In every friend group growing up, there exists one kid with those parents — the ones who, bless their hearts, are a wee bit more invested in their children's safety and well-being than strictly necessary. As that member of my friend group, I would like to take this opportunity to retrospectively thank my parents for what seemed like the bane of my very teenage existence. Sure, I was the last kid in on my micro-generation allowed to get on the Facebook, but I also got out of high school sans broken bones, arrests, or ill-advised voice-thieving contracts with sea witches, which is a pretty impressive feat of theirs.
Is that all going to backfire on the 'rents when I have nothing juicy to write for the memoir that could have paid for their beach house in Florida? Absolutely. But that's on them. I, on the other hand, am still reaping the benefits of having overprotective parents — because the thing I am learning is that overprotective parents continue to be overprotective long after you're #grown, except this time, you actually appreciate it instead of whining like a little sh*t and slamming the door to your room three times in a row because you weren't allowed to go to a New Year's sleepover with your squad. (Oh, 2006.)
What I mean to say is, like most kids with overprotective parents, it took me a long time to fully understand how much worry and stress and love goes into keeping humans with unfully-formed frontal lobes functional and safe. And while I am now thankful for their overprotectiveness every day, I still acknowledge that there were some — shall we say unique? — facets of growing up in it. If you had overprotective parents growing up, you'll understand all of these things way too well:
Your Parents Knew Who Was Drinking In Your Friend Group Before You Did
In fact, they knew who was going to drink long before the drinkers themselves were drinking. The sonar is intense.
Nothing On Your Social Media Was Sacred
"I'm almost never on your Facebook, but why is Anna still dating that loser? But I'm never on your Facebook, I hardly ever check."
Your Parents Had A ~Rep~
The other kids looked at your parents with this mix of respect/exasperation/inexplicable obsession. To this day, my mother is legendary at our high school, where the teens call her by her first name and basically worship her. Even I didn't leave as much of an impression, and I actually, y'know, attended.
Everyone Thought You Were A Total Narc In High School
Their teenage brains were like "Overprotective Parent = CHILD THAT WILL RUIN THIS PARTY," so I was invited literally nowhere in high school. Which is fair, because I was lazy AF and was probably watching a movie with my mom anyway (#squad).
... But Nobody Hesitated To Use Your Parents As An Alibi, Either
I know of at least one time my friends all lied to their parents and said they were at my place while they were getting into shenanigans elsewhere, and I'm sure there were MANY OTHERS.
"My Parents Said No" Was Basically Your High School Yearbook Quote
But also can we talk about how great this was? Every time you wanted to get out of stuff in high school you'd just be like, "Aw, man, sorry... my parents said I can't. Enjoy your dumb yard sale!"
You Became The Accidental Parent Of Your Friend Group
When you are raised by Worst Case Scenario People, you yourself become a Worst Case Scenario Person. Somebody's gotta be the sober driver/babysitter/person who yells "Stop taking selfies on that cliff face!" And that somebody is always you.
Your Parents Could Smell Lies On You
For instance: My mom once asked me very specifically not to drive anyone home from school in her car, because I'd just gotten my license. I drove one of my friends down the block anyway, certain she would never know. An hour later she got into the car, sat in silence for approximately a millisecond, and said to me, "Who did you drive home?"
SMELLING. THE. LIES.
If You Don't Answer Their Emails In A Day, They Think You're Dead
Your "adulthood" status does nothing to change this. (Also, Mom, if you're reading this I'll totally e-mail you back in a second I'm just very busy writing about... stuff.)
You Were DEFINITELY One Of The First Kids To Have A Cell Phone
Like, before cell phones were fun. Back when a cell phone was something you passed between your siblings like a hot potato because nobody wanted the responsibility of the very expensive thing your parents told you to keep on your person in the one hour they left the out of town swim meet to get lunch.
But Also The Very Last To Watch PG-13 Movies
You're still not sure what happened in Titanic? Did somebody die?
You Could Pretty Easily Give A Crime Tour Of Your City
If a major crime happened in your neighborhood and your mom didn't bluntly inform you about it at the breakfast table in all of its gory details, did it really happen?
Kids Had A Way Of Showing Up To Your House Unannounced
Everyone may have rolled their eyes at how overprotective your parents were, but when they got into trouble themselves, your house was always the first place they headed when they needed to feel safe.
You Heard This Phrase Approximately 16,000 Times Growing Up
"It's not that I don't trust you. I just don't trust them."
(In case you missed it, "them" is literally everyone on the planet.)
You Are Also Grimly Certain That You Will Parent In The Exact Same Way If You Have Kids
*cues "The Circle Of Life"*
Seriously, though, the world is dangerous AF, and once you realize that as a grown-up the last few decades of your life with your parents helicoptering around you make a LOT more sense.
Your Parents STILL Care About You Way More Than They Should
And you STILL don't deserve it <3.
Images: Fox; Giphy