You know that feeling you get when you WISH you had the right words in a given situation, but they don't come to you until after the fact? Right about the time when whoever or whatever has "gotten your goat" is long gone, possibly even smirking at your expense? Well Miss Not-So-Quick-On-Her-Toes here gets this feeling a little too often--and not just when I'm trying to reason with my teenagers! Maybe that's one reason I enjoy writing. I can take as long as I want to formulate the best response, the most argument-stopping dialogue if I have a moment or two to sift through the piles of such stuff stored (not so neatly) in my head.
Though being tongue-tied is a regular occurrence for me, getting upset enough for confrontation is rare. But listen to this.
Wednesday night, a little before 9:00 P.M. I got a call from a soliciter who wanted to talk to my 15-year-old son. "No way," I'm thinking, so I asked him what it was regarding. He said he wanted to pay him $75 to test out video games on Saturday. Now granted, I was a little on the peaved side to be getting a call like this in the evening when I want the rest of the day to myself and when I automatically assume any calls I get will be from people I actually want to talk to. So I may not have been my most patient self, but considering the fact that I'd rather have Christopher do actual work if he's going to get paid for something, and the fact that I'd have little or no say over what video games he was testing out, and the fact that he doesn't need a reason to play more video games, I gave a polite but resounding "no thank you." There was a pause at the other end of the phone, and I could tell the guy was thinking--"What right do you have to make that decision."
A few minutes later I got a call from my friend, who'd given him our name but told him not to call so late. Apparently he had called her back and asked if there was a way to get around me because I had "shut him down." She told him very politely that he should not bother us anymore because it was obvious that it wasn't something we were interested in and that my son was a minor and his parents would ultimately make that decision. We chatted for a few minutes and sort of laughed about his persistence and his sneakiness by calling my friend. I thought that would be the end of it.
The next night at 6:00 P.M., dinner hour, we got a phone call, and this time my son picked up. I could tell the call was for him, which was unusual since his friends always call him on his cell phone. Immediately I thought it might be the same person who'd called the night before but then dismissed the idea. I mean who's that brazen? I listened with half my attention while I continued to make dinner, but I could tell almost immediately it was the same person, and my son was really getting excited about what he was hearing. Finally after a few moments I looked over at my son and gave him this knowing-mother-look thing that if he weren't such a great kid he probably would've wanted to roll his eyes at.
"You're not going," I said sweetly, though my blood was about as boiling as the water for the rice I was preparing. At this point it probably wouldn't have mattered if the guy was completely legitimate and quadrupeling his offer. I was too angry. The NERVE!
"What?" he mouthed, confused.
"I talked with this person last night and specifically told him we wouldn't be interested, and I'm appalled he would call back and try to get around me."
I thought Christopher would've let the conversation take its normal course and then politely hang up with a non-committal response, but he surprised me by telling the guy what I said. I found out later that the man stumbled out a response that he thought Christopher was old enough to drive and could therefore come on his own.
Can you believe that?
So did I overreact? Or is that guy a creep and his "deal" a little too good to be true? What do you think? I'm dying to know.
3 months ago