Remember the day when your kids were little and you could throw out little bluffs to them? You know the ones… “you keep your room clean for 2 weeks and you can get that puppy” or “if you don’t hit your brother the entire day, you can have 2 desserts”. You know they’ll never hit the mark, so it’s a pretty safe bet, right? You know it’s not right (especially while you’re teaching them not to tell stories) but we’ve all done it. The problem with this scenario is that kids get older and wiser at some point – they’re not going to only call your bluff but show that their hand is a full house when all you have is dead man walking.
Case in point – my house last week.
We have a set of friends who also have 3 girls pretty much the same age as ours. We’ve known them for a while and have done things on and off with them. One of the only issues that I have had with this family is the fact that they do a lot of “let’s get together and do ________” and then never follow through. No biggie – after a while, we learned this and realized that we couldn’t count on them to make solid plans. Last week ended up being a week full of this family – which was awesome since all the girls get along and last Wednesday when the dad was dropping the girls off, the following exchange took place:
Them (the 2 oldest from each family): The One Direction concert is tonight in Charlotte and we reallllllly want to go!
Him: I tell you what, you guys find cheap tickets and I will drive you down to Charlotte to see the show.
Him: Of course!!
Okay… first of all, unless you live under a rock or just don’t have teen or tween girls, this is THE concert ticket of the year. Even though they only have – like 8 songs (that all sound the same) the girls are MAD over these fellas. M was so upset with me when tickets originally went on sale and I said “no, we’re not buying tickets”. She really, really wanted to go to this show.
When the other teen’s Dad said he’d drive them if they found tickets, they didn’t realize that he was bluffing. He truly thought it was a safe thing to say because it was a sold out show AND it was a hot ticket. He highly underestimated the determination of a 13 and 14-year-old who wanted to see One Direction.
For the next 4 hours, these 2 girls scoured the internet to find cheap tickets to the One Direction show. The Rooster and I were peppered with questions (the other dad had an appointment and was completely out of reach…convenient, no?!) about if it was a good deal or not. The only thing we told M was that this was HER money being spent. If she wanted to spend that much money on a ticket, that was her business. We went back and forth with whether or not the other dad was really going to take them or if he was bluffing the whole time.
And then they hit pay dirt. They found 2 tickets on the floor for $120 a piece – they literally had hit a teenage girl’s goldmine. While this may seem like a lot for a concert ticket, it’s not unheard of. I paid $100 a piece for Miley Cyrus 5 years ago for nosebleed seats.
The Rooster and I messaged a little bit more and then we came to the conclusion that no matter what, they should go. Even if the other dad bailed on his obligation, one of us would take them because they had busted their asses to do exactly what he had told them to do. There was no way we were going to let (at least) our daughter be disappointed because someone thought bluffing would be an easy way out. He had placed the bet and now it was time to pay up. We tried to get hold of him through messages and texts to see if he was serious about taking them and then, after no response, made the executive decision to buy the tickets. Pandemonium ensued as we had two, through the roof, excited teenagers on hand.
When the dad finally returned the call, all the Rooster said was “you owe me $140 and you’re going to Charlotte”. The dad was a bit dumbfounded that they girls had actually done it but in the end, he honored his bluff and the three of them trekked down to see the show in Charlotte and in the words of my daughter…
OMG IT WAS THE BEST FREAKING NIGHT OF MY LIFE EVER!!!!!
So, dear parents… watch those little white lies and bluffs because one day… your kids are going to call your bluff.
And raise you twenty.