Life of the Ever Conceding Empty Nester

I love children, I really do. I have two and have helped to raise step children, nieces and nephews, my siblings, and several orphaned and…

Life of the Ever Conceding Empty Nester
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels

I love children, I really do. I have two and have helped to raise step children, nieces and nephews, my siblings, and several orphaned and wayward children my son’s decided we needed to fight for. I had kids early, my mom made me the mother of my siblings, so I’ve done my time in parent purgatory let me tell ya. My youngest is 26, and I am newly divorced, so for the first time in my life I get to make decisions on my own. I have the freedom to come and go as I please and say what I I get to eat what I want to. I cook when I want to, care for my own affairs, and I get to travel when I want to. I would say the most important aspect of being an empty nester to me is having my own space. The peace of physical and sonic space in my opinion is priceless.

My own space has never been as valuable to me as it is right now at this stage of my life. I get to walk around my own home in the nude after I shower, something I could never do with sons in the home. I can clean up or not clean up. I get to enjoy absolute silence in my own home, something that I’ve come to appreciate after years of kids screaming, fighting, shoving, asking and responding to questions, doing homework, friends coming over, chasing student athlete dreams………..and la, la, la. I’ve trained my kids “In the way they should” go (according to Believers). Two-thirds of the children went on their journeys successfully on to finding “the way”, while one-third of the flock got lost. Such is life.

Now it’s my time to live, or so I thought.

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels

I did my time. I fulfilled my child rearing obligations. I’m a grandma now, at my own leisure I might add (this statement is another story for another day). I have fought the battle of no rest, no peace, and won the war. I get to enjoy my “me” time and do some of the things I was unable to do as a Mother Duckling. I am hitting the roads, enjoying meeting new people, and loving child free life.

Now, I must share my life and spaces with others on different at different life-cycles and stages of parenting and aging, and I feel like I am never done paying my dues. And I guess I feel this way because people appear to be ruder, and less considerate of the others.

I don’t mind sharing my space, but sometimes I would at least like to receive the same considerations and concessions. I believe I am “extremely” considerate and patient, but my patience is wearing a little thin with constantly conceding my peace, space, and sometimes sanity for people attempting to share the same spaces. For instance, why must I be awakened with rude vacationers’ kids running down the hotel hallways at 7am-8am, their parents screaming behind them as if I don’t matter (or none of the other childless patrons on vacation for that matter)? It seems to me parents with children selfishly put their family and their spaces before mines. I paid for my room. I planned my trip. I just want to sleep for god sakes. Why do I have to get up and go to breakfast with your family? Geez…………….

Why must I have my dinner ruined by the two adorable unruly little girls that need to go to the restroom every 5 minutes, escorted ever so patiently between mom and grandma. They think it’s just adorable that their babies want to keep getting up and go to the restroom. Never mind we’re all in tight spots at the intimate restaurant we chose specifically for its intimacy and privacy. When when Ms. Adorable returns from her ninth bathroom excursion (mom and grandma have acknowledged the kid isn’t peeing or pooping by the way), she begins rolling around on the floor like a bait on the sidewalk after a hard rain between our dinner tables as her toddler baby sister sits in the high chair screaming at the top of her voice over and over as if that’s the only language she knows. Mommy and grandma are coddling the 7–8 year old child rolling on the floor who is way too big and too old to act the way she’s acting. Grandpa eats his escargot ignoring all the women and kids at the table. It ain’t his job, and he has not a care in the world. Meanwhile, the rest of the patrons are horrified that our meals our being ruined by selfish adults and misbehaving kids. Did I mention this is a restaurant where I’ve just ordered a 3-pound lobster for $60 bucks. I’m conceding my night of peace and fine dining at an upscale establishment because selfish parents and grand parents have chosen not to share our tiny common area. They hoarded it and I’m pissed.

