Saturday, April 7, 2012

A to Z Honesty - G is for Gak

Angus on his 15th birthday, April 1, 2012.

"But Mom," says my son, who is trying to get something from me and so is employing his best Sincere tone, "I kinda like her."

Angus is 15 and cute. He has a new girlfriend every five minutes. If he would spend half as much time worrying about homework as he does about girls he would be on the honour roll instead of languishing comfortably in the department of your-son-needs-to-apply-himself.

He wanted to go to her house for a sleepover. I was like, NO, you're not going over there to make me a grandmother, NO, whaddya NUTS?

He said, "Now I'm upset because I just realized you don't trust me."

Don't TRUST ME? Didn't I use those exact same words back when I was 15? And didn't I use them only when I was up to no good?

The girl's mother didn't seem to mind. She encouraged it. I imagined her as being 15 herself, having hatched her own brood at the age of two, hanging out at the double-wide with a cigarette hanging off her bottom lip and grandbabies called Tiffany and Briana perched on each hip. But when I talked to her on the phone she was nice. She was a grown-up. She had a job and she didn't live in a trailer because when she was giving me directions she described her place as having a three bay garage and I thought nobody with grandbabies on her hip named Tiffany and Briana would have a three bay garage – unless, of course, she was living in it. Luckily that didn't occur to me until just now.

Apparently I am out of the loop. Apparently "sleepovers" with the opposite sex is the way things are being done now when teenagers who live out in the country want to hang out with others of their ilk. "Oh we have a spare bedroom because our oldest is away at university. We'll just stay up and watch movies. Don't worry, I'll keep an eye on him." I heard "university" and I heard "spare bedroom" and I acquiesced. How bad could it be?

Just to be on the safe side I scouted her out on Facebook.

GAK.

She had dyed black hair, jet black, with a big stripe of blue.

She had more piercings than my kitchen sieve, including this big snot-covered one between her nostrils and one on her tongue, which she was sticking out at the camera and looking just like Gene Simmons from Kiss.

She had a low cut shirt that almost completely showed off her boobies.

And she was SMOKING.

GAK!

I promptly sent Angus a message on FB: New rule: NO SMOKING, NO TATTOOS, NO PIERCINGS, NO DRUGS, NO SEX and I paused, flustered for a second, because I couldn't think of what else to say, so I added, NO GRANDBABIES NAMED TIFFANY AND BRIANA.

I couldn't very well say NO BLUE HAIR because Angus himself had blue hair just last year.

So he got mad at me, of course, and used the trust line again, and said he hated drugs and smoking was stupid and I was beaten by logic into submission and granted him permission even though I was imagining being a grandparent by next January.

Angus is, after all, a good boy. He is. And I do trust him. Which is not to say he's not gonna kill me if he reads this post. Thankfully neither of my children find my blog or my life interesting enough to acknowledge so I'm pretty sure I'm in the clear.

So all was well when we were driving him up to the girl's house yesterday afternoon. Our conversation was easy, and no teenaged hackles were raised when I mentioned the 14,000 piercings on her ear.

"Wait a minute," said Angus. "Were you checking out her photos on Facebook?"

"Yes. Of course. I wasn't a reporter for 25 years for nothing."

"YOU WERE LOOKING AT THE GIRL WITH BLACK AND BLUE HAIR," he said. Loudly.

I nodded.

"THAT'S NOT HER. IT'S HER FRIEND. YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS HER?" I nodded and he started laughing so hard I worried he might get pee on the back seat of the car.

When I met her, she was very normal looking. Blonde hair. Nice smile. No snot-covered ring in her nose. Demurely dressed. I was SO relieved.

Which is not to say a demurely dressed teenager can't make me a grandmother. I am fully aware of the Eddie Haskell Syndrome.

I am merely relieved that Briana's baby boobies won't be on display.

95 comments:

  1. That's quite an imagination you've got there, Mom. I have to say though, your first reaction would have been mine too, but I think your train of thought moves waaaay faster and farther than anyone else's. :)

    I 'Facebook creep' my kids friends too. Hey, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.

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    1. Facebook Creep! That's that term I was looking for, thanks Laurita!

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  2. OMG Cathy you just made ME pee a little while I read this. You are freaking hilarious.

    Your son is absolutely adorable. I would be worried about him like crazy, but I could tell you as a mother of three girls, there is no way in HELL The Husband would ever have a boy sleeping over here or agree to my girls sleeping over at a boy's house.

