How to get parents to do what they want or a desperate teenager’s confession – PART 1
I’m in a rush for a dental appointment, my bag is full of homework, I’m running as fast as I can to the bus stop, I’m almost there, but suddenly I see The Store. The doors are open. The sweet smell of new clothes makes me dizzy and suddenly I find myself inside looking for a new dress. No, I am not a “shopaholic”. I don’t watch the jewelry channel and the Home Shopping Network every night, I don’t believe in “retail” therapy, I don’t buy nice pants that are 2 sizes smaller in hopes of losing weight in two weeks and I don’t. I don’t feel guilty if I come home after shopping empty-handed. Definitely not. But when I see something shiny with little purple spots on the cool metal hanger in the corner of the store, unpredictable things can happen to me. I am no longer myself. If I see a lady holding this piece of art while searching for a matching scarf, I feel like a wild animal looking for some signs of weakness in prey. And when the purple beauty finally returns, I’m there to grab and run to the record. It would have been a real success, a victory, a triumph, if only I could add one little detail: MONEY.
Have you ever washed your car just before the rain? Have you ever been invited to a party where one of the guests is wearing the same dress as you? No, that’s not even close to how I feel. Like a desperate climber on the edge of a cliff holding on with the tips of his fingers, I am saying goodbye to the most important things in my life. Goodbye my purple dream, goodbye for now, but I promise I’ll be back because I have a plan. I have a plan that I will share with you. Don’t expect this plan to work every day. This is a one-time deal only for those who have an emergency, those who are desperate and on the edge.
Remember the words said by Satan in the novel “The Master and Margarita”: “Never ask for anything and especially from those who are stronger than you. They will make the offer themselves and give everything themselves.” The truth is that I have not read the book to the end, but I tried to do it twice, which gives me the right to quote it on an occasion as important as today. Trust my intuition: Asking parents for money to buy a dress doesn’t always work. Nowadays parents have become cautious and selective, they are not consistent and they do not always fall into the simple traps of “this is the last time I ask …”. Get ready to fight for your dress! Feel like a fisherman. You have to use the right bait to make your catch. Once you bite into it, you need to roll up the fish and make sure it doesn’t slip away.
The first step will be to get home early to give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the fight. Clear your desk of “Teen Vague” and “Victoria’s secrets” magazines and cover it with the most irritating textbooks you have in your backpack. My personal favorite is the chapter “Amino Acids and Peptides” in the Organic Chemistry textbook. But be creative and use what you hate the most. Make sure the pages do not have images. (We don’t want parents to be distracted when they talk to us.)
The next step will be to do some chores. Be realistic. Cleaning the garage or washing the windows will make parents suspicious and apprehensive. Now add some little touches like removing your face makeup and gooey Halloween candy from your desk and you’re good to go for round one!
You hear the garage door open slowly and you’re ready to jump out of your room to see if your mom bought something delicious from Trader’s Joe. Don’t make this common mistake! Sit back and wait! She will check on her dear baby very soon. Here she is! “How are you? How was your day?” She looks at you and doesn’t understand what happened. You are tired. As soon as you lift your head, you give him that hard, distant look known as “The Look of a Thousand Yards.” “Mom, I’m very busy today. I need to prepare for the exam, which will be next week for the college essay. No, I’m not hungry. Maybe later.” I know how hard it is to say “I’m not hungry.” Pretty soon you’ll feel the spicy aroma of onions, French fries, and the sweet smell of Hickory’s smoked barbecue wings flying through the door. But you have to be strong, balanced and effective to enrich your goal. Mom whispers to Dad about your strange behavior. You hear some positive words like “she’s growing up,” “working hard,” and “on her way to college.” That is a good sign. Pat yourself on the back for these little achievements.
My little brother knocks on the door: “Why do you always close the door to your room so I can’t watch TV?” That is a rhetorical question. My seven-year-old brother doesn’t know what it means to ask rhetorical questions, but from the years that he’s lived with me under the same roof, he knows that he shouldn’t expect to receive meaningful answers to the questions he asks me. You still don’t know that today is your lucky day. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to. Sure, you can come in. Do you need help with your math homework?” In ten minutes we were both sitting on the couch with his math book. If I were an artist, I would make this picture of two brothers sitting together with a book. Their faces reflect natural inner emotions that are happy and carefree, with nothing to worry about or be overwhelmed by. Our dad watches us from a distance. My score is increasing, but I am not ready for a final push. I need some help. I am looking at the phone. Where are all my girlfriends who can chat incessantly when I really need them? Finally the phone rings. It’s Angela! Do you remember Janice from the sitcom “Friends”? If you remember her irritating voice, her heavy New York accent, her nasty laugh, and her cry of “OH – MY – GOD” then you are already familiar with my friend. I tried to stop our relationship several times, but she would always call me later without mentioning our last conversation. At some point I realized that I couldn’t get rid of her and this true meaning of FRIENDSHIP FOREVER made me accept her irritating personality disorder and even start liking her.
Angela was in the mood to talk about the birthday party she was planning to have in July. Yes, I know, it is November right now, but if you deal with Angela you must accept the topic of the conversation in the same way that you accept her. I was almost on the verge of falling asleep when I suddenly realized that I was in the last seconds of The Game. I jumped off the couch with the phone and ran into the living room. You have to hear that! “Angela, you know I have a lot of pending tasks and I don’t have a dress for the party.” She was answering me something but I didn’t pay attention to her. I made my last desperate roll of the dice and was waiting for the results. I put the phone down and moved slowly into the room. I felt warm all over and I could hear my heart beating so fast and loud that I was pretty sure my parents could hear it too. And suddenly my dad said, “Why don’t you go to this party? You can buy a dress, I’ll give you the money.”
Money, money, money … I stopped. I slowly turned my head with all my remaining dignity and replied, “Yeah, that would be nice. Thanks, Dad!” I’m ready to jump like a rabbit, fly like a bird, howl like a wolf, and roar like a tiger. I celebrate my victory by telling my brother to get out of my room as soon as possible. That’s my revenge for the stupid math homework and lost dinner. I have money and now nothing could stop me from getting my purple treasure …