When Too Much Information is a Bad Thing

In my last post, RN commented that do we really want to know everything our grown, college-aged children are doing?

After the past couple of days, I would have to say “no.”

Late Friday, my daughter’s last Boy Du Jour – now her EX-BDJ – messaged me on Facebook to tell me the news. If you know me, you know my relationship with my daughter is going through a phase of sorts. (Honestly, at one time she and I were best buds, but now her personality is rather split on whether she wants to be my friend or completely disregard me. I think that’s normal teenage rebellion, that might work its way around in, oh, say maybe ten years or so?) I had just enjoyed a lengthy conversation with her the night before, and so felt the universe was back on an even rotation.

Well, I might be wrong.

After writing of his teenage angst over being dumped, Ex-BDJ then informed me that he believed she was partying (wildly) and hooking up with guys. How he would know this from 2,400 miles away, I’m not sure. I witnessed myself a gradual cooling of their relationship over the last three weeks just by reading their Facebook posts. In some ways, I was not unhappy about it. They had gotten a bit too close to each other for my tastes, and it’s not because I didn’t like the kid. I liked him plenty, it’s just that both are too young to pledge undying and eternal love. I know this as a parent (and someone who has lived this exact scenario before), but try saying that to a headstrong couple of 18-year-olds.

My initial reaction was to lose whatever breath I had in my lungs. Then I thought about it. He has to be pretty pissed off over the dumpage, so coming up with an elaborate “gotcha” for mom would be in order. No one takes rejection so well that they forgive and forget, not within the first 24 hours anyway. My daughter’s campus and her dorm area are DRY, and if she gets caught with alcohol on premises, she is likely to be tossed out (of the dorms anyway) on her cute little behind. Being 18 and on her own, I know she is wanting to drink, even though it’s not quite legal for her to do so. We’ve given both kids a little alcohol in advance of college, so that they would not want to get totally plastered once two thousand miles away.

This approach has had mixed results. My son, normally a level-headed person of extraordinary means, pretty much got tanked every weekend during his first six months in San Francisco. After his violinist girlfriend dumped him and that late night Golden Gate Bridge fiasco (which was captured on his piano teacher’s voice mail-which is how we learned about it), he settled into a rhythm of partying, which was to rarely do it during the semester and go nuts after finals. (I think he inherited that method of operation from me.)

So I wrote Ex-BDJ back telling him to stay strong, and back off for awhile. Then I called my son to see if he could shed some insight. My son and daughter are 500 miles apart, which is a long way, but it’s much closer than the parental units are to either one of them.

My son, who is painfully truthful about anything in his life (please don’t make me come up with an example… you will not want to hear it) told me his sister text-messaged him (coincidentally, right after she talked to me) about how big that bottle of Jaegermeister was that he had brought home this summer (he’s 21 now, so it’s legal for him), and that hers was just as big!

Well, it was hard for me not to make that scathing bitch-mom phone call to LA, but I managed not to do it. I waited until yesterday to call, but of course, now that she has a bit of cash in her bank account, she is not picking up her phone or answering voicemail.

There are some days where I would like to subject myself to the Vulcan mind-meld and erase the memory of having children. Hmm, add their friends to that, and while you’re at it, include the stupid first husband and all the bad boyfriends.

There are many more days when I say a prayer and keep my fingers crossed.

13 Responses

  1. This is a very bad, gloating comment from a bad person.

    When we had our first child, and saw that she was a very good girl, we said, “We won the lottery. We are quitting while we are ahead.”

    Of course, we also said that because we are selfish, self-centered people and would have said the same thing if she had been a baby piranha.

    I am praying for you and your baby … whatever they are.

  2. Heh. Reminds me of my freshman year at college.

    I know, you didn’t want to hear that. But I guess it happens to (almost) everyone, so I’m sure she’ll be OK.

  3. I hate kids.

    I might be biased by my almost-17 yr old.

  4. Like Wanda said, it happens. I’m sure that doesn’t feel good for you! Sorry. Hope all turns out well.

  5. It’s really tough when you know what they’re doing. It’s tough even if you don’t know but tougher when you do.

    When my son went to college, I had him on my AIM buddy list and he kept AIM on all the time. That’s how I would check up on him. I didn’t have to hear from him often but his presence on AIM would let me know that he was okay. He would very often post away messages with things like “at class til 10 tonight” or “party off campus, home tomorrow” and so I would know that he was alive, coherent enough to type, and sort of his whereabouts.

    Now my 18 y/o is different. She blocks me from her AIM buddy list and doesn’t return my calls ore answer when I call her. My 23 y/o daughter was a lot like that too, although she never blocked me on her Buddy List. I think it’s a girl thing. They are more independent and more mature than boys.

    Hang in there. She’ll learn.

  6. hmmm, I know you’re worried about her – but I and most of my friends drank and shagged our ways through uni, and it did us no lasting harm. In fact, if anything, it made sure we were ‘over’ it by the time we got actual jobs and had enough money to afford serious quantities of alcohol on a regular basis.

    Just so long as she’s reasonably careful while she experiments – sounds like she’s sensible enough to have avoided the ‘getting hooked when you’re way too young scenario’ anyway, right?

  7. ((Pan)), wish I had words of wisdom, but I have one “sowing her oats” as well.
    I’ll pray for yours and mine.

  8. Pande,

    I don’t know if it helps any, but my mama still worries over me.

    Dr. B

  9. RN: I hate you. 🙂 Not really, but I know people with perfect children and it really rankles me. Usually, they are perfect in the beginning, and then middle school makes them nuts. That’s what happened to my baby. Now the other one, he was incorrigible until high school, when he straightened out. Honestly, I didn’t think he’d make it to 18, that’s how bad it was. (There’s hope, Jackie.)

    A few kids are perfect the whole way through. I think there’s a missing gene in my family for it. You know what that means for the grandkids…

    Corina: My daughter doesn’t use AIM anymore, but she wouldn’t answer if she did. Your son sounds much like mine, except his AIM screen name is AIMHATER****. :-), so he wouldn’t use it either.

    Dr. B: it doesn’t ever end, does it? I’ll bet the wonderful Marfar still worries over her little chicks as well.

  10. Pan,

    The gene may be skipping a generation and hitting Random Granddaughter. Well, no genes involved there, but she will definitely be a handful.

    By the way, check your email (which I know you don’t check all the time, at least the one I know, as I will send you an email by tomorrow at least).

  11. Cool… I could use refreshment at this moment.


  12. I’m just soooooooo glad that I’ll never have kids. 🙂

  13. Never say never, David.

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