I’ve completely caught up with God Awful Movies; all I have to do is listen to the review of Samson and I’m set. A good number of these episodes have caused me to laugh out loud while in the breakroom at work, which will garner me some odd stares. But one of them made me think. The episode in question? October Baby.
The film is basically a tremendously bad piece of anti-abortion fiction, dealing with a girl who was injured in a botched abortion. She was adopted and is now attending college. While on a trip searching for her biological mother, her adoptive father chases her down and after a confrontation, forces her to go back home with him.
The “girl” in question? She was nineteen. In other words, she was legally an adult. But her adoptive father chose to treat her like a small child. The hosts of God Awful Movies were stunned. In my case, I wasn’t surprised. I dealt with this on a daily basis.
When I was in my twenties, a couple of friends and I went to a New Year’s Eve party. There were other people there, who were over 21, and there was some drinking. My friends and I skipped the alcohol; it just wasn’t our thing. One of my friends told my father that there had been drinking at the party. Needless to say, it got back to my mother.
The next day, my parents gave me the fifth degree. Did I have anything to drink? Did I know that drinking was going to happen at this party? Did any of my friends have anything to drink? Was I going to another party that might have any alcohol consumption? Did I really need to be friends with these people?
I was 22 at the time. I was old enough to purchase beer for myself. I was legally an adult. But my parents still felt that they had the right to know what I may or may not have done at the party. Because to them, I was still “their” child. But I wasn’t the only one among my group that dealt with similar issues. My then significant other and his sister did as well.
My ex told of a weekend that he spent with his sister and her boyfriend at their lake house. It wasn’t just the three of them; his sister had invited some of her friends. When everyone got to said lake house, the tequila was brought out and opened. Everyone had a shot. Everyone, except my ex.
The drinking didn’t stop until the wee hours of the next morning. When the rest of the group finally stumbled into bed, it was nearly three thirty in the morning. The party had been drinking since they arrived and decided to take a boat ride on the lake at one AM. Luckily, no one was injured or fell overboard. However, when the sun rose later, my ex’s sister said she was sick. She couldn’t stay. So everyone packed up and left.
Well, they tried to leave, at least.
The car made it halfway down the driveway when the ex’s sister screamed for her boyfriend to stop. She jumped out of the car and dashed to the house. She made it to the bushes where she stopped and copiously vomited into the flowers. She wasn’t ill. She was extremely hungover. It was very obvious to my ex.
When he was dropped off at home, my ex spilled the beans. He told his mother everything. About the drinking. About the late night boating. About his sister, claiming she was sick when she was actually hungover. About his sister, vomiting into the bushes. He spared no detail.
The next day, my ex’s mother called his sister. The woman tore her daughter a new one. At the time, I found this hilarious; this was the same female who couldn’t stand me, had claimed that she was smarter than me by dint of being older and now she had been busted for excessive drinking. In my mind, it served her right. When my ex told me about this a few days later, I hung up the phone and laughed. I only wished that I could have been a fly on the wall, watching my ex’s sister as she squirmed.
Now that I think about it, the entire incident bothers me.
My ex’s sister, bitch though she was, didn’t live with her parents. She had moved out years ago. She was an adult in every sense of the word. Her mother had zero right to call her up and chastise her for drinking, as she wasn’t a child at all. She was an adult, had been an adult for the past several years. She never should have “gotten in trouble” for breaking any rules because she was more than old enough to make her own rules. Her mother never should have called her in order to scold her. In fact, if my ex’s sister had said, “We’re done with this conversation” and hung up on her mother, she would have been well within her rights.
The fact that my ex’s sister was over eighteen did not matter to her mother. Her mother still saw her as a child. It was the same with me and my own parents and it was the same with my ex as well.
It was this same mindset that saw my mother saying that if I went to BotCon back in 1997, she would make my life hell. It was that same mindset that saw my ex’s mother saying that, even at the age of twenty-three, he was not going to New York state. To our parents, we were still kids, not old enough to make decisions on our own. The fact that the law saw us as adults was a moot point.
I’d love to say that this story of mine has a happy ending, that my ex realized his mother was too controlling for his good and that he was able to break away. He didn’t. He probably won’t. In my case, the ending still isn’t happy; I have a hell of a time making decisions on my own. I’d rather have Prime do it. I lack the basic self esteem to be even slightly sure of myself and I doubt that it will ever change. Although I have gotten better, I doubt I will ever be normal.
What I saw as a young adult was my normal. That frightens me. More than anything.