Across the entire globe, parents appear to be a unifying factor among youths when it comes to people we love to hate on. Don't get us wrong, we love to love them too, and we greatly appreciate all they've done for us, but there does seem to be this set list of things every parent, or "old person" (if you will), constantly does, no matter where on this large planet they are located.
Ever since you were a small child, there were probably quite a few things your parents did that just made you think, "can you not?" Because apparently as soon as you pop a kid out, your brain gets programmed with these weird, and somewhat oddly specific things, and the weirder thing is that the one weird thing you might've thought is specific to your parent is actually being mimicked by parents on the other side of world too. So, of course, we decided to list all the ones we can think of here for the opportunity of a worldwide comparison.
20 Complaining about everything you do, even though they're the ones that made you do it in the first place
No matter what the occasion, parents seem to always be able find something you're doing wrong. Whether it's the way you live your life in general or just the fact that you didn't offer your guest a glass of water when you got one for yourself, they can pinpoint at least one thing at any given time. They'll complain about how you're lazy, inconsiderate, and have no manners without taking the extra second to ponder the fact that they were the ones that made you and they were the ones that raised you. So yes, maybe we, as their children, can forget some little things, or are maybe a little more rebellious than they were at our age, but in our defense, we're kind of just trying to live our lives after they introduced us to this place called Earth.
19 Having you record all their TV shows
If you have a DVR, then you probably also know the struggle of being beckoned at any time of day or night by one of your parents because they believe it is absolutely dire for their favourite TV show to be immediately set to record later on. Despite our multiple attempts to explain to them that it's as easy as finding that show in the TV schedule and then pressing the little red button on the remote, or clicking it in the schedule and scrolling down to record, they can't seem to grasp the fact that they really do not need your help with this. But, who knows? Maybe they really do get it and just are using it as an excuse to spend just a little bit of quality time with you?
18 Assuming you can figure out anything concerning anything technological
It always starts out small. Maybe they ask you to Google something for them even though they have their phone, or get you to help them figure out how to use Snapchat. Before you know it, they're assuming you know why their phone battery keeps dying when it says it still has 30% left, or assuming you know every setting on their new laptop even though you have a completely different one. Next thing you know, they want you to build a robot that can sense when they've had a hard day and give them back massages. Maybe not, but it can definitely get a little overwhelming when you're being called over almost every day to help with something you're not even sure you have an answer to.
17 Hounding you for using your own phone
Even though they use you as their personal would-be tech wizard, to a point at which that becomes annoying, they also are not afraid to jump down your throat as soon as you whip out your phone. Sure, sometimes we are, in fact, just browsing through Twitter or playing a dumb game, but shockingly this is usually when nothing is going on. It's at this point that they decide that this is important family time and we're ruining it.
When we use our phones during what has previously been elected as family time, the wrath becomes even greater. In this case, it doesn't matter if it's that same stupid game that you're using or if you were literally only taking out to check the time or see if the important text you've been awaiting has come in. Regardless of the circumstance, the response is always the same: something along the lines of "oh my god, I can't believe how often your face is glued to that darn phone!" Even if your phone wasn't even out as of a few seconds before this moment, that still definitely means you're always glued to it. That's just logic.
16 Always forgetting their cellphone
When they want to text you a paragraph about the ridiculous thing your pet did this morning, sure they have their phone charged and with the, and we greatly appreciate that daily dose of comedy. Unfortunately, when it comes to the more important things, for example, anything from needing to know where the extra flour is while baking, to needing to know the new credit card information to make an important purchase before it's too late, our parents usually don't have our helpful link to them while they're outside the house, or if they do, it's already dead. And yet, we've managed all these years of being put in these annoying situations, so maybe that's just how the universe is set, and we might not be able to change that anytime soon.
15 Making up their own words/pronunciations
I don't think there is a single parent I know who doesn't have a made up word for a very common object, or calling any object they aren't really familiar with a doohickey. If they're on the more reserved side, they even have their own made-up set of curse words. For my mother "futch" and "schmuck" are interchangeable replacements for the f-word, and in a recent installment, she has introduced the word "jigglytoot" as a descriptor for someone annoying her.
