Monday, October 25, 2010

Communication Breakdown

I believe I am in a knife fight with Oldest Daughter's hormones.

Sadly, I am not the maturest parent on the block, so this creates some interesting Studies in the Power of Stubbornness in our home.

I give you the past week.  OD has been hassling Current Husband for about six months about getting a new cell phone.  She knows exactly when her contract is up, and I noticed that about 12 weeks before the contract was ready to expire, she started calling CH "Daddy" a lot more.  As I am not in charge of our home technology, I was still referred to as "mwuf" or "whatever".

Last Tuesday night, CH decided it was to be Phone Plan Change Night.  As I've mentioned before, CH doesn't like to stick with any one service provider for too long, because he always suspects he can get a better deal elsewhere.  (Frankly, it's a miracle we've been together for nearly 20 years.  I think my service plan has adapted and changed over time so that I remain competitive with the other service providers in my area.)

As a family, we strolled into the phone store.  Oldest Daughter and The Son immediately knew which phones they wanted (because we gave them the options of Free Phone or Free Phone), CH apparently knew which phone he wanted, and I was left gripping Current Phone, which has been my steady friend for all these months.  I KNOW Current Phone.  I can call and text on Current Phone.  The rest of the family began to debate about my phone situation.

CH:  "You should get a new phone.  That one is old."
OD and The Son:  "She won't get a new phone."
Youngest Daughter:  "Can I have a phone?"
ME:  "Well....I do like my old phone.  But everyone seems to like their Blackberry's."
OD:  (snorts) "There is NO WAY you are getting a Blackberry."
ME:  "Why?"
OD:  "You can't handle the Blackberry."
ME:  "Why not?"
OD:  "Um, like, only because you have NO CONCEPT of how to run any technology."
YD:  "Can I get something at Claire's since I don't get a phone?"
ME:  (fixing my You're Crossing A Line stare at OD) "I do so know how to operate a phone."
OD:  (fixing her I'm 13 and My Estrogen is Erratic Right Now stare at me) "Whatever."
CH:  (stepping in between us) "How about if you get one of these nice Free Phones?"
ME:  "I'm getting the Blackberry."
YD:  "Can I at least get some Skittles?  It's not fair!"

So I got the Blackberry.  And now I can't text or call people very easily because I don't know how it works yet.  But I will Never. Admit It.

It looks awesome in my purse and holds down papers.

On Saturday, OD was supposed to go to the mall with a friend, but the friend ended up not being able to go.  OD seemed a little bereft about her cancelled mall trip, so I offered to take her.  Surprisingly, she took me up on it.

We had a nice trip over to the mall, and I thought "This is the best idea I've had in a long time!"  We got out of the car, and walked into the mall.  Oooh!  A kitchen store!  Let's run in here quick.  OD grudgingly went along with me and looked at stainless steel toasters.  In a few short minutes, she was sighing and lagging a few steps behind me.  I remembered my days of trailing my mom in the home department at Younker's, so I relented and we left.

Just across the corridor was a Von Maur.  OD wanted shoes, so I said we could stop in the infamous Von Maur Sale Shoe room.  She still seemed unenthusiastic, but trudged along with me.  Of course, I got sucked into the sale racks of clothing.  OD had to be thrilled, because what is better than to be 13 and clothes shopping for your mother in the mall on a Saturday, in full view of all of your friends who might be mall-trolling that day?  I picked up a sweater.

ME:  "Do you like it?"
OD:  "No."

I stopped at another rack and pulled out a shirt.

ME:  "Do you like this one?"
OD: (repulsed)  "No."

She is clearly fading.  I take her to the Sale Shoe room and see a pair of Dansko Clogs I've been eyeing.  I put one on.

ME:  "How about these?"
OD:  "Ugh, NO!"
ME:  "I think you are purposely dissing everything I like."
OD:  "If you don't like my answer, quit asking the question."
ME:  (getting pissed) "We are supposed to be out having a good time.  I am simply asking you if these shoes would be okay for ME, not for YOU to wear to school.  Can you get outside of yourself for a second and see if maybe these shoes are okay for a 40ish woman to wear?"
OD:  (getting pissed) "No.  I think they are ugly."
ME:  (to clerk) "I'll take them."

The shoes I'll be wearing to clog dance outside
of the Middle School morning drop off.

We leave the store and walk past Whitey's Ice Cream and I didn't even OFFER to buy her a malt, because I'm making a point.  We go into another shoe store and get her the moccasins she made the trip to the mall for, and walk silently through the crowds of people.  OD spies a kiosk selling cell phone covers, and suddenly, her ice thaws.

OD:  "Let's get a cell phone cover for you!"
ME:  "We can get one for you, I don't know that I need one."
OD:  "If you can't use the phone, at least it will look good."
ME:  "I know how to use the phone!"
OD:  "Whatever.  I like this one with polka dots!"

We pick out cell phone covers.  We get to the car, and OD puts hers on her phone, and then holds her hand out for mine.

ME:  "I can put it on."
OD:  "No, you can't."
ME:  (Damn it, she's right.) "Okay, here you go."  (I hand her the Blackberry.)
OD:  (snaps it on) "There!  Now it looks cute!  Do you know you have five unread texts on here?"
ME:  "Yes, I just don't have time for texting like you do."

OD eyes me suspiciously, and then I see a softening in her, like when the Grinch realized his heart was 10 sizes too large.  She hands the phone back to me, and says, "Okay.  Thanks for taking me to the mall."  Dang!  She can always get me with that unexpected kindness!  I give her a hug, and we drive home.  I may not with the war, but I've won this battle.  Take that, Teen Estrogen.



Peggy Sue Brister said...

I love the clogs. I am a BIG clog fan. I have 2 pair of clogs myself. One brown and one black, but they are both backless slide on clogs with a slightly higher heel than on the ones you got. You deserve a phucking brownie for going to the mall EVER with a teen.

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful (and painfully real)! At some point you did get YD some Skittles, didn't you?


Queen of the Rant said...

Oh memories-if there is one thing I could take back when I was young, it would be how rude I was to my parents... some day- she will try to make this up to you every single day...

Wendy Ramer said...

I'm dealing with this battle with a 9-yr-old. I am so up shit's creek when she's 13!

Brooke said...

So not looking forward to the onset of hormones in my daughters... ugh.

International Woman of Mystery said...

13 is a tough age. Although I have to admit that your conversation with your OD about the shoes sounds very similiar to conversations I have (at 32) with my Mother about her clothing (and especially her shoe choice). So, I hate to tell you, but some things never change!

But fun story!

GrandeMocha said...

I found you a job for when you tire of hooking.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to have to agree with OD on shoes...sorry LOL wow!

GrandeMocha said...

Make sure you are wearing obnoxious jammies/sweats/mumu when doing the clog dance outside
of the Middle School.

Anonymous said...

I found your post way too hilarious, I think it's because I can really identify! Of course, that was many many years ago. But the memories are there. Thanks for bringing them up for me. I loved it!

Lani said...

I can help you with Blackberry navigation if needed. I know what you mean about not wanting to give up technology that you're comfortable with -- I was recently forced to give up my 3+ year old Blackberry for a new one. My old one was telling me it was ready to retire (i.e., the track ball stopped working all the time) otherwise I would still have it.... The new one is pretty cool,though ;)

Stephanie said...

Love this one.... too funny! I have 2 little girls. Can not wait for this kind of stuff. Not really :)

Anonymous said...

MMMMM Whitey's!!! :) And...I love my 3 boys! Ha.

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