There should still be phones ripped out of the walls because then I wouldn’t be filled with guilt right now.

September 8, 2014 in Stuff I Should Think About Regretting Later

My mother was the only CEO of Guilt Trips Dot Com…until she sold her shares to my husband.

He bought me perfume.

For no reason.

No birthday.  No holiday.  No anniversary.

Never mind the fact I’ve been leaving my 98% empty bottle by my sink on the bathroom counter each morning.

Then it slowly moved over to about the middle of our two sinks.

And maybe a few mornings his toothbrush was propped up against it by his sink.

I was a little fussy over the weekend.

(I know.  Imagine that.)

Fussy enough to know it was best I keep my fat mouth shut or I’d more than likely say something I’d 4 minutes later regret but by then it’d be too late and the damage would be done and I’d have to eat crow.

All because that hormonal 16-year old teenager lied and I didn’t think her punishment was harsh enough.

(I never lied to my parents at 16.)

(Nope.  Never had the phone-that-was-connected-to-the-wall-by-a-supremely-long-cord-like-we-had-back-in-the-old-days ripped straight out of the wall by my daddy.)

(Never.  Cause I didn’t lie.)


It was basically nothing.

He asked her if she made a phone call I had asked her to make and she said she did.

Him:  “You did?  When?”

Her:  “Earlier today when she told me to.”

Him:  “Oh, then let me see your phone…I wanna know exactly when the call was made.”

She froze.


Him:  “So you just lied to me?  You just looked at my face and lied!”

Blah, blah, blah.  Whatever.  She lied.

He told her to get her room cleaned and the hallway swept.  Then he shut her door and fumed all the way back to the back porch with smoke billowing out of his nose holes.


Ten minutes later, all three of us are sitting at the dinner table as if nothing just happened.

Oh, they’re talking football and sports and about some dude that asked her on a date and THERE IS STILL NO RIPPING THE PHONE OUT OF THE WALL IF THERE WAS SUCH A THING AS RIPPING THE PHONE OUT OF THE WALL THESE DAYS.

It’s like I’m sitting in a damn Twilight Zone episode.

She lied.  He’s no longer nose-hole-smoke-blowing.  But I’m fuming.

I know she didn’t just rob a bank.  I know she didn’t just blow up a car.

She just lied.

(Like I never did.)

(And I mean, come on.  If you’re gonna lie…don’t waste it on something so damn frivolous as a phone call!  Lie about studying.  Lie about not sneaking out of your room.  Lie about not drinking some of my wine.  But a phone call?)

(In a twisted kind of way, this somewhat upsets me.  I would have hoped in some sort of way my evil genius-ness would have rubbed off on her to where, yes…I’d be pissed.  But then deep down inside, I’d be proud of the sneaky and smooth way she effortlessly breezed through some sort of retched teenager-y crap that would be making my blood pressure spew.)

(But a phone call?)


I could no longer take the let’s-be-nice-and-act-like-no-wrong-was-done-and-high-five-each-other-over-stupid-crap-Carrie-doesn’t-understand.  I whipped up all the plates, threw them in the dishwasher and blew out of the house.

Said I was going to get me something to drink at Sonic.  A cranberry juice to be exact.

Him:  “Hey, I’ll go with you.”


(Except I said it with gritted teeth.  And there may or may not have been some daggers shooting out of my eyes.)

I came back with my cranberry juice 15 minutes later.  Said nothing to either of them.


First time I believe I went to bed without telling him I loved him.  First time I didn’t speak to him the next morning.

(I faked still being asleep when he left for work.  He kissed me on the cheek and whispered, “I love you” and I laid there and faked it.  Didn’t move.  Didn’t breathe.)

(Kept my eyes  SHUT.  Hard.)

During the day, I dug out the old pulpit my dad used to use and that thing still works!  I preached and gave that hormonal 16-year old teenager my thoughts on what had happened the night before and we’re all on the up and up now.

