15 Red Flags That Prove You're Turning Into Your Parents
When you're a teenager, becoming your parents sounds ridiculous. They're nothing like you. One day, you wake up and something's different. Whether it happens when you're 25 or 42, you'll say something and realize, "Oh no. That sounded just like my dad."
It's not your imagination. It happens to us all. These red flags are telltale signs that you're turning into your parents. As long as they're pretty cool, just roll with it.
10 P.M. Is Late
What are you doing after work on Friday? If the answer is going home to order Doordash, starting a movie at 7:30 and turning in early, congrats! You're turning into your parents — but in a good way. We all thought going to bed early was lame, but wasting Saturday being tired and hungover is lamer.
Admittedly, all-nighters hit differently at 35 than 22, but at some point, late-night partying isn't even fun anymore. No, 10 p.m. is time for bed. And 11:30 is staying up super late. And 1:30 is unhinged behavior that will derail your entire morning. If wanting to feel awake and put together makes us old, call us Grandma, because we are fine with that.
You No Longer Care if Sensible Shoes Are Ugly
Stilettos make your legs look amazing, but at what cost? It's cold out and our feet hurt. Who are we trying to impress? The hot guy at the bar that we aren't even going to talk to? The cute cashier at Trader Joe's? In either of those scenarios, the odds of them even noticing our choice of footwear are slim.
Moreover, if a person can't tell we're attractive just because we're wearing sneakers with arch support, they're not our type.
You Never See the End of a Movie
At least, you never see the end of a movie if it starts after 8:30 p.m. Remember when your mom used to get anxious about starting movie night on time? We get it now. Once it hits 9:30, we're checking to see how much of the movie is left, mentally subtracting time for the end credits. Only 15 more minutes. We can do this.
But after waking up at 3 a.m. on the couch, with a stiff neck and a spilled bowl of popcorn, we realize, no, we cannot. Start the movie on time, or accept that you will watch it three times before you know what happens at the end.
You Have a Stash of Boxes
Yes, the photo is of Tupperware because we know you have a drawer full of plastic containers, too.
Once you catch yourself hesitating by the recycling bin thinking, "Should I really throw this out? It's a good box. What if I need it for something? I'll keep it, just in case," the turning-into-your-parents ship is already halfway across the Pacific.
You Have a Budget
You maybe had a budget when you were younger, but it's different now that you actually stick to it. Back in the day, obsessing over gas prices, fuel efficiency, how long the fridge was left open and the acceptable thermostat setting seemed neurotic.
We rolled our eyes at all the nagging while turning the heat up to 74. If our kids do the same thing to us, we'll consider it karma.
Wasting Anything Is Now a Sin
At one point, saving all the leftovers and eating the same meal for dinner more than once a week seemed stingy and annoying. That's before we realized how expensive groceries are. Don't throw out the last of the roasted broccoli. That's a third of tomorrow's lunch.
Meal prep is now based on which foods go well together, so you can get the most out of the ingredients you have on hand, with the least amount of waste. Our parents were right. It's different when you're the one paying for things. That broccoli took 15 minutes of sitting in a meeting to earn, so shut up and eat it.
You Get Excited About a New Set of Kitchenware
OMG. Don't get us started on new cookware. We've been getting ads for the Always Pan for over a year now. The blandly dressed woman in the ad always says pan like it has an h in it: pahn. It's obnoxious, and yet, we really, really want the pan. Non-stick. BPA-free. Won't chip like Teflon. Has a built-in spoon rest!
Is this what romance feels like because we think we'd rather go on a date with a new set of pots and pans than someone from Bumble? Nicely organized pantries are dreamy, too. That stuff used to seem boring, but we underestimated how much a neat, clean kitchen could make us feel like we have our lives together. And we need that.
You Don't Care About the New iPhone
Admittedly, there are a handful of tech junkies who will still want the latest gadgets as soon as they're released, even when they're pushing 80.
For the rest of us, there's a shift. First, you wait until your phone has a minor scratch before upgrading. Then, it's when replacing the battery seems too inconvenient. Eventually, you wait to replace devices until there is no hope of bringing them back from the brink of death.
The moment you're really turning into your parents is when you catch yourself saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Bonus points if the item in question is, in fact, somewhat broke.
You Stalk the Weather Channel
It used to seem silly to fixate on what the weather app thinks is going to be happening in the atmosphere six hours from now. Who cares? It'll be what it'll be. It's not like we can change the weather, right?
What we failed to realize is that parents are the ones who have to deal with their kids' lack of preparation. Didn't bring a raincoat? Guess the car is going to smell vaguely damp for a week. It's easier to plan ahead than to clean up the consequences later.
Elevator Music Is Starting to Sound ... Good?
We used to cringe at the music playing in the grocery store. One day, Ralphs starts playing the songs you danced to in high school, and it's weird. Then, it gets weirder. Jazz is no longer boring. You don't need to wear headphones in the elevator because elevator music is kind of your jam.
You're becoming your parents. Shhhhh. Don't panic. Just let it happen.
Current Slang Is Annoying
Our parents rolled their eyes when we started using "sweet" to describe anything we liked. Calling everyone dude was also looked down upon. We can all agree that YOLO was stupid, but now, there's a whole new collection of slang to cringe at.
Lit, shook and on fleek were already painful. Now there's slay, sipping the tea and that slaps. Is that good? Do we want to be slapped? Are we advocating for genocide? When did slaying become desirable? We're unsure if we would be more cringe trying to add these words to our vocabulary or sticking with the tried and true, "That's cool."
You Don't Roll Your Eyes About Ergonomic Desk Chairs Anymore
Ugh, another thing our parents were right about. Good posture is actually important. Gone are the days of studying for hours while curled up in a weird ball on the couch. That doesn't look cozy anymore; that looks like neck pain.
We're now all about ergonomic desk setups, just like our parents were, only worse. We've taken it to the next level because science has told us how horrible sitting is for our health. Now we have standing desks, chairs that force you to engage your core and under-desk stationary bikes to keep us moving, in addition to the unattractive, black, lumbar-supporting office chair. Don't forget to optimize the height of your keyboard, too. Wouldn't want to get carpal tunnel, would you?
Your Idea of a Vacation Is a Nap
Mom used to seem like the most boring old person in the world when we went on family vacations. We'd go to the beach, and she'd just sit there with a book. Half the time, she wouldn't even read it. She'd just lay there.
Then, we thought it was ridiculous to go to the beach and not get in the water. Now, going on vacation to take a nap in the shade of a nice beach umbrella sounds like a dream. Maybe a daydream because our actual dreams have mostly been about losing our wallet at the grocery store lately.
You're Starting to Look Like Them
Sure, kids tend to look like their parents to begin with, but it feels different when you pass a mirror in the hall and mistake yourself for your mom. Before, you looked like she did as a kid. Now, you look like she did while she was raising you.
It's not bad, but it's weird.
You Get What They Meant When They Said, 'You'll Understand When You're Older'
We were convinced that we'd be the exception to this rule. "No, Dad. We won't understand when we're older because the words coming out of your mouth are controlling and crazy."
Fast-forward 20 or so years, and his rules and advice don't seem crazy anymore. Our parents weren't right about everything, but they were right about a lot. The good news? You can become the best parts of your parents and do your own thing with the rest. Learn from their wisdom, and add some of your own. In another couple of decades, your kids will be doing the same.
For more good-natured fun, keep reading these related stories on FamilyMinded: