The seconds ticked by before I gave the only possible response.
“Because I said so.”
I hate to be cliché. But sometimes it is necessary, especially when arguing with a teenager over where she can and cannot go, especially a teenager whose gift of cross-examination would make Clarence Darrow’s performance at the Scopes Trial look like something on “Hee-Haw.”
I am actually smarter than a teenager, having survived being one. But in the midst of such a heated conversation, it can be like a scene from “And the Band Played On,” when all those doctors from the CDC are trying to figure out what causes AIDS … “What do we think? What do we know? What can we prove?”
This particular disagreement was being led by My Lovely Wife, who’s brilliant in such situations. She doesn’t get flustered, and she lays out her reasons for the unpopular decision is a very calm, concise manner.
I, on the other hand, just start talking and hope that a valid point tumbles out amidst my ramblings.
But there are times when even My Lovely Wife must resort to the dreaded “…because I said so,” simply because some decisions are based on instinct, sort of like that creepy kid from “The Sixth Sense,” only we don’t see dead people, we see … uh … hogwash.
We trust The Diva. I say that without irony. But there are times when we just get this feeling that the plans she’s laying out aren’t the whole story. It’s like watching “Body Heat” on TBS; the plot’s the same, but all the good parts have been edited out.
Raising a teenager, especially a teenaged girl, often means saving them from themselves. Their brains aren’t functioning properly, and their decision-making ability tends to go all wonky.
I love The Diva, and can’t wait to see what she grows up to be. But ensuring that she greets her future safe and sound means that My Lovely Wife and I must make unpopular decisions.
When our Parent-Sense starts to tingle, all we can do is trust it and let the temper-tantrum rubble fall where it may.
When it comes to freedom and whom their kids hang out with, parents of teenagers are like FBI profilers, making judgments based on character and previous experience. Sure, the creepy, 49-year-old dude who still lives with his domineering mother, burned ants with a magnifying glass as a kid and wet his bed until college might not be a serial killer, but on the other hand …
Same goes for The Diva and her friends. Sure, the guy who looks like Shaggy from “Scooby-Doo” might have a heart of gold, and the “psycho-girl” may be really sweet “once you get to know her,” but our shared Parent-Sense warns My Lovely Wife and me about danger ahead.
So the answer is no. Because we said so.
Contact Brett Buckner at email@example.com