    Yes, I am ready for much rebellion and deep seated hatred when my girls hit their teenage years. Thank God I have time before puberty hits.

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    1. Jay, I was seriously hoping I'd either be dead or senile by the time my kids hit teenagerdom - alas, I'm still breathing and am not quite completely off my rocker... although my arse is sliding off at a rapid rate.

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  3. I guess I'm outta the loop but no, NO FREAKING WAY would I agree to a sleepover like that. I still remember those years.

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    1. OH YAH, youse guys, NOW you tell me that I shouldn't have done it! Geez! Where was everybody yesterday????? Next time I will post important questions before I decide... he'll be asking for something and I'll be, like, ya gotta wait until my bloggy friends tell me what I should do. Sounds like a great idea to me!

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  4. LOL. I once made the mistake of allowing one of my to-remain-unnamed college-bound, star-athlete, honor roll children to host a backyard camp-over back in the days when I stil believed in the fundamental goodness of adolescents...and I was picking up beer bottle caps, etc. for weeks. But then...I was once a teenager, too!

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    1. *imagining what you found in the backyard besides beer bottle caps and inwardly shrieking*

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  5. I'm in the 'stuffy parent' corner with Laura...no way the boy is going to a girl's house for a sleepover. Not until he's out of school and gainfully employed. That we HE can support any offspring he creates.

    I would have envisioned THREE babies, BTW. One on each hip and a third one (called Crystal) latched on and held in place by suction...

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    1. Crystal! HAR! Alan I recently saw a movie trailer - I think Anthony posted it - and it featured all the white trash baby names currently in favour. Wait... I'll go find it.. it's totally worth watching.
      Here it is! http://youtu.be/VxKfC77XAp8
      Hilarious!

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  6. Ummm, I think I'd have said 'no' spare bedroom or no bedroom--NO FREAKING WAY!
    thanks for the laugh this morning!

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    1. You are welcome Tracy! And, gawd, I'm with ya on the FREAKING.

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  7. I would've just said 'forget it, mister!' I was a teenage mum and I know what crap I put my parents through. Seriously, I have to search my kids on facebook, I never know what they put up there.

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    1. You'd think they'd know we're totally creeping them... oh well! (You were a teenaged mom???? Clarissa!!!!)

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  8. Sleepovers with boys and girls?????? What??????? I feel like I got left behind at the bus stop. When did this happen and who thought it was a good idea? You are a brave woman.

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  9. Goodness! Am I the only one who supports sleepovers? I mean really, what's so wrong with it? Even if they did manage to sneak into a bed together, it's not like they're not doing it anyway. I remember when my son was 15 and had "company". I always figured there were far worse things he could be doing.
    Your son is a cutie that's for sure.

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    1. HAR!!!!! You totally have a point, there Rubye! (still laughing)

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  10. Loved your story! :) But I have to agree with some of the fellow bloggers... No to a co-ed sleepover. BUT...you know your child and what his limits should be :) Enjoyed reading your posts! New follower from A to Z challenge! :)

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    1. Thanks for the follow, Michelle!
      You know - it sounds all wrong to me, too. I guess it's better than them driving all over the country in the middle of the night and getting into accidents... plus, there's no transit in the boonies so we're limited that way, too.
      Oh well.
      I guess ya gotta start trusting them sometime. But, man, it's hard to know what to do...

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  11. I am so glad I raised girls. Actually, they're probably your age. But I used to think the same crazy things about their boyfriends. Who all turned out as nice as your son! There's very little new under the sun.

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    1. "Very little new under the sun." How true, Joanne!!!! When we're young we think we're the first ones to ever do anything... har!!!!

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  12. I loved your story!! We raised four daughters, but since we live in the country, we're quite familiar with those types of 'sleepovers'. They didn't call them that, just 'staying over', but they're all grown and fine now, so I don't think you have anything to worry about. I don't think Mrs 3 Bay Garage, is anxious to be a grandmother. He's probably in good hands.

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    1. There ya go! Another country girl! Things are different when you're in the middle of nowhere! Thanks Kathy.
      By the way, you're skinny, aren'r you? :)

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  13. Yipes! I have no idea what I'd do in your shoes. Except maybe leave a box of condoms open in the bathroom before he goes...just in case. Good luck! You've got a dangerously handsome son there.

