Letter to the parents of my son's friend

Dearest Mr. and Mrs. Liars,

A few weeks ago when our 3 foot high pool went up, your son, David, was having a blast. He’d come over all the time, and he and Terran were like little fishies in there.

Then, quite suddenly, David didn’t want to go into our pool anymore.

“Why not, David?” I would ask.

He would not respond. The only thing he would say was, “I’m not allowed.”

“But why, David?”

“I’m not allowed.”

Of course, being that I can never let anything go, I started wondering if it was because you thought our pool was dirty. It’s not like there’s pond scum in it all the time. Just sometimes.
Is it because Terran has planters warts? Because we’ve been treating those.
What is it?

Finally, I must have badgered your son enough, that he told me, and I quote, “My dad says that I can’t go in the pool because it makes my skin brown.”
But his skin is already brown. You are Filipino. You just arrived here from the Philippines in March. Is it a cultural thing? I even googled “Filipino culture,” not wanting to be culturally insensitive. Maybe Filipino people don’t believe in swimming pools? Maybe getting browner is a sign of lower class? I don’t know. Your son never explained and you never bothered to come over and explain it yourselves. So I was left believing all sorts of things. I was even going around educating my friends and family by explaining that, “Filipino people don’t like their skin to get brown.”

Look at me giving out inaccurate information!
Because on the weekend, I discovered that you and your family not only went to the public pool, but you also spent several days at the beach. Where there is sun. And water. And where you skin can get brown. Which is why us Canadians go to the beach in the first fucken place!

So yesterday I asked David again, “David, why aren’t you allowed to play in the pool anymore?” to which he replied, “Because it makes my skin brown,” to which I replied, “Well, you went to the beach and the public pool, and those also make your skin brown.”
And just something in the way he hesitated before delivering his perfectly rehearsed line made me go, “Wait a fucken minute!” Don’t worry, I never said these exact words to your son. I do occasionally swear in front of my kids, but I would never do it in front of yours. Well, not consciously anyway.

So I said to your son, “David, go tell your parents that if you come into my pool, I will sit on the deck all afternoon watching you. I will – and it is very important you remember this next word David – I will SUPERVISE you.”
So imagine my surprise when David returned a few minutes later with his towel and a big smile.

You thought I left the children unattended while they were in the pool? Which I find interesting because I’m not rocking this great tan because I spend my summer hauled up in the house. I’m outside SUPERVISING my children when they’re in the pool.

But rather than come over, and check out the situation for yourselves, AND simply ask me the question: Are you out there with them when they’re in the pool? and save us all a lot of embarrassment…well, not me, I’m not embarrassed…well, other than the fact that I’ve been going around telling people that Filipinos don’t like to be brown…but rather than be honest with me, you would lie to me, AND teach your son to lie as well.

So now it’s awkward between us, because you lied, and now you know that I know you lied.
And now, your son can play in the pool with my son, which is terrific. But now, when he refuses the freezies and the cookies that I offer him because he doesn’t like…ummm…pure sugar! I’m left wondering: Does he really not like this stuff, or are his parents afraid I won’t perform the Heimlich if he chokes.

Sincerely,
your neighbour who has to wave to you every day from across our driveways

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36 Responses to Letter to the parents of my son's friend
  1. Mothers' Hideaway
    August 4, 2010 | 5:21 pm

    OMG I understand! I hate it when people just freak out over stupid crap and don't just say what's on their minds. Now, if you don't mind, can I have that rockin' tan??

  2. Shell
    August 4, 2010 | 5:37 pm

    OMG. How bizarre. Why not just check it out, crazy parents?

  3. The Wishful Lamb
    August 4, 2010 | 6:16 pm

    lol this is too funny! I have neighbors who are the same way! Crazy people

  4. Gigi
    August 4, 2010 | 6:16 pm

    Oh, I hate that – when parents can't communicate honestly, because they hate "confrontation" It's better all around to just bite the bullet and have the discussion about what is worrying you.

  5. The Empress
    August 4, 2010 | 6:36 pm

    Oh,,, you don't think they read your blog do you? cuz ,you know, that might be it right there….

  6. Sandra
    August 4, 2010 | 7:37 pm

    lol Empress, no, I'm pretty sure they don't read my blog: if they did, they wouldn't allow their child anywhere near me!

