I was standing in the middle of an empty house trying to ignore the dirty looks my realtor was giving me. This was the fifth time we'd visited this house and she was getting testy.
'Well, are you going to buy it or not?' she asked.
I liked the house, but I already own three homes and I wasn't sure if I need another one. Especially since this one was on the same block as two of my other homes. ( Some people are jet-set; I am crawl-set. )
'Umm, let me call my parents and ask them,' I said.
'You have to ask your parents?' she exclaimed. 'How old are you?'
I'm at an age where the only question you should ask your parents is: 'How are they treating you at 'the home.'' But my parents still live in the house where I was born and raised, a place that my brother and I refer to as 'mind-control central.' And, as my mother has warned me countless times, there will be dire consequences if I do not consult them before making any decision-big or small.
The look of startled alarm on my realtor's face reminded me of a date I had a few years ago. I had just received a George Forman Grill from my parents and I invited a love interest over for a snack.
My date asked me to make her a grilled cheese sandwich. I wasn't sure you could cook anything other than meat on the grill, so I called my mother and asked her advice.
'Oh, God, no!' my mother exclaimed when I told her about my plans to cook a cheese sandwich on the grill. She reacted as if I told her I was going to put my cat on the grill.
'But why?' I asked. I examined the grill's surface and couldn't see how melted cheese would ruin it.
'It will make a terrible mess!' she said with increasing hysteria. 'Promise me you won't do it.'
I hung up and told my date she'd have to settle for a piece of toast. 'I can't be involved with a woman who is unable to stand up to her mother,' she said haughtily. And since she was so cute, I quietly said, 'Screw you, Mom.' I picked up a knife and started cutting a block of cheese.
Just as I was about to put the sandwich on the grill, the phone rang. It was my father. 'Your mother told me that you're thinking about making a grilled cheese sandwich on the George Foreman Grill. Please don't do it. I'm begging you.'
Ignoring my mother comes naturally to me. For years I've rejected her pleas to wear Peter Pan collars and go to Elizabeth Arden. But I usually cave to the wishes of my father. And when they act as a tag team, I'm powerless. So, I set the knife down in defeat and waved goodbye weakly as my date sailed out of my house and my life.
Several minutes later, the phone rang again. It was my mother. 'Good news,' she chirped. 'I called the George Foreman Grill hotline and they said that you can make grilled cheese on it. In fact, they said it makes the best grilled cheese sandwich youll ever have. So, come over and Ill make us all cheese sandwiches and then we can have a talk about what we should do with that hair of yours.'