RBO Parents

  • Nothing says “generation gap” to me quite like ironing. I haven’t ironed anything for years – not since I worked in industry and had to dress like a grownup, and even then it was only occasionally. My philosophy is that if you pull things out of the dryer quickly enough, or hang them correctly during air drying, they don’t need to be ironed. My Mum, on the other hand, irons pretty much everything except underwear. Casual t-shirts, pajamas, pillow cases – she’ll iron ’em. I do have an ironing board and iron, but couldn’t find the latter when asked for it. I emptied all the cupboards and couldn’t find it anywhere. My parents were leaving for their Alaskan cruise the next day, and actually made me call a couple of friends to see if they could borrow an iron before they left. No-one had one, so… they went out and bought a new one. Then made a point of keeping it in their room while they’re here “in case anything happens to it”.
  • My parents have more conversations with strangers in a couple of weeks in Vancouver than I manage in a year. They come back every day with stories of meeting a couple from Australia, a woman who works for the Canucks, a lovely old lady from Germany etc etc etc. I guess it’s due to spending most of their time in touristy places with other people who are more relaxed and ready to talk than your average Vancouverite. 
  • They also have a habit of bumping into people they know – they went on a snowshoeing excursion in Alaska and met the parents of a girl who used to play netball with my sister. Every trip, I swear.
  • They found out about my tattoo. I was planning on bringing it up in the next couple of days, because we’re renting a place in Whistler with a hot tub next week, but a friend forced the issue at a party last night. He asked me – quietly, but right in front of my Dad – what my parents thought of my tattoo. I threw said “friend” a filthy look, and hoped that my Dad hadn’t heard. A little while later, my Mum commented (coincidentally. Or maybe not.) that there were a lot of people with tattoos in the room – “much more than in England” – and I decided to bite the bullet. I didn’t show it off until this morning, and the reaction was “Oh, that’s not too bad! It’s very big, though” (Mum) and “I suppose it could be worse” (Dad). Considering that they don’t like a) tattoos and b) me being Canadian, the reaction could also have been worse (and possibly will be, in private!)
  • I have confirmed that my complete inability to dance is genetic – on both sides of the family

Mr E Man tries to show my Mum how it’s done. He can’t dance either, though.

We’re leaving tomorrow for a circuit of South-Western BC, encompassing visits with my sister-in-law, a golf / spa stay in Whistler, and a visit with my mother-in-law. I’ll be offline for the whole week… wish me luck!

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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19 Responses to RBO Parents

  1. Nina says:

    Great picture… great stories too. It makes me long for my own parents to come over to Kiwiland (although preferably not both at the same time 😉 ). Enjoy your time with them!

  2. Alyssa says:

    Absolutely dead-on with the ironing! I don't know what it is, but my Mom irons absolutely everything (except underwear, as you say). She always has a huge pile of "ironing" to do in the basement.I don't remember the last time I ironed something. We do own one, and actually DH uses it much more than I do for his button-up shirts. I just don't buy clothes that need to be ironed!

  3. pika says:

    Same here with the ironing. I think the last time I ironed something was before my job interview, when I wore a linen dress under a jacket.And maybe another generational thing, which you mentioned in one of your previous posts about parents: mothers not letting daughters go out with wet hair – my mother always has a problem with that, that I'll catch a cold (never happened)!Enjoy your trip!

  4. EcoGeoFemme says:

    Ditto on the ironing thing.Have a great trip!

  5. Professor in Training says:

    OMG … I think we have the same parents!

  6. Prof-like Substance says:

    And banking at a teller. Who under the age of 50 still does that?

  7. uphilldowndale says:

    Our mums went to the same school of ironing by the sounds of things, in her day, Mum isn't up to it now I'm afraid, she'd even iron Mr Uhdd's underpants and boiler-suit,if she got a chance. I wouldn't mind, but she actually hated ironing. I think you are very brave, re the tattoo. I can't choose a stair carpet I still like a few years later!Our friend had this tattoo recently… Respect…http://uphilldowndale.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/a-lasting-memento/

  8. chall says:

    pah, something ate my comment.Anyway, I said that I like ironing as a meditative thing to do. That said, I haven't ironed since I moved to the US 😉 I do miss the mangle though… newly mangled sheets, all crisp when they are newly washed! ah well… maybe next place I live in?There are a lot of similarities for sure, with parents that is – and wet hair, ironing and dislike of tattoos. (Mine were split; one hated it, one like it… of course, together they were "mildly neutral" …)Hope you have a great vacation!!