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    1. I was reading everyone's comments out loud to my son and my mom and they both laughed out loud at yours!

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    2. He IS handsome. I keep telling him to take acting lessons so he can get rich and support me in the style to which I'm not yet accustomed.

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  14. Oh boy. I have 2 daughters, and I can't see myself having boys sleep over. This whole parenting thing is full of land mines isn't it?

    btw-I see in your sidebar that you're reading City of Thieves. One of my favorite books-simply brilliant.

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    1. Oh! YES - City of Thieves is phenomenal! One of the best books I've read in AGES!

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  15. On boy.... First, your son is adorable. Second, I have a 12 year old son, sporting the same long hair as Angus - his is dark, though - and I'm wondering when he's going to ask to sleep over with a girl. Because it just might happen, now that you've mentioned it. I can picture it. And he would use the ' you don't trust me' sentiment too..... Oh, boy!

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    1. I know... I know... it's just freaking me out, all this stuff. ARGHHH... and to think I worried about them when they were toddlers...

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  16. I want to laugh, but my kids are nearly teens and I just know I've got all this yet to come! GAK!

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    1. I'm thinking of taking up heroin. Wanna share?

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  17. MOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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  18. Hilarious as always!
    Good thing I'm not a father because he'd hate me forever for sticking with NO. Too much stress for me.
    (And yes, I'm aware opposite sex sleepovers are common. How times have changed, huh?)

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    1. I know. Didn't they used to make people sleep in bags? Like, not sleeping bags, but sewn up bags? I dunno.. I forget. Being an old bag and all.

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  19. I had the 'heart-to-heart' with my 14 year old grandson who is now officially a teenager whose mother perceives him to be looking for trouble (mostly because she was looking for trouble at his age. Mostly I was aghast at his lack of embarrassment when I carefully mentioned girls and then the word sex. Shouldn't he have at least giggled? I'm his GRANDMOTHER! So I simply ended with this: "just remember honey, no glove, no long. Do you know what that means?" HE SAID YES!!!! Help me. Am I going to be raising Tiffany and Briana?

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    1. Not as long as he's got the glove, Susan!!!

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  20. OK...I'm so old-fashioned I didn't know that sleep-overs were the way anyone who wasn't a pre-teenage girl spent their time. I think I might have reacted much as you did to the request. I'm not sure i would ever have given in. Oh, maybe I would have if I'd met Mom. The appearance isn't everything but it does send a teeny tiny message, doesn't it? Really...who puts fake photos on their FB page?

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    1. It's her friend! Sorry, I didn't say that! :)
      Yeah, I wasn't totally comfortable giving in but turns out their family is quite religious and they spent all evening playing family board games. So, cool, I guess!

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  21. Why does Angus's girlfriend have pictures of Sofia on her facebook?

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  22. De-lurking just to say that I so look forward to reading your posts each day. You have a beautiful way with words. Funny and sweet and so true to life! Meeting you today at the grocery store was a wonderful surprise! I'll probably see you again soon.
    karen

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    1. Karen!!!!!
      I was just telling Dave about meeting you in the grocery store today. Like, 10 minutes ago I was telling him this. Then I went inside to get my laptop and, voila, here you are! All de-lurked and cheery!
      It was terrific meeting you, too. So great! You totally made my day and I look forward to seeing you again!

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  23. Ack. I sadly fear that I would have been with you all the way on your journey. And why do you have a photo of someone with multiple piercings and blue hair on your FB page. And yes, good friends don't judge each other. I have just backed myself into a corner here.

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    1. Hi EC!!!! Get outta that corner, girl! There's no room for the two of us in there!!!!
      :)

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  24. I an dying to know what the Eddie Haskell syndrome is. I love the idea of it!

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    1. Oh Susan! Eddie Haskell was a teenager on Leave It To Beaver. In front of the parents he was a perfect gentleman, wouldn't say crap if his mouth was full of it! But when the parents weren't looking, he was a terrible troublemaker. So now when I meet a kid who is too good to be true, I think EDDIE!

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    2. Oh, yes, of course! How could I have forgotten him. Now here's something really pathetic--when I first read the name, I was mixing him up with Buddy Hackett. I grow old, I grow old . . . And let me pass on this: you worry about your son, I worried about my father (RIP), particularly when he introduced me to his teased hair/blue eye shadow flame who was also my age! Oy!