  7. Java
    August 4, 2010 | 8:21 pm

    Blah!! Pooey on them…my kids have had friends parents that I don't like but I suck it up for the kids…although having them as neighbors would be difficult. You can either confront them and clear the air or you can let it go and grit your teeth every time you seen them! lol

    PS: Your comment today on my post was hilarious…and if you didn't want to read it to your kids, then you can always wait and read it to David! hehe

  8. ~*Cee*~
    August 4, 2010 | 8:45 pm

    Hahaha!! Awesome!! I'd be writing the same letter, via blog. Thankfully, my daughter is still to young for all this junk. Can't wait (I hope to whoever that my sarcasm is sensed!)

  9. Sue
    August 4, 2010 | 9:07 pm

    Love how you tell it like it is. Following you right back!

    -Sue
    http://thedesperatehousemommy.blogspot.com

  10. Dana @ Bungalow'56
    August 4, 2010 | 9:21 pm

    We had a pool. I didn't fill it this year, because I was tired of supervising. That and it made me brown and everyone thought I was a filipino. Which in itself is OK, but with my red curly hair it kind of freaked people out.
    Dana

  11. Cinderella
    August 4, 2010 | 10:03 pm

    haha! akward situation!

    XO
    C

  12. Donna @ The House on the Corner
    August 4, 2010 | 10:06 pm

    You're hilarious!!! I can soooo identify though – unfortunately.

    Thanks so much for stopping by The House on the Corner!! I'm your newest follower!

  13. Aging Mommy
    August 4, 2010 | 10:14 pm

    Maybe they are just ultra-cautious and also shy and afraid to ask you about their concerns. Anyway, good to know you sorted it out and David can now swim again in your pool.

  14. thepunkrockmom
    August 4, 2010 | 10:46 pm

    Wow what a piece of work your neighbors are! I mean really! OOOk.
    However this made me laugh hysterically:
    "well, other than the fact that I've been going around telling people that Filipinos don't like to be brown"
    LOL!!!!
    Love it!
    And love your blog! Following you! :)
    Thx for stopping by my blog- the fish stick feet are one of my favorite pix!
    Can't wait to read more of your stuff!
    <3MaryAnne

  15. Mommyfriend Lori
    August 5, 2010 | 12:28 am

    Oy! Be honest people! It's the best way. I understand being concerned about supervision but they should have simply taken the time to discuss their concerns with you!

  16. Poppy
    August 5, 2010 | 1:06 am

    Double dog dare you to send it. Give the kid a few more months in the states and hanging with your kids and he will be able to deliver a line of BS with a straight face. This post was hysterical, one of my favorites yet. You just keep getting better and better my dear.

  17. Holly
    August 5, 2010 | 4:07 am

    We have an in-ground pool and we have some rules that some of our kids' friends DON'T LIKE! But it did solve a problem. You know, the "I'm your friend in the summer when I want to come swim in your pool but not the rest of the year…" problem. They can come if we are home and their parents come with them to be responsible for them. (This is unless of course we plan on being out there and INVITE them to come.) They just love to invite themselves, but I'm not about to be a slave to playing lifeguard at the pool all day everyday for the neighborhood. Well, it slows the problem down. And we HAVE had families come and we are totally GOOD with that! ;D

    Your neighbors are a bit strange… Tell them you have a food handler's permit and EMT certified… WHAT will be NEXT?? LOL!!

  18. Cheryl
    August 5, 2010 | 8:58 am

    girrrrrllll, you are too funny! I remember those days when mine were that young…having to deal with different parents, cultures, etc. I hope the kids are getting along good, forming a lifelong friendship! Thanks for your comment on the Orchid Ribbon…spread the word! : )

  19. Sandra
    August 5, 2010 | 11:31 am

    Holly, I do have a food handler's permit and am practically EMT certified, I'm a fricken nurse! haha
    And as much as you idea would solve alot of problems, I'd rather be out there with my book than have to make conversation! haha

  20. Meghan
    August 5, 2010 | 12:54 pm

    Thanks for the laugh!

  21. Jessica
    August 5, 2010 | 1:16 pm

    I can certainly understand a parent's concern and worry, but I just can't believe that they expected their child to lie the way he has! That's INSANE!!

  22. Michelle
    August 5, 2010 | 1:31 pm

    All of my friends read my blog and they still leave their kids with me, so I wouldn't worry. Even my mother follows my blog and she still speaks to me.