Told her to remember that “I” will not tolerate the crap her daddy does and to remember who she’s gonna be asking to take her prom dress shopping and who she’s gonna be asking to take her shoe shopping and to remember who’s gonna be keeping her little teenager-y secrets from her daddy later when I catch her because “I WILL catch you every time”.

And if she COULDN’T remember just who that was…to think of the prom dress her daddy will be picking out for her and the shoes he’ll be having her wear.

That did it.  She all but broke out into a cold sweat.

See…I’m not a parent.  Keith is.  It is my job to be supportive of him so he can take care of her.

But she’s my responsibility, too.  He likes to take the calm and easy way to things.  He believes the punishment should fit the crime.

Me?  I like to see roofs blow up and farm animals blowing through the air.  Phones ripped out of the wall if there was such a thing as ripping the phone out of the wall these days.

Ain’t nobody got time for calm and easy.

(Of course, I called him during the day and apologized for being my normal, ass-y self and he acted like there was never anything wrong to begin with.)

When he came home, he handed me a bottle of my perfume.

Me:  “What’s this for?”

Him:  “You’re out.  And I wanted to get you more.”

Me:  “But I’ve been so fussy and didn’t let you go to Sonic with me and I faked being asleep when you left this morning and you bring me perfume??”

Him:  “I know.  But do you think all of that makes me love you less?  I’ve been meaning to get it for a week now.  Sorry it took so long.”

Annnnnnd welcome to Guilt Trips Dot Com.

Where the trips are short but the price is high.

(I need to go call mom and dad and apologize again for all those times I didn’t lie to them.)

(And then once I hang up, I’m gonna have to call them back.  It’s gonna take a while on this one.  Because yes, I didn’t lie to them THAT much.)

Lisa Hewitt September 8, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Oh yes mam, you take that trip. Ride it around the block a few times. I am so ashamed of you. You ought to feel guilty. You do not deserve that perfume. You better get that girl the prettiest dress in the state of Texas for her next function and you better have that man one of those breakfast casserole things you talk about, every single day and a special one on Sunday.
Having said (and meant) every damn word of that, I’m a little disappointed too. And I am embarrassed to tell you my kid cannot lie. Cannot. Not even Forrest Gump little white lies. Not that I am a huge liar or condone lying, in general, but damn, a little white lie, so as not to hurt feelings (because no her ass does not look big in those jeans and yes that bandana is just fine to wear and I am just not going to be able to go to that tupperware party) well you get the point. I am just real disappointed that he just cannot do it.
Now go call your mom.
Oh – phones being ripped out of walls sounds awesome, like having bedroom doors removed.

Carrie September 9, 2014 at 10:39 am

I KNOW! I KNOW! I feel like an ass…but it’s all good.

And that man gets breakfast almost every morning even when I don’t have to get up and go to work. I know how good I’ve got it.

Send me your manual on the no-lying-teenagers. I don’t look for her to try it again anytime soon…but you know, just in case.

Now, many years later when it’s funny, I wish I had a picture of those phone wires sprung from my bedroom wall all frayed and disorganized.


Caroline McLaughlin September 9, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Oh Carrie! Lying teenagers ARE. THE. WORST!! Next time, call me. I’ll walk you through it. You can cry on my shoulder (metaphorically since we’re 6 states away). Teenagers are snots fo’ sho!

The manual is that there is no manual. There are tricks though. Vent to friends so you can join in the football & date chat over dinner without killing anyone. The real trick is to wait. Wait for that perfect moment when she wants something. I mean rrrreeeaaaallllllyyyyyy wants something. Oops. Sorry, darling. Remember that time when you were supposed to do such and such but didn’t? Yeah, that cost you this moment.

Now that’s stealth parenting. It’s so much sweeter.
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Carrie September 10, 2014 at 8:07 am

ANYONE lying is the worst. I can not stand a damn liar. Especially one to my face. But I know it’s what they do.

Lord knows I did my share of it with my folks. And I know my folks are right now high-fiving each other.


Adelyn September 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm

“Ain’t nobody got time for calm and easy.”