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    3. Buddy Hackett??? LOL!!!
      As far as daddy's girlfriend goes, all I can say is EW!!!!!
      (Sorry about your Dad, by the way....)

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    4. Many years ago. He had a good life, in its own odd way.

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  25. You are so much cooler than my Mom. I wasn't allowed to do "sleepovers" ever. Like when I was 20, and my (now ex) husband and I had been living together for over a year 1200 miles away from her, and then came back to get married, we had to sleep not only in separate rooms, but on separate FLOORS of the house.

    Come to think of it, maybe that should have told me something.

    Now my current husband.... I think she likes him more than me. Actually encouraged him to stay over long before we we married, saying she felt it was "safer" with him around.

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    1. *feeling all perky now because you called me cool*

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  26. I'm probably not the best when it comes to this but allowing my son - okay, so I have a daughter but same would apply - spend the night at his girlfriend's house is something I would have a problem with.

    I remember trying that "You don't trust me" line with my mom when I was a teen too. She promptly let me know that trust wasn't the issue. But setting certain boundaries were. I'm going to have to remember that when my daughter gets older.

    I know that kids will be kids and will probably try to sneak to be with each other. That's some of the logic used by some parents who promote the boy and girl spend the nights. I can understand this and appreciate it. I just wouldn't see it as something that I can work with. I probably wouldn't get any sleep from keeping an all night vigil in the hallway, periodically opening doors without knocking to make sure no other ways of sneaking into the rooms were found lol!!

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    1. I know the feeling, Angela. I don't think I'd have her overnight unless they were hog-tied with duct tape and locked in separate rooms. THAT I could handle.
      Got any duct tape I could borrow???

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  27. ha ha Cathy I've never laughed so hard and then thanked my lucky stars that my one and only son is 33 on Wednesday ^_^

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    1. 33! No way! You must have had HIM when you were two!

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  28. Ah, to be young again.

    Actually, no. I'm quite happy being the age I am, and having two grandchildren sleeping over at our place tonight. For them, eight and six, life is fun and young.

    You checked her out of Facebook? Wow, you really are a reporter!

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    1. Nah, I'm just a weird FB stalker.
      (Grandchildren... how lovely!!!! I mean that... and I want them... just not NOW)

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  29. Thanks for stopping by my blog and I swear it wasn't me who stole your Nermal lol...Love your header picture. Awesome!

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    1. Oh sure, Tina (checking your fingertips for signs of grey fur)

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  30. Thanks for stopping by - new follower here.

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    1. Why thanks! Love your blog, btw! Another great stop on the A to Z tour.

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  31. Wow, Cathy. I don't think this is something I could allow in the teen years. Although, my older son is only 8, so sleepovers at this age are quite benign. I loved your story; it had my hanging on the edge of my seat. It was filled with so much emotion: nervousness, humor, and an oh-my-goodness, what's-she-gonna-do kinda feeling.

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    1. Yup, Susan, reality is so much more of a hanging-by-the-edge-of-the-seat thing than fiction!

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    2. Cathy, I am so glad that you stopped by yesterday! I love your writing. I couldn't help but wonder if the girl's mom will read your initial thoughts though. Your blog rocks, and I am your newest follower.

      Kathy M.

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    3. Thanks, Kathy! (By the way, you should check out my post "C is for Cathy* because you sure look slim to me! ;)
      And thanks so much for the visit - bowled over by your beautiful photos and all that SNOW.

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  32. Heh, that is hilarious! I actually wanted to get a blue streak in my hair not too long ago...interesting how some people might perceive that though! Your son sounds adorable.

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  33. Hilarious is right! Just goes to show the dangers of putting other people's pictures on your FB! Haha. I have a 19 year old son and a 12 year old son....and boy is there a valley in between! Daughter is 23 and I cringe a bit at some of her FB pics but thankfully our family is blessedly petite in the boobie department.

    Was happy when she had no tattoos and piercings, but now she has one of the 'Monroe's, at least she doesn't want one of those bottom of the nose hanging things which I find.....ah...astonishing to be polite.Why would anyone want those hanging off the bottom of their nose!?

    And then she got a tattoo a year or two ago. No one in my family has tattoos......that I know of. I don't think my sailor uncles even had tattoos!

    Love that you named your son Angus. I was musing about Scots names a while ago and thought "no one names their sons Angus anymore". This was as I was trying to find my husbands Scots ancestors named Malcolm and Duncan and Murdock.

