Saturday, February 22, 2014

Avoiding the Need for Dr. Phil and Other Consideratios

I have a friend whose dad is a police detective. She says that apart from having an abusive or deadbeat parent or one who on a regular basis does not earn enough money to support the family, having a police detective as a parent is just about as bad as it gets. I have no doubt that such is not good, but neither do I agree entirely that police officer is the worst job for one' parent from the perspective of the offspring.
My own father is a research physician who treats patients for a shift or two each month. My dad has his own drawbacks, as he's one of the stranger creatures ever to have inhabited the planet, but his profession alone didn't necessarily make him that way. My brother thinks Dad's job does contribute to his weirdness -- that he spends too many hours looking at lymphoma and leukemia cells through microscopes and on his computer, and that the cumulative hours of having done so have wrought havoc upon his normalcy. Maybe my brother is right. Either way, my father is one odd duck.

My mom is a current university professor who, while I was growing up, was a  school psychologist first, then later a school administrator. She's also a clinical psychologist, although she's never worked in the field.  Having a school administrator parent who works for one's own school district is, in my opinion, probably worse than having a cop for a parent.  In this information age, information from the staff at one's school to one's parent is only a click of the computer away. This is true to some degree with any student and any parent, but even more so when one's parent is hyper-linked in the district's system. The school personnel seemed all the more eager to share by virtue of the fact that my mom was one of their job superiors.In theory, my mother's qualifications as school psychologist should have to some degree mitigated the inconvenience to me of her having been a school administrator, but it never seemed to work out that way. In actuality, I wasn't in much trouble at school. The issue was more one of the constant threat of communication and the insane expectations school personnel foist upon their offspring.

I've heard that having two teacher or administrator parents is sheer hell. Had my dad worked for a school district, I might not have survived the ordeal.

In any event, I've comprised a list of the very worst occupations a parent could possibly have at least from the perspective of adolescent offspring. occupations or professions of questionable legality or worse will be omitted.

1. embarrassing quasi-entertainment occupations, i.e. superhero impersonator, clown, pole dancer, etc.: Adolescents have two rather  paradoxical desires: to be just like everyone else, and to stand out from the pack in some way. Each adolescent determines his or her own unique way of differentiating himself or herself, and does not want his peculiar distinction to be parents who are noticeably odd at even the most casual of glances. Note: If one's parent's oddness creates bona fide nation- or worldwide celebrity, and the parent freely shares of the proceeds from his or her ventures, the previous does not necessarily apply.

2. clergy: Many are religious nuts. Even if they're not, the scrutiny of the congregation alone could cause a person to hear voices and to act on them.

3. school administrator: Enough said already.

4. military officer:  My mom's father was reportedly the exception to the rule, but she says the lives of many of her peers were hell.

5. law enforcement official: They see many bad things in the course of their work, which causes them to become paranoid as parents.

6. prosecuting attorney: See #5.

7. registered dietitian: Having a parent obsess over portion sizes and saturated fat would suck.

8. neurosurgeon: As a rule, they're weirder than hell, with Dr. Sanjay Gupta being the sole known exception to the rule.. See link for further clarification.

9. mortician: It's a job someone must do, but between the creep-out factor itself and the social damage brought about by said creep-out factor, it's a guaranteed status-buster. Someday I'll blog about Lauren  Simms' birthday sleepover, which will add both clarity and credence to my claims.

10 statistician/logistician/actuary: Would you really want to hear the odds of each and every one of life's eventualities quoted aloud to you multiple times on a daily basis? I didn't think so. Besides, if you or I really cared, we could calculate those odds ourselves.

 My mom had the wife of an actuary in her monthly Bunco group for awhile. Each December was the annual Couples Night for Bunco.  My dad had to get totally wasted before he left the house just to deal with  the thought participating in a mindless activity even less cerebral even than Yahtzee. The presence of the actuary allegedly made even large quantities of alcohol insufficient anesthetic for the evening. By the end, my dad was announcing  the odds of every player's roll before the actuary could do so just to shut the actuary up, which caused everyone else to have to drink excessively. By the night's end, my mom and the actuary's wife were the only two sober people remaining, and they had to drive everyone else home, making multiple rounds. I've been told the evening was purgatory epitomized.

1 comment:

  1. My dad was a military officer turned custom picture framer. The military left him with PTSD and the stress of running his own business worsened his alcoholism. But because he and my mom ran their business out of our home, they were both always home. Maybe that's why I don't mind being an overeducated housewife.