Sunday, January 25, 2009


It all started with a shoe.

My peaceful day ended up tattered and torn and flung to the four winds.

Her Majesty is what some may call a shoe-a-holic. Not terribly uncommon for a 17 year old girl. Although she and I wear the same size, our tastes in shoes differ somewhat so typically she and I don't have issues with borrowing shoes from one another. Her youngest sister, on the other hand, shares the same taste in shoes with Her Majesty and since the youngster does on occasion borrow (and I use that term loosely...borrowing would indicate that some semblance of permission was sought and granted) Her Majesty's shoes, issues arise.

The extent of the "borrowing" is not limited to shoes. It also extends to clothes, jewelry, hair accessories, perfume and outerwear. But shoes are what brings me to the end of my rapidly fraying rope today.

It was a pair of brand new, stark white Vans. I don't know if you are familiar with these, but they are basically a pair of canvas slip on tennis shoes with a label that makes them a little more special and a lot more expensive than the exact same shoe you could buy for less than $15 at Payless. Now why anyone would think that a pair of stark white canvas shoes would remain stark white for more than 28 seconds is beyond me but Her Majesty insisted that it could be done. This particular pair of shoes was her second pair. She had to replace the last ones because, to no one's surprise, they got dirty. Since the youngster doesn't have a job or an indulgent boyfriend with a job as Her Majesty does, she doesn't have over 30 pairs of "everyday" shoes like Her Majesty does. Her Majesty was kind enough to let the youngster have the "dirty" shoes. This weekend, the youngster, her "nice" sister and several friends went to a controlled rave. While she was getting ready, I assume she couldn't find the dirty white shoes so she took it upon herself go into Her Majesty's room to acquire a suitable replacement. At this point she absconded with the New Still Stark White Shoes. I was blissfully unaware that she had set the wheels in motions to bring Armageddon down on my peaceful Sunday afternoon.


Her Majesty, in keeping with her typical Sunday evening behavior, went to the basement, threw whoever's clothes that were in the washer and dryer into a basket so she could do her own laundry. This is when the FIT HIT THE SHAN. She noticed that the New shoes were in the load coming out of the dryer. Then she noticed the neon yellow stain that has desecrated the holy shoe and she realized at this point that they had been washed and dried essentially heat sealing the stain into the New Not Nearly Stark White Shoe.

Screaming, cussing and overall fit throwing ensued. The only positive thing about the whole experience is that the youngster was at the mall with friends, completely unaware that her secret, but still feeble, attempt to cover up the evidence had failed miserably. I'm not sure that I would have been able to protect my child from my other child in that instance of overwhelming and immediate rage that seem to completely overtake and envelop Her Majesty at the discovery of her ruined shoe.

To be truthful I was quite impressed at the depth of profanity she has reached in such a short time. I didn't know she knew so many ways to use the word Fuck. Now I know as a mother I should have been horrified at the language my child was using but since I have raised the use of profanity to an art form myself, I couldn't help but feel a little pride that some of my skill had unbeknownst been handed down to the next generation. Until she turned her venom on me.

In Her Majesty's opinion, I should replace the defiled Tuesday. Because apparently they are the only shoes she owns that will pull the outfit she plans on wearing Tuesday together. She started to scream at me about how I needed to control my child. She was speaking of the youngster of course, clearly she didn't think at this point that she had lost control. After the room stopped spinning and I regained control over my own temper, the shouting match ensued. She screamed at me. Clearly I was the youngsters proxy in this battle. And truth be told, I was okay with that. I can hold my own with a smart mouth teenager, I promise you that. She slung insults, directed at the youngster for not only "stealing" her shoes but at me for allowing it. I had to admit at one point that she was indeed correct that the youngster should have asked permission. Other than that, I plead ignorance of the crime and did not accept any blame. This was not an excuse that Her Majesty was willing to accept at this point. More screaming ensued with more insults slung at me and my child rearing skills. Obviously I have failed, but never mind that now.

I have a detached garage at my house. Its a good 20 yards from the house.This is Big Sexy's man cave. He heard the commotion from the cave. Like any good man, he waited for at least 5 minutes to see if the fight was going to peter out on its own before he felt compelled to come in and break up the melee. He was concerned that the neighbors may call the law. I didn't realize that Her Majesty or myself were at the volume we were at but clearly she and I are cut from the same cloth. We both come from the school of arguing that says that she who yells the loudest and the longest wins. We're both warriors so when Big Sexy emerged from the kitchen, the decibel level was off the charts. I like to think that both me and my spawn, genetically bound to a long line of loud people, can yell louder than any two people in the world. She's a cheerleader for heavens sake so she has actually parlayed her talent into a use for good instead of evil. Well I thought we were loud. Turns out Big Sexy is louder than both of us....combined. I guess I knew this already. He's been a football coach for 17 years and I've heard him yell at full volume plenty of times. Until today, that volume has not reached it's full potential when directed toward me. Picture it if you will. All three of us are now yelling at full voice. She's still yelling about the youngster, I'm yelling at her to quit yelling and he's yelling at both of us the Shut the hell up. Doors were slammed, names were called, tears were slung. It was chaos. Finally after a few half-hearted attempts to draw me back into the "shoes must be replaced by Tuesday" argument, everyone went off to their corners to rest and reboot.

Problem is, the youngster is still not home and I'm afraid that the still tense but reletively quiet atmosphere in the house that is balanced on a razor edge will tilt and become a free for all again when she finally does arrive home. I know she is aware of the wrath of Her Majesty awaiting her. In the midst of the battle earlier, some phone calls were made, texts sent and voice mails were left. I'm sure she is trying to find something to fill the minutes until she absolutely must return to meet her untimely demise. I feel kind of bad for her really, but not that bad. She spilled red Kool-Aid on my brand new Beige sofa not too long ago so I kind of feel like she has it coming.

So much for a restful Sunday. Maybe next weekend will be better. Her Majesty has made solid plans to put a padlock on her bedroom door. Who would think a mere shoe could cause so much conflict.


tara! said...

u could change the day, and the place to casa de andrews, and substitute belt/shirt/jacket/earrings and this would be my house. thank goodness i am not alone in the fight! dont you just love how eventually, the blame always comes back to mom? on kylies 18th birthday, u and i must get SMASHED to celebrate our survival of the teenage years of 7 kids....thats assuming we actually survive....

Fancy Schmancy said...

See, I knew you had something to post about that involved your darling children! As the youngest watching my 3 older sisters literally fist-fight over who got to wear the "good outfit" that day, I'm so glad I only have one, and it's a boy.

Vodka Mom said...

are things better now?