Monday, June 12, 2006

rule number one: don't get caught

My sister is such a fool. You'd think that with three older siblings she'd have learned by osmosis how to successfully pull a few tricks in her teenage years. Hell, I was the trailblazer and still I managed to sneak into Georgetown bars every weekend. Of course, it was the early 90s then, before IDs had holograms, back when Georgetown was still cool. But this isn't even about bars or drinking; it's about a DVD.

Last night my father called me around dinnertime. "I need your advice on something." He sounded tired; like whatever was going on, he'd had enough of it.

"Your sister was out bopping around Bethesda with her friends last night," he said. "They decided to rent a movie. So she calls me from Blockbuster to ask what our account number is, and then she puts the cashier on the phone and the woman asks me if Steph has permission to be renting 'Sex and the City.' To which I of course I replied, 'No freakin' way.'"

I told Dad that was a good call. "It's totally inappropriate; Stephanie's just not ready for that show -- at least not unedited. I own all the DVDs and every time she asks if she can borrow one, which is often, I shoot her down."

"Well, she and her friend came home with a Blockbuster bag and when I asked what they had rented she told me it was 'Shrek 2.' Pretty innocuous, right? So I said fine, and they went down into the basement, and I went to bed. I guess it's my own fault for not looking inside the bag...

"The next morning I came downstairs to find two DVD cases sitting on the kitchen counter -- 'Sex and the City' season 3, and 'Sex and the City' season 5."

I tried to stifle a belly laugh. "So what'd you do?"

"Well, I confronted her! And she just didn't think what she'd done was a big deal. I know there needs to be some consequence, but I haven't decided yet what I'm going to do."

Oh, the irony; of all my siblings, I was the kid who smoked dope in the parking lot of the local mall. I was the one who skipped school, sneaked out, sneaked in, lied about my age and made out with 24-year-old Army boys on the Exorcist Steps when I was only 16. And now my father is asking me for disciplinary advice. (These days I'm asleep by midnight on Saturdays and sipping coffee over the New York Times by 8:00 a.m. the next day. The last thing I smoked was a piece of salmon.)

After a bit more chuckling I said, "You know, Dad, I don't know which is more disappointing -- that she committed the offense, or that she was too stupid to hide the evidence." I promised to think it over and get back to him with any ideas.

My best friend L -- wise, creative and just a little bit twisted -- is always a good consultant on matters such as these. So I asked her: If she was the parent in this situation, what would she do?

"Well, I might congratulate her for being able to talk her way into the rental after the telephone call from the store clerk. But then I'd have to chastise her for being stupid by getting caught with the contraband. Then again, I might give her kudos for having the chutzpah to flaunt those DVD cases by getting caught... I think you should make her smoke a foul cigar until she turns green. No, wait, that's for getting caught with cigarettes; never mind.

"Okay, here it is: Make her watch the DVD in front of the entire family... and... give you all a running commentary on the plot and scenes!"

Brilliant.

I shared L's ideas with my Dad. "Public humiliation it is!" he declared. "And on top of that? I think I'm going to be too busy to drive her to the DMV for that learner's permit. Like for the next few months."

21 comments:

Sweet said...

Oh man! Very funny. Thanks for sharing. I can't believe she left the evidence out. Carrie and company = a father's worst nightmare!

Washington Cube said...

Keep rewinding the scene where Carrie's diaphragm gets stuck and Samantha has to dig it out.

Anonymous said...

"My boyfriend G?"
He sure hit the spot with that analysis.

Miss Scarlet said...

Yeah not smart to get caught! She was home free, too.

How old is she? 15?

Anonymous said...

Maybe her guts deserve more credits than she was given by anybody. Leaving DVDs in the open once she saw them, could have been a statement, instead of hiding. She certainly did not behave as child who is afraid. What did she have to lose??? She will see the rest soon enough. This first taste was the best.

Maybe reading John Galsworthy’s “The Forsyth Saga” for summer reading would be a good “punishment”.

Paper Doll

Anonymous said...

I was in the blockbuster in bethesda last night and if she was "bopping" about the store sometime between 8-9 then I think I witnessed the chatter and debate on what to rent... small world...

Barbara said...

So are you feeling like the third parent or the older sister? It must be a great feeling to have your parents asking your advice. Do they know who the clever punishment idea came from?

Tober Scorpion said...

At 27, I can relate to a good slumber and even better cup in the am, but as the youngest I have to stick up for the kid. Regardless of the crime, older sibs should never get involved with the punishment. Word to the wise, if you ever want your sis to trust you as an adult, don't let her read your blog.

Shafa said...

Smoked salmon? Regular or menthol?

And your dad's method of punishment is particularly evil.

But hey, she did get caught.

robyn said...

awww the dmv thing does sound a bit harsh...

Pagan Marbury said...

That's hilarious. But S&TC probaly won't hurt her, and might prevent her from developing sexual hangups later in life. But I certainly wouldn't want to watch it with my parents!

Claire said...

Hmm. If I were her I would almost argue that her Dad told the clerk she couldn't watch it, but not her directly... except that she said Shrek 2 when she got home.

Postponing the permit for a few months does seem harsh.

Anonymous said...

Well for your info big sis....I got my permit yesterday. ;)

Phil said...

How old is your sister?

My younger brother is exactly like that. I can't count the number of times he'd be oblivious to evidence he'd leave lying aroung the house.

I especially loved hearing about parties at my folk's house and forgetting to remove empty beer bottles perched on window sils all around the house, or the time we moved a couch and found a bottle of Thunderbird underneath it.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!! Drive carefully. Go girl!

Paper Doll

KILROY_60 said...

Running about two weeks behind...GONZO GUILT!

To let you know...I included your site in posting "A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Blogosphere".

Will be looking forward to return and see how things are progressing...

I've not failed to enjoy when I've come to visit. You do a great job.

jali said...

Okay missy,

Today is 7/13. I keep checking and checking.

I WANT A NEW POST!


TYVM

Loudlush said...

From a fellow Trailblazer (oldest - by a long shot - of four girls) I salute you and your wise G. Great blog!

concha said...

there is nothing more torturous than having to watch sex scenes in front of your parents. nothing.

Anonymous said...

Thank G-d is wasn't season 3!!

"..and made out with 24-year-old Army boys on the Exorcist Steps when I was just 16." - how many boys are in boy(s)? Consecutively or concurrently? At the top or bottom of the steps (these details are important)? Those boys, it should be noted, were 50% older than you at the time. Shameful; possibly educational; almost certainly fun.

honeykbee said...

My my what an intreguingly revealing post!

Maybe your sis is smarter than everyone is giving her credit for and the S&TC boxes were actually a cover for the hardcore porn or (worse!) political documentaries she rented?