Advice for Awkward People

Hi, Josh!

My parents don't love me any more. I'm from Arizona, but I have been living out here in Pittsburgh since I started college (I'm a sophomore, by the way). I went home this week to surprise my parents for their anniversary, and when I got to my house, I found that nobody was home and all of the locks had been changed, so I waited outside for my parents to get home. When a car pulled into the driveway, I ran up to greet my parents, but the people who stepped out of the car weren't them. They were an older couple. I explained that this was my house, and they just laughed and told me that they were renting from my parents. They let me in to see the house, and the couple told me that my parents had turned my bedroom into a sewing room and clutter repository. Long story short, my parents are living in Vermont during the fall and renting the house out until I come home for Christmas, and they didn't tell me, and they messed up my room, and they hid all of my stuff in the basement under a pile of old quilts, and they're acting like what we had in that house didn't mean anything to them. Those walls have seen some stuff, Josh.

The Rodriguezes don't know the history; they don't know about the time I wrote emotional song lyrics above my bed with permanent marker when I was going through my scene phase. They just sew their charity blankets for the under-privileged elderly in ignorance.

Tl;dr, how do I get my parents to let me into their lives and tell me things and love me again?


Sorely Alienated Daughter,
Staunchly Anti-Change Kid


I'm sorry your parents didn't tell you that they were renting out the house, but maybe they didn't tell you because they thought you'd be upset. The fact that they come back for Christmas is evidence of their love for you (and the bone-chilling, icy horror characteristic of New England winters). It's not that they don't love you, but maybe that they're free to relocate for a few months while you're busy at school. I'm sure that your parents didn't mean any harm in keeping the Rodriguezes' existence from you. I've also struggled with the change of my old room into a guest room, but that's just the natural progression of life after a kid goes off to college. In my opinion, you should call your parents and talk through this with them — I'm sure that will settle the issue and put your mind at ease.

Joshua Brown.