Posted by: GeekHiker | November 11, 2009

It’s Appreciated, But…

Talking with The Parentage the other night, one of the many topics we touched on was the H1N1 flu.  We chatted about whether or not they had gotten the shots, whether or not I would, etc.

One one point they made a very generous offer: should I come down with the flu, and should it be one of the strains that lays-you-out-for-a-week, they would be perfectly willing to drive south and help me out.

When you think about it, that’s pretty cool of them.  It’s not everyone who can say that their parents would be willing to come and help them out in times of illness.  It means a lot that they extended the offer.

At the same time, and not to detract from what I said above in the least, hearing the offer was a bit of a downer.  Why?  Because there’s a part of me that can’t help but think “Geez, I’m thirty-six years old, and for a thirty-six year-old guy to potentially need his parents to care for him during a severe illness (vs., say, a sibling, girlfriend, wife, etc.) just screams patheticness!  Geek-living-in-the-basement-playing-D&D level patheticness!  Comic Book Guy level of patheticness!”

I don’t know if it’s wrong to think that.  Maybe so, maybe not.  Maybe it’s just a reflection of the pressures society puts on us, or maybe it’s something deeper.

Whatever the case, I thanked them, of course.  Inside, though, I couldn’t help but lament my singledom.

Just a little bit.



  1. Totally get it. You appreciate how great your parents are, but if you had a significant other, that would be the person making you chicken soup. I text pictures of my favorite meals to my mother just so someone can witness how awesome it turns out. :S

    It doesn’t make you pathetic, many of us fabulous single people have trouble meeting our person. So… what will you do about it?

  2. Dude. Chill. I have a husband, siblings, good friends, and I STILL would not turn away my mom coming to bring me chicken soup. Heck, she was the one who drove me to and from the hospital for a surgery and to and from for my wisdom teeth pulling. NOTHING wrong with the offer OR accepting it. Thats what moms do. I know I’LL be offering to help mck out till she’s 60.

  3. Judging by the above two comments, I think your post may be a bit misleading. If I understand correctly, you weren’t *complaining* about your parents offering to take care of you — you were just *lamenting* the possibility that they would be the ONLY people in the whole world that would do that should the occasion arise.

    I TOTALLY GET IT, coz, well, dammit, I am almost in the same boat, maybe worse. Of course, knowing the fact that there are other equally if not more pathetic people in the world in no way reduces the acute pain it causes when it dawns on you that this is your life situation.

    Maybe you (or I) should check into a commune. LOL!

  4. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not a D&D basement guy. I think that’s what parents are for – no matter what age you are. I rely on my parents a ton (thankfully they’re just a few minutes from my house). More than once, my mom has shown up at my door with a bag of Gatorade and chicken soup when I’ve been sick.

    Some people don’t have friends or siblings OR parents to take care of them when they’re ill, so just focus on the lucky part of this story.

  5. I thankfully rarely get ill, but being in the same boat, it is a little disconcerting (except my folks probably would make the hour drive to nurse me unless I was on my deathbed). But then I see my friends either being super whiny and expecting to be doted upon when ill, or their SO’s being super whiny and my friends doting on them, and I feel a little bit of pride that I pretty much take care of myself and appreciate the help that I do receive.

  6. Oh and the D&D comment made me chuckle, it’s okay to admit that you enjoy a little D&D, geekhiker :).

    And I meant my folks probably wouldn’t make the trip to help me unless I was on my deathbed…that makes more sense.

  7. I’ve been there. I’ve recovered from surgery in my apartment … alone. It’s not pleasant. Your parent’s offer was very generous. Not everyone can say they have parents willing to do that for them. You’re lucky.

  8. See? Everyone agrees. You’re awesome, just the way you are.

  9. Then you must think I’m really pathetic. Even with Mr. Dingo here, when I’m feeling sick I have my mother come up and take care of me. And when I’m completely overwhelmed with school, work, etc., I even ask her to come up and help me get my laundry under control!