I go to Starbucks for coffee to work solo, and there is a group of male Northern retiree transplants that have decided they own this Starbucks.They come to this particular restaurant every, single, day to have coffee, talk politics, one bitches about how his daughter married a deadbeat and how he and his wife have to care for them and their kids financially, the latest sports, and whatever retirees want to talk about. Except these men do it loudly, every, single, day. So much so that they leave no room for me to think, no room for anyone else’s thoughts, and other patrons must lean across their tables to hear the person directly in front of them because the rude-a-mons have decided to suck the life out of our common area, with no regard for the likes, desires, needs, or wishes of others. It’s all about them (not really), and they have no fucks to give about any other patrons desiring to purchase a cup of coffee and their space.

Just because you’re retired or an adult of another season doesn’t give you the green light to be disrespectful to those of us who have not arrived yet! Geez…………Can I have some space? It’s okay to share you know.

Finally, I am well beyond my partying days and after work socials with drinks. Been there, done that, got T-shirts with panties to match. I am all for fun and celebrating, but over the last few months I’ve noticed ladies are much louder, the high-pitch screeching voices and laughter disseminated as if they are all competing to be heard. I’m attempting to dine and enjoy a book while listening to the good 80’s themed music sipping on some Sangria, enjoying my life. But oh no, no, no, that large party of twelve just won’t have it. It’s all about them and whatever their celebrating. Forget I called and made reservations just like they did. Just because I am not in a large, group doesn’t mean I’m not happy nor does it imply I’m not celebrating anything. I am just choosing to celebrate in silence. The world doesn’t need to know my joys and pains.

All I wanted to to is enjoy my nice evening out, but nope, I must concede to the group with the most noise. What has happened to mankind that we’ve become so loud? We’ve become so rude. We’ve become so obnoxious. We’ve become so selfish. What happened to us?

And people are quick to say, “We can’t help it.” Oh yes you can. You don’t give a shit. Just say that! You don’t care, and you don’t want to change. That’s too hard for you. Right? I like being inconsiderate. Got it!

The next time you go out to a restaurant, pay attention to the atmosphere. Is it too loud? Are you and your party the ones causing the noise? When visiting places that are traditionally quiet, survey the area. Is it filled with people who are attempting to read? Working on computers? Maybe attempting to study at the coffee shop? Perhaps meeting and having quiet, intimate time together? Well, the atmosphere has already been set before you and your party arrived, and you should enter into that space following the precedence that has already been set.

Taking a vacation with your young children and teens? Consider other people in the hotel or vacation spots don’t have kids. Maybe they are on vacation to get away from their own kids. Allowing your sweet angels or terrorizing hellcats to rum amuck around the hotel being loud, wild, unruly and you the parent standing around acting like you are unable to see other guests are displeased is so disrespectful. It makes you parents, not your children, look ridiculous. Displeased guest give each other the silent, eye rolls, and can’t wait for you and your family to leave so they can discuss how terrible you and your family are at sharing the space you’ve intentionally disrupted. The world is not your home, and you don’t just get to allow your family to do whatever because that’s what you do at home. We’re all entitled to personal space.

Sonic intrusions are just as invasive and intrusive as physical space intrusions! Because there are so many more people living in urban areas from various cultures and so many more people traveling, people tend to be unaware of how they trespass on the personal and sonic spaces of others. This unawareness or unwillingness to share spaces forces others to deal with (concede) and accept the dominating (or bullying) behaviors.

I’m tired of conceding. Please stop acting as if you can’t see your surroundings or change your behavior. Thanks in advance. It’s going to be greatly appreciated.

I don’t think I’m entitled to any more space than anyone else (nor does anyone else that feels the same way that I do), but I do have a reasonable expectation to be able to use common spaces without having to always have intrusions. I am not talking about babies that can’t help when they cry either. I am talking about big people who should have been taught better. It’s not sex ed and it’s surely not rocket science. It’s just common decency, that apparently isn’t so common anymore.

Please Be kind. Be considerate. Be thoughtful. And most importantly, be quieter please. I said please too. The world will greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for reading.

Copyright 2018, Marley K. All rights reserved.