Deborah Ross: Pity the father when the son leaves home

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, and as I've already said, it's a sad day for a mother when her only child finally leaves home, but it is just as sad for the father, even if that father keeps opening the fridge and saying in wonderment: "Look, there is still food in there! Amazing!" Sometimes, all the father does all day is open the fridge, and gaze on in wonder – "and no empty juice cartons put back!" – but the mother can tell he's devastated, and that when he says, "I'm telling you, we're going to save a fortune on groceries", he is just putting a brave face on it.

So it's sad for the father, too, who already misses his son horribly; misses being called "lame" and a "chump" and a "wally" and having his sandals laughed at, as well as his dress sense generally, and being repeatedly asked: "What do you know?"

He misses having his pants drawer raided, and his sock drawer, because even though his son was meant to do his own laundry, he didn't. He misses being grunted at and having every question answered with "Ee-a-ow" because the boy can't even be bothered to articulate "I don't know". He misses marvelling at his son's vast array of toiletries and saying: "All I have is a razor."

He misses being tapped up for money and lifts and beers and the guitar which his son will later sell on eBay, pocketing the cash. He misses being laughed at for his musical tastes, which may come before or after being laughed at for his dress sense (there is never any telling). He misses chastising him for neglecting the dog he begged for ('You talked the talk, now walk the walk'). And he misses all the things they used to do together, like row about the empty cartons and the bite marks in the cheese and football kit tipped out in the hall and the succession of missing items which, the father finally figured out, had also been sold on eBay, and which also pocketed the son a nice sum of money, but left the household without a camera, a pair of candlesticks, and a hand-blender. Sometimes, the father would stay up all night, just watching the kettle.

So it's hard for a father when his son leaves home, and hard even though the father may have already appropriated his son's slippers, and his CD player, and hard even though he keeps standing at the fridge door, exclaiming: "I think our grocery bills are going to be slashed by more than half!" Men, aren't they funny, the way they always feel they have to put a brave face on things...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

The power of anonymity lies in the freedom it grants

Boyd Tonkin
Rebel fighters walk in front of damaged buildings in Karam al-Jabal neighbourhood of Aleppo on August 26, 2014.  

The Isis threat must be confronted with clarity and determination

Ed Miliband
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone