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Hippie mom shocked when enviro-nut teen son wipes hands on upholstery to save water

September 14, 2015

My latest blog post for the Independent Women’s Forum:

Old hippies in Fairfax, CA

I can do nothing right in my teenage son’s eyes. He grills me about the distance traveled of each piece of fruit and every vegetable I purchase. He interrogates me about the provenance of all the meat, poultry, and fish I serve. He questions my every move—from how I choose a car (why not electric?) and a couch (why synthetic fill?) to how I tend the garden (why waste water on flowers?)—an unremitting interrogation of my impact on our desecrated environment. While other parents hide alcohol and pharmaceuticals from their teens, I hide plastic containers and paper towels….

“[M]y son wipes his oily, pizza-stained hands on his jeans or an upholstered dining room chair, or…leaves a sticky trail of locally grown organic orange drippings from the kitchen to the dining room because he wants to save a napkin.

“I have stopped buying oranges….

“Cory’s BFF (my term, not Cory’s) had already taken on the role of eco-warrior. He worked on a successful campaign to ban plastic bags in our town—Fairfax, California, that hippie haven—and lobbied against GMOs. He drove an electric car; once, when my son was a passenger, it ran out of charge on a rural road eight miles from home. (I had to go pick him up.)

“Cory and his BFF built a self-sustaining aquaponic garden to raise vegetables and fish for their high school cafeteria. They were more interested in protests than parties and attended a compostable toilet-making workshop instead of a dance.

“I knew Cory had met his match when the BFF came for dinner (vegetarian, naturally), emerged from the bathroom with his hands dripping, and declined a towel. Neither paper nor cloth would be necessary, he insisted, while I watched the water from his hands trickle onto my hardwood floor. Like an untrained puppy, he appeared blind to the puddles he left in his wake as I followed behind him mopping at his heels….”

Posted by Charlotte Allen


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