An Illinois appeals court recently dismissed a case in which two grown children sued their mom for “bad mothering.” According to the Chicago Tribune:
“The alleged offenses include failing to take her daughter to a car show, telling her then-7-year-old son to buckle his seat belt or she would contact police, “haggling” over the amount to spend on party dresses and calling her daughter at midnight to ask that she return home from celebrating homecoming.”
The court made the right decision, and I’d like to suggest that those children have absolutely no imagination. If you want revenge on your parents, there are far more imaginative ways to do it than litigation. Suing someone is so pedestrian, so yesterday, so 2010. Please, be creative. If you want to subtly suck the joy from your parent’s life, nothing says “this is what happens when you force someone to eat broccoli” like conspicuous lifestyle choices.
Your mate selection is a goldmine of potential humiliation for your parents. If you’re dating someone who feels that leather chaps are an essential part of any wardrobe, then you’ve got a winner. Knuckle tattoos and mouth piercings that make proper enunciation impossible are pluses.
When your parents call and invite you to dinner, start referring to them by their first names, and not mom or dad. When they ask for the time of your arrival, tell them that you’ll have to check the bus schedules, because your date can’t drive. Why? Well, this is when it can really get fun. Do you want to play the parole officer card? Tourette syndrome? Come on, use your imagination, I can’t do everything for you.
You can also try overinvesting in your education. Spending eight years for a bachelor’s degree in psychology is one option – the world needs more social workers, after all. But think of the look on your dad’s face when he gets an announcement that you’ve just earned your 5th associate’s degree at the local community college, this one in animal husbandry.
Nothing makes a parent more proud than a child climbing that fast-food industry ladder. Proudly display your name tag, paper hat, and apron to your parent’s friends at social events. Explain how “you couldn’t have made it that far without their love and support.” That assistant weekend night manager position will be yours any month now. Dreams can come true.
There are plenty of ways to avenge your miserable childhood. Give your children names that don’t contain vowels. Be vocal about your new hobby: collecting shopping carts. Join the democratic party. These are all parental nightmares.
And next time you feel like getting snippy with little junior because he won’t eat his peas, remember: Revenge is a dish best served cold.