That is SOOOO me. My husband is a softy. He has actually said…”but she is crying”. To which I yelled…”Girls cry. That is what we do. I cried last week and you didn’t seem to give a damn. She has a reason to cry. She better cry and know that we are serious. I know she is 3, but I will tell you…if we don’t get this shit under control now, there will be no fixing it when she is 16. I have taught teenagers for years…and let me tell you…fix it now…or we all will be crying later.”

Yep. That was me. Quotes because I remember it like it was yesterday. Sweet girl is 8 now. She still cries. So do I. Lord help my husband.

(And she is turning out to be a pretty neat kid.)

All that said..sounds like you have a teenager who is on the right path…with BOTH of your help. 😉
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Carrie September 10, 2014 at 8:10 am

What the hell do you do with ‘calm and easy’?? What good does it do?

I gotta admit, Keith did a fine job raising Cayla. She is a 16 year old turd, but a pretty good turd. I always tell myself, “OK, she didn’t feed the dog but I didn’t find a joint in her car, either.”

It’s my way of making me feel better. I think. =)

Teri Biebel September 10, 2014 at 6:22 am

Maybe he’s secretly been taking ‘Guilt Trip’ lessons from your mom? Moms are great teachers. And I LOVE the logic you used with her. Ain’t no WAY she’ll want Daddy to take her shopping. Good for you, Momma!!!
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Carrie September 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

Moms are great teachers is a total understatement.

I always tell Cayla that I may not have birthed her, but I’m the closest she’s got to a real mom. And to always remember who talks her daddy into allowing makeup and high heels.

So far, that is working.

Kim September 10, 2014 at 7:28 am

Taking their cell phone away… I think that’s today’s equivalent of ripping the phone out of the wall, only I think it’s much more powerful. Teens are more connected to them than we ever were to our wall phones. It’s like cutting off their arm! Once I instituted taking their cellphones as a punishment for not being responsible, and I followed through with it, it only took a few times before things really improved around here; chores started getting done without nagging, they became more grateful, more polite, and more responsible in general, etc. Give it a shot. It’s a huge motivator.

Glad you’re smelling all pretty again. 😉

Carrie September 10, 2014 at 8:13 am

Oh, I know that’s coming. That and the car keys.

When my folks took the car keys, you would have thought I was DYING. Then the time my dad ripped the phone out of the wall? I prayed to die.

Now? I’d love to NOT hear a ringing phone and NOT have to drive anywhere.

Funny how crap changes over time, huh? =)

Joy Christi September 15, 2014 at 9:56 am

I have NO idea how to even talk to someone who didn’t lie to their parents as a teenager. However, you ARE human because didn’t you kind of lie pretending to be asleep??? I don’t know, I’m not sure where the lines are about lying. Since I was raised by a pack of lying dogs, who lied more than Used Car salesmen who targeted the elderly. My parents and siblings lied all the live long day, my mother will lie to your face even if you’re holding the PROOF right in front of her face. She just lawyers some words to make it seem okay, and keeps right on lying. It’s how I was raised. I don’t even know I’m doing it half the time. For some people, they just see it as an easy way to get out of something, they don’t take it as seriously as others do.
YOU did the right thing, if you aren’t comfortable with it, you were right to let her know. Her father was probably just picking his battles. I’ve had to do that a million times because my son is the 2nd most annoying person on the planet. Right after his dad. He lied all the time, and it hardly bothered me until he started to get GOOD at it. Then it’s much more annoying 🙂
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Carrie September 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Well, I feel a heck of a lot better now! However, I must confess I damn near fell over when I read:

“…my son is the 2nd most annoying person on the planet. Right after his dad.”

I think I’m gonna start up some lying. Seems to be the hip and happening thing.

P.S. I was FAKING being asleep, Joy…FAKING. There’s a difference between faking and lying. Trust me. =)

A Morning Grouch September 16, 2014 at 8:43 pm

You’re a parent. You deserve the perfume.
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Katie metzroth September 16, 2014 at 10:09 pm

I smell whatcher cookin’.

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