Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Dear Mom..." Professor Bella from Birmingham Sends Some Letters Back Home.

I know most of the smackdown here at RYS usually revolves around the students. But after I have late semester conferences with some of them, I realize who I’d really like to choke slam to the mat: Mommy Dearest. There’s nothing like a sabotaging parent to ruin a young life.

Dear Mom of B: I know you thought that waiting until your daughter was “away at college" to file for divorce was preferable to putting her through it when she was eight. But thanks a fucking lot. Now B feels like her whole relationship to you both was a big, fat lie, and her grades have started to tank. She doesn't know what's going to happen at Thanksgiving, and she's really dreading it. She feels like you blew up the place she had to return to and now she has no home. Good job.

Dear Mom of A: Your daughter is ashamed to talk about where she comes from because you're on welfare. Which in and of itself isn't a bad thing, but for fuck's sake, don't make her feel guilty over the way she chooses to spend her own money. They're her loans, so if she wants a bigger meal plan, I say tuck in, honey, and enjoy it. She is responsible, and she's making A's and B's right now. She saves her money for laundry detergent while her spoiled little floor mates are running out to the clubs to booze it up every night. She works summers to save up money to live on during college. So don't make her feel guilty for not finding a way home to visit you every chance she gets. Don't lecture her about using condoms when you just had another baby and are still on welfare--believe me, she already learned about that life from living it with you. Don't try to control her major or her choice of career. What's worse, when you had to either go to work or to school because of welfare term limits, and you chose school, don't bitch to her about how you can't help her because now you have your own schooling to take care of, and if she can't get anymore loans, tough, because you won't sign for them. You're busy signing off on your own. She has a real shot at doing well here. Get off your ass and get a job and co-sign her damned loan. She’s already been more responsible than you were at her age.

Dear Mom of K: It wasn't enough that K left the inner city where he passed drug dealers every day who hooked some of his friends into slinging dope. It wasn’t enough that he's lived on his own throughout high school and managed to get into college on his own, with no help with his homework or his life from you. It wasn't enough for him to get past being hit and yelled at by a drug addicted dad. The kid doesn't drink because he's smart enough to point out that addiction runs on both your side and his pop's side of the family--and this at a school where it's practically offered in the cafeteria. He's making A's and B's. Get off his ass about dating a girl. Tell him how proud you are of him for once. Tell him how happy you are that he's not turning out to be just like you, dad, and everyone else back home.

Dear Mom of G: You're the one I'm probably going to drive seven hours one way to smack. I'm sorry your real estate job is on the ropes now, really. But to continue to take your daughter’s entire paycheck for which she hitches rides on the weekend to work back in her home state is absolutely unconscionable. Here's a thought--do the cashier's job your daughter is doing yourself. G is failing every class she is taking because she is too tired and worried about you moping around your house to get up and take care of her own business. What's worse is that she thinks it's because she's just not working "hard enough," and that if she just gives 150% instead of the 140% she's pulling now, things will get better. What's worst of all is that you told her on her last trip back you'd be "really disappointed" if she did poorly in school. Quit taking her checks and get off your ass. She's only a couple of months past 18 years old.