This One Time…With A Ruler

I hated a lot of things about the adults in my life, but what I hated most was their need to exert power and control over me when I could TAKE CARE OF MYSELF JUST FINE!

They treated me like a child. They told me what to do. They made me babysit and do my homework and get off the phone and turn off the TV and worst of all? They made me CLEAN.

It was like…the worst.

This one time my step dad Bob was all, “The basement is a mess. You kids need to turn off the TV and clean this up now…”

And we all kind of looked at him and rolled our eyes because DUH, we were in the middle of the show and DUH AGAIN…stop telling us what to do.

When he came back downstairs to check on us and saw that nary a one of us had moved from our TV watching positions on the couch he was all, “The TV goes off NOW…clean!”

And so in slow motion I rolled myself off the couch and in slow motion I reached for the closest object and in slow motion I inspected the object and in slow motion I crawled to the nearest shelf and in slow motion I placed the object on the shelf.

As I moved in slow motion Bob’s level of anger also grew in slow motion and when I slowly crawled to the next object he grabbed a nearby ruler and raised it over his head and in a fit of rage yelled, “GOSH DARNIT KATHY, GET UP AND CLEAN!!”

But instead of being afraid upon seeing the weapon raised as if to strike, I covered my face in a dramatic fashion, much like a character you might see in a Lifetime movie and cried, “Oh Bob no!! Not the 12 incher!! Anything but the 12 incher!!!”

Because I mean really, was this man seriously considering striking me with a ruler? What we had here was proof that an obnoxious, smart mouthed teen had the capacity to drive a sweet-hearted man to the brink of crazy.

I was lucky he didn’t whack me across the head with it.

I want to go back and whack my own self across the head with it.

But he didn’t. He dropped the ruler and walked away…chuckling.

“Not the 12 incher!! Anything by the 12 incher!!” has been a family joke ever since.

And I’m still a slow motion cleaner.


  1. says

    hmmm someone watch a little too much Mommy dearest?? or Rocky Horror Picture?? Too funny but a quick way to diffuse his frustration. I am a quick cleaner. I can’t stand for someone to drag stuff out you know like my kids or Gene.. drives me batty..

  2. says

    Oh I dread those days when our kids have that kind of attitude with a capital A!!! You lucky girl/teenager…. I want to come over and slap you with that 12 incher too!! This Bob was an angel… :) I could picture the entire scene… in every home in America.

  3. Erin white says

    I live Bob’s life everyday … Except I lack Bob’s humor and that probably is the best lesson I can take from this :) I gather that Bob is still part of your life…give him a big hug.. Being a step parent of a teenage is a thankless job! Thanks for sharing!

  4. says

    LOL! I am not sure I would have had the sense of humor that your stepdad had! But I can say that I am NOT looking forward to the mouthy teenage stage because if my girls are anything like me I am not sure I will survive as their mom!
    As for cleaning….well,….that seems to get done on a rather random basis around here. Take those cobwebs up there for example…maybe by next year they will be gone. Maybe they will be bigger and scarier….I like to think of it as a guessing game!

  5. says

    I have a mouthy, slow-motioned teen and I wish he had your sense of humor because then maybe my anger would turn to laughter. And btw, I only get mad about the cleaning because I am the slowest-motion cleaner ever and I am more mad because I passed down that trait. I was hoping that I’d give birth to a bunch of speed cleaners so I would never have to do it again.