“No parties while I'm gone."
I imagine that nine out of 10 times, those words are spoken after the invites have already been Facebooked and texted and the address has been tweeted.
An unsupervised high school house party. Drinking, girl drama, boyfriend drama, vomiting and cleaning up a trashed house? At 37, I'll pass.
But at 17? They don't know.
So, they proceed with plans to throw the party just minutes after the parental units ask them not to. Mom and dad barely get out of the subdivision before they start moving the furniture.
They're naive enough to believe that not only will their friends respect their home, the party will be limited to those invited.
Poor things. Listen up kids. This is how it really goes.
People will find out and some 70-plus kids that you don't even know — even "kids" who graduated four years ago — will show up wanting to know "Is this the house to have a good time?"
Someone will bring alcohol. Someone else will bring marijuana. If you're lucky, that's all they will bring.
Around 2:30 a.m., you, or one of your besties, will wonder if this was really a good idea. Someone having a great time will inevitably utter the words, "Of course it is. Look around. It's a success." It will be a sad attempt to rid you of those undesirable second thoughts and convince you to keep it going.
If the cops don't arrive to break up the festivities, someone who cares enough about you, or your parents, will ask people to leave. The damage will begin to sink in.
Beer bottles, cans and cigarette butts will dot the yard, maybe even the house. Furniture will be damaged. Patio furniture will be bent. You'll notice someone consumed the alcohol hidden in the garage. A broken mirror will sit in one room, and a full 52-ounce Big Gulp will be splattered in the middle of the living room.
The remainder of the once-cream-colored carpet looks grayish black. Oh, and someone threw up in your bed.
Panic will set in. There's no way to make the house look as it did before the party. Mom will be home in the early afternoon. Does fear kick in? Or denial?
"We didn't have a party. Just a few friends came over and we spilled a glass of sweet tea on the carpet."
It's not difficult in this day and age to find the evidence plastered all over Twitter and Instagram.
The betrayal felt by your parents is indescribable. And the nonchalant attitude you teenagers exhibit will infuriate. The consequences to this party will run deeper than the stain on the carpet.
And truthfully, the feeling of betrayal and the loss of trust will be placed on the back burner.
What you failed to realize is your parents don't own the home you live in. It's a privilege given by the landlord to live there. And if the neighbors complain, you can be denied renewing your lease, or worse, evicted.
One of those kids could have jumped from the top of the shed, believed he could fly after guzzling too much beer. He could sue the family for every penny.
One kid could have driven others home drunk, killed a family coming from Novemberfest — and killed the friends in their car.
As parents, we fully recognize that you teenagers aren't cognizant of these consequences. It's the main reason we said no parties. It wasn't to ruin your social life and make you miserable.
We know you think the party was worth it. We just want to make sure the punishment is, too.
For now, you will just have to be cognizant of what it's like to reside in the four walls of said party home, without a cellphone, laptop and company.
In the end, the party doesn't sit well with the parents and the punishment doesn't agree with the kids. But neither act reduces the love. It's just the consequences of being in a parent-child relationship.
Party on, kids.
Heather Tempesta is a Brandon single mother of two sons, 17 and 10, and a daughter, 15.