Dear Our Parents

I loved this.  I thought you would too-minus the drugs part that is.

Dear our parents,

Hi parents. How are you? We hope you’re doing good. It was nice to see you over this year’s holidays. We love home cooking. We were thrilled to hear that you still think we’re great, that you’re proud of us “no matter what,” that you think we’ll get what we want because you know that when we put our mind to something, we can do anything. We hope you continue to feel that way.

We know that we’re not making much money, and that this might disappoint you, despite the fact that you’d never say it. We know that you know that when we say we’re freelancers, it really just means we’re mostly unemployed. That when we say we have an internship, it really just means we’re groveling at someone’s feet for an imaginary job where the pay is half in real estate advice and half in a number of “connections” who will open doors for more promising internships. Internships that pay $500 stipends after a 20-hour a week six month “trial period.” And we know this wasn’t what you were expecting. And we’re writing, among other reasons, to say sorry for that.

We’re also writing to say sorry that we’ve been completely and shamefully reckless with Facebook and Twitter over the past couple of years. We’re sorry that we let you discover these completely new and strange sides of us that we were developing this whole time without your knowledge. We’re sorry you had to get this information from the internet, rather than directly from us. Please don’t take it personally. It just somehow felt like the entire internet understood our problems more than you. Or maybe it wasn’t even like that. We can’t explain it.

We hope we haven’t hurt you. And we know we usually don’t write long letters like this – we’re really consumed with ourselves – and that you’d rather talk about this face-to-face, but it’s just more comfortable over email. It always has been.

Anyways, we have some questions. We guess we’ll start when we were born. It was in the middle of the 1980s and we lived in the suburbs, and you were in your 20’s. Can you remind us again why you were in your 20’s? Why did you decide to have us then? Because we’re in our 20’s now and when we think of ‘owning’ a child, we also think ‘no.’ It wouldn’t make any sense – we have things to do. People with whom to have sex. Drugs to consume. Countries to travel. Existential crises to drive us into depression. A job that pays over $20,000 a year with benefits to find. Expectations to realize unrealistic.

Which leads us to our next question. How did you guys have enough money to raise us? To eat out at Bennigan’s and all-you-can-eat buffets and Pizza Hut and Marie Calendars and variously-named steakhouses on a weekly basis? To buy a car? To go to freaking Disneyland. We mean – we’re pretty capable individuals. No offense, but it seems like we’re even much more savvy than you – that our skill sets are so much more relevant in today’s world. But we’re unemployed or baristas or dog walkers. We’re making like $10 an hour.

We really wonder what you think of us now. You with your things called Pensions and Retirement Plans and 401ks. These things that guarantee you money for the rest of your life. The retirement homes you’ve already purchased in Florida. The boats you have to go with them. The gated communities in Washington State. Every suburban mansion with central heating and a view of the ocean in San Diego. A dog. A barbecue. Furniture bought new. Basic medical insurance.

We don’t mean to harp on you. We don’t mean to imply anything negative about you. We love you. Your lives just seem really foreign. You work at the offices of companies that sell logistics technology, that sell the component parts of golf clubs, that sell mortgages. Totally esoteric companies that seem at a vast distance of abstraction from our day-to-day lives that we have no idea how they’re worth any money at all.

We should get together soon. Maybe you can come to our cities. You probably can’t stay at our place (would be sort of cramped) and you’d have to get a hotel, but we want you to tell us how to do what you’re doing. Getting all that money. Don’t tell us that it’s okay that we have no prospects – that we’re just living the “minimal” lifestyle. Don’t say that you’re like us; that you know how to live the “minimal” lifestyle too. You have a freaking car.

But that’s okay. We’re definitely not vindictive about your success. We only thought it would be different when we grew up and we’re worried that we haven’t met your expectations. We have this feeling of dread about the future, this feeling that our world’s not going to turn out like yours did. Can you help at all?

How’s next month? Or Mother’s Day? Call us.

Love you,

P.S. Oh yeah, we got rid of our cell phones. We can’t afford cell phone contracts anymore so we’re using the free Google Phone feature on Gmail chat. Don’t call us – we’ll call you sometime this week.

P.S.S Do you like the new signature?  It's a work in progress--the whole html code writing thing I'm working on.

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