How to Piss Off Your Parents…A Step By Step Guide For Teenagers

My teenage son has a new hobby. No it’s not just girls or more sneaker collecting or God forbid, showering ten times a day. His new goal is to see how many times a day he can make my blood pressure climb and my head explode. Lately, I feel a bit like a cartoon character around him, my body turning red and practically convulsing while a bubble with an arrow floats over my head, the words ‘Boiling Point‘ written on it. In case YOUR teen is wondering how he or she can get you one of your very own cartoon bubbles, here is a step by step manual devised by my son:

11. (Because TEN is simply not enough) Have your parents shuttle you all over God’s green earth. Assume they can always give your friends rides, too, especially when your friends live on the other side of the town and completely out of the way. Never say thank you for the rides. After all, it’s their job to be at your beck and call. Also, don’t ever answer their texts or calls when you are out. Why do they have to bug you all the time with stupid questions like “When do you need to be picked up?” or “where are you?”

10. Leave your dirty socks EVERYWHERE. This includes stuffed in couch cushions, on staircases, in the bathroom and shoved under the fridge.

9. Sleep all F’ing day long. When you are woken up to join the land of the living, act rather put out and complain the entire time. Also, never sleep in your own bed. Sleep on the couch so that nobody else can sit there and you make all the cushions lumpy.

8. Make a big deal when you are asked to do chores that aren’t your “Normal chores”.  Point out that your parents are being “unfair” and make sure you mention that you “want extra allowance”. If they do not meet your demands, throw a temper tantrum if possible. This will irritate your parents more than sand in a bathing suit bottom. They will then launch into a tirade of how easy you have it and when they were your age (blah, blah, freaking blah). Turn up your iPod and nod at them. They will eventually forget what they asked you to do and do it themselves. And then later when they realized you’ve screwed them over, you get to see their face turn red and explode all over again.

7. Forget to turn in assignments in school. Constantly. When questioned by your parents, accuse them of “stalking” you on the grading website and suggest they “Get a life”. In addition, procrastinate till the night before an assignment is due and fall apart because the glue has all been used up or there is no more poster paper.

6. Pick petty arguments with your younger siblings for no reason at all. Kick them under the table or pinch them when nobody is looking. Complain that “he/she did it first!” NEVER EVER take the high road. Hey, it’s not fair that you’re the only one that’s miserable, right? And your parents like him/her more than they like you anyway.

5. Do REALLY stupid $hit when your parents aren’t around, making them question your ability to function in society. Like wander around the neighborhood at 3 in the morning when you’re supposed be at a friend’s house sleeping over. Make sure you don’t tell your friend’s parents you are going out and wandering the neighborhood (because they won’t let you). When your unreasonable parents find out and take your phone away and ground you, claim you have no idea “what the big deal” is.

4. When your mother asks you to do anything (take the garbage out, take a shower, put your clothes away), make sure you tell her…”In a minute” or “Hold on“. Moms love that. Especially when they tell you fifty four thousand times and you forget each time.

3. Be sure to leave your dirty plates, cups, bowls and forks exactly where you finished eating or drinking. Half drunk water bottles are supposed to remain in the back seat of your mom’s car.  Leave empty food containers, boxes, bags, etc. on the counter. Never throw it in the garbage. After all, that’s what the maid is for, right? If you are forced to throw it away because the maid is off, make sure you don’t push the trash down in the pail so that what you just threw in there falls right out and is easily accessible to the dogs. Ignore dogs when they have knocked the entire garbage over and are eating raw meat in front of you. If possible, don’t empty the container at all. Make sure you leave thimbleful of milk or five Cheerios at the bottom of the package so that you can’t be accused of not throwing out your trash.

2. Roll your eyes or sigh audibly whenever your parents speak to you unless they are giving you money or the keys to the car. They are clearly morons and nothing they say has any bearing on you whatsoever. They have no clue what it’s like to be a teenager. Ignore them whenever possible. Keeping your headphones on at all times is a surefire way to not hear anything they say to you.

1. And finally, the number one way to piss off your parents is to ask for something at the very last possible second. Like when you need to be at school at 8:00 and you need $50 for a field trip, make sure you ask your father (aka ATM) for the money at 7:55am. Or when your mother is shoveling her breakfast in her mouth while blow drying her hair and feeding the dogs and pulling your socks out of the couch cushions, that is definitely the right moment to ask for a permission slip for aforementioned field trip to be signed.

It is my son’s hope that this list has enhanced your teenager’s skills in parenting alienation and you and your teen can be at odds from ages 13-18 without any further tutoring necessary. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go remove my son’s athletic cup from the dining room table since “In a minute” was four days ago.

Kindle Scout

I’m so excited! My newest novel, a YA/suspense, is an entrant in the Kindle Scout program! Readers can check out the first chapter of the book and vote for the books they think should be published. If my book is chosen I get an exclusive publishing contract with Kindle AND everyone who votes for it gets a free copy from Kindle. So you have nothing to lose! Follow this link to nominate “The Dead of Summer”.

