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.”
Her: “OHMYGOD!! OK, I HAVEN’T CALLED YET!”
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.
(FRIGGIN WHAT?!? THAT’S IT?? CLEAN YOUR ROOM? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? NO TAKING OF THE CAR KEYS? NO RIPPING THE PHONE OUT OF THE WALL IF THERE WAS SUCH A THING AS RIPPING THE PHONE OUT OF THE WALL THESE DAYS? JUST CLEAN YOUR FRIGGIN ROOM??)
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.”
Me: “NO YOU STAY RIGHT HERE I NEED TIME ALONE AND I’M GOING BY MYSELF AND I’M GOING IN THE JEEP.”
(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.
STILL NO RIPPED PHONE OUT OF THE WALL IF THERE WAS SUCH A THING AS A RIPPED PHONE OUT OF THE WALL THESE DAYS.
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.)