It’s hard rebelling against liberal, tolerant parents

Posted by

Saw this comic today and almost fell out of my chair:

Comic by

Seeing this reminded me of my own experiences growing up, where try as I might I just couldn’t faze my parents…

Imri and me in 1996I remember being a 21-year-old party girl in San Francisco, and my dad asking me very straight-forwardly about my recreational substance consumption, and me answering him very honestly. (It was, uh, A LOT at the time.)

My father looked thoughtful for a second and then said, “That’s a pretty heroic dosage of toxins. I hope you’re prioritizing sleep and eating well, too.”

I thought to myself, “…!! Fuck, there’s no way to get a rise outta this guy.” And stopped trying.

I posted this story on the Offbeat Families facebook page, and started getting some amazing comments that I just HAVE to share:

  • When I told my mom that I lost my virginity (at 18) she said “well, it’s about time!” that’s when I gave up! 🙂
  • All of my friends that it was weird that my mom was the one to help me dye my hair pink and purple at 15!
  • My mom would say “is that Metallica dear, i really like that song” not what I wanted to hear when I was cranking metal trying to piss her off when I was 15. God Bless her!
  • My mother very bluntly asked me if I liked boys or girls when I was about 19, and when I told her I hadn’t decided, I thought I might just like both, she just nodded and said “Well, no rush to decide. May as well make the best of it while you can!”

HA! I love these stories.

Comments on It’s hard rebelling against liberal, tolerant parents

  1. “well dear, if you ever have any questions about drugs, between your father and me we’ve tried just about everything, so feel free to ask…”

    • When I was 17 my dad helped me straighten out my blue mohawk. He said that it was a little crooked and immediately got out his shaver thing. My mom was embarassed that her daughter had “the hair of a punk boy”, but my dad said that it’s just hair and is nothing to get worked up about.

      • My dad tried to get me to Get a purple mohawk, and a tattoo. I couldn’t decide what I wanted on either account. Oh, and He used to be in a metallica anthrax cover band.He opened for anthrax one night in hartford. My family is a bunch of rev war rennie re-enactors and Fife and Drum Folk

    • Oh god, that reminds me of the time my parents sat my brother and I down at the kitchen table and brought out their pot stash and were like, “This is what marijuana looks like. It is fun. Sometimes we smoke it to enhance our sex life.” I was MORTIFIED.

    • I got the same thing from my parents! It’s also why I was always too scared to try drugs growing because I was convinced (and still am to this day) that if I. Ever walked into my parents house high they would immediately know I was high, what I took, how much I took, when I took it and how good it was! Lol

  2. love this post, but……………… i am one the liberal, tolerant parents. my oldest daughter came home late one night when she was about 15 and she was drunker than a skunk! she could barely walk without falling falling down. when she fell into bed, my husband went and smelled her breath and said, “smells like rye.” the next morning i gave my 3 other kids permission to be as load a they wanted and when booze girl got up, i grounded her; not for drinkin’, for being late.
    when my 2nd oldest daughter came home very late from high school one day, i asked her why she was so late. this was her response, “oh, i had sex for the first time today.” my reply was, “oh, that’s nice, but that’s no excuse for being so late.” LOL!

    i think kids needs to figure some things out for themselves.

    • That’s why we all turned out so well Mom, because you WERE liberal. A lot of my friends got into trouble just to get that rise out of their parents. All us kids knew that it didn’t phase you so what was the point in trying anymore. As a result of my liberal upbringing, I have now become a liberal, offbeat mama myself! My kids have said to me that there’s no point in trying to hide anything from me cuz what’s the point!

  3. Despite my attempts to rebel, shock, or annnoy, my mother has always lovingly referred to me as the “white sheep” of the family. LOL Not to mention my mother outnumbers all seven of her childern in tattoos.

  4. I did everything I could to rebel, shock, and embarrass my mother, and in the end…it came down to this one thing.
    We started drinking very early, my mom came home and of course friends were all thinking we were in big trouble just to hear from my mom, “Well at least you’re drinking at home dear.”

  5. My mom had a book called “How to get your kids to say ‘No’ in the 90s when you said ‘Yes’ in the 60s”. I guess it worked because my “rebellion” against my parents was to stay pretty much squeaky clean!

    • Yeah, I was a TOTAL clean jean in high school, and remember actually saying “Why would I want to smoke pot? That’s what old hippies do!” I reversed my opinion in college, but rebelling in high school kept me completely squeaky.

      • I’m still totally not into pot: it just smells like home! And, the one time I took acid (when I was in college), it was a Christmas present from my parents.

