Since your friends eat laundry detergent, I’m revising my parental expectations.

by Janelle Hanchett

Look, I know they’re not technically your “friends,” but they’re your generation, and thus, in my 38-year-old mind, you’re all basically the same.

Sure, I want to believe I raised you to answer “no” to the question, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?” but I’m a conscientious realist and as such, I need to play it safe here.

Please understand that when I was 16, peers pressured you into smoking weed and dropping the occasional tab of acid after chemistry.

Your friends eat Tide Pods.

When I asked you what the fuck does this even mean and WHY?!, you said, “Because they want ‘clout’ on the internet.”

Okay, so eating toxic soap now makes a teenager “cool” – I suddenly understand Donald Trump’s election better – and it isn’t even necessary to add a deer Snapchat filter. Just the mere act of eating toxic chemicals wrapped in plastic is sufficient! 10K retweets! Hallelujah!

What, pray tell, is the point of poisoning yourself without a psychoactive benefit?

Oh, how I miss mushrooms.

Enough about the lost paradise known as “the 1990s.” I’ve rethought my expectations and possibly life and I’m ready to lay out a new plan for you.

Here we go:

I used to hope you’d go to college, and that would still be cool, but mostly at this point I’m just hoping you don’t light your own face on fire.

Good health was always a goal – smart food choices, limited fast food, lots of fruits and local vegetables. But honey, mostly, I’d like you to try not to gargle Pine Sol no matter how good it smells, or drizzle toilet bowl cleaner on wheat toast as a snack (even though it’s that pretty blue and would look stunning on Instagram). Just trust me, sweetie. I’m older and more experienced.

I’ve always read to you a lot, trying to expose you to critically compelling literature in the hope that you’ll develop a curious, inquisitive mind. Today I’m really just hoping you don’t hog tie your own limbs together and jump into a lake.

It’s fine. I can change. We can all adapt to changing surroundings. And really, should I be surprised? We have a President who Capitalizes his racist Twitter Rants randomly and lies more often than you get angry at me for eating a cracker incorrectly.

So really, haven’t all my hopes already been annihilated?

Fuck it. Eat Tide Pods.


Buy a house. Whatever. Or maybe just concentrate on not running into houses in a stolen car with a toddler unbuckled in the backseat.

Get married and have kids, or you know what? Just don’t vote for a child molester in a senatorial race. I had that hope before and I have it now because really, I can’t figure out how to get lower than that, really, or dumber, actually.

This is getting kind of sad.

There was a time when I would instruct you to nurture solid friendships with people who understand, support, and love you, but I’m thinking I should stick with the old adage of “DO NOT MARCH WITH NAZIS.”

God, Grandma would be so proud.

It’s fine. I like this new form of parenting, where we aim for the absolute bottom in a cesspool of a country where nothing makes sense, kids don’t even take normal drugs anymore, and an illiterate misogynistic oligarch is in office while people on Twitter claim Jesus sent him (praise hands!).

I’m proud of you, honey. I know you’ll navigate this new bottom-of-the-barrel existence quite well, and I, for one, am fucking rooting for you. I got your back, kid, and always have.

And if you ever have a bad acid trip, at this point, I’d be happy to help. It might actually make my day because at least it gets you high.


This is my book. You can preorder it. —>

If you plan on buying it anyway, or it sounds fun to buy shit at random, I’d really appreciate it. I think it’s pretty good. Although, I spent about a year holed up in a cheap motel room writing the fucker, so I’d probably tell myself that anyway. Incidentally, for part of this book, I am also holed up in a cheap motel room. Although, I wasn’t writing. What was I doing? Better read to find out! Cliffhanger!

I feel like I’m pretty good at this, aren’t I? Also, FYI, I was doing unhealthy things I cannot recommend doing while in a motel room or not.

Not quite eating Tide Pods, but close, honestly, CLOSE.

  • Julie Strauss

    My mom used to call her mom and ask what to do if we got a bad grade, or lied about something, or stayed out past curfew. I call my mom and – what? Their friends are eating fucking detergent? What do I even do?

    There is no map to navigate this madness

  • Nikki

    Pre-ordered your book! I can’t wait to read it- you are such a great writer! Congrats on writing a book!

  • Scottie Vosburgh

    PREACH! Darwinism at its best…? Ugh. First world problems and rich kids wasting food (and cleaning supplies)… this is what the world has come to? Ugh…

  • CJ

    I got my mouth washed out with soap if I said stupid, shut up or fart. Apparently it’s not okay to scrub Lava soap across a kids mouth these days. Maybe if we still did this, they would not want to eat soap.

  • Kathleen

    You always crack me the hell up, but this is just brilliant! You, my dear, are a brilliant writer and I’m so damn delighted to read you. I ordered your book and cannot wait to read it!

  • Rachel Chisnall

    A nice wee summary on why this is so bad for you….