Pick a Dress, Any Dress…

I’m pouring myself an extra large glass of Mommy Juice tonight. I just got a glimpse of what my life is going to be like for the next…um, twenty years or so, and I now have pounding in my brain. It starts at the eyeball (which is twitching) and radiates up my forehead and down my cheek at the same time. It might be a stroke. I’m pretty sure it’s just stress, but a stroke might actually get me out of the task that I am faced with tonight. At least I’d have an excuse to go to the hospital and be hooked up with an IV (do they have wine flavored IVs? I’d really like to look into that). At any rate, I’m hoping the alcohol numbs it.
Why so stressed? Taxes due? Nope. Moving? Nope. Going to court? Nope. Having surgery? No, no and more NO. I’m stressed simply because my husband and I took our daughter to the store for a simple item. A dress for her National Junior (Mini Midget) Honor Society. Apparently now you can get into the Honor Society at age nine when the hardest thing you have to do is make sure you don’t eat the paste. Not to negate her accomplishment. She’s very good at not eating the paste. (And getting straight As quite a few marking periods, too).
But it’s not a nice honor for me and her father because she has INSISTED she needs a new dress for the occasion. Still, I was certain she had SOMETHING to wear, so I headed up to her overflowing closet where several of the items still had their TAGS on them. I pointed to said items and asked, “What’s wrong with these?” I should have poured the Mommy Juice then. Or at least got comfortable.
This one,” she remarks (in preteen exaggerated enunciation), while shoving the adorable Minion dress that she wanted for Easter at me, “Is for BABIES.” Well, duh. I told you that three months ago but you “had to have it.” Still I keep my mouth shut. I may be stupid but I’m not new.
“How about this?” I point to the pink dress she wore just a few weeks ago for another school function.
“I don’t have shoes to go with that anymore?” She remarks haughtily.
Did her foot grow two sizes in two weeks? I point to the black flats. “These go perfectly.”
She sighs and slaps her hand against her forehead. “Those are flats. Flats are for babies. I need a heel.”
What? You’re NINE, kid! And likely to fall flat on your face during the ceremony because you have no clue how to operate in heels. Hell, I know grown women who walk like there’s a cantaloupe wedged between their thighs when they wear heels.
Still, I keep my mouth shut.
“And this is a skirt.” She points to the other item that I have pulled out of the closet.
Now stupid me opens my mouth. “Yeah, so?”
The child, erm…preteen, rolls her eyes. “I don’t want a skirt. I want a dress.”
“Let me guess, skirts are for babies?” I remark with a smirk. (I can’t IMAGINE where SHE gets her Smart Ass comments from)
She squeals as if I have asked her to lick the toilet bowl or something. “No, they’re not for babies! They’re not pretty. Skirts are like, so ugly.
OOOOOKKKKAAAAYYYY. Note to self, skirts are like, so ugly.
Ignoring her eyerolls and stomps, I shuffle her (and poor unsuspecting hubby) into the car for a trip to the store.

Ah, the store …the place I used to love to go to. Now after this evening’s trip, I never want to shop again. At least not with Preteen Drama Queen, aka. expert on all that is fashion. After a disastrous visit to the old standby (Target), where everything was declared “babyish”, “ugly”, or “OMG Mom , SERIOUSLY???”, we headed to the mall. My husband’s eyes were already glazing over and he had no idea he was still in for a treat. Actually, I need to interject here to mention that he rationalized that she could just wear her white sandals with the pink and black WOOL  dress that we bought in February. Men. So dumb, yet so hopeful at the thought of saving a buck. SMH. He will definitely not be joining us on future trips for graduation dresses, Prom dresses, or wedding dresses. Which is probably why he made such a stupid comment to begin with.

So she finds a dress she LOVES and MUST HAVE. It is also, (and I QUOTE), “totes adorbs”. The problem is, there’s silver piping throughout and neither the white, nor the brown sandals she currently owns, work with this particular ensemble. So…off to the shoe department we trudge. My husband stops to rest on the Sealy and Serta mattresses that are nearby. We leave him. We don’t need him anyway. He thinks green and blue match. Maybe he’s color blind. Who knows?  I’ll make him an eye doctor appointment soon.
In the shoe department I actually find a pair of silver sandals that have a bow that matches the one on the dress PERFECTLY. It’s like fashion kismet or something. I excitedly turn to my daughter, waving the perfect shoes like a madwoman. However, Prima Donna is not having any of it.
“They’re FLATS. I told you I am NOT wearing FLATS. I’ll look like a short baby.” Of course. How silly of me. Being 54 inches tall is not nearly enough when your classmates are 55 inches tall.
“Just try them on,” I beg. Have I mentioned that they’re PERFECT???
She “attempts” to try them on; pretending she can’t fit her foot in the sandals for God’s sake. Let me tell you…I’ve seen this kid squeeze herself into a pair of shoes three sizes too small when she wants to.
She is now wailing.
“Forget it,” I said. “Let’s try to find a different dress.”
Into another store we go. This time, I start pulling things off the rack. I pick out ten dresses and show her all of them. She squeals with delight. She also thinks she getting ALL of them. Oh no child…you must decide.
Well, of course, she can’t decide. After about ten minutes, she’s eliminated one dress.
So we opt to try on some of the dresses. I’m hoping at least half will look stupid or not fit or something. I was not banking on one nearly ripping while she stood naked in the dressing room flapping her arms when the dress got stuck over her head.
Three hours later, we are armed with one new dress and one new pair of wedges (a compromise between the heels and the flats). My husband is nearly catatonic from the experience while I am experiencing the stroke like symptoms I described earlier.
“What the hell was that?” he asks when we get home.
Keep in mind, when my son needed a suit for his honor society induction, this is how the conversation went.
Me: Do you like this shirt?
Him: Yes.
Me: Are your pants clean?
Him: I think so.
Me: Do you need a new tie?
Him: I’m just borrow one of Daddy’s.
End of conversation. (I don’t want to get into how he accidentally wore his ten year old cousin’s dress pants to the actual ceremony instead of his own, or how my husband actually had to CUT one of his ties to accommodate the boy’s height or lack thereof).
I shook my head. “It’s our future, honey.” I raise my glass. “Cheers to having a girl.”