One of the main problems with our recent suburb move is that we’ve lost our ‘parents‘. I’m not talking about our biological parents, but those ‘more mature’ friends of ours who step in during our moments of crisis and sort them our for us. Moments that seem all too frequent in our household.
Who will be our parents now?
These friends obviously have no inkling of their responsibility as our surrogate parents, that their role is actually of such tantamount importance to our existence.
And now, with no ‘parental’ helpline, we’re feeling a little fragile and exposed in our new house, especially as we’ve already experienced a couple of minor domestic crises.
The fundamental issue the old man and I face is that neither of us feel old enough, responsible or mature enough to run a house, nurture children AND hold down jobs as well. (I have alluded to my immaturity before (Middle-Aged Immaturity and The Tale of the Carrot Penis). In spite of being middle-aged, we recognise that we are amateurs as adults.
And although we do a reasonable job of faking it, (most of the time), very occasionally, when external pressures begin to build, we are both more likely to implode rather than be ‘calm in a crisis’. Which is where our ‘parents’ come in. You see, they are more than just friends. They are like human detonators who move in on our issues like some SWAT team, offering immediate solutions and support; whose knowledge base of all things ‘domestic’ seems just so much more evolved than ours. They seem to know more about the world than us and simply cope better in the face of situations that demand practical or common sense knowledge…..or even JUST knowledge.
Different friends have different ‘parenting’ specialties and are called upon for their level of expertise in those particular areas. What they all share in common is the ability to be relied upon to either HAVE the answer to our problem, or to know where to find it for us.
This is not an attempt to diss the old man’s manhood AGAIN. He has many great qualities, (many of which I am still looking forward to experiencing), but being practical is not one of them. Unfortunately, he was raised by one of those mothers who worshipped the shag-pile carpet that he walked on and as a result of her emotional blindness, failed to comprehend that pandering might backfire and produce something a little bit rubbish in key areas. He is not ‘a man who can’. He is not good with his hands. Often, highly intelligent people are not practical and have very little common sense. I’m not really certain what his excuse is.
But when the pool turned green or a shelf needed hanging or ‘there was something wrong or missing’ with the latest technology he had purchased impulsively, we would consult a ‘parent’ in our old house. When the shed flooded every time it rained and when we were considering expanding the deck, we talked it over with the ‘landscaping parents’.
When the old man’s car refused to grip onto our icy drive and in his wisdom he decided that pouring water on it would resolve the problem, our ‘parents’ demonstrated that sprinkling sand was the way forward; when the lawnmower chord broke or when the erection of flat packed furniture had defeated us or the new washing machine needed plumbing, ‘parents’ have come to our rescue.
We had reliable parents in Surrey and when we arrived on the Northern Beaches, we screened our new potential ‘Aussie parents’ carefully, with the same level of scrutiny that we researched schools for the kids.
But now we find ourselves in another new suburb, and we’re worried that city ‘parents’ won’t be as nurturing or as accommodating to our pathetic needs as our country parents have proven to be. I could send the old man on a course, to learn the practical ‘man’ stuff that he should know, (like how to change a tyre or attach a gas cylinder to the barbeque). And with several real fireplaces in this old terraced house, one of us probably needs to learn how to light a fire as well.
Or can you ‘get someone in’ to do all that?