Nobody Wants Advice

It’s cold outside these days. Damn cold. So cold that walking to the bus or waiting for the train – without gloves or a hat – can be problematic.

But there’s my twenty-year-old son, running out the door with barely a coat on, no boots. To him, winter is only a suggestion. The minus-thirty-degree temperatures are NOT real, until he comes back and says that he nearly froze to death getting to school. “What did I tell you? You should’ve dressed warmer.” I say this hoping that next time he’ll remember. He doesn’t.

It makes me think, does giving advice even work? Most people just do what they feel like doing anyway, doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Sometimes, they get frostbite. For my son, it may take his hands turning black for him to remember to wear gloves.Nobody Wants Advice | TheFurFiles

Of course, as a parent, there are times when I’m going to put my foot down. There are times when I’m going to say my peace goddammit, when I’m going to bloody well tell those rambunctious and sometimes space cadet children to stop throwing the exercise ball around in the living room, that they are going to break something (else).

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Are You Or Are You Not An Asshole?

One of my main goals in life is to raise my children NOT to be assholes. I know, that sounds pretty weak, and I should probably set my sights higher. I figure I have to start somewhere though, and on days when I’m feeling really frustrated with everyone – LIKE TODAY – I’d be happy with the bare minimum.

It’s hard to tell sometimes if I am succeeding. They trick me. Sometimes they do things that are really sweet and nice, and then two seconds later, I think I’ve spawned the sons and daughter of Charlie Sheen, like when did we sleep together? As if.

Anyway, I made a test to find out if they are or are not assholes. It is pretty simple. There is only one question. They should be able to handle it. If they answer the right way, then I’ll know that I haven’t completely failed as a parent, and it will make me feel marginally better.

TheFurFiles Personality Test: Are You Or Are You Not An Asshole? | TheFurFiles

If you saw a kitten huddled near an abandoned truck in a very scary industrial part of town where there were NO houses for miles, would you…

  1. Pick it up gently, cradle it in your arms and say, “It’s OK, little one. I’ll take good care of you.” After which, you’d bring it home, and you’d either keep it and raise it like it was your very own child, or you’d find a loving owner for it – someone like David Suzuki, Jane Goodall, or Ian Somerhalder. Of course, it goes without saying that the day after finding it, you’d take it directly to the vet to get it a clean bill of health. Or would you…
  2. Spit on the ground beside it and say, ” Life sucks, don’t it?” And then keep right on walking, probably off to harass a few prostitutes and/or light a few random fires.

If you answered b) (or worse) you are going straight to hell. Plus, you have terrible grammar. You can no longer be my child.

OK, so this is what happened. I sent the test to my kids via Facebook. Two minutes later, I got a message from my almost 20-year-old son that said, “If you are trying to find out if I’ve had sex, I have. Get over it. I wouldn’t be mad if you bought me a pack of condoms either. You don’t want to be a grandma just yet, do you?”


As for the other two, I remembered that my daughter and I aren’t even friends on Facebook. She blocked me. Hence, I must’ve sent the test to someone else. Probably my aunt.

And my oldest son? Well, he has a big show this week. He is busy losing his bloody mind somewhere in the basement.

I still haven’t gotten my answer to that asshole question yet have I? Therefore, I’ll do with this what I do with everything else – I’ll answer it myself. The answer is most definitely a). At least, I know that I am NOT an asshole.

Now, don’t bother me. I’m putting my head down on the table. It’s been one hell of a long day.


For a real personality test, check out the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. Without a doubt I am an ENFJ (otherwise known as “The Giver”) – which means my main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. Wow, my children have me pegged, and no one even had to tell them.

The REAL Survival Guide To Parenting Teenagers (That Doesn’t Involve Killing Anyone)

We’ve all heard the suggestions on how to get through your child’s teenage years:

Set boundaries. Pick your battles. Know when to get close, and when to back off. It will all be over someday, just hope they make it through alive…

Yeah, yeah, yeah. But nobody ever gives you any REAL help, like any ACTUAL hands-on, idiot-proof advice. Well, not until today anyway…

May I present to you twelve concrete, “these really work, try them” tricks/methods that are guaranteed to help you make it through this game. And believe me, raising teenagers can feel a lot like playing strip poker. It’s only fun if you’ve been drinking… 😉

The REAL Survival Guide To Parenting Teenagers (That Doesn't Involve Killing Anyone) | TheFurFiles

1. Keep some extra cash in the bank for those times when you need to get away, read: when you think you just MIGHT kill someone. Go far, and go for as long as possible. Go by plane, that way it’s harder for them to track you down. It’s also nice to have a little money saved up for when you just want to reward yourself for getting through a particularly hard day by buying a new pair of shoes or some very expensive jewelry. Diamonds make me breathe better, I don’t know why.

2. Get a gym membership, or have some other physical way of relieving stress. This also comes in handy for combating those very blunt and unintentionally (but sometimes intentionally) hurtful comments like, “Wow, do you ever look old. You are turning into grandma,” Or, “Since when do you have a tire?”

3. Have a sock full of batteries on hand for the times you really need to come out swinging. Just kidding, it’s only supposed to be used as a threat.

4. Invest in a stand alone freezer. This is particularly important if you have boys, or if you have children who play sports or are part of any sort of large social group like Girl Guides or Cadets. When they bring their friends over, you’ll be glad you’ve stocked up on Pizza Pockets, otherwise say goodbye to your steaks.

5. Buy Advil because you WILL get headaches.

6. Have some kind of disinfectant to be used on stinky shoes and/or socks. I find throwing things into the wash with a bit of ammonia or colour-safe bleach seems to help. For unwashable items, baking soda usually does the trick. It’s better than nothing. Your entryway or mudroom will thank you, and so will your guests.

7. Get Gravol because someone WILL throw up at some point, most likely from drinking WAY too much alcohol. Probably underage. And probably against your best advice.

8. Have an old blanket in your car for the reason stated above, and for when you are transporting those people home from parties.

9. Put away the good china until your kids move out. and purchase some plastic dish ware.  Teenagers are inexplicably rough on everything – at least mine are – and this will keep you from replacing your dishes every few months. We go through glasses in our house like John Mayer goes through women.

And finally, three things you absolutely MUST have…

10. Condoms. You may not need to use them anymore, but there will probably come a time when you want to hand a few of these out, or slip a few into someone’s purse.

11. A hammer. Yes, teenagers are THAT hard to wake up in the morning, especially after they’ve gone to bed at 3 a.m., which they will routinely start doing around the age of fifteen or so. Don’t you know, Facebook can cause a person to burn through the hours like nobody’s business?

12. Patience, but more importantly, luck. You will need as much as you can get. Seriously – no SERIOUSLY seriously – good luck. You’re gonna need it.