As the age old adage goes, it’s hard to be the one left behind when someone else goes off to new and better things. I embarked on my time at Brown with an aggressively long farewell hug to my parents, and a step into the mildly overwhelming landscape that is being a ~freshman~. My parents, on the other hand, began a monotonous drive home and were met with a quote-un-quote empty nest.
How will they move on? Allow me to sound incredibly self-righteous for a moment, but their lives’ purpose has flown the coop. How will they fill their newfound free-time? How will they know EXACTLY what I’m doing at ALL times of day? You can only micro-manage your childrens’ lives to a certain extent via text message, facebook, or incessant attempts to follow their finsta…
Empty-nester syndrome can spur an identity crisis for parents, and like any illness, individual responses may vary. But in the case of my own, their most marked symptom has been pet-parenthood. When I say that my parents did not even attempt to conceal the fact that our dog was a replacement child for me, I mean that they got the dog the same stuffed animal I got when I was born.
And as though that wasn’t absurd enough, I received this text and photos in my family group chat:
As impressive as this text sequence was, my mom topped it the next morning by managing to get the same dress on a CAT.
I should probably be more worried by this display, but considering I watched a doge video in the Rock and cried far too real tears because I miss my dog, I’ll suspend judgement. Regardless of how disturbingly it’s done, their time seems to be occupied. So kids remember: while you’re out here having the time of your life, eating those chocolate chip muffins from the blue room, viciously bullying the ‘blight,’ and running out of motivation at a pace that rivals the decline in your bank account, think about the pets in dresses. Protect the helpless animals and your parents’ sanity. Allow them to micro-manage for a moment, and make a call home.