Tansy: Evening Hyacinth. Ready for a big list of rules?
Hyacinth: Hi, Mom. What if I just say I’m not going to answer?
Tansy: We still want you to know. In case you change your mind, but don’t announce that to your parents before you try it. . . . It’s like the sex talk that way.
Hyacinth: Mo-om! . . . but okay, fine, go ahead.
Tansy: This is your formal list of Things They Are Not Allowed To Know:
♦ Non-Facetbook contact info (usernames, callsigns, etc) for anyone in the family
♦ Names/addresses of schools, workplaces, or just places we’re visiting
♦ Anybody’s schedules. “I’m not available” is all they ever need
♦ Anything about your dad beyond “he’s fine.” If he wanted them to know, he’d tell them himself
And this is a more general “things I wish I’d been warned about before I met them”:
♦ Get as much on the record as possible — if they claim something that doesn’t match your memories, it helps to have notes you can check
♦ Be cautious about revealing any personal or vulnerable information
♦ If you say No, it means No, whether they understand the reason or not
♦ Don’t agree to give other people messages from them — they have to say it themselves, not use you
♦ Don’t buy it when they claim that an action they don’t like (from you or anyone else) can only be explained by Secret Horrible Motives
♦ If they make you feel confused or concerned in any way, no need to stress over it alone — you are allowed to bring it to your parents
♦ You are allowed to trust your gut
♦ You are allowed to block them if they don’t respect your boundaries
♦ You are allowed to block them for any reason, no justification needed
Hyacinth: Uh . . . wow. That’s a ton of stuff to remember.
Tansy: Well, in the spirit of “getting things on the record” . . . we wrote it all down.