The Second Half

All My Rock Heroes Are Aging...and So Am I.


February 22
I qualify for what? Twitter: @lschmoopie Putting this here for the OS editor.


Lschmoopie's Links

Open Calls
On Teaching
Alzheimer's and Mom
The Beatles
AUGUST 13, 2011 12:09PM

Fernsy's OC: My First Evah Blog Post

Rate: 10 Flag

I'm a little late to the party, but here is my response to Fernsy's Open Call- my first evah blog post.




I love my son. He's smart, articulate, funny, graduated from a good college, and is gainfully employed. But if I ran into him on a dark street I might cross to the other side strictly because of his appearance. The cleancut high school kid that played drums in the jazz band has long since disappeared under a scruffy long beard reminiscent of ZZ Top, long hair, and a uniform of old black t shirts with various heavy metal bands emblazoned on the front, jeans, and a wallet with the obligatory chain. His work clothes are a small step up from that. In my opinion, which he doesn't ask for, but I gently offer on occassion, his looks are limiting his life. His looks are a wall to some looking in. He got his job before the beard and hair were in their current state. I wonder if they'd hire him...or even interview him... based on his current appearance.

Oprah recently did a " Make Over Your Man" show and I filled out an online application even though the context of the show was more wives submitting husbands needing to be brought up to date in their appearance. I was contacted by a producer and given the more lengthy form to complete along with a request for picture submissions. I did this, of course, without telling J., figuring I'd deal with it if he were to be chosen for the make over. Alas, he wasn't chosen, but ironically enough, the first story on that episode was another mom of a 28 year old I know I'm not alone.

Is it an unreal expectation for a mom of a 28 year old son to think I have any impact on his life any longer? We've had an open relationship over the years and J. has been honest about his life experiences....some that I didn't really WANT to hear, but I am grateful for his candor and honesty about them, and appreciative of his willingness to share. Our discussions on this topic however are always circular in motion.

Me: J., do you think your appearance prevents some people from getting to know you?

J.: If people don't want to know me because of my appearance screw them.

Me: But it may be standing between you as an unnecessary obstacle.

J.: Then I don't want to know them if they can't accept me for who I am.

Me: There is a disconnect between your appearance and who you are, though.

J. lives 7 hours away so I don't get to see him as often as I'd like but we keep in fairly frequent communication via phone, email, texts, and Facebook. I appreciate the need for individuality and freedom of expression, but how do other parents out there handle parenting an adult child? I don't want to be a nagging mom, and I do not bring this topic up in each and every conversation. But now J. is thinking about buying his first house and I wonder about a bank's first impression of him when he goes in to apply for a loan. If any of you out there can offer words of wisdom, I'd love to hear your take on it. I know there are worse things in life when it comes to parenting, but like all moms I simply want the best for my son and for him to achieve his full potential.

P.S.This is my first post on OS and I'm feeling nervous and vulnerable.

Author tags:

mothers, sons, fernsy, open call

Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Ahhhh, what a great post. I would imagine the only thing that could change your son's appearance is a girlfriend interest. I wonder how he looks now?
zanelle: He is rapidly approaching looking like he could be a member of the band ZZ Top. I'm hoping when he hits 30 this next year maybe a change?
I remember this.. I fell in love with you right then and there..
Wish I could do this one..
The big question, when is your child too old to stop listening to you? NEVER. They may not WANT to listen to you, but you are the MOM so you get to keep trying. Does he have a SO? That might help
i agree, with zanelle, only a girlfriend is going to chnge him.r
I commented on this this morning and it didn't take.
The good news is that he has a job and is funny. The bad news is that he is dressing this way , and he won't listen to mom. That would drive me crazy-- I have been known to hide the shoes of those I love if I hate their shoes etc. Maybe cut his hair and beard while he sleeps?
Charming P.S- hope you are not feeling as vulnerable anymore.
We loose control once they move out and I love that you shared how he looks now too. 30 may just bring about change or a new girlfriend you just never know. Great first post!
J.: If people don't want to know me because of my appearance screw them.

Me: But it may be standing between you as an unnecessary obstacle.

J.: Then I don't want to know them if they can't accept me for who I am.

Me: There is a disconnect between your appearance and who you are, though.

a folly of youth. pride. rebellion.
sit him down with james dean movies.
you can be a subversive alot
by being in sheep's clothing.

a lesson of..ha..middle age, for me.
lschmoopie, I have a friend from university that could be the mirror image of your son. My friend is insightful enough to know that he is pushing people away. And I do know why and I trust that my friend needs the camouflage to heal.
What a sweet gentle mom! However, I say leave him alone about his appearance. He's right.
Migeula has it right. The “disconnect” is not between him and his appearance. It is between you and how the next generation expresses who they are. He lives in his generation’s world and you live in another world altogether.

And don’t worry about employers and bankers, they are “with it” (as people of our generation used to say) and look a lot deeper into things than the surface.


I clearly remember this post going up, lschmoopie. So, what how do you feel about things re: this topic these days?
What a great start - and I understand. One of my brothers had a beard phase for a while, and is currently starting in on a tatoo sleeve...mostly composed of cartoon monsters. But he is the sweetest person you will ever meet. I think guys like to experiment with their facial hair. I guess if I were a guy, I might, too. As for the rest of their look, who konws? The good thing is, I think perceptions today are changing, as more people are doing things that used to be considered "punk" or aggressive, like the crazy facial hair, tattoos, piercings, etc. But I understand your concern.... I read your update in the comments and I guess it's still this way. Maybe it will never change.....