        • When I was seventeen I had kind of a break down type experience. My mom had to pull me from a bath tub soaking wet and sobbing so hard I was choking. Somewhere I kind of phased out, so I dont remember that actual experience. What I do remember is finding myself on the couch, looking over at my mom sitting in her rocking chair, holding a lighter to a joint and handing it to me.

      • I’ve never smoked pot because I caught my parents smoking. They were laughing hysterically while listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I blasted Nirvana on my walkman and tried to block it out! Hahaha it’s hilarious to think about now. I’ve always thought of pot as being really uncool because of that scene with my parents.

    • Same here! My parents were the “offer a glass of wine with dinner occasionally” sort from the time I was about 12… my response was “EWWWWWW!” I didn’t drink until I was 20. XD

      And sometimes I think my dad thought my brother and I were abnormal because we DIDN’T experiment with pot in high school!

      • My parents were the “offer a glass of wine with dinner occasionally” sort from the time I was about 12 as well! My dad would offer use beer and harder alcohol was well. I always blame him for spoiling my wine tongue, he had the best stuff and now I am sort of a wine snob.

    • I just can’t deal with pot because to me it smells like dead skunk. Seriously, when I first moved to the city (and my city is a very pot-smoking city lol), I was like, “Holy crap, I had no idea there were so many skunks in the city!”

      Ya. I was such an innocent lol.

      • Hahah Man I never even got to experiment with it because first I thought it smelled like skunk too (actually I couldn’t tell the difference between cigarettes and pot for a long time) and then I found out that I’m almost deadly allergic to the smoke from pot. (I was a pack a day smoker when I was twenty from working a crappy job -I recently kicked the habit though! I’m so proud- and I was at a friends house……lets just say having one’s windpipe close from being NEAR the smoke and going to the hospital and trying to explain it to the medics that no I didn’t smoke OBVIOUSLY because I’m allergic. It totally suuuucked)

  6. Well, my mom was as liberal as it was possible to be, and I was pretty darn conservative, so I got a rise out of her all the time.

    She sat me down when I was 18 and told me she was concerned because I hadn’t lost my virginity yet, that I might be frigid. I just laughed and laughed and laughed…

    • I was going to say, it’s easy to appal liberal offbeat parents if you go in a different direction.

      One of my friends shocked his liberal hippy dad at the age of 13 when, in response to an offer of condoms to use with his girlfriend, he declared that he didn’t plan to have sex until he was married. Eleven years on he’s stuck to his word.

      Another friend appalled her mother by coming back from her first year of college unwilling to dress in a way which exposed so much as her upper arms and wanting to get married at the age of 19. Her mum actually said things like “Don’t go out dressed like that; would it kill you to show some knee?”

      • I think maybe the key isn’t that it’s hard to rebel against liberal parents (as indicated here, just be conservative!, as much as it’s hard to rebel against RELAXED parents. If parents don’t care if you follow in their footsteps and beliefs then there’s nothing to do to get a rise out of them, since they believe you are your own person and will do what you like. I think what happens is that the more relaxed attitude is associated with liberal parents, but it is by no means just liberal parents and/or all liberal parents that are fine with their kids being their own people.

  7. “Don’t do anything I have to explain to your father… no let me rephrase don’t get caught doing anything I would have to explain to your father. Oh, and you ought to be on the pill and using a barrier method whatever sort of sexual hijinks you might want to get up to.” I love my mother.

  8. When I was 18 I started having my first real sexual relationship with the guy I was dating. My mom told my sister she was glad I’d found someone nice to sleep with. I almost died when my sister relayed the comment to me!

  9. I’m not squeaky, but I think my mom’s experiences helped me to go on my adventures safer than she did. I did my substance exploration, I was a teen mom, and I did a lot of things that my mom did, but I got a chance to do them better because I saw it first hand already. I’m the only person in my family that doesn’t drink, and I am successful at a much younger age.

  10. My mother is a hilarious mix of hippie and Long Island. She let us kids dye our hair any color of the rainbow, as long as we went to the salon. She was equally concerned with keeping her bathroom clean and root regrowth. She also took my brother to get his eyebrow pierced as a reward for a good report card (after she examined the piercer’s hands to see if he had dirt under his fingernails).

  11. Oh, I have to add another one; from a generation back. When my aunt, who was single at the time, told my grandparents that she was pregnant, her father (in his 80s) gently asked “Well, do we know who the father is?” and then was very careful to add “Not that it matters if we don’t.” Then he suggested champagne.

  12. I have a mom who is conservative and was shocked if I said the word, “butt.” My dad is the complete opposite.

    When my mom found my hidden copy of “In Utero” in middle school she broke it and threw it in the trash.

    My dad said, “It’s okay you can listen to my copy.”