    Also, I totally think that Filipinos don't like their skin to get brown. I also like to make stuff up but can you imagine getting that started? Everyone would think they really didn't and when people saw them swimming at the public pool they'd eyeball them in shock!

    Michelle

  23. Lori@ Paisley Passions
    August 5, 2010 | 1:37 pm

    Haha! Hilarious! (The letter, not the situation). Thanks for stopping by my blog and following. I am following back.

    http://www.paisleypassions.blogspot.com

  24. Lisa
    August 5, 2010 | 3:54 pm

    The strange thing is, that many people in the Philippines are obsessed about having lighter skin. If you google glutathione & philippines you'll see what I mean. I only know this from having a friend from there. :) So funny that they would use that as an excuse.I feel for you. We had horrible neighbors at our old house and they were difficult to communicate with too.

    I'm your newest follower from Talkative Thursday!!! So glad I came by to read this.
    Would love it if you'd come visit & follow me back too. :)
    Lisa xoxo
    http://RaisingFutureLeaders.blogspot.com

  25. ~ Lori ~
    August 5, 2010 | 5:43 pm

    I'm your newest follower from Talkative Thursdays….. Love your Blog!! :)

  26. missykade
    August 5, 2010 | 8:17 pm

    Thank you so much for linking up to Talkative Thursday!
    We loved having you visit!
    I am already a proud member of your blog.

    Lucas's Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder
    http://lucasjourneyspd.blogspot.com/

  27. T
    August 5, 2010 | 9:14 pm

    I love this post! parents crack me up sometimes – my husband gave an old bike to a neighbor girl… she didn't have one, we had an extra – and my daughter taught her to ride the bike. She drove up and down the streets for weeks before bringing it back and saying she didn't want it. I told her we'd just leave it by the garage if she changed her mind. She rode it daily but left it by our garage for about a week before taking it home again. I never have gotten to the bottom of that one???

  28. Style Attic
    August 5, 2010 | 9:44 pm

    W-O-W! Just proves, "they" are everywhere, in every neighborhood and you can't avoid them!!!!!

  29. He & Me + 3
    August 5, 2010 | 9:51 pm

    OMGosh that is just crazy. They sound like some crazy neighbors that I have. Makes living outside your house kindof awkward. I hate that.

  30. He & Me + 3
    August 5, 2010 | 9:51 pm

    OMGosh that is just crazy. They sound like some crazy neighbors that I have. Makes living outside your house kindof awkward. I hate that.

  31. Miti
    August 5, 2010 | 10:19 pm

    So glad you stopped by the Five Moms cause now you've got me laughing! I especially love your profile pic! I had to zone in on it to make sure I was looking at it right. Y'alls fun personality shines! Which makes me wonder why your neighbors are being so snooty. I'd love to have fun neighbors like y'all and plus too, y'all have a pool!! I don't know… Something's just not right about that family.

    btw, thanks for following. I'll definitely be back :o )

  32. nitebyrd
    August 5, 2010 | 10:38 pm

    My niece's husband is Filipino, I asked him if this was even close to logical. He was very ashamed that his countrymen aren't better liars! LOL

    Just goes to show that there are idiots of all nationalities. ;)

  33. Sara @ Domestically Challenged
    August 5, 2010 | 11:57 pm

    I agree! Just CHECK it out? It would be so much easier. Huh, guess not everyone thinks genius thoughts like us, huh?

  34. Cyrene @ MumInFlipFlops
    August 6, 2010 | 5:22 am

    LOL. This was hysterical, and also a little sad. You see, I'm Filipino and when I was a kid, my aunt would tease me that I was too "brown" and whenever we went swimming she'd yell at me to get out of the pool WAY earlier than all the other kids so that I wouldn't get browner. Even in my immaturity, I thought, so what's wrong with that? Ridiculous really.

    Anyway, that sucks that your neighbors felt that they needed to lie and teach their son to lie to you. I suspect that the reason they didn't want to ask you is that they're intimidated by you.

    Also, what Lisa said is true – lots of Filipinos are jumping on the glutathione bandwagon, it's insane. =|

  35. MageeBaby
    August 6, 2010 | 11:14 pm

    Oh having neighbors can be good and sometimes can be very very bad! LOL OH WELL!!!!!

    Thanks for visiting and following. I'm following back. :)

  36. rachel...
    August 7, 2010 | 11:50 pm

    Oh man, I really did LOL at this. Hilarious. Sometime I will tell you about my archnemesis neighbors. Or maybe I will just blog about it.

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