Note to self: Beware the idle adolescent mind--or maybe, beware my idle adolescent mind.
In the spirit of revealing more of my somewhat creative, somewhat dorky, teenage mind (as evidenced by the code my BFF and I used to describe "that time of the month" and all of the fun that 13-year olds can handle when realizing they've become women...), I offer you this classic tale of suspected drug use, confronting the ones you like-like, and husbands who buy fur coats for their step-daughters.
It's a typical day in my world. I am a 15-year-old sophomore who is relatively naive, angelic, athletic, academic, etc. My BFF and I are definitely partners in crime, where one goes the other follows and we sure knew how to entertain ourselves in the most innocent and endearing ways possible (picture Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, only we may have been a little cooler--or was that only in our minds?). Said BFF and I are hanging out at my house after school trying to figure out how to deal with relationship drama that she's uncovered. You see, she has this boyfriend and he's older, like a senior, like ohmygosh! And wiser... or so we thought. Just the other day, she found a can of mint chewing tobacco in his car (cue the Hollywood symphony, "dah-dah-daaaaaaaaaah!"). Whatever will we do? I mean that's like a drug, plus it's like gross, and it could like give him cancer of the mouth.
I remember in elementary school we had "how to deal with peer pressure" lessons that she and I both excelled at (because let's face it, that's just how cool we were), and I think we even toyed with the idea of employing some of the skills learned there, but somehow suggesting, "Boyfriend, you shouldn't chew tobacco. Let's go bake a cake instead," didn't seem like it would get to the root of the problem.
Now that we are older and wiser ourselves, I'm sure we would both pick the obvious solution--ask him about the can directly. Sounds simple, but hello? How do you do that and is that really the right way to go about it? We should ask a professional, someone who knows how to deal with issues and problems of this EARTHSHATTERING proportion. We should call in to the afternoon psychologist on the local talk-radio station. Yes, she'll have the answer for sure!
So we made a plan and had outlined talking points and everything. But for reasons that could have only made sense at the time, she didn't want to be the only one calling in, so if she did it, I'd need to do it too. What was I going to talk to the psychologist about? I didn't have a boyfriend, let alone a mint-tobacco-chewing-behind-my-innocent-little-back boyfriend. No, my life was pretty plain and simple. But I agreed to it anyway. Partners in crime. For heaven's sake, we were part of the gifted and talented program, we'd certainly be able to think of something.
So she calls in (on my way cool 1991 clear plastic casio phone that lit up when it rang) and gets advice on her topic. I'm sure the advice worked and it was likely just talk to him about finding the can and discuss how it makes you feel. Whatever it was, that's not what stuck with me.
Flash forward to my call. I am completely nervous and trying hard to maintain my composure. I send Angie to another room with my totally rad purple casio boom box to listen in. I need complete silence and can't have any distractions in my room. For those of you that have never called into the talk radio psychologist--seriously, who hasn't?!--your first obstacle is the screener. This person's whole job is to take down your information, hear a brief summary of your issue, and determine if it is legitimate and worthy of FCC air space. Somehow, I make it through the screening. Like I said, people, I was part of the gifted and talented program (thankfully, I used my gifts and talents for good... well, entertainment and good). At this point I'm sweating so hard and want to throw up so badly, but I know I've got a show to put on; I need to sell my story to this mainstream radio quack--and a few thousand listeners in the Denver-metro market.
I hear, "You're on the air with Dr. Whatever-her-name-is. Caller, please tell us your name and describe your situation." And in my best grown-up woman voice, named the best grown-up woman name I could think of on the spot, Judy, I begin to tell the doctor about my problem. You see, I'm married to a man whom I adore and we've had a really good relationship, until recently. He used to shower me with gifts and attention. Oh, and it's my second marriage. But lately this wonderful husband of mine has shifted his attention to my 16-year-old daughter, his step-daughter.
"What kind of attention, Judy?"
Well, he's taken her out for a couple of nice dinners, just the two of them, while I sat at home. And for her most recent birthday, he bought her a really expensive fur coat.
"Judy, that's sick. That's sick and wrong. Completely inappropriate."
But I'm not sure what to do? I mean I love him, and I love her, but I'm starting to become very jealous of her (at which point my voice starts to crack and people may think I'm about to start crying, but really I'm about to start laughing hysterically, because AM I SERIOUS? Did I seriously make up a husband and a daughter? A husband and a daughter who may be having an affair? And did I seriously have him buy her a fur coat? BECAUSE EVERY 16-YEAR-OLD WANTS A FUR COAT! You know, for those special occasions like getting mud pies at Red Robin or taking the SATs).
All I can keep thinking is, "stop asking me questions, lady. I don't know how much more I can make up." Fortunately, I was the last caller of the show so time ran out on us. But Dr. Whatever-her-name-is offered me some terse parting words, something along the lines of my husband needing help, and my daughter probably needing help too, and while the help is being doled out, I probably needed to partake in some of it myself.
Fifteen years later, I'm thinking she was probably right. I may have needed help--at least help finding something else to do that afternoon... like I don't know, baking a cake instead.