Everyday Orinda – February 2022


Parenta-Morphosis Awareness Month

    The COVID Chronicles, like many blockbusters, lost its allure by the fourth iteration. COVID Uno stopped the world in its tracks, a riveting, controversial nail-biter. COVID: The Delta Dawn – a mildly entertaining sequel, bland and rather predictable. The Omicron Returns is downright tiresome, yet still quite popular – somehow, everyone’s seen it. Wearied audiences agree: no one wants a fourth, unless it features Porky Pig sputtering, “Thaaat’s All, Folks!”
    Thanks to this never-ending pandemic, my social life remains in constant need of defibrillation paddles. Reclusive habits have formed. I watch entirely more television than I prefer. It makes sense that my favorite commercials are the “Unbecoming Your Parents” spots for Progressive Insurance, because “Parenta-Morphosis” – their fictional concept of new homeowners turning into their parents – describes exactly what’s happening to me as I wait out this virus.
    I needed to Google which insurance company these hilarious spots promoted, and I’m still not really sure of the tie-in between young adults adopting their parents’ annoying behaviors and buying homeowner’s insurance. But those are the client’s problems. Happily for the couch potato, these spots deliver some laughs. Especially the one about placing too many throw pillows on a couch. My own Mr. Couch-Potato-Head desperately hopes I’ll take that mockery to heart.
    Additional scenarios include: visiting the airport, where the victims are scolded for carrying paper tickets; parking in a stadium lot, where the victims debate what time to leave the football game before they’ve even entered the stadium; and a trip to the mall, where they are coached not to make corny, predictable wisecracks about discounts for ripped jeans.
    I would like to furnish another example – and no, I’m not going to alert the advertising agency to my “clever idea,” since that constitutes a perfect Parenta-Morphism – people who create ridiculously large text groups. This, by itself, is a huge no-no, but what makes it worse is when no one knows any other. Nameless strangers who appear as an infinite collection of numerals. The only time this might be acceptable is in an emergency. But God help you, in my world, if you form this extensive group to send a cartoon and then several of your nameless cohorts blow up my phone with polite commentary. Deduct five more friendship points if my phone buzzes me awake at 5 a.m. over this. Be warned: I’ll get even.
    An equally annoying cousin of this infraction is addressing within a group text only one person in the group. For example, imagine six childhood friends who live in different cities. Indeed, there are many valid reasons for a group text: reunion planning, moral support and gossip. However, when two have gathered for lunch, yet continue to text the entire group messages like “At the table in the back, next to the window,” followed by, “Parking now, there in a jiff…” We don’t need to hear it! Unnecessary messaging universally forces us to conjure unkind thoughts, like wishing the perp would step in a mud puddle or forget to zip her pants. Love the one you’re with; text the one you’re with. Hipper habits for 2022.

Mimi Bommarito can be reached at Editor@theorindanews.com.

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