The Inevitable Questions on Turkey Day

Family at the dinner table at the Thanksgiving day.

It’s your parents’ Thanksgiving, they will ask what they want. Like the KGB. (Photo art by Camille Bourret’16)

If you haven’t figure it out yet, we at The Thrill love parents and Thanksgiving. But sometimes our two lovers get together and talk about us. It’s really annoying. Then we’re on break and trying to relax, and they ask prying questions like “Why didn’t you call me last week Tuesday after seminar? Who’s this Michael person you keep on talking about? Did you get your Psych midterm back yet?”

As a veteran of Kenyon breaks, I believe that I have seen the full gamut of parent’s “gotcha” questions. Recently, however, I have seen a shift in the questions parents are asking. It appears that as my cognitive abilities developed at Kenyon, so did the prying and uncomfortable questions of my parents. During my first Thanksgiving break, the questions all seemed to focus on how often I party at Kenyon and now the questions tend to revolve around how much time I spend in the library and if it is healthy. (Spoiler, it’s not, especially for my skin.)

If you’re a first year, the questions you are most likely to hear from your parents will touch on the following topics and will be posed with a dash of worry, a hint of condescension, and a whole lot of love:

  • Do you have reading?
  • Have you started studying for exams?
  • Did you make your bed before you left campus?
  • Don’t you think taking Macro Economics would make more sense? I mean you just took Micro! It’s still so fresh!
  • How’s Tiffany? Does she go by Tiffy? (Tiffany/Timmy is a fictional person that you made up, so you don’t have to talk about your real friends/girlfriend/boyfriend/DFMO, who your parental figure may not approve of. Or maybe your parents don’t remember any of your friends and they don’t want to assume that you don’t have any.)

Sophomore year there’s still a bit of condescension, more confusion and also a lot more encouragement:

  • Is it safe to go to Cuba? I mean if there’s an approved program, it must be safe, right? Are you fluent in Spanish?
  • What’s this “alternative” music you keep listening to? Is Regina Spektor still cool?
  • So definitely set on that English major?
  • How about an externship?!
  • Did they put more lights around campus? It’s seemed super dark over there. Is it too dark?

Junior year your parents have come to see that you are almost an adult and have learned to respect your space.

  • How’s school? Still fun? Great./How was abroad? Fun? Life changing? Great.

Senior year … well, I’ll let you know when we get back. But if the one week I was home this summer and parents weekend were any indication, break should go something like this:

  • Have you thought more about next year? (As if I didn’t know what is happening next year!)
  • Have you finished your applications for the Peace Corps, graduate school, jobs, law school, clown school?
  • Are you drinking enough water?
  • Have you made it to the KAC this semester?
  • Do you remember “so and so” from high schoolOur neighbor who I went to K-12 with? Yes. Well, they are still super cute! Good for them. I think they’re single too! Do you want to invite them to get coffee? Just a chat? It’s casual!

Thanks parent/life coach/matchmaker!

6 responses

  1. “Have you thought about what you want to do after you graduate?” Lol no, Dad, I haven’t even thought about it! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Dear Kids – we’ve had several months to plan on how we’re going to mess with you over Thanksgiving break. This is part of the fun of being a parent – payback time.

  3. Dear “Kids”, I must been given the opportunity to defend myself! It’s hard to stop being parents once you’ve been one. From that first wonderful cry in the delivery room forward you are always forefront in our minds and hearts. Worrying comes with the territory as well as all the joys of watching you grow into the terrific adults you will be. So if our questions seem inane just remember we care.

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