"Is there some law that makes parents act like their kids are Nazi space monsters once they turn thirteen? If there is, Mom and Dad are sticklers!!"
Becky was sort of sympathetic to April's problems with her parents but she really didn't think that Beckers quite understood. I mean, why should she? Her parents didn't treat her like she was some kind of Martian or something. She couldn't, for instance, talk without Mom or Dad looking at her like, I dunno, they thought she was gonna kill'em or something. Why the heck were they afraid of so much stuff? Computers seemed to frighten Mom no end. Sure, she talked about how she could do stuff better or how they never worked right but something about them scared her. Hmm. Must be something she overheard Mom say to Moira at work. Y'see, what seemed to bug mom about computers, fax machines and voice mail was that she wasn't instantly good at using'em. Weird. With all of her talk about the work ethic which was why April had to spend time helping around the store, Mom sure did give up easy and sure seemed to resent people who stuck to things.
Dad wasn't much more help. That's because he didn't like it when people disagreed with him at all. Take, for instance, April's worrying about how dumb it was that Liz was hanging around Anthony at the gas station. Liz had a boyfriend up North and Anthony was going to get married to some girl he'd met at his school but it looked like Mom and Dad wanted both relationships to end. April tried saying that that would be a bad thing for Liz's boyfriend and Anthony's fiance but Dad simply didn't want to see that as a problem and it was none of your business, young lady.
Weird. She was only 'young lady' when she said or did something that bugged the 'rents. Good thing that Grandpa Jim was in her life. He was cool about most things. Too bad he had the same blind spot everyone else did and kept telling her to be nice to crummy ol'Becky and stop being so damned jealous of her. She was not, repeat, not jealous of Becky McGuire. I mean, just because she was prettier and boys liked her better didn't make April feel inadequate and no, she wasn't jealous of her being more talented and taking over HER band. What that all meant, of course, was "Your opinion doesn't count and never did so lay down and die so other people can just walk all over you."
She got enough of that static from Mom, Dad and Liz, thank you very much. She couldn't play her music or talk or use the phone without someone hassling her about something. No matter how much she tried to make people happy, it just didn't seem to be enough. About the only things that made her feel good about her life was finding two new people to replace Becky after she ditched'em and being friends with Shannon. Well, work was nice enough but, well, Kortney just bothered her for some reason. There was just something about the girl that she didn't trust. Word on the street about this girl is that she was bounced from her first job for boosting something so she might just be a problem. Couldn't tell Mom that, though. Mom loved the way Kortney batted her eyes and told her how grateful she was so trying to talk to the 'rents about this didn't work. Heck, she'd even caught her goofing off on company time and Mom still didn't believe her. She'd even thought that she'd made up the stuff about getting her face rearranged.
To be fair, though, Mom also didn't believe her about how bad Jeremy was so it wasn't as if she was going to change. Having to watch Kortney snow Mom so blatantly that Gomer Pyle would slap her on the back of the head and call her a simpleton hurt almost as much as waiting for them to leave town until Moira canned the prag. Mom was all bummed out about being tricked, of course, but, also of course, not so worried about the prospect of her kid getting pummeled. April asked Moira why she didn't bring that up and Moira said to buy a clue and asked her if Mom looked like she gave a flying fig about what happened to her kids.
It sort of hurt that Grandpa was pretty much singing the same tune. According to him, Elly just didn't seem to be able to think when it came to looking after her kids much. Iris, on the other hand, blew it off because she said parents went nuts about safety these days. Well, she didn't want to talk back to the lady but getting beat up isn't 'kind of' like skinning your knee.
That made the day when Grandpa had a stroke extra bad. First, Mom talks to her like "Oh, she's a teenager, she's too flighty and dumb to know what that is" when she just wanted to know what happened and her band was almost all "Well, old people die all the time so don't worry" and Eva was, like, "Be thankful he lived that long. Refugees in war zones don't live to get old."
And just when she started to maybe get used to the idea of not having Jim to talk to any more, Mike and his family lost their house in a fire. Hmm. From the way the 'rents talked, you'd've thought that her wondering when they'd get a new house meant that she wanted them to live on the street or some such nonsense!! And Liz wasn't much use either because her boyfriend up North got sick of being jerked around and called her on it and ol'Liz was lying on her damned death bed moaning about dying alone at the ooooooooooold age of twenty seven years old. Trying to talk to people was no use 'cause she got 'pickyfaced' and 'princessed' to death by everyone. What that meant was "What looks like a problem to you doesn't affect me in the least so you're a selfish, terrible person for getting upset."
Or, for that matter, just wanting to be part of the process of moving to the little house. She'd wanted Mike to live in the smaller place because, well, back before they'd added on a few years ago, that place and her home were the same size. I mean, just sell those three empty lots going to waste and everyone's happy. Thing is though, Dad was not happy. He'd wanted that place as a kind of retirement cottage for him and Mom after she'd left for University. The part of her that wanted to have her own space and not be shoved aside wasn't quite strong enough to duke it out with the part that wanted it to be where she grew up. Maybe if someone had bothered to talk to her, try to convince her instead of braying about princesses and assuming sight-unseen that she'd be an obstacle.
Also, maybe, it would have helped if Eva wasn't all about refugees and war zones and if Gerald hadn't joined the dark side and hung out with crummy ol'Rebecca-with-an-h (for 'ho') and if Liz hadn't been all 'don't make me feel bad about doing the same stupid thing Mom did with Kortney. Or even if the 'rents didn't try to jerk her around because they could like when she wanted to finish up homework and got bellowed at and threatened for being 'defiant' and 'not respecting' a strangely-fluid dinner time.
About the only time that anyone did listen to her even part way was when Liz married that kinda dumb looking guy she dated on and off for like forever. Strange thing though. Couple of days later, Mike's looking at her like he'd got done stabbing her and announcing that he's going to see a shrink. Weird.