  9. knutty knitter says:

    You can train them out of ironing….I did!I iron lots but not clothes (patchwork/embroidery etc) and broke mine. Borrowed mums for several months then bought her a new one. It barely has any mileage on it comparatively :)My mum is a great dancer, my dad – totally useless!viv in nz

  10. stepwise girl says:

    Hope the trip is going well!

  11. Lisbeth says:

    Ahh, how nice to know that regarding ironing I'm just young and not lazy 🙂

  12. Anonymous says:

    The cubic metre of newspapers that are now rubbish at the end of the week gets me. They can read email but they can't read the news on the net?-antipodean

  13. ScientistMother says:

    sounds like a lovely trip. Hopefully everyone survives each other! 🙂

  14. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Nina, be careful what you wish for! The last >4 weeks have been mostly really fun, but there's something about being in a car with my parents for long periods of time that makes me wish for some space, silence, and alone-time… :)Alyssa, I'm glad it's not just me! My mum told me as I was packing my panniers for work this morning that she'd ironed my sweater. It's wool! Who irons wool?! (It survived, but in all honestly I can't tell see any difference compared to its usual unironed state. So why bother?!)Pika, linen definitely needs ironing. There may be a connection to the fact that I don't own any… it is lovely, but not very practical when you pack your clothes into a pannier and get changed at work!The wet hair thing is funny. I can't blow-dry my hair without turning into a fuzz ball, so leaving the house with wet hair is my only choice a lot of the time, and has been for ~20 years. But she still can't get used to it!Eco, yay, another one! Definitely generational then.PiT, LOL! PlS, I hear ya – on the very rare occasions that I haven't been able to perform a banking action online or at an ATM (depositing a cheque in US dollars, making a one-off extra payment on my mortgage), everyone in line with me had grey hair. My parents are better than most though, and are even making their first foray into internet banking!UHDD, wow, that's masochism! I think my Mum at least quite enjoys ironing – she always used to do it on Sunday evenings in front of the TV, which she didn't get much of a chance to watch otherwise, when she was still working and my sister and I were still at home.Your friend's tattoo is impressive! Huge! I bet it took a lot longer (and hurt more) than mine!KK, good one! I'm not sure that's practical in my case though – my Mum couldn't be separated from an iron for more than a couple of weeks before she went out and bought a new one!Whose dancing genes did you inherit?Stepwise, thanks! It was mostly really fun. Mostly.Lisbeth, LOL! Yes, it's much better to blame it on a generation gap!Antipodean, my parents are obsessed with TV news. They probably watch at least a couple of hours of it a day. They quizzed my sister-in-law and then my mother-in-law about which news channels they get (BBC World being their preferred option), and asked about once an hour which was the best channel to watch for news at this time of day. It was more understandable at the beginning of their stay, when the UK election happened, but their interest is unabated. I actively avoid news when I'm on holiday, and when I'm at home I watch maybe 20-30 minutes of local news every morning, and get the rest on the internet. SM, we survived! We had a couple of "moments", but nothing too serious. I really don't like car journeys much at the best of times, and adding prolonged close proximity to people who have to comment on / ask questions about every single thing you see en route, and then PMS, into the mix, meant that the ride from Whistler to the Sunshine Coast in particular was, um, sub-optimal for me. But the vast majority of the trip was fun!

  15. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Chall, sorry, I missed your comment somehow! Meditative, eh? I can almost see that…

  16. microbiologist xx says:

    LMAO! I too have an iron and ironing board, but I rarely use it. Whenever hanging things up immediately after they come out of the dryer doesn't work, I just leave them hanging in my closet until either (a) gravity gets rid of the wrinkles, (b) being smashed between my other clothes "presses" out the wrinkles or (c) a combination of both.Re: the tattoo. I was shocked when my parents response to my piercing was, "I would have rather you gotten a tattoo." I guess their immediate dislike caused them to overlooked the fact it was completely reversible!

  17. Thomas Joseph says:

    Down with irons, up with steamers!

  18. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    MXX, yes, hanging works, especially in the bathroom while having a long steamy shower!I'm also surprised at parents preferring tattoos to piercings. I'd still quite like to have a nose piercing (just a small silver stud), but the thought of what might happen when I get a cold puts me off :)Thomas, never used one (except for veggies). See previous comment about long steamy showers though!

  19. Thomas Joseph says:

    I've been told that a good (don't buy an el cheapo) steamer works excellently. I'm seriously considering purchasing one when I have some extra cash lying around (because I totally have money to blow like that, all. the. time.)

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