who's the mommy around here anyway?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Den of Iniquity

When we renovated our house, we re-did the basement so that our then 15 yr. old, Lizzie, could live in it and use it as her own (sort-of) apartment. It had it's own entrance via the side door, bathroom complete with shower, bedroom and living room. We furnished the bedroom, and in the living room put a tv with cable, dvd player and new stereo along with some large pillows and bean bag chairs for seating. I wanted Lizzie to have the privacy that I thought every teen coveted (I'd coveted it when I was a teen). I wanted her to feel comfortable inviting her friends over to chill in our basement (see, I'm down, I know the lingo!). In other words, I wanted to know where she was and what she was doing at all times. Really, it wasn't for her, it was for ME! I know that now. My reasoning was that if she's in my house, under my roof, she couldn't possibly get into trouble, could she?

Apologies to Lizzie, 'cause I know she's going to complain that I've gotten the facts wrong, but this is how I remember it.

There was a gathering in my basement. Not a party, just a gathering. Must have been 15 or so teenagers, from 13 up to 17 years of age. It smelled just like a locker room down there. Being the cool parent that I am, and trusting my daughter implicitly as I did, I checked on them once, and left them to their devices. They were in and out of the house till all hours of the morning, but I went to sleep. I knew all these kids, I wasn't worried. I was an idiot. What was I thinking!!!!

Somehow the next day, I found out there had been drinking going on. Horrors! Drinking of alcohol! Not my alcohol! I don't have any alcohol, but after learning about this, I sure needed some! The kids had brought their own beer in (right, I'm with you, where'd they get it from?). I tried explaining to Liz about how it was my house and I was reponsible for what went on in it, but she didn't get it. She told me that it was OK that they were drinking in the house, as long as she, Liz, didn't participate. Furthermore, she didn't even go with them to the park when they went out to get high. OMG!!! Was she kidding!!! Now I definitely needed a beer so I could wash down a Xanax! All this in my house while I so innocently and trustingly left my daughter in charge and went to sleep! We went back and forth, but she didn't get it, and I had to ground her for life + 20 years and ban certain individuals from the premises, FROM THAT MOMENT ON AND FOREVER!!!

Things cooled down, even though Lizzie still didn't understand why she should be held responsible for what went on in her home, and life went on as usual. A few weeks went by and I received my cable bill. It was a little higher than normal. I perused the bill and came to the very bottom, an itemized list of extra charges, and there it was. Three Adult Channel movie rentals, all with the same date as the now infamous drug and alcohol fest. How did I know these x-rated charges weren't mine and my husband's you ask? Because we don't rent our porn from that particular station. Apparently, I had hosted a full-fledged basement bacchanalia. Two xanax and a bottle of white zinfandel later, I was ready to deal. To Lizzie, this was again, "NO BIG DEAL, MOM." After all, it was so in-the-past, like 3 weeks ago, ancient history.

Tears were shed and grounding was extended for another life + 20 year stretch, sentences to run consecutively, not concurrently. Friends were again banned and when they were allowed back in, I made sure to check on them frequently, oh you can bet I did. Did Liz finally get the point? I'm not sure she did. Teenagers are an unknowable, inscrutable and illogical law unto themselves. But I learned something invaluable. Always keep a bottle of wine and a good tranquilizer safely hidden, but within easy reach. You never know when you'll need them.


  • Oh my...well I know from my own sheltered past (and I was a "good" girl in high school) that teenagers will find sniff out beer no matter what. They will also throw impromptu parties wherever they can. I have to admit they were gutsy for the porn rentals, though. Thanks for the reminder that I must stock up on Xanax!

    By Anonymous Jamie, at 11:46 AM  

  • Sweet merciful crap.

    My stepson gave me a run for the money when he was about 16 - caught him with a bottle of Jim Beam, a collection of cigarette lighters and under the comforter with his underaged girlfriend. Yeah.

    So I *THINK* I am pretty well primed to be the biggest bee-yatch mother of all time when my boys are old enough that I will have to worry about drinking and worse.

    But then I read this. And now I think I've broken out in hives.

    Crap. How do you DO it?

    By Blogger Karyn, at 12:32 PM  

  • Oh dear GAWD! I am laughing here (with you, not at you, you are hysterical!) at this entire post!

    We just happened to "check" on my daughter one night, before we went to bed. She had just turned 17 and what the hell is it with kids from 14-18yrs? Its like Satan himself takes over and they are hell to deal with. Reasoning with them is like reasoning with a wall. Anyways, Gah! We checked on her and of quickly realized the blanket and pillow under her comforter was indeed not her.

    Then adding insult to injury, we realized she not only snuck out her window, but took her car we had just bought her, along for the ride.

    We were waiting for her, when she climbed back in her window at 5 am the next morning.

    I would have NEVER imagined that she would do something like that, but she did. You just NEVER know what your kids will do.

    By Anonymous Heather, at 8:21 PM  

  • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your own stories. Sometimes you think your own child is the only one who....

    By Blogger molly, at 2:36 PM  

  • I remember that. I didn't drink or get high. Whats the problem? I was a good girl. I stil dont drink. Mwah, oh and by the way. I think some of the alcohol that was drank came out of the basement closset downstairs. I think daddy kept some down there. It should still be there. Right when you open the door on the left. If I remember correctly, I think that was where some of the alcohol came from. But I'm not sure. I love you. hehehe.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:48 PM  

  • Our parents used to let us have hot tub parties...they were so cool, they'd even leave so we could have friends over, and of course one thing led to another and soon? Kegs. Everyone thought we had the coolest parents ever, and now, I do like to be the "hangout" for my kids' friends, but I am too scared of liability to ever allow alcohol (when they're older). What were my parents thinking?

    By Anonymous baseballmom, at 12:41 AM  

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