Friday, June 15, 2012

Lies Our Fathers (and Mothers) Told

TWO DAYS from now will mark the celebration of Father's Day in this country.  Take dad out for dinner. Play a round of golf with him, or buy him a necktie. It's tradition. But on some other day don't let dad and mom off the hook for the lie that they repeatedly told you as a kid. 

Remember when they counseled you not to run in the house or have friends over when they weren't home?  It usually came with a disclaimer: "When you grow up and have your own house, you can run around in it, have any friends over, and do what you want in YOUR house.  This is our house... yada, yada,yada..."

Trouble is, now that we HAVE grown up and are paying for places of our own, mom and dad are usually NOT ready to make good on their promise that "you can do what you want in YOUR house."  Specifically, do you think they're okay with you living in your own house naked?

Neither do we.

They may begin talking to you with the line "I realize it's your house..." But don't think for a second that parents won't lecture you that it's indecent, unsanitary, unsafe, and unhealthy for your kids if your family lives bare naked.  Many people tell the Bare Platypus that they hate having to "cover up" for that week that relatives are in town.  We say, why do that?  Don't let anyone---including your dad---guilt you or embarass you out of living naked in your own home.  If they choose not to visit and spring the money for a nearby hotel, so be it.

What's the best response to the question "Are you really going to go around naked like that while I'm here?" 

It's to say, "Yes. Because I don't want to make you a liar after telling me for years as a kid that paying for my home would mean I can do within it as I choose." (This strategy doesn't work if you still live with your parents in their house, of course.)

If dad merely shrugs his shoulder and says "your house, your rules" then thank him by buying him two neckties.  Or with two rounds of golf.