Last November I removed some entries from EJ Takes Life because they depicted a member of my extended family in a wholly accurate and therefore wildly unflattering manner. However, since every visitor to Trager's heard me cracking up when my parents called to relay this particular story, I have no qualms about posting it on the Internet. This is particularly so because the family member involved has an email address but a) does not not know how to check it and b) is not entirely sure what it is. If you need more evidence, my little sister already wrote one story from the weekend, and it is so not fair that the brat got contacts before me AND gets to write rude stories about the family without recrimination (love you, Jen!).
Picture it: my father and this family member (TMF for short) are chitchatting about helicopter parents, that annoying and growing group that refuses to allow their precious babies to grow up and make mistakes and therefore hover about, calling a university professor when they feel Johnny's D+ in Calc was ill-deserved or making the PTA into a nightmare of Competitive Childrearing straight out of The Art of War. TMF squints her eyes and asks "But isn't it even worse on the kids when the parents don't love them enough to pay attention? They just abandon them to the elements?"
My father patiently explained that, despite the hand-wringing, the Youth of Today are generally less messed up than the Youth of Yesteryear. Teen pregnancies are down, drug use is down, and with a couple of notable exceptions, American young people are generally upstanding, non-boat-rocking little citizens. God, how boring.
TMF thoughtfully pauses for a minute and then states "Y'know, I've thought about this a whole lot. And I think the reason kids today are behaving is... the Second Coming."
My father, to his enormous credit, didn't crack up laughing or drive into a tree or tear out his hair. He simply took a deep breath and said "TMF... I gotta tell ya, I really don't think kids today are that concerned with the Rapture."
And TMF responds:
"The 'Rapture?' What's that? What the heck are you talking about?"
It's really lucky I wasn't in the state where this conversation took place, as I undoubtedly would have swung out from behind the glass of chardonnay that is always present when this family member visits to bray "It's when Jesus descends from Heaven to tell us that Blondie is the one true God."