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Convincing the Parents
The kitchen is noisy, and my mom is busy answering calls. It’s the optimal time to pose the question.
“Mom, can I go to Andy’s party tomorrow night?” I speak in the tiniest whisper.
Isn’t it funny, that when I suggest canceling my piano lesson she feigns deafness, but right now she has ears as sharp as a knife?
“Andy. Andy my friend.”
“I’ve never heard of an Andy.”
“He’s my friend, mom.”
“Oh. Is he in movie club? Is he in one of your math classes?
“He’s a senior.”
“Oh,” her tone changes, “Well then, I will have to talk to your father about this.”
“So can I go?” I ask hopefully.
Her eyebrows flicker and she avoids the question. Who exactly is Andy? Is he your Facebook friend?”
She scares my dog off the chair, slams down on the computer, and clacks away. “You know, I don’t approve of you being friends with a senior.”
I don’t care what you do or don’t approve of.
“I’ve had older friends before!”
“Yeah,I know, but they were from soccer or ballet or something…and what’s going to be at this party? More boys than girls? Alcohol?” Her face turns white, “DRUGS?!”
“I don’t know, mom. I don’t think Andy would do that.”
“And is it supervised? ‘Course it’s supervised. You wouldn’t ask me if it wasn’t?” This last part is phrased like a question.
I picture a “supervised” party with seniors. There are dunce-shaped hats taped to our heads, and we run around with kazoos in our mouths.
“Yes,I’m sure it’s supervised.”
“Are you positive? What if it isn’t? Maybe I should call his parents…” she reaches towards the phone…
“NO!”I scream and cover the handset as if I’m taking a bullet. This gives away my motives.
She gives me a look. “Your father will hear about this. And I’m emailing the parents. They need to be notified that you’re attending.”
“NO! No. No mom. It’s fine, really. I’ll tell him in school tomorrow. You don’t need to do anything.”
“I’m sorry, Amanda, but as a parent, it’s my obligation…”
“Mom, I have a question.”
“Do you want me to have friends?”
“Well, yes. Yes of course!”
“Then let me go to this.”
“I know you think this is a big deal right now. Everything is a big deal when you’re a teenager, I remember it was a big deal for me if I couldn’t ride my favorite dinosaur, har-de-har-har!” she lets out a big middle-aged screech, “But missing one party won’t be the end of the world, and not being there won’t make you any less cool.”
Yes it will.
“Okay mom. I understand.” Doesn’t mean I have to agree. She turns back to the computer.
“I think I found him. Is it Andy-Andy Forrester? And you have six hundred and thirty friends. Do I know all these people?”
I grunt. This doesn’t hinder her from talking.
“Andy Forrester. Well, he has a little mustache. And he looks a little scruffy.”
Whoo cares if he has a mustache?”
“He looks like Hitler…”
I ignore her.
“…He likes football and last weekend he went skiing in Beaver Creek…and he’s in a relationship!”
She says this last part very slowly, enunciating each syllable onto the frame ofthe shiny Mac computer until the screen is covered in spit. “Looks like you’re out of luck.”
“That’s cool, mom.”
“His girlfriend’s name is Charlotte. Charlotte Jane. That’s a nice name, don’t youthink? And he posted a new status! So much homework…fml. What’s fml? Amanda?”
“Flying mechanical leprechauns,” I say without missing a beat.
“Well, that doesn’t make sense. Amanda, he seems shady, like some guy you would meet in a bar…”
“You met my dad in a bar!”
“…I don’t like him.” Her foot tapped, waiting for my agreement.
“And he’s older, and I just don’t think I agree with you being with this whole crowd. I wouldn’t want my baby to become a statistic. I hope you understand my decision.”
I wait until she stops talking, and then take the headphones out of my ears.
“So can I go?”