Unit go on, in a vain effort to reignite the dying embers
  • Milk (organic, Fairway) = $30
  • Mood stabilizers = $20 copay
  • Gore-Tex Italian shoes from Peek-A-Boo, for the Life Force Sucker's fast-growing hobbit feet: $80
  • Lulu's haircut = $20
  • Speyburn (1 bottle/week) = $103.73
  • Diapers = $555,555,555.00
  • multiply by a factor of 3.2 for every additional child you ill-advisedly choose to have
You get the picture! Parenthood is SAVAGING your bank account. Parenthood is giving it to your bank account in the wrong hole.

That is why it is good to have your own Parental Units back in your life. So what if they are hopelessly sub-urban. So what if Dad is unhip and wears Dockers and shit? So what if Mom is as toxic as an 80-year-old nun who's just starting to ask herself, What have I done with my life? So what if your parents are the reason that, despite having spent the last ten years of your life on Paxil, you are still hurting all over?

Well, it's time to forgive them, for they knew not what they were doing. Remember, unlike you, they didn't wait until their near-forties to have kids in New York City. They started having kids in their early twenties, as was expected of them. They were but kids themselves--petty, self-centered, irresponsible. How could they have handled it, right?

Ultimately, what I'm saying is, they have a lifetime of savings and retirement funds that they can share with you; they might also live somewhere warm, where you can visit them (beats this staycation thing, right...)...

They were young, and they tried their best.

What I'm saying is, there's nothing like a Life Force Sucker to reunite you with your parents' estate.

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