I need an attorney. Everyone needs an attorney, of course, just the way everyone needs a barber, bartender, mechanic, barista, doctor, dentist, veterinarian, etc. I’m not just saying this because my brother happens to be an attorney and my sister happens to be a veterinarian.
I’m saying this because we live in a litigious society where people file lawsuits over incidents they used to settle with just a fistfight. I’m also saying this because my parents need to be sued. I think I can bring my siblings into this and make it a class action.
I visited them on my recent vacation and discovered they have abandoned one of their paramount parental responsibilities. As anybody older than 18 knows, it is your parents’ responsibility to be curators of your childhood artifacts. Your room is supposed to be left as you left it. Your stuff is to remain on the walls and the shelves, in the closet, under the bed, etc.
Then every time you are in town and need a free place to stay (Isn’t that why people visit their parents in the first place?) they can say, “Oh, your room is just the way you left it.”
Everyone knows this. It’s buried in all those forms you sign to get your child out of the hospital in the first place. You don’t really think the hospital would release something as important as a child to people who didn’t understand what was expected of them, do you? Duh.
I think the problem stems from parents confusing your room with the family dog. The second favorite thing I overheard in my coffee shop in Newcastle was a woman explaining, “You have children. They talk you into getting a dog. Then the children grow up, move out of the house, and the dog’s still there. It becomes your dog.”
This is not the same thing. Bedrooms are not dogs. You have children. You buy a house. They get a room in that house. And it becomes their room. Unlike the dog, it remains their room even after they grow up and move out of the house.
Your room stays your room. It does not become a “guest bedroom” or “study” just because you haven’t lived in it for 10 or 15 or 20 years. This is all spelled out in the Magna Carta or something.
When Thomas Wolfe said, “You can never go home again,” he didn’t know what he was talking about. You can so go home again, if your parents would just leave your stuff alone.
OK, after 10 or so years they begin dropping hints to “stop by sometime” and collect your memorabilia or they will have a garage sale or give it to Goodwill or whatever. These hints tend to increase in volume and intensity as the years progress.
However, we all have learned to ignore parental threats by now. (Anyone older than seven who still takes parental threats seriously either is really gullible or really abused.) We’ve been listening to this sort of thing since we were five years old in the toy store.
“Come on Billy, let’s go. OK, that’s it! I’m leaving without you!” So we would obediently go running after them as they walked away.
“Bwaaaaaaaaaah! Don’t leave me!” Yeah, right. Think about it. Did your parents ever actually walk off and leave you in the toy store by yourself? No, of course they didn’t. They wouldn’t dare.
So later in life when they threaten to box up your childhood artifacts and turn the temple into a resting place for pagans, we have the same reaction. Yeah, right. They wouldn’t dare.
Boy, I guess people really do get bolder in old age. OK, they did eventually turn my older sister’s room into a guest bedroom and my older brother’s room into a den, but this was my room.
Besides that’s the basis for making this lawsuit a class action.
Fortunately, even if my siblings won’t join me in this thing, I still have leverage. Thanksgiving is coming up.
When I visit for dinner, if everything is not back exactly the way I left it more than a decade ago, no grandchildren.