So, Who Are "They" Anyway?

This morning my Freshperson headed back to college in New England after winter break. After downright balmy weather here in the Northeast (which we all enjoyed, if a bit uneasily), cold weather has returned with a vengeance – a brisk 27 degrees – and with it came a perfect opportunity for me to obsess about my traveling scholar’s well-being. “They say it’s one of the coldest days of the year,” I warn, urging him to take a scarf (a suggestion he rejects in an instant as “way too dorky”).

Again with the “they.” I find myself constantly invoking “them” as my fallback experts in the parenting game. Of course, in today’s case, “they” could be the weather forecasters. But, who are all these other “they’s” anyway? “They” say you can’t wear white after Labor Day (except this year when “they” say white is the new black, dry cleaning bills be damned). “They” say it’s important to drink eight glasses of water a day. “They” say you shouldn’t do this, or you should do that.

As I beg my son to reconsider the scarf thing (“It’s freezing out, you’ll thank me later”) and he (surprise, surprise) doesn’t budge, it comes to me. Oh my God. It's official. I've become one of "them."

PS: A shout-out to my son: Forget Big Brother…a message from Big Mother: "They" say a ski hat is the new uber-cool way to keep warm. (C’mon, humor me.)

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