I had the craziest conversation for over 45 minutes last night with someone I had never met. The first text asked me when I was going to pick up my son. I didn’t recognize the number so I responded with, “I don’t know who you are and my son is home with me.” This person told me her name was “Jenna” and to quit messing around and that I was supposed to pick my son up two hours ago and he was driving her insane. My younger daughter and I were having fun with it and I responded that I if she wanted the boy picked up she should recheck the number and send the text to the right person. She proceeded to insist that I was messing around and to come pick up my son.
This went on for a while. We went back and forth with her accusing me of being coy and me trying to convince her that I wasn’t “Olivia.” At one point, I even considered getting her address and picking up Olivia’s son just so she’d quit texting me.
I had actually wondered if it was one of my kids’ friends or a niece or nephew joking with me because it was so crazy that this lady just wasn’t getting it. Finally I gave up and decided not to answer any more texts (even though my younger daughter and I were cracking up and having fun with it).
I had planned on writing a blog this morning and relaying the whole conversation because it was quite comical and it reminded me of a conversation one of my sisters and I might have if one of us was acting silly and being difficult. Actually, it was far too much like that. And now. . .the rest of the story.
Most people don’t like to be fooled. In some people it evokes feelings of weakness and foolishness. And as strange as it sounds, it can even make people feel subordinate or submissive to the offender. It especially stinks when that person is your thirteen year old daughter. And after the lengthy text conversation, she finally admitted it had been her the whole time. I hadn’t recognized the number because it was from her ipod and I didn’t have that number programmed into my phone.
Last night I was mad. I can take it most of the time, but there was a certain feeling of, “Oh my goodness, she has arrived,” that I experienced last night. At some point she went from silly, made up jokes to full-fledged pranks. It was hard enough with just my husband and son, but now my daughter too? Oh boy. After a semi-good night’s sleep, I’m torn between being miffed that she kept it going so long (Even after I asked her point blank if it was her and she said, “no.” We had a talk about lying still being lying if your mom asks you something flat out-even if it’s in the midst of a joke.) and being impressed with her creativity and ability to keep it together while asking what the person was texting.
I’d like to blame my husband. He likes to aggravate people just to see their reactions. You would think after about 20 years of being together I would have learned to let it roll off my back, but instead of trying to learn to do that, I have been hoping all of these years that he would just stop. “How’s that working out for you?” you ask? Not well. Not only does he still do it, but I now have two teens who also think it’s a blast to poke and poke and poke and poke.
So I said that I’d like to blame my husband for it. However, while we may have different styles, I also like to joke. While his is more blatant and in your face, mine is at times much more subtle. My favorite poison is sarcasm-you know the kind where people aren’t really sure if you’re being serious or not. My friends and family obviously know most of the time that I am being sarcastic, but it doesn’t always bode well with people who don’t know me, and it can be hard to turn the button off. It really runs in the family. It trickles down from my maternal grandpa-maybe further-I never met his father.
So my children have been “blessed” with both kinds of “humor.” I should begin praying for their future families now.
The crux of all this “playing around” is that it can be difficult to know when to quit. Mama helps them decide this. And it varies from day to day, depending on my mood. So really, I am teaching them to read people’s cues to know when they’ve had enough before it gets ugly. Needless to say, it’s not often boring at our house, but it takes some tough skin to be here very long.