Impostor Parents


Who are these people and what have they done with my real parents?   My real parents swore they needed a 2600 square foot house and five acres of mountain land for just the two of them because they like their space and privacy.

Their impostors sold the house and bought a 1300 square foot South Florida condo.  Every wall is shared with a neighboring condo.  Inhabited by living humans and yippie dogs.

As a child, my real parents extolled to me the dangers of the sun, skin cancer and wrinkles.  Their imposters spend countless hours at the pool.  They eat meals, converse and compare tan lines with other sun worshipers. They talk about SPF’s—things not even invented when my real parents raised me.

My real mother insisted all her children take swim lessons in the chilly, early morning waters of an Ohio swimming pool, because she almost drowned as a child.  A cousin threw her in a lake in Wisconsin and from that day on she swore she’d never swim again.

Imposter Mother participates in daily aqua exercise classes and does a smooth side stroke to boot.  In a swimming pool.  With water in it.

These Imposters use the phrase, “What a HOOT!”   They use it a lot.   My real parents were PhD’s whose extensive vocabulary caused me to carry a dictionary with me my entire childhood.

The Imposters read their horoscopes in the daily paper, “just for fun”.  My real parents told me horoscopes were “all a bunch of Bunk and only a crackpot would waste their time reading that trash”.

My real mother’s last foray into the world of exercise was back in the 1970’s, when she and three other neighborhood ladies learned how to Do The Hustle in our basement.   She hasn’t broken a sweat since.

Imposter Mother not only attends the aforementioned aquacise class, but frequents the community fitness center.  She actually touches and uses things called dumb bells, treadmills and weight machines.  She uses words like “heart rate” and “muscle tone”.

My real father’s exercise regime consisted of a year on, a year off, a year on, a year off.  On the off years, the exercise bike and treadmill were used as laundry sorters in the basement.

Impostor Dad rides a bike to the fitness center and works out for 2 hours every morning. He just broke his record for not having to have a pair of pants let out in over two years.

My real parents reappeared briefly by searching for a house with more space and privacy, but with, “…no swimming pool and only a tiny patch of grass.  Who wants the headache?”

The Impostor Parents purchased a house on a corner lot with a pool.  They brag about buying the chemicals in bulk and treating the pool themselves, while the neighbors actually, scoff, pay a pool service.

I’m still trying to figure out which set of parents I’m going to invite on vacation….


About Author

Karen J Rinehart is an award winning newspaper columnist, author, speaker, wife, mom and dog owner—all crammed into a fabulously petite frame. See her in action on