Mother Is Upset After Raising Eco-fascist Who Berates Her

The words “hoist” and “petard” run through my brain. This comes via Darleen Click who notes “The second one is what is glaringly absent from this whole hot mess

Bidding My College-Bound Son Good Riddance
I have raised a sweet, thoughtful, environmentally conscious monster—and soon I will be free.

My son, Cory, will leave our Northern California home to start college back East in the fall, prompting other mothers to offer condolences about my soon-to-be-empty nest. Though they expect me to break into tears, my overriding emotion when my youngest departs will be relief. I will finally be freed from the constant scrutiny of the ever-vigilant eco-warrior I raised.

Remember that part about college (Brown U in Rhode Island, to be exact) for later

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I can do nothing right in my teenage son’s eyes. He grills me about the distance traveled of each piece of fruit and every vegetable I purchase. He interrogates me about the provenance of all the meat, poultry, and fish I serve. He questions my every move—from how I choose a car (why not electric?) and a couch (why synthetic fill?) to how I tend the garden (why waste water on flowers?)—an unremitting interrogation of my impact on our desecrated environment. While other parents hide alcohol and pharmaceuticals from their teens, I hide plastic containers and paper towels.

I feel like I’ve become the adolescent, sneaking around to avoid my offspring’s scrutiny and lectures. Only when Cory leaves the house do I dare clean the refrigerator of foul-smelling evidence of my careless waste—wilted greens, rotten avocados, moldy leftovers. When he goes out to dinner, I smuggle in a piece of halibut or sturgeon, fish the stocks of which, he tells me, are dangerously depleted. Even worse, I sometimes prepare beef—a drain on precious water, my son assures me, and a heavy contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions.

Although I did not mean to raise a Mr. Sustainability, it must be admitted that I set him on the path. I tried to instill the imperative of tikkun olam, Hebrew for “repairing the world.” When Cory was eight, we served the homeless in a local soup kitchen. In middle school, he played guitar for retirement-home residents. In high school, he spent a June morning pulling weeds from a riverbed and all summer nursing a poison oak rash covering his arms and legs—an irritant not unlike the imprecations of an environmentally zealous son.

I admit that when he displayed a propensity for science, I could not suppress the Jewish mother in me and tried to convince my boy that he could best help people by becoming a doctor. But I never meant to guilt-trip him into thinking he had to save the whole entire planet—and certainly not from people like me.

This keeps going on and on and on, as Ronnie Cohn describes how she raised him from an early age to be hyper-eco conscious. You really, really have to read the whole thing for full effect. It can’t be described fully with excerpts.

I knew Cory had met his match when the BFF came for dinner (vegetarian, naturally), emerged from the bathroom with his hands dripping, and declined a towel. Neither paper nor cloth would be necessary, he insisted, while I watched the water from his hands trickle onto my hardwood floor. Like an untrained puppy, he appeared blind to the puddles he left in his wake as I followed behind him mopping at his heels.

How about kicking the little eco-fascist out of your home? Who’s the adult here? She allowed her son to forgo the use of paper towels, heck, any towels, so, drippings from oranges (organic, locally grown, of course) to hit the floor, and her son would wipe his hands on his clothes and chairs and couches. So, she no longer buys oranges.

Darleen wonders where are all the men? No husband, no father to the kid around? Someone who “would have pulled this little asswipe aside and told him to knock-off the totalitarian nonsense or get knocked into next week — “Don’t ever, ever let me catch you treating your mom this way again.””

Mom was afraid to buy water bottles, worried that her crazy son would get arrested for his “activism”, had a battle over “peeponics” (you have to read it), battles over out of season asparagus, etc

It’s no surprise Cory feels the weight of the planet’s future on his shoulders. He answered the call from Raffi, the Lorax, and his grandmother. Now he is calling on me and my generation—Baby Boomers who thought we could fix the mess we helped create by doing little more than buying a Prius‚ to seriously examine the way we live.

As he goes off to college to learn how best to contribute to turning around climate change, I am proud of him, worried about him, and, in so many ways, I am going to miss him.

So, let me ask: how is this insufferable eco-prick getting to Brown? Walk or bike cross country? Or, a fossil fueled flight? Strange how everything else should be all local, except for the college he wants to attend ($47k a year). And the multiple trips back and forth each year.

Definitely 1st World Problems. It’s easy to be a Social Justice Warrior and eco-fascist till it interferes with your own life, eh?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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