Then there are the mispronunciations of words and names that already exist, like "Tweeter" rather than "Twitter," "Ree-hanna" instead of "Rihanna," and, my new favourite, "Lamar Kendrick" (I don't even think I have to clarify whose name is getting messed up here). No matter what the case, our parents all have their own little lexicon of words and pronunciations that we hate on them for but secretly cherish for the entertainment value.
Ah yes, the iconic "old people" trend that has followed us around ever since touch-screen phones were first invented: the butt-dial. At this point, it's even concerning if I don't receive a butt-dial call from my father at least once a month, serenaded by the sweet static of a call without a voice, and the ever so faint rhythm of whatever music he is playing in the background.
It's strange, really, that this only seems to be a phenomenon among people older than 40, despite the fact that almost everyone owns touchscreen phones these days. Is it inevitably the brutal truth that almost every person who fits into this age group sticks their phone in their pocket without first turning off the screen, disabling the calling function? Maybe if we all explain how that works, the butt-dialing will finally be put to an end, but I suppose only time will tell.
13 Clinging on to whatever they can when you drive
It doesn't matter whether you drive like an animal behind the wheel or you're so slow and cautious that people mistake you for a grandmother, parents as soon as you look to the passenger's seat, your parent will always be there to reassure you that you are a terrible driver. One hand gripping the dashboard, coat hanger, side door, or their own legs, and the other gripping their chest, they use this small gesture to let you know that as long as you're behind the wheel, they really do not feel safe whatsoever. As a bonus, it's irrelevant that they may actually be worse driver than you, because if that's the case they "still have more years of experience," therefore they know better, even when they rear-end someone purely because they can't effectively drive one-handed (and, let's face it, we all definitely can).
12 The "when I was your age" speech
It's annoying, it's demeaning, it's everyone's favourite post-meal family bonding exercise AKA the "when I was your age speech." Even when you think you're in the clear, living your life responsibly according to your parents' standards, the speech rears it's ugly head because you decide to eat out one night or forget to put your dish away when you're home. Then, out come the claws, the "when I was your age, we watched every single penny we spent" or "I know my parents would have never tolerated if I were as messy as you when I was growing up."
There's no way to always please your parents as long as they have some life lesson from their childhood up their sleeves, so you might as well take the verbal beating. If you actually listen and don't "backtalk," they might even reward you for it...maybe...probably not. But it's all out of love in the end, right?
11 Asking to see something you're reading, then going looking for their glasses
Not that we don't love sharing any given reading material in our possession with our beloved parents, but parents always manage to jump the gun on asking to read such cherished eye candy. More specifically, this implies that they first ask to read your material, proceed to take your phone, laptop, book or magazine, squint at whatever it is for a few seconds, then finally realize that they actually can't make out a word it says, only to walk off with whatever you were reading while they try to remember "where they put those darn things." While we completely understand that they want to see what we're reading, especially if we're making any facial expressions that signify it's interesting, it would make everyone's lives a little easier to actually have glasses on hand before doing something that requires them.
10 Calling you a million times no matter what the reason
Maybe your grandma died, maybe they forgot to let the cat out and need you to do it before it throws up on the carpet, or maybe, just maybe (more like probably), they just want to confirm for the fourth time that you're all meeting for lunch. If you don't answer within five minutes, you know there's just gotta be at least five missed calls and three new voicemail messages waiting for you, and yet, without fail there never seem to be any texts. Even when you tell them the times you'll be in a class or a meeting or somewhere where it would be very rude to take a phone call, they don't see how much easier it would be to simply text you. Ok, maybe sometimes making a phone call is more efficient, but after two attempted phone calls and one needlessly frantic voicemail message, it's time to shoot a text so that there's a little more of a chance we'll reply if we're in one of the aforementioned "no phone calls allowed" situations.
