Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ask Mrs. Linklater "DON'T TREAT ME LIKE AN 8-YEAR-OLD" Edition

From time to time even Mrs. Linklater becomes overwhelmed by the EEEEEWWWWWW Factor. Occasionally she discovers an advice column travesty that is so out of whack, so blatantly inappropriate, or just so gross that even she refuses to touch it with a stick. This, however, is not one of those times. Nope. This is just another day at Dear Abby, now written by her daughter, Dear Blabby.  To clean up the mess, Mrs. L slips on a pair of latex gloves, steps into her freshly pressed Hazmat suit and wades into the middle of this flaming pile of shinola, but only after the Blabmeister has had her chance to muck up everything first. You go girl!!!   

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 15-year-old girl whose parents treat me like an 8-year-old. They not only refuse to let me see any movie that isn't G-rated, but they still cut my meat for me! Once a week we go to the park, and they still push me on the swings.
     I don't want to tell them it's embarrassing because I'm afraid I'll hurt their feelings. Please tell me how to convey to my parents that I'm not a child anymore. -- OLD ENOUGH IN VIRGINIA

DEAR OLD ENOUGH: Your parents mean well, but children who are overprotected to the extent you have been often become stunted in their development. Teens do not learn social skills and how to make appropriate choices when they are "supervised" to the extent you are.
     Tell your parents that you love them, but in three years you will be 18 and an adult. Explain that you know they love you, but if you are not allowed some freedom now, then you will be behind your peers because of your inexperience when you have reached an age when you'll be expected to make wise choices. Remind them that even children half your age are sufficiently coordinated that they can cut the food on their plates, and you would appreciate their allowing you to get some practice.
     If this doesn't help them let go, then ask another adult to help you deliver the message.

* THWACK * Mrs. Linklater slaps Dear Flabbablabba upside the back of her head like Leroy Jethro Gibbs smacks DiNozzo on NCIS.  Helloo-o-o-o-o?!?  She's FIF-FREAKING-TEEN and her parents STILL cut her meat into little pieces?  And what's with swinging her on the swings? Do they make her wear diapers and Winnie the Pooh jammies, too? I smell Children and Family Services. All of which begs the question -- do her parents treat her like an eight year old because she's the SIZE of an eight year old? Regardless, even if she's tiny, she's got fifteen years of vocabulary. "Mom, I realize that my knife and fork skills may not be up to your exacting standards, but touch my meat one more time and I will stab you." [Mrs. Linklater says you can interpret "meat" any way you want.]

    Frankly, whether this young woman is full-sized or pint-sized, Mrs. Linklater hasn't been this creeped out since that whole Pee Wee's Playhouse debacle. In fact, if her rapidly diminishing memory serves, Mrs. L was almost six feet tall when she herself was fifteen -- taller than her mother AND her father. What is it about NO, I'd rather do it myself that these people don't understand?
     On the chance that this girl looks remotely like an average fifteen year old female [if you catch Mrs. Linklater's thinly veiled reference to her nobbulas], she shouldn't be asking for more freedom, please, the way Abbablabba naively suggests.  As if parents who slice your meat when you're fifteen might actually be considered within the normal limits of ANYTHING. 
     This girl should be demanding barbed wire boundaries between herself and those truly icky people. Ptui.   
     AND -- in Mrs. Linklater's humble opinion, the only adults she should be going to for help ought to be locked and loaded. 
     Boy, it sure feels good when Mrs. L can bring loved ones together.   

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