NO TWO SETS of parents are created equal, and never is this more apparent than when you’re knocking around your friends’ houses as a teenager.
As a child, parents were just a group of virtually indistinguishable adults who policed you when your own mam was on the mitch, confiscated your Play-Doh when you were acting the maggot and provided an abundance of plasters when you took a corner on your bike too quick.
As a teenager, you started to differentiate between your mates’ parents because you were obliged to interact with them a little more frequently.
You could no longer just disappear off to your mate’s bedroom (if they were normal) or play-room (if they were posh), but instead accept a cup of tea and have a quick chat with their mam in the kitchen about whether or not you’ll be doing Higher or Ordinary Level Maths on the day.
Between these exchanges and the tidbits fed to you by your friends, you soon learned what side of their bread is buttered, and it’s not long before you could place your mates’ parents in handy little categories.
We mean, we know you all know the following…
1. The Cool Parents
This duo were fairly sound about drinking, laughingly tore strips off the more unreasonable teachers during PTA meetings, and had no bother telling you how much of an eejit you looked in your new jacket.
Oh, and they actually didn’t care whether you thought they were cool or not, but you were consumed by whether they thought you were.
Most likely to say: ‘Don’t mind that one. I knew that gobshite long before she was ever teaching you lot Home Ec.’
2. The Try-Hard Parents
Not to be confused with the naturally sound parents in the point above.
The Try-Hards made everyone uncomfortable, not lest their own child, while attempting to strike up a conversation about the latest school gossip.
Taking more than a passing interest in who was shifting who was just awkward. Oh, and please don’t say shift to us.
Most likely to say: ‘And tell me, was it just shifting or…?’
3. The Strict Parents
This pair were a bloody nightmare.
They weren’t even your parents and yet they essentially put the kibosh on most of your plans because they were forever stalling the ball with a list of rules and regulations.
This pair got wind of every scheme, weren’t above informing other parents and were constantly on the lurk for information.
Most likely to say: ‘And what has your mother to say about this?’
"Mom, the party will start at 10 pm."— Life of a Carolinian (@USCMemoir) April 27, 2018
"Okay, make sure you're home by 11 pm"#StrictParents
4. The Religious Parents
To be fair to them, it’s not like they were dragging you kicking and screaming to mass, but their dedication to the cause often disrupted the plans you had with their kid.
Picking up your mate early from sleepovers in order to get 11 o’clock mass, reminding your mam that the upcoming day off school was actually a Holy Day and shushing you when you ‘took the Lord’s name in vain’ meant they were little more than a pair of drainers.
Most like to say: ‘Haven’t seen your mam and dad down at the church since Midnight Mass last year. Are they keeping well?’
Monday is the best day of the week! It's 6 solid days away from Sunday ! Sundayphobia #religiousparents— Julia (@PilipTheSheep) August 2, 2015
5. The Eccentric AF Parents
This pair were for the birds; sometimes it worked to your advantage, and sometimes it didn’t.
But in general, your own parents tended to avoid long, drawn-out conversations with them which meant you generally used them as your ‘hosts’ for the evening when you were actually getting pissed in a field.
Most likely to say: “Would your mam and dad be interested in a Life Drawing class? We’ve replaced the old models.”
6. The Cheap Parents
Now that you’re paying your own way, you have a greater level of understanding when it comes to what you would have considered ‘cheap’ as a teenager.
But back then you couldn’t help but notice that your mate’s mam and dad were fairly stingy with the pocket money, tight enough when it when to Halloween treats and never did anything but shriek about the phone bill.
These days, they’re your spirit animal, but back then you couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t spring for anything other than own-brand cola.
Most like to say: “There’s nothing wrong with that fecking cola. It’s far from brand-name you were reared.”
7. The GAA-mad Parents
You couldn’t help but hear The Sunday Game theme tune in your head whenever this pair walked into any room.
The dad coached the under-11s, the mam was treasurer of the local club, your mate could volley before they could walk, and the entire family could be found out at Croke Park every available Sunday.
Most likely to say: “He was f*cking robbed, but we’ll meet them again.”
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