  13. My parents always wanted to come across like strict disciplinarians, but they never quite cut it. For my 18th b-day I was allowed to have 3 bands play in the backyard. Alcohol was strictly prohibited. As soon as my first bunch of friends arrived the first words out of my Dad’s mouth: “Want a beer?”.
    My mom also use to give me grief about my “herbal” habit, yet on one of her trips to Mexico she brought me back a pipe. They never even questioned me about the raves I went to. They would just tell me to be careful and to stay hydrated. It never was out in the open, but they knew, they just didn’t want to hear me say it.

  14. Not my story, my partner’s: He went to his first solo rock concert (Beck, I think) when he was 14 or 15. His mom’s once piece of concerned advice was “Don’t buy drugs from someone you don’t know – they might turn out to be an undercover cop!”

    • that’s so awesome. sounds almost exactly like my mom. My first rock concert was Green Day at 14, and she supplied a joint so I wouldn’t try to buy it off anyone. Halfway through she ended up getting scalped tickets and sat on the lawn with people half her age. She ended up to high to drive home, so my sister had to drive.

  15. I went to a party when I was 16 and drank way to much and friend’s mom call my mom to tell her that I had to spend the night because I was so drunk. My mom was really mad (not about the drinking, but about lying about it), but the next day my dad sat me down and said, “Honey, what did you have to drink?” I told him it was quite a few different types of drinks. He said, “Well, that’s what made you sick. Let me tell you a story about mixing alcohols. Me and my friends tried that back when I was your age and…” He wasn’t mad at all, and the story that followed has stuck with me since!

  16. when I was 14 I really wanted to get my belly button pierced and went on and on talking about how cool I would be. One day my mother took me for a drive and we ended up at a Tattoo place. She said it’s time to follow through with what I said I and then SHE jumped into the chair and got hers pierced before ME!!!!My step mother had a heart attck when she found out I got it pierced and flipped out even more whne she found out my mother not only allowed it but joined in on getting hers pierced…totally classic!!!

  17. I couldn’t rebel against my father. He was a tattoo artist and shop manager so when I wanted a tattoo at 14 he told me to get in the chair. He smoked pot, so drugs didn’t bother him and he was the one who got me listening to Insane Clown Posse and Limp Bizkit when I was eight.

    My mother on the other hand didn’t care what I did because I was my father’s responsibility.

  18. my parents are strangely on/off. My Dad has every Frank Zappa album ever recorded and got me into Bowie, Rolling Stones and heaps of other stuff but is often strangely dismissive towards that “modern omphomph” that he calls a lot of the Indie-Rock etc. I listen to… and he hates the tattoos even though he kinda likes some of them just not that I have them^^…

    But my best story: at a backyard BBQ me and some friends had when I was maybe 18 or 19 my Mum came out to bring a Salad or something and my friend hid her smoke under the table and when I walked back in with my Mum to grab something my Mum took me asaid and said: You can tell Alex that if we think you guys are responsible and mature enough to handle drink in our house (legal drinking age here is 18 btw), we think you are responsible and mature enough to handle weed!” My friend nearly fainted when I told her 😀

    • It may be how they approach the topics though. Both my parents are pretty conservative, but they never pushed it on to me. I really felt like I could grow up and do pretty much whatever I wanted and they would be like, “Good for you honey!” For example, if I dyed my hair bright pink I know my mom would hate it, but her reaction would be all, “Well, I might have this one dress you can borrow that would totally look great with it!”

      • LOL this is exactly like my parents. They’re very conservative but also pretty laid back–when I wanted to dye my hair purple at 16, our church was appalled, but my mom was just like, “Sigh…at least let me do it for you so you don’t ruin the bathroom rug”. Their motto always seemed to be, “As long as nobody is getting hurt, we’re not going to give you a lecture”.

  19. My parents took me to get my first tattoos, and piercings. They let me smoke pot in the house. But when I dye my hair, my mom still freaks out. My favorite color and style to wear is her least favorite on me. Guess Im still rebelling.

  20. When I lost my virginity at 17 my dad asked “how was it?” he always encouraged us to be true and honest with him and to ourselves, often commenting that i could be a lesbian if i wanted and “should date non caucasians too” and “should play the field”. Now that i’m all grown up and married to a white man I truly think my dad is a little dissapointed i turned out so “normal” lol

  21. Me, aged 16: “So, Mom, I’m pretty sure I’m bisexual.”
    Mom in question: “Are you sure you’re not gay, honey? Because I always thought you were.”
    And lo and behold, she was correct. Mother knows best?

  22. My father on one of his trips home, “Have you tried LSD?”
    Me at 18, “No.”
    “Why not?”
    “I don’t want to?”
    “Oh, okay. But you don’t drink and you don’t smoke anything . . . what do you do?”
    Eloquent shrug, mentally saying, “Girls!”

Read more comments

Join the Conversation