Monday, November 3, 2008

Payback: “Just wait until you’re a parent…”

What goes around comes around.

I gave my own parents a fair amount of grief, often on purpose, and often for fun. I remember once asking my father, “Hey Dad, can I have a sip of your bear?” He was reading the paper after a hard day’s work, and he didn’t reply. He just looked at me suspiciously.

I proceeded to pick up his 12-ounce can of Golden Grain and proceeded to drain the 8 or 10 ounces that were left in it.

He turned and said, “Hmmm. Something tells me that’s not the first beer you’ve ever had.”

I just smiled.

That was probably 35 years or so ago, but I think my own daughter returned the favor for my dad on Halloween night.

Danielle called me on her cell around 7 PM as she was driving with a friend towards Sacramento. I had last heard from her a week before when her cell phone had gone dead as she was taking the train north toward Grass Valley, California. Her phone died mid-call, and I hoped over the next few days that she hadn’t.

I guessed and hoped that she’d lost her phone or charger as I tried unsuccessfully over the next few days to casually check on her status: dead or alive? She’s been away at college for several years, so I’m used to not obsessing over these gaps of contact, but I was still concerned. This behavior, I’m sure, is part of the parental payback I deserved, but she wasn’t done yet.

When she called, I was at first glad she was alive. (She had misplaced her charger.) I was glad to help her pass the time driving. She and a friend were heading back towards Santa Cruz, but had plans to party with friends in Sacramento. We talked for 5 or 10 minutes before she wrapped up the conversation with more parental payback. “Well Dad, it was good talkin’ to you. I just wanted to call to say, ‘Hi,’ and to let you know I’m planning on drinking too much and making some bad decisions tonight. Gotta run! Bye!” And the phone went dead.

Karma’s a bitch. Ain’t it? (I don’t know where she gets this twisted sense of humor: must be from her mother.)

1 comment:

  1. If I did any of those things to either of my parents I'd be six feet under. The. End.