You swore this day would never come. You told yourself that if you ever had kids of your own, you would not turn out like your mom and dad. It's not a transformation that happens overnight, but instead, it's a series of much smaller changes that culminate over time.
One morning, you look at yourself in the mirror and you come to the horrifying realization that you are indeed turning into your parents. The telltale signs are all there.
1. You've Become an Incessant Nagger
"Grab a jacket." "You'll catch a cold going out dressed like that." "Make sure you go to the washroom before we head out the door." "Did you finish your homework yet?" "Did you remember to pack your lunch?" "You'll thank me one day." "It's for your own good!"
These are all lines that may have haunted your childhood and now you find yourself repeating them not only to your own kids, but to just about everyone around you. Not only that, but you've begun to mirror the cadence and intonations of your parents' speech as well. Don't worry, you'll understand when you're older...
2. Modern Music Is Worthless Noise
Your parents never understood why you liked Soundgarden or Snoop Doggy Dogg. They'd tell you that wasn't real music. The artists and songs from their generation was the golden age of music.
And now, you can't wrap your head around the absolute garbage that is Ke$ha, let alone the incomprehensible noise that is Skrillex or other dubstep songs. When you catch yourself saying that music was so much better in your day, you'll know you've become your parents.
3. Comfort Outweighs Fashion
Remember when you used to care what you looked like in public, even if you had to suck in a little harder to fit into that dress or you'd come home with nasty callouses on your feet because of the (gorgeous) uncomfortable shoes you chose to wear?
These days, a sensible pair of flats will beat out a hot pair of heels any day of the week. Soft denim pants with an elastic waist? Go for it. You may not have understood your parents' fashion sense at the time, but it was all about comfort. And this applies to all buying decisions, from furniture to automobiles. Oh! The seats in this minivan are so supportive!
4. Today's Kids Are Spoiled Brats
Your childhood was pretty normal, right? It's not like you had a particularly easy life, unless you were comparing it to childhoods of your parents (according to them). They had to walk 15 miles every day to get to school... and that was uphill both ways! They'd constantly remind you about how hard life was "back in their day."
And now, you find yourself doing the same thing with your kids. "Back when I was your age," you'd tell them, "I didn't have Wikipedia or an iPad. I had to go to the library, look through the card file, and read a 10-year-old encyclopedia to find the capital of Zimbabwe."
5. Dad Jokes Are a Way of Life
Why did the waitress give the pony a glass of water? Because he's a little horse!
Your father may have embarrassed you more times than you care to count with what you thought was an extremely corny sense of humor. He just wanted you to think he was cool. And now, you find yourself clinging to your own youth, trying to act "hip" to the latest trends, but you just end up looking like an old dork. You're the only one laughing at your jokes, dad. Bonus points if your own dad's jokes are now starting to seem a little funnier to you...
6. Plastic Bags, Old Tins, and Empty Shoeboxes for Everything
As a child, how many times did you open up that blue tin of Danish butter cookies, only to find the sewing kit inside? But keeping all these old containers is just so useful. Shoeboxes make for great receipt boxes, used plastic bags from the grocery store are perfect for lining litter bins, and that sewing kit has to go somewhere.
Nothing gets thrown away. Nothing.
7. Your Children's Peers Become a Point of Comparison
This can be both a blessing and a curse for your progeny. On the one hand, you may nag them (see point #1 above) about how Jimmy is doing so well in school and eagerly volunteers to help with chores around the house. On the other hand, you may beam with pride that your kid isn't like that monstrous brat making a scene at T.G.I. Friday's.
You think you're the only one judging the parenting skills of the adults around you? Your parents did exactly the same thing.
8. Current Technology Trends Baffle You
What on Earth is Snapchat and why are all the teenagers using it these days? You download the app onto your own smartphone, thinking that you're pretty savvy when it comes to gadgets and tech, only to discover that you haven't the faintest of clues how to even get started.
Asking your 8-year-old son to help set up your Chromecast suddenly surges the memory back of when your mom asked you how to get the VCR to stop flashing 12:00 am.
9. "Go Ask Your Mother"
When your dad used this line on you (there's a good chance your mom used the equivalent line back), you may have thought that he didn't care about you. That he didn't have the time of day to bother with your meddlesome requests. As it turns out, he was just exhausted and he needed a break. Because now you're exhausted and you're dying for just a few minutes of peace so you that can hear yourself think.
10. You Cry Over Baby Pictures
Did you think your mother was a mess when she thumbed through old family photo albums and shed more than a few tears looking at pictures of you as a chubby, bald baby? You never understood why it was such a big deal. They're just pictures. Then you discover some of the photos of your own kids that you have saved on your hard drive and your keyboard gets drenched in tears.
When your teenage son comes through the door to ask you what's wrong, you just tell him that he'll understand when he's older. Go ask your father. And put on a sweater.
Maybe Your Parents Weren't so Bad
When you were very little, mom and dad were the most amazing people in the world. Why did your parents become the most boring and unfair people on the planet when you became a teenager? Maybe it had more to do with your attitude and less to do with just how stupid and lame they were. Maybe they did just nag you out of love, even if they were completely out of touch with your taste in music.
If you slowly have to turn into someone else, you could do a heck of a lot worse than your parents.