Jewish World Review March 31, 2002 / 18 Nisan, 5762

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

Mom and Dad Break Curfew | My husband and I thought we were too old for a curfew. Apparently we were wrong. We came in late last Friday night and faced the third degree. We walked in the house and, without so much as glancing up from his laptop computer, our son said, "Do you know what time it is?"

"Almost 11:30," I said.

"Aren't you usually in bed by 10:30?" he asked.

I was just about to say sometimes we get wild and crazy and stay up for Leno, when one of our daughters walked in and said, "Hey! What are Mom and Dad still doing up?"

"It's OK" my husband said. "Neither of us have had a bedtime since the 1960s."

"Well, where have you been?" she asked.

We subscribe to two stodgy news magazines, get the oil changed in the car every 3,000 miles, have been homeowners for 20 years, pay the bulk of their car insurance premiums and they're demanding to know where we've been? Oh, fine.

"We went to a drive-in movie," I said with a wink.

"That is so gross, Mom! Where were you really?"

"All right, we went to a lecture and then we went out with friends."

"Where? What lecture? What did you do with your friends? What friends?" our daughter asked.

"What is this, Twenty Questions?" I retort.

"You don't have to get snippy," she said. "You know you do live under our roof."

"Do you want to know who we were with so you can call their parents to make sure we're telling the truth?" My husband and I start laughing at the thought when our son clears his throat and says, "If you can produce a program from the lecture or a napkin from the restaurant, maybe we won't have to."

"OK, all right. After the lecture we went to one of those trendy little spots where out-of-work ad copy people write the menu. "I had a 'pita smoldering with smoked onions' and your father had a 'kicky quesadilla with mushrooms marinated in madeira.'" We both start laughing again when our daughter puts her hand on her hip and says, "Have you two been drinking?"

"Yes, we have," my husband said. "I had an iced tea with lemon and your mother had two Diet Cokes." For a minute I thought my son was going to make us lean over close and say, "Hello, Harold," like we've been known to do to him.

"Hey, it's not like we have a curfew," I said. "You, however do have a curfew. Remember the time you broke curfew by two hours and your dad and I were waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs in the front hall with the lights out? You opened the door real quiet like, then we said hello and you fell over backward."

"Don't try to change the subject," he snapped. "This isn't about me. This is about you and Dad and some basic consideration. Would it hurt you to call home and check in? Would it kill you to take a little responsibility for your actions? Can you break outside your little world and think of others? Another five minutes and I was ready to call every Bingo parlor in town."

"You don't need to worry," I said. "We're sorry we didn't leave a note but we didn't know we were going to be out this late."

"Maybe you should just go to your room," our daughter said.

"Maybe we should. I'm getting sleepy."

As we walked away I heard one of them say, "Do you think they're telling the whole story? Maybe next time we should follow them."

JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here.

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© 2001, Lori Borgman