I think maybe some anger management classes!
Conversations with teenagers not going well here, and poor Sunshine felt the need to slam the door on her way to school, because we, The Man and I, are ‘ruining her life’. Yep ruining it.
She has been invited to a nabe party. Nabe is where you cook various ingredients in one pot, and everyone sits around a low table chatting, cooking and eating.
Nothing wrong with that. we do it all the time in the winter with friends.
‘Nabe party’ might be just that, a nabe party, but it might also be a euphemism for unsupervised piss-up, I do not know. I know when I was a teenager it meant unsupervised piss-up, and I don’t want to project my own mis-spent youth on my daughter, who is of a different time a different culture and is in fact an entirely different person, but the concept of a teenager lying to a parent isn’t too much of a stretch is it?
‘When is it?’
‘We’ll all meet up straight after school.’
‘ Where is it?’
‘ Near Saidaiji’ ( that’s on the way home from school)
‘Whose party is it?’
‘ A girl I work with, all the girls from work are going.’
‘ What girl?’
‘ I’ve never heard of her.’
‘I’m always talking about her.’
‘What school does she go to?’
‘She doesn’t, she’s finished school, she works full-time’.
‘ How old is she?’
‘ I’m just wondering.’
‘ Are the other girls all coming back on the same train afterwards.’
‘No, we’re all going to stay the night.’
‘Stay the night where?’
‘ At Hara-san’s house’
‘ Oh, no, sorry love, you can’t stay there, we don’t know anything about her. You can go to the party, but be back by 9.30 and I’ll pick you up at the station.’
‘There’s no point.’
‘why is there no point?’
‘Because I’ll have to leave at 8, it wont get started till 7.’
” Why will you have to leave at 8, you can leave at 9 and get back from Saidaiji in time.’
‘It’s quite far from Saidaiji.’
‘I thought you said it’s ‘just near’ Saidaiji.’
‘Well it is, it’s quite near, but it’s quite far too, and there might not be many trains at night.’
‘ Sorry but, if you go you need to be back by 9.30.’
‘But everyone else is staying over, we’re all going to go to work together on Saturday morning.’
‘I understand that, but sorry we can’t let you stay God knows where, with God knows who.
Just tell her you can go to the party but you can’t stay over.’
‘But she made it a sleep-over because of me, because I’m the only one who isn’t allowed to stay out late.’
‘That was nice of her, but we don’t know her, so it’ll have to be 9.30 home or nothing. That’s my final answer.’
‘ But if I don’t go, they’ll just say, let’s cancel it then, then no one can enjoy themselves, because of YOU.’
‘You CAN GO, ( voice beginning to rise a little), you just can’t stay. That’s it HONEY!
‘You don’t know how it feels to be me, always ruining the fun for everyone.’
‘I appreciate that, but you can’t know how it feels to be me, wondering where my daughter is.”
‘I told you where I’ll be.’
‘Yes you did, somewhere, near to, yet, simultaneously, far from , Saidaiji. Sorry it’s a ‘no’. Not this time.’
‘You always say ‘no’. I’m never allowed to do anything, I’m always the only one who can’t go to things.’
‘I’m sorry you feel that way.’
‘You’re not sorry, if you were sorry you’d let me go. You’re ruining my life.’
SLAM of door, Sunshine exits stage left.
DORIS enters stage right.
‘That went well.’
Thank you Doris for your support, observe, takes notes, we’ll be having the same conversation in 4 years and my answers will all be the same.
2 hours later, The Man returns. He is far less emotional than my goodself. Let’s ask him.
‘Sunshine wants to go to a nabe party on Friday with the girls from work, they’re all planning to stay over at someone’s house’.
‘Someone she works with.’
‘Do we know her?’
‘No frickin way.’
‘Is that your final answer?’