  10. Two friends/coworkers have each ended up at their parents’ houses—one because a live-in relationship ended, the other because he was saving money for a big move to California.

    Of course, now they’re dating each other, so I’m guessin’ he’s not moving to CA and when they move out of the parents (his bedroom IS actually in the basement!) it will be to move in together.

    Which is a weird way of saying, Buck up, buckaroo! Some day your prince(ss) will come!

  11. don’t lament. do something. i know, you’ll refer me to other things you’ve written about how this and that hasn’t worked out. so…i say go on vacation (not hiking but far away completely different from what you’re used to) and get your groove back. (another reason why i daydream about bali.)

  12. I dunno…one of my friends had her husband walk out on her while recovering from surgery…

    point being that having a SO to nurse you back to health may not be what it’s cracked up to be.

    It sounds like you have lovely parents, who demonstrate the value of caring for those who are nearest and dearest to us. And while it may seem lame-o to be that close to ‘rents in mid-thirties, as long as you don’t blame *them* for a skimpy social life (or using the closeness as an excuse to avoid maturity), it sounds awfully nice to be surrounded by loving family.

    bittersweet, though

  13. I had a male friend tell me a story about a time when he got food poisoning. He said he was lying on the bathroom floor, shivering under a towel after throwing up all night thinking “I’m going to die. Nobody’s going to find me for 3 days when somebody from work finally comes over to see why I haven’t come in to work.” And he said the worst part of it was: he was to sick to go get his cell phone and he couldn’t call his mom to tell he loved her before he died.

    Of course, he didn’t die. Hence, his ability to tell the story.

    But from the point of view from a female HEARING this story?

    Love him! Woulda married him on the spot.

    Now go out and use that parents story to pick up chicks!!!

  14. Look, your age really doesn’t matter much. To you parents, you will always be their son therefore always will be someone to dote on. And if that’s a little depressing, then so be it.

    Forgive my bluntness, but there is no way to know whether you would be more happy with a significant other at your side. My mother had been married to a guy for 16 years when he suddenly decided to divorce. As a result, she found in her current boyfriend a person she’s been way happier with. She was 46 when that happened.

    Look on the bright side, you’re young, reasonably fit, still have a life expectancy of roughly 45 years and a truckload of online friends. That’s more than many people around you, isn’t it? The trick is to try using more “when’s” than “if’s”. By the way, isn’t it your own president who is behind the “We can” slogan? You can, it’s only a matter of time and will.

  15. MissMcCracken – Well, I’m glad I’m not alone at least

    CMACC – It’s not that I reject them, maybe I just wish I had someone else a little closer, ya know?

    K – I think you nailed it! Shall we check into the commune together?

    Mel Heth – Yes’m

    S’Dizzle – Well, it’s not like I can’t take care of myself when I’m ill. But don’t you find it to be one of those times when you really, really want to let go and have someone else carry the burden?

    S’Dizzle – Actually, I’ve never played D&D…

    Homer-Dog – And I do know it, believe me

    MissMcCraken – Aw, shucks…

    Dingo – The thing is, you have options…

    AbsurdBeats – I just hope I don’t have to move back in with my parents first! LOL

    BlakSpring – Hm, I’m sensing a Bali theme…

    M4891 – Well, I would guess that’s the exception rather than the rule. And, no, I don’t blame them for all the ways I’ve screwed up my life!

    Hebba – LOL, seems like an unusual story to try and tell in a bar!

    Gany – Again, I think that’s the exception rather than the rule. As for will…

  16. I’m late, but I agree with m4891– just because you have a significant other doesn’t mean they are going to take care of you.

    And I have another example (or “exception to the rule”). I got sick in 2007 during the scope of my first marriage. But it wasn’t my spouse that took care of me. It was March Madness, afterall. Luckily, a friend who lived on the other side of town stepped up to the plate, brought me food, and nagged me to the doctor’s office.

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