Dear parents: Stop trying to plan my future!

Both parents: For fucks sake, I have enough to deal with right now in actually trying to figure out my future. I do not need you guys constantly nagging me about what you think I should do, because they’re dumbass ideas that I don’t want to do and you’re both trying desperately to vicariously relive your wasted, pointless youth through me!

Oh, dearest, most wonderful mother: SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT PEACE CORPS!!! Yes, I know you had a wonderful, life-changing experience. I understand that you were a young idealistic hippie and felt that you were part of something great, and you helped bring relative democracy to Honduras (other than the part where really you didn’t, and they didn’t have anything resembling a democracy until ten years after you helped train teachers there). I get that it was great training for your future career (which you didn’t have, because you quit teaching after a few years and were effectively unemployed for twenty some years). And yes, I am considering the Peace Corps as a post-graduation option.

But I don’t want to be a teacher or a farmer, and I sure as hell don’t want to be a mouthpiece for American foreign policy which I don’t believe in, and I’m quite certain that your experience in the Peace Corps in 1969 was a wholly different experience than Peace Corps today. If I want information, I’ll talk to people who have recently been volunteers, and I’m not going to join just because you think it’s a good idea.

Dearest, darlingest Pops: I swear to god, if you start one more meandering, pointless story with “when I was your age,” I’m going to stop answering my phone when you call and deleting every damn email from you, unread. You know why? One: You talk forever and it takes you twenty minutes to get to the damn point. Two: You want me to go to library school. I do not want to go to library school. There’s really nothing more to discuss here, so stop bringing it up! Three: When you were my age you were a homeless, drug-addicted college drop-out living in a fucking VW van. Yes, if you want you can try to dress that up saying you were just living in the spirit of the times, but that doesn’t change the fact that you were a homeless, drug-addicted dropout. You were at Woodstock? You were into music and art? You enjoyed it? What, you say you were politically active? You were part of some fake party of social rejects who tried to run a pig for public office in some asshatted stunt that had no purpose whatsoever, you mooched off society, and your “youthful indiscretions” accomplished absolutely nothing.

I know you’re afraid I might repeat your mistakes, but that’s a wholly baseless worry. Yes, I took a year away from school. Then I did what you failed to do, and went back in a timely manner and will be graduating in a timely manner. Yes, getting a MLS would lead much more certainly to a career than the options I’m considering. I don’t care, because that’s not what I want to do with my life. I work part-time as an assistant in a library. I also worked part-time at a movie theater, but you didn’t assume I wanted to do that for the rest of my life, did you? No, so stop fucking telling me to “think about it!” Just because you wasted your 20’s and most of your 30’s does not mean I’m going to do so. In fact, it probably reduces the chances that I will do so.

So both of you: Leave me the fuck alone. I know you have the best of intentions. I’m thankful for that. I have told you that. I have also, quite politely and reasonably, said I’m very stressed out over all this, and I obviously can’t make any decisions until I’ve taken the GRE. And even then, I’m already aware of what my options are, and when you both are constantly harping on “have you thought any more about grad school? About internships? About jobs?” I’m just getting more and more stressed out, and you’re not helping!!

Sincerely, your loving and appreciative daughter.

Kick them in the skull.

And, while you’re at it, kick my mom in the skull so she lays off the Make me a Grandbaby talk.

If you change your mind, I’ve got lots of drugs and a VW van you can borrow.

But have you thought about joining the Peace Corps?

Yeah, you don’t know parental nagging until the grandparent clock starts its incessant tick, tick, tick. My mom used to tell me all the time about random ass people I don’t know who managed to reproduce. Now that my eggs are all dried up and crusty, the nagging has stopped, though, which is good.

I don’t know about your OP, but I have this weird inexplicable feeling that you should join the Peace Corps.

(Serious note: sorry, mate, it really sucks when the parents breathe down your neck. Do you have your own place?)

Gah, my parents were the same way (mind you, this was nearly a decade ago.) Finishing college, wanted to join the Air Force and do something of my own making. Pops was supportive of bucking for a commission, but he kept saying “Go into electronics. You love computers, go into electronics. You’ll make a good living in electronics. The best Air Force jobs are in electronics.” Mind you, he never specified if he meant commo, intel, electronic warfare, maintenance, just ‘electronics.’ Ma wasn’t any better. “You just spent four years in college. Now you want to spend four years in the Air Force. Why don’t you do something with your life? Why don’t you go and work for Wal-Mart (I damn near shit myself when she said that) or Target and be a store manager or something?”

