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The Quarrel

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“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, thought as a child, reasoned as a child. But when I became a man, I put aside childish things.” Even though it’s written in the good book known as the bible, it seems parents in American society aren’t willing to wait that long for such a transformation. Several issues are encountered on the journey to maturity. For me, the most arduous issue is an issue parents and teenagers are all too familiar with. “Did you clean your room?” is the question that plagued my mind before I would run attempting to catch the yellow bus. I had just moved into a new neighborhood, just 9 months ago. Nobody knew who I was, but I was determined for everyone to remember my name for the years to come. As a result of my ambition, I became active in three clubs and participated in sports throughout the school year. Being a student-athlete proved to be not as simple a task as one could imagine. The school had designed an elite type of schedule to assist student with homework and questions not asked in class. It was know as zero period which started at 7:25 am it allowed students one-on-one time with the teacher. All the homework problems, which gave students trouble, could be reviewed by the teacher early in the morning. However, from Monday to Friday I had a heavy schedule. School for me would start from 7:25am to 5:30 in the afternoon. During that time of the week, cleaning my room wasn’t a priority. However, since I lived with my parents that would soon have to change. My parents were in position of authority, because of this I believe I was treated unjustly to fulfill a vision my parents had for me. I am convinced my parents were willing to sacrifice everything I worked hard to have for their vision to come to pass.

At first, it was a message that came across without the obligation for dialogue. I would leave my room fairly clean in the morning. It only appeared that way because I was lazy and decided to hide things in secret compartments like behind the chair and in back of the desk. I would quickly run out to catch the bus. Unfortunately my mother was the type of woman who could have made an exceptional detective. She managed to discover all of my secret compartments, including the overstuffed closet that my mother exposed in her act of frustration. Then, my mother would take the garbage and dirty clothes and leave then on the floor in the middle of my room. What was once a fairly clean room became the aftermath of a hurricane disaster. The worst part was when she was taking a tour with me in my room and she was throwing the clothes on the floor in front my eyes. I felt as if I was Rodney King getting hit with the night stick every time my mother took my clothes and threw then it out on the floor. Even though evidence of the beating in video-recording was submitted in court, the suspected police officers were not found guilty. It caused quite an outrage. Unfortunately, the obvious truth of my situation was that no one would care if the video recording was submitted in court. Most of the pain was due to the fact that I couldn’t tell her to pick it up. She expected me to after she left.

She would yell at the top of her lungs while I was cleaning up on a really bad day. She piles up work for me to do around the house, forcing me to clean up my room late in the afternoon on a Saturday. It brought me so much aggravation. In my mind, I always believe school came first. That’s what they thought me elementary school. I soon realized the reason was probably because drop-out rates were higher within the five boroughs. In harmony with the moral climate, I was automatically forced to modify my ideology.

I thought there was a slight chance I would gain sympathy with my father. However, my dad made a decision to sit me down for an extended conversation. I felt I didn’t have the patience or time to hear. My father said I needed to learn how to manage my time. “You have got to find time to clean your room, there’s no if and buts about that.” he would say. My father said I would have to give up the sports. I completely objected to doing that. I wanted so badly to be part of a team. From my perspective, being part of the team was my way of belonging in school. It allowed me to walk the halls a proud man. Being part of the football team qualified me as someone not to be targeted for any prank or jokes. I refused to give that status up. As a result, I was going to clean it the way I knew how. Of course, my father immediately noticed my act of defiance with my continued habits. In spite of this, he would say “You know we can always move you to basement.” It was more of a swap than a basement. Dark green painted walls and a floor of dark brown ancient tiles was the theme. The closet was from colonial times I could not stand it. There was a room full of dirty old tools which looked as if it had been used in the industrial revolution. The dust and cob webs were in the air as well as on the walls. It was a threat that had penetrated my heart. I thought it was extremely unfair. I was doing well in school I made honor roll in every marking period. It was wrong to me to even make such a statement. The person I blamed the most was my mom. She was telling my dad about how atrocious my room was at night when I was asleep. For my dad, that was enough to provoke action. It was an exaggerated story that put me in a bad light.

After the arguments, speeches and unorthodox practices, I took a timeout to meditate on what my parents’ objective for my life was. I came to understand that I was presenting an argument without processing what I was supposed to ascertain. My parents had a very different background from me. My parents came to this country as immigrants at the age of fourteen and twelve. My father was one of twelve kids who lived in an apartment in Manhattan. My mother at fifteen years old had to keep her room clean and cook. When we moved into the new house I was given the biggest room in the whole house. For my parents, it was something they would have cried if they had gotten it. However, I wasn’t living in their times and at first I didn’t understand. I had allowed my arrogance and pride to dictate my response.

Today as a young adult, I still interpret my parents’ action as unjustly. However, I think with great comfort, there are several others who probably have gone through much worse. Fortunately, I’m drawn to the conclusion; it is without a doubt effective in delivering success.



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This article has 4 comments. Post your own!

writefromtheheart said...
Apr. 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm:
Having to quit sports seems like a very drastic punishment. My parents' philosophy is basically as long as my room dosen't smell like a year-old grilled cheese sandwich, it can look however I want.
 
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MonaLisa218 said...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 4:17 pm:
this story is beautiful. i understand what you mean
 
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CaseyLeigh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm:
An excellent piece--I held onto every word. :]
 
MasterKFJ96 replied...
Nov. 4, 2009 at 8:15 am :
thank you. Means alot
 
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