9 Remembering chores as soon as you're sitting
Parents seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to what chores you should be doing and when, and this sense always conveniently starts to tingle right when we've taken a break from doing something rather time and energy-consuming. Of course, they don't care about the background information, only the fact we have taken a seat and have our phone or laptop out, or maybe partaking in the basic human function of, you know, eating. As long as we don't appear to be doing chores, we need to be doing chores. Obviously. And if you try to protest, that's back-talking which they'll have none of since "you're under their roof" after all.
8 Using the few words they know of a language to death
While the majority of us "young whippersnappers" don't really feel comfortable speaking trying to speak a language unless we can at least complete a few phrases, our parents seem to see things from the opposite end. As soon as they know one word of the language they are far from fluent in, they will bring that word up whenever possible. This is especially fun when you're out to eat, at a Mexican restaurant perhaps, and they ask in an all-too-self-righteous voice for "uno burrito por favor." If they actually tried to say it with a good accent and could complete maybe one more phrase, it might not be a problem, but in this situation in particular it's honestly more offensive than flattering.
The one that always gets me is my mother's incessant need to exercise her remaining knowledge of French whenever we're around people she knows are fluent. Although she means well when she addresses a crowded room with "assis-toi" when it should really be "asseyez-vous," I can feel the judgement of the French speakers in the room while she obliviously repeats the phrase until everyone actually sits down. At least in this case it's not really as off-putting since she's addressing no one in particular, only mildly embarrassing for her children.
7 Actually using email for things other than business
Email has ceased to die out with all the new forms of social media, and for good reason. It's a great way for contacting employers, with easy methods of attaching both your CV and cover letter, and employees, since it's a little more formal than Facebook. That being said, our parents don't really care about how formal it is and will proceed to send anything from photos to links to articles via this ill-fitting platform. Then of course, there's the chain emails, complete with the prompt to "send this to 10 of your *insert adjective here* -est friends." All of this is endearing and everything, but individual emails, on top of being a tad too formal, are like leeches on your phone storage. Sure, we can delete them once we read them, but we could curate all of these lovely email topics without wasting all our space if they would just text them to us.
6 Sharing the worst kinds of memes on Facebook
Memes have had their ups and downs over the years. Nowadays, youth culture involves itself in numerous meme trends at a time, which are usually pretty simple and easy to riff on. What we don't use anymore, or what we backed away from in the first place, the parents have claimed as their own in an unspoken way via Facebook. This entails the dreaded rage comics of days past, the picture quotes we got sick of so quickly, and the new and horrifying phenomenon that is none other than the Minion memes.
I don't know what it is, but the Minion franchise seems to exclusively attract a) children (like it's supposed to) and b) Facebook moms. While the children are probably not old enough to have a cellphone or a method to create and share meme-ified versions of those weird yellow characters, the Facebook mom army has certainly not been shy about doing their part. It's not just the Minion franchise itself that's annoying about these memes, it's the fact that, more often than not, the Minion picture coupled with whatever quote is featured in the meme has absolutely nothing to do with the statement. And don't even get me started on the shoddy graphic design work put into these memes. Final statement on the matter: this is one "old people" thing that needs to stop.
5 Not realizing that you don't need a password to take a photo with a phone
We've already established that parents are not very tech-savvy, but usually the level of tech-saviness varies from parent to parent. There's one thing, however, that the wide majority of parents do that proves on some level they can't work technology as efficiently as their offspring, especially since this is the one thing they actually never ask for help on.
That "thing" in question is taking photos on whatever cellular device you might possess, because a time always comes around when the family is gathered for some kind of occasion, and all you want is a non-selfie form of photo to remember the occasion forever. You hand a select parent your phone, ask for your picture to be taken, and expect for this to only take a few seconds, but it's never that simple. The parent, staring from you to your phone in disbelief utters the phrase, "I need you password," and you, for the thousandth time reply, "no you don't." Now, also for the thousandth time you're doing a quick and simple demonstration of the quick and simple process of just swiping up on the camera icon. They nod at you, take the picture now that you've already opened the camera app for them, but you know you'll be repeating the same process all over again the next time you would like your picture taken.