In the end, joined the Air Force, earned my commission, went into EOD, and I’ve enjoyed the last nine years. Make your own call, you’re the sucker who’ll have to live with it.

Wal-Mart and Target both have electronics departments, you know.

Just sayin’.

I suggest waiting until spring to begin your career as a junkie librarian in a VW van. Or maybe you can get hold of a used bookmobile and have a twofer vehicle. I understand paper is a very good insulation, so with a bookmobile you could start right now and probably survive the winter.

Sort of. I’m living in a dorm, but said dorm is two thousand miles away from the parents, so the nagging is all-long distance.

And honest to god, the incessant “Peace Corps blah blah” thing is just making me even less likely to consider it as a serious option, because I don’t want to give them the satisfaction. Which is disgustingly immature, but that’s me, I guess.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not a mouthpiece for American foreign policy. No restrictions are placed on Volunteers’ rights to criticize the US government (participating in host country government politics is forbidden, though). If someone asked me what I thought about US politics when I was serving, I told them the truth.

FWIW, I don’t recommend Peace Corps unless you actually really want to do it. It’s really fucking hard and is not a good “I can’t think of anything else to do, might as well do this” option. And since like, two weeks ago you wanted to go to grad school in Sweden, it doesn’t really sound like you know what you want right now.

That’s not a crime, though, don’t get me wrong. When my parents put me in that situation when I was about your age, I up and moved 2500 miles away. I still didn’t know what I wanted to do, but at least my parents weren’t always pestering me about it. Eventually I figured it out, but it took a few years.

Just learn to say, “You know, that’s an interesting suggestion. I’ll have to think about that.” Repeat as necessary.

When you disagree with your parents’ advice, or argue with their reasoning, they naturally think that you just haven’t understood them or just don’t know what you’re talking about. Remember, there is a lot of background behind this: for many years (including, I’m guessing, much of the period during which your mother was what you somewhat disdainfully describe as “effectively unemployed”, which presumably means employed in feeding, cleaning, and caring for your helpless needy self), when you disagreed with your parents, you didn’t know what you were talking about. It takes a long time for parents to adjust to the concept that their children are now capable of making good choices about their own lives.

So the more opposition you give them, the more they are apt to feel that they just need to explain it again and maybe this time you’ll get it. If you stop pushing back, but just calmly go on doing what you think best, you may be surprised at how quickly they’ll shut up about it.

These people sound old enough to be your grandparents. They were in their twenties in 69? Shit. They are almost old enough to be my parents. And their blathering makes them sound older than my almost 80 year old parents. Hey geezers! Mind your own damn affairs! If your suggestions are a constant stream of Peace Corps and Library Science, then please, SHUT THE FUCK UP!!! You are senile idiots. You smoked too much ganja back in the day.

Tell them you’ve already made a decision; even if you haven’t. Tell them you’re going into ______________________ and your decision is final.

Then go about the business of planning your future, unencumbered by the 'rents.

Don’t you just love it when kids rebel. :smiley:

They mean well - bless 'em. :slight_smile:

At least they take an interest in you (consider the alternative :eek:).

I suggest you give them something else to think about - take their minds off your career and onto … Romance! :cool:

Get a trustworthy friend to act as your love interest.
Depending on your parents, the romance can be unsuitable, weird or scary. Just so they are fascinated by it.

My parents stopped nagging me about my plans when I stopped taking their money. Have you tried that?

Get a big spider tattoo on your face. That’ll teach 'em.

Yep. Sorry Ninjachick, but you’re coming across as a bit of a brat here. You’re 2000 miles away from your parents - how much nagging can they actually do? I appreciate that it’s annoying - I’m glad that my parents were cool enough to step back and let me decide for myself what I wanted to do - but in the grand scheme of things it’s really not that big of a deal.

And sorry again - but calling your dad a ‘homeless drug-addicted dropout’ in a VW campervan is just, well, mean. So he bummed around for a bit when he was 20, so what? It was 1969. If I had a 20 year old kid I’d applaud if s/he hoisted a backpack on and left to go drifting about for a while. ‘You wasted your 20s and most of your 30s’? Nice.

Quick - get out and support yourself while you still know everything!

La Rochefoucauld said something like,

Good advice is something people like to give when they are too old to lead by bad example.