Here are her reasons for seeing me through Dante-colored glasses:
- A required early-rising accompanied by a trip to the local laundry mat. Our washing machine is broken so this morning I had to wake her up at 8:00, which I'm being told is rather ungodly for a 17 year old. By then, I had been awake for two hours, dressed and fed two kids, made three beds and threw back two cups of coffee; one hot, one cold.
- My refusal to pay for her ever-increasing nicotine habit. So there we are, my lovely daughter and I, sitting at the plastic table outside the laundry mat. Except I'm the only one actually sitting. She's slumped over the table, head in the crook of her elbow, hood covering half of her face, her hair covering the rest. She looks more like a heroin addict than a six-month smoker without a cigarette. At least that's what the looks from the people passing by is telling me. Poor thing. Cruel mother. Whatever.
- My total and complete stupidity for not understanding why she should be able to move out before she's 18. She explains with the urgency of a young woman on a ledge ready to spread her wings and just fly. Everything-Will-Be-Fine and What-Could-Possibly-Happen and Come-On-Mom-Just-Think-About-It! She's almost convincing. She really is only two months from 18. But my daughter has no job, no car, no money and no hopes of me being the endless pit that provides it all. Plus, she's not looking to stay here in Nevada. Her urge to fly will be taking her all the way back to San Francisco to stay with a friend. Once she's 18, I won't be able to make her stay of course. Those life decisions will be hers alone as will the consequences that come tied nicely to them. So that gives me just two more months to torment her and what mother doesn't want that. Maybe I'm the Devil after all.