There can’t be a more annoying group of people on the face of this planet than parents.

It doesn’t matter how old or long a person has had children for, once someone has reproduced, they’re impossible to tolerate. Part of it has to do with the fact that their offspring become number one in their lives. So, going out and getting hammered with friends becomes less of a priority than making sure their little brats are still breathing. That means they hardly ever hit the streets with the homies and when they finally decide to, everyone else gets excited as hell for no other reason. Unfortunately, when they do eventually show up for a night out, they’re constantly talking about and showing pictures of their little shits. It’s nothing like dealing with parents of your own though, especially during summer.

It all starts when you’re a little turd and your parents decide to send you off to some crummy summer camp, while they go off to an exotic location for their annual or biannual bang. It’s always someplace where they make you do all sorts of lame activities with losers you don’t know. That is, until the last few days, when you realize it’s the greatest place on earth filled with the coolest kids ever and you end up having to go back to your terrible existence with your parents. It gets even worse when you’re a teenager and your mum and dad decide to include you in their elaborately planned vacations where you end up spending most of your time waiting in line to walk through museums filled with crap you couldn’t care about. The worst summers come when you become an adult and think you’re finally free from their grasp.

Once a person really begins to enjoy “adulthood” (like, when they’re done with university, have a steady job, and can afford all the stupid things that bring them joy) their parents usually start to shit the bed, both literally and figuratively. If you have any conscience whatsoever, you realize it’s time to act like an adult and repay the favour. This means going home and helping them with the shit they can’t manage anymore, like reorganizing the furniture and screwing in light bulbs, instead of relaxing on the beach with your lady or getting blasted with your buddies and getting into all sorts of dumb fun.

“Summer is supposed to be the most killer time of the year.”

Helping your elderly and senile parents fix the garden and clear out the attic may sound like a shitty way to spend your summer vacation but it’s not quite as bad as spending your summer teaching them how not to be dickheads. For some reason, that’s exactly what happens with baby boomer parents, who started their successful lives and careers immediately after college.

Unfortunately, when you spend a significant amount of time with your parents in adulthood, you tend to recognise they’re not quite as polite as you may have once thought. This isn’t always a discredit to them and how shitty they are compared to you. Sometimes, it’s a testament to how well you’ve turned out and what an extraordinary human being you are. Still, you hate to be constantly apologising to strangers and reminding your parents how they ought to behave when bringing them out in public. This may sound like an odd thing to have to do but if your parents are fairly successful and never worked in the service industry, chances are they’ll have a hard time recognising other pieces of shit, who aren’t you, should be treated like human beings too. This makes for quite the awkward night out but it’s not quite as awkward as when you realize they’re not as great as you remember them being.

You would think to spend all this time helping your parents get around town and fixing things in the house, as an adult, would be a great way to bond with them before they finally croak. Turns out, it only helps you learn what you’re both really like. All the things you’ve struggled to hide from each other become common knowledge and you stop holding one another in such high regard if that were ever the case. Rather than connect over similar experiences or shared views, you start picking up on all the things they do like other people that piss you off. Even worse, you realise you were right all those times you got into arguments with them as a kid. When you’re fixing shit around the house, you start asking “why the fuck did you do this?” or, “are you stupid?”. Instead of becoming your pals, they wind up being just another couple of obnoxious idiots you have to deal with every day. The problem is it’s not only annoying as shit, it’s depressing as fuck, because that’s your own flesh and blood turning into authorities on absolutely nothing, and a sign of what you’re either already like to others or, what you will be like in the future.  

Summer is supposed to be the most killer time of the year. A lot of that has to do with the weather, some of it has to do with everyone’s overall attitude, and if we’re really being honest with ourselves even more of it has to do with what the ladies are wearing. But most of it has to do with the lack of obligations and as long as they’re alive, parents will always find some way to saddle you with more of them. That’s why they’re the enemies of summer.

John Pittsley