Yesterday afternoon I was in a corner table at a Starbucks near a college campus, waiting for a friend to join me. At the table behind me was a female college student and her somewhat elderly but quite yuppie looking parents. There is a book out right now called A Nation of Wimps: The High Cost of Invasive Parenting. I haven't read the book and I suspect these parents hadn't either. Otherwise I'm sure they would have rethought the parenting techniques that led to the creation of such a defensive, whiny, entitled brat.
At issue was getting a landline for her apartment, and maybe a cell phone as well. Every sentence uttered by princess was punctuated with a deep, put upon sigh, usually followed by the phrase, "Yes, but have you considered..."
Snippets of the conversation:
MOM: "Honey, you need to call the carriers and gather information and figure out what the best option is."
PRINCESS: Deep sigh. "Fi-iine. I will. But it's just... it's going to take so long." Deep, deep sigh. "It's like, I have to call these places, then call you, you call Dad, he talks to you, you call me, I have to call them back... Have you considered, look, why don't you just do the calling?"
MOM: "Sweetheart, that's not really our--"
PRINCESS: "FINE. I'll do it. But it's going to take, like, for-ever. And have you considered that we still have to figure out the cable? Why don't you guys just tell me what you're willing to spend and I'll figure it out from there?"
DAD: "We won't know until--"
PRINCESS: "FINE. Whatever. I'll just handle it. Like everything else in life."
Slap, slap, stomp, slap. If I had my way. It was interesting to note that although her parents together made every attempt to placate her (They kept their voices low and steady. I followed the conversation, as did everyone in Starbucks, through the loud nasal whine of this kid's voice.), once Mom went out to the car to retrieve something, daughter and father sat in absolute silence until the girl finally said, "I just don't think Britney Spears is going to make it."
The dad looked slightly alarmed but the girl took no notice and continued, "You mark my words, she's going to be the next Anna Nicole Smith."
Sitting in Starbucks can deeply make you appreciate your own friends and family. Like, have you all considered this? ;)