What It's Like Growing Up When Your Dad Is the Mayor of a Small Town While Also Bedridden

My dad was the mayor of my hometown for 10+ years. It was all of my high school & college and some middle school. My freshmen year of high school he was in a work accident and broke his spine. He was in & out of surgeries for the better part of 6 years, unable to work or walk. If he got out of bed, he had a cane or walker & was in a lot of pain.
  1. People automatically assume you're rich and tell you so.
    This is both peers and other parents or teachers. I spent half of my time explaining to people, "he's not the mayor of New York." My dad had a full time job other than being mayor prior to his accident. We were actually in an extremely shitty financial situation the entire time as he couldn't work, my mom was unemployed and took care of him most of the time, and being mayor paid him a stipend of about $2,000 per year. Not a single person in town understood this even if you explained it.
  2. Teachers treat you differently.
    Differently in every way imaginable. I could get away with dress codes if I broke them. I could ASK to cut class. I got out of detentions because administrators didn't want to fuck up their relationship with my dad. But a lot of teachers thought I was privileged and would mock me, one teacher in class very often. I once told the superintendent "I'm leaving and going prom dress shopping" and he just said "okay." Then there's the pity you get from him being bedridden.
  3. You have access to his car whenever you want until your family can't afford it any longer.
    He couldn't use it so I could. A few people thought this was because I was rich and my parents bought it for me. We literally got rid of it because we couldn't afford it anymore.
  4. You can't have friends over.
    Because his hospital bed was in the living room and our house is/was the size of a shoebox.
  5. Adults hate you because of politics.
    You know just casually hating a fourteen year old because of something her disabled father voted for or against!
  6. Parents of classmates end up in your living room at odd times.
    He couldn't leave bed or the house or even when he was cleared to, he was always in a lot of pain, so meetings and township complaints came straight to the door, sometimes while he was in bed in the living room and you were in your PJ's eating breakfast before school.
  7. Some of your best friends parents will not like your dad or vice versa.
    This was never a huge issue but my friends and I were always very aware of it and usually just thought it was funny which is a blessing, I suppose.
  8. Classmates think you're a goody goody.
    Maybe I was, but there was definitely a lot more projecting.
  9. People (classmates) don't believe you that your dad is the mayor.
    This was always very weird to me. The town is two square miles and half of that is a nature preserve. Someone has to be mayor. Why would I make it up?
  10. People think it's REALLY cool and a HUGE deal.
    This baffled me, too.
  11. Your dad is allowed to walk around with a sword cane and no one will say a damn thing because he's mayor AND disabled.
    I think my prom date may have borrowed it for the occasion.
  12. Old people that you've never met come up to you and say things to you and you will just nod politely.
    Like being at a family party except on a larger scale and no one is around to explain to you who it is. "You've grown up so fast!" WHO ARE YOU?!
  13. Your parents aren't there to see you off for your senior prom because you're dad is in surgery.
  14. You get a lot of grants and scholarships for college.
    Didn't have any money but now I have minuscule loans and I am very thankful for this.
  15. Your manic-depressive sister says stuff like, "I hope he dies in surgery."
    Having a manic-depressive sister is difficult enough. Things like this made both situations even more difficult.
  16. Your dad can't come to a lot of school events like field hockey games or parent teacher conferences because he's either too busy or physically unable.
  17. When people don't know who you/your dad is, it's weird.
    It's usually when they treat you shitty or something. If a sub says something out of line or a rookie cop pulls you over, you want to scream GURAL AS IN THE MAYOR YOU IDIOT WAIT UNTIL MY FATHER HEARS ABOUT THIS but you never do because maybe you are a goody goody.
  18. When one of the teachers who hates you purposefully submits your senior yearbook with the wrong name next to your photo and your friends on yearbook committee call you from the meeting and say she won't change it and already submitted it, you're dad gets on the phone and calls the superintendent at 10 pm and the teacher hates you even more.
    BYE BITCH SORRY I'M 17 AND I OWN YOU
  19. When you don't get into NHS the town is UP IN ARMS.
    I don't even remember if I applied for it but it was a point of contention for the school board and other parents. even though me and my family didn't give a fuck. "Lauren Gural didn't get into NHS how DARE they." In hindsight I should have gotten in but I'm glad my parents didn't push it because THEN it would have been, "you only got in because of you dad!" I realize now they wanted my dad to fight to get me and THEIR kid(s) in.