Pop Culture
Dec 28, 2012, 05:19AM

I'm Dear Abby, For Fuck's Sake

Embracing the empty nest.

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The following question was taken from an actual advice column. For the original, click here.

DEAR ABBY: For the last eight years I have been the mother of a star in our local high school. When one of my boys would graduate, the next would take over and be even more athletic or musically talented—and in my youngest son's case, both. Now that they are gone I can't stand hearing other parents talk about their children's accomplishments. I also can't stop myself from making    some comment about how my sons were better. I know it's wrong, but I still do it. Sporting events make me sad and my husband depressed. We can't seem to figure out how to move on. Have you any suggestions? More children are out of the question. —SPOTLIGHTS DIMMED IN OHIO

Dear Spotlights,

Have I any suggestions? Well, of course I have! It’s not like I would sit here at my desk job and silently judge you without at least pondering solutions to your problem. I’m Dear Abby, for fuck’s sake. What you are suffering from is empty nest syndrome, and while your sons may be uncommonly perfect, your feelings of loss are perfectly common. My own parents, who have one excellent child and two medium ones, might have some tips on how to get through this transitional time, but they are too busy gator wrestling in Florida (Mom) and planning trips to Paris (Dad) to return my calls. You don’t have to stop living just because your boys are out of the house, Spotlights. In fact, there are plenty things you can do now that might not have been possible with the blinding light of your sons’ perfection blocking your shine. I recommend you take up a hobby. If alligator wrangling and international travel aren’t your speed, you could do what I do: throw a tennis ball against your ceiling until your upstairs neighbor gives you his wireless password and then get stoned and watch all the nature documentaries on Netflix Instant. Other hobbies you might want to check out include rock climbing, crossword puzzles, and constructing birdhouses out of found materials. Life after children can be as rewarding as finding 75 cents and a half a pack of Newport Lights at the bus stop, Spotlights, and now that you don’t have to spend Friday nights on cold bleachers or stuffy auditoriums, you’re free to join that supper club you’ve always wanted. And by “supper,” I mean “swinger.” Embrace the empty nest, Spotlights!


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