4 Expecting you to know whatever artist is on the radio
Although usually when you're in the car with a parent, they've got NPR bumping on the radio, there are a few select occasions when they let you change the station to whatever top hits, alt-rock, or hip-hop station that you please. This would be a sweet victory if not for the dreaded barrage of "oh I like them, what're they called," to which you must respond, more often than not, "I don't know."
As we generalize "old people" culture, the parents like to generalize young people culture, and part of that typecasting means that you just have to know every current hit, every artist getting airtime, and if you actually do know the artist, you must then know the answer to the followup of "where are they from?" While we can't exactly blame them as we expect them to know the plot of every old TV show that happens to come up in conversation or be mentioned in one of our favourite current shows, the hypocrisy feels kind of justified when they're disturbing us from going to our happy place on a long drive.
3 Asking "who's that" whenever you're using your phone
If there's one thing parents really love to do to annoy their children, it's looking over our shoulders when we're mindlessly browsing through our phones or laptop. That's all well and good since anyone with at least a bit of common sense won't have anything scandalous open when they're in a public space, vulnerable to their parents' lurking. However, we still can't seem to resist our impulses to do some classic Facebook or Instagram stalking no matter where we are, and our parents pounce on this fault.
As soon as a new face pops up on our screen, a parent is there, locked and loaded with the "who's that?" question that we loathe answering so much. At this point, we must decide whether we want to make up a vague connection that will satisfy them, yet still not make it's way back to us in the future, or we execute my favourite strategy, the "I don't know, they just popped up on my feed," despite the fact you're actually 43 weeks deeps in this specific person's Instagram.
2 Catching on to trends right as they're going out of style
We love our parents for who they are, which is exactly why it's so annoying when they try their very best to be "hip," as they like to say. As they share their Minion memes and reminisce over the good ol' days via Facebook, we're on every other social media platform creating new trends. At first they're oblivious, happily living their lives as the older generation. It's only when the trends that we started months before, which are on the tail end of their 15 minutes of fame, are compiled into some kind of video, or are covered on Ellen, that our parents decide they need to partake in these trendy behaviours.
It all started way back when, when the parents of the world starting using "LOL" extremely frequently, even when it became no longer cool to capitalize it. Then, they finally got the hang of emojis, and one could expect a totally random emoji with every text message received from a parent. Nowadays it's the dance trends that the parents just love to get on board with when it's really already too late. We never know whether we'll be greeted by a simple wave or by an attempt at doing "the whip" when it comes to parents as of late. Sure, no one's getting hurt, but the image of our mothers doing "the nae nae" together is truly mentally scarring, so much so that we might even miss the days when they went around yelling "YOLO."
1 Showing up alarmingly early for everything
As parents complain about our generation for being lazy and perpetually late to things, even when this claim doesn't even prove to be true, they match our supposed lateness with an insufferable earliness to everything, and I mean everything. I know we all have less than fond memories of begging our parents not to leave so early for a school dance or a birthday party when we were still without driver's licenses. Maybe now you don't live at home anymore, so the fact they show up early to everything bites you in the bum before you've had the chance to thoroughly clean your place, which definitely results in criticism later on.
For me, my mother's continual earliness came for me in the most horrifying of ways. The story begins with my ignoring of her wish for me not to get tattoos before I graduate university and electing to hide them. This was all going pretty well considering mine are on my back, so I just have to wear anything but those open back blouses. Unfortunately, I arrived to a hair appointment one day wearing an open back blouse, letting my tattoos feel the breeze, and as soon as my hairdresser told me how much she liked them, she revealed my mother had an appointment starting 15 minutes after mine.
Thankfully I had the hairdressing cape on when my mother waltzed in a full 20 minutes before her appointment, but I knew as soon as it came off I would have no escape. Already having confided in my hairdresser, she asked my mother if she needed any water, and when my mother answered yes she directed her down the hall. In those few seconds, I was frantically grabbing at any cash I had in my purse, and as my hairdresser asked if I needed a receipt I was already in a mad dash to my car, blouse flowing in the wind. In conclusion, that is the reason this "old people" thing in particular will forever haunt me, and my advice to any of you reading this is to be careful out there my young friends.