    Regarding sleepovers, long ago in the past in Finland (my ancestral home), they used to have sleepovers. It was rather practical as no one was going to trudge hours through the snow to visit a couple hours and then have to trudge back through the howling blizzard with wolves and hypothermia threatening from all around. They even let them sleep in the same bed (usually there weren't a lot of beds in homes those days) but they had what is called a 'bundling board'. They put a board in between the young couple and tucked the covers in tight.

    Hmmmmm.....just remember that children are growing up quicker nowadays due to our more adequate food supply. So....a fifteen year old girl is probably like a seventeen year old when I was young, and a fifteen year old boy is probably like a seventeen year old boy when I was young, which means...you have every right to worry but your son sounds like a sensible type and everything will work out alright in the end. One day you will want to be a grandma! I am in no hurry and my children don't seem in any hurry to make me a grandmother since my hair is already gray.

    Anyway, I greatly enjoyed your post and am glad there are others who can't stand those nose things!

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    1. Angus was the name of his father's godfather, a nice old guy living a salty life on the coast of Nova Scotia, near Cape Breton Island. When I found out I was pregnant with a boy I had a hard time choosing a name – nothing felt right. One day I was going through Doug's family tree and as soon as I heard the name Angus (so strong, so much character!) I knew it was the right name.
      Thanks so much for your comment! And bundling board! That was the word I was trying to think of earlier!

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  34. You are a good mom for checking this kid out on Facebook. I did read an article somewhere that these kinds of sleepovers are quite normal in Europe. I can't remember where I read the article but it was just a different perspective.
    Not sure what I'd do in this situation since I don't have kids. Sounds like Angus is lucky to have you for a mom.

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    1. Awwww, gee thanks Carrie! Very sweet comment.

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  35. Ha ha, gotta love those journalistic instincts! Nice to see that you also aren't going to become a pre-mature grandmother (a woman's worst nightmare).

    Also: Joyeuses Pâques!

    -Barb the French Bean

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    1. And a belated happy birthday to your son as well! (I just turned 25 on Friday, lol.)

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  36. Funny. A sleepover? With the girlfriend? Let me know when you're having the baby shower.

    Fun & funny blog. Love your header-photo.

    Play off the Page

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    1. Baby shower! ARGGHHHH!!!!
      Funny thing is, yesterday I was at a baby shower and, for some reason, I got stuck with the baby for at least two hours! I hate to admit this, but I really, really enjoyed the time we spent together. It's funny how all the old tricks come back and how much fun it is.
      Just so you know though, Mary, I am SO NOT READY for grandmotherhood just yet!!!!! Besides, I'd be too busy kicking their arses to be able to hold any babies!

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  37. Thanks for the giggle! I needed that. And now I'm feeling happy I don't have teenaged kids to panic about!
    Lx

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  38. This was a hilarious read, though my sympathies go out to you. I'm glad I'm not a parent. I'm roller coaster phobic as it is.

    Be well.

    Happy Easter.
    xoRobyn

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    1. HAR! "Roller coaster phobic." That's exactly how parenting is!

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  39. Your post was hilarious - your comic timing is great! But it also got me thinking. I definitely wouldn't be OK with my 15 year old stepdaughter spending the night at a boy's house. We've not had to deal with anything like that yet but I wonder how we would if it came up?

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    1. Say no! Be strong! You can DOOOO it, Nick!

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  40. 'If he would spend half as much time worrying about homework as he does about girls he would be on the honour roll instead of languishing comfortably in the department of your-son-needs-to-apply-himself.'

    Ha! Clever.

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  41. Oh Cathy, you kill me. It's barely 7am, and you sure know how to start my day... all smiles.
    ~2

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  42. I was laughing so hard, I had to read your blog post out loud. Jack had to know what was so funny. No I'm afraid he might pee his chair.

    Pamela Jo

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    1. I am so glad that my daughters are no longer teenagers. I loved how great they were and are but those teenage years are pretty stressful for everyone. So instead, I opt to work in a high school because I didn't get enough of the attitude and need to remind myself daily how lucky I am that my daughters are grown. :)

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    2. Pamela Jo, that's the BEST compliment, reading someone's work out loud. So glad Jack had pee problems!!!

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    3. Kathy, I swear there's a little bit of a masochist hiding in you! I think working in a high school must be the biggest GAK of all!!!!!!!
      (Medal of bravery goes to YOU)

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