I already mentioned that during the...Minor Meteorological Mishap...we experienced last weekend (isn't that what official weather people call such things? Well, they should. Ooh, maybe I'll patent it first, so I can rake in some money on botched predictions! Wait, where was I? Sorry...) I discovered my children's unfortunate lack of appropriate Winter gear.
This motivated me to go ahead and do my semi-regular check of the rest of their wardrobe, to identify items that appeared to be either...overly ragged...or too small. Riley happened to be in his room when I arrived to examine his clothes, and the only thing we jointly singled out was a sweatshirt that had gotten too tight. Derek, however, wasn't around when I ransacked--um "inspected" his apparel...and surreptitiously removed a couple of t-shirts. I might have gotten away with it for a while too--if I hadn't neatly stacked the remaining ones when returning them to his dresser, rather than wadding them up and stuffing them back in like he does when he puts away his laundry. My mistake...
So later that day, he came looking for me in the Bonus Room, where I was just finishing up a workout on the stationary bike. After he had confirmed I was indeed done, he fixed me with a very serious look and began sternly, "We have to talk." (Oh, boy...this doesn't sound good at all. Is he going to warn me about a bad grade he's received? Tell me something he got in trouble for at school? Ask a (gulp) question about...girls? Yikes! Right, he's waiting for me to respond...) "Sure. Go ahead," I said, trying to disguise my trepidation while matching his solemn tone (and bracing myself for the worst--yeah, that would definitely be "female issues", in case you're wondering).
With what could only be deemed an expression of utmost grimness, he inquired, "Did you throw away my Superman shirt?"(OHHHHHHHH! Yeah, who didn't see that coming? Besides me, of course....never mind...) I struggled to conceal my guilty countenance as I muttered, "Not exactly...I put it in the donation bag." He retorted--with an abundance of outraged indignation--"MOM!" But before he could get rolling on the head of steam he was clearly building up for an epic rant, I interrupted firmly, "The logo was cracking and peeling--it was time!"
Apparently, my logic left him entirely unconvinced as he parried, "But that's my favorite shirt!" He whacked the futon for added emphasis, using the wet towel he was still carrying from his recent shower...yet there was an unmistakable telltale twinkle in his eye nonetheless...as though he was thoroughly enjoying this little staged temper tantrum. Carrying on the charade that we were actually arguing heatedly about this, I countered with the irrefutable statement, "Shirts wear out, dude. You can get another one. You'll be FINE."
If I thought that was the last word, though, I was gravely mistaken. He wasn't ready to let it go just yet: "That's my go-to Friday shirt. I spent 10 minutes (a mighty exaggeration, given that he has exactly ONE drawer for tee-shirts) rooting around in the....pile of FOLDED stuff (like that made it ever so much more difficult for him to locate anything...classic Male Reasoning, for ya) and couldn't find it. Now I have to wear...something else." In my head, I'm thinking, in drippingly sarcastic mode, "Oh...the horror." But what I actually conveyed was the much more positive and constructive: "You have a birthday coming up, perhaps you can ask for a new one."
That seemed (temporarily) effective as a distraction tactic, since he brightly commented, "Yeah, I already know which one I want!" Then, as if suddenly remembering he was supposed to be maintaining a facade of righteous anger, he added, "But you have some serious making-up to do for the next 2-1/2 months!" At this point I just couldn't help myself, and I retorted, "Oh, reeeaaally? To repair our very damaged relationship?" He'd worked up some enthusiasm for his topic, evidently, as he agreed,"Yes! A LOT of making up!"
Ay yi yi. I wasn't getting anywhere, so I decided to throw him a bone. I sighed and admitted, "You know, I haven't actually taken it to the thrift store yet. You could walk a couple of feet to the closet in the spare bedroom, pick it out of the bag, and wear it tomorrow." And you know what? The big goofball turned to walk away, clearly having exhausted his ability to continue a mock-tirade in... approximately 3 minutes, He shrugged and threw his parting shot over his shoulder as he exited, "Nah. Too much work."
Aaarrrrrghhh! Trust me, if I'd had anything handy to throw at his retreating back, I would have. On the other hand, I must say: Bravo, son. Very convincing impression of a Teenage Drama Queen. Fortunately, his episodes are much more entertaining than traumatic...and on the plus side, I suppose I know at least one thing he wants for his birthday, now...