19 year old step-son threw party while we vacationed. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
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And I am sooo upset! We got home and things just looked too clean. I did some further investigating and confirmed that a party was had. He was told explicitly not to have anyone in the house because the last time we went away, he had a party when he was told he could have one friend stay over! I am at my wit's end! Unless it directly concerns me, I do not discuss issues with him, I will go through his father and his father deals with him. However, this is MY HOUSE TOO! The boy is currently out of town on a seasonal contract so he only comes home weekends. He does not yet know that we know about the party. I would like to really be involved in this conversation. I told DH, "That's it, we take the house key from him and next time we are out of town, he can stay at his mothers". I am getting so frustrated with how DH has been handling even the small issues, his boy just does not respect anything...I'm really having a hard time here as I feel like I am dealing with the parent, and the child!!
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#2 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:17 PM
 
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I'm sorry, on the bright side at least he did clean up and nothing was broken. Not sure on how you should handle it, but just remember when you were 19.
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#3 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Starr
...but just remember when you were 19.
I just knew somebody was going to throw that comment in.
I am really upset right now and am looking for ways of dealing with this, not "well look what you did when you were a teen"...if I got caught for drug smuggling at 19, and now so does he, does that make it acceptable? This is not a basis to defend this subject. This is not the only incidence of disrespecting our rules. He is relativley a very good boy, for crying out loud I had introduced him to my neice whom he dated for a year, I don't have a problem with him as a person. He's an adult now, and I'm really getting tired of the lack of respect. And by the way...I never said nothing was broken, and our liquor cabinet has been partially emptied. I'm not about to go into the gorry details, I think enough has been said, he invited ppl over when he was asked/told not to, that's enough is it not?
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#4 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:26 PM
 
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That sucks. I understand why you're angry. It's your home, and he disrespected it. I guess that's the last time he'll be staying there without you.
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#5 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:27 PM
 
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I might get flamed for this but at 19 I think this falls into the: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." catagory of life. He has not proven you cannot trust him. There shouldn't be a third time. Either you don't leave him alone in your home or he finds a new home. At this point in time he is to immature to trust.
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#6 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:33 PM
 
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Does he contribute monetarily or with work on upkeep to the house? If so, a certain amount of negotiation for allowing him to have friends over might be a good idea. He is over 18, after all, and working. (I don't know any background, mind you. Haven't run a search to see if you've posted things about your relationship with him and his father before.)

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#7 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:34 PM
 
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I don't have teens but I was a teen not that long ago. My grandparents raised me and after I turned 18 I KNEW better than to pull anything like or to disrespect their rules because exactly what you are proposing would have happened to me. They would have taken the keys. And they were clear about it. To this day I still have the keys to their home (I'm 25 and own my own home) but I have never done anything to lose their trust. I agree that he is being disrespectful and acting like a 15yr old and not a 19yr old. That said I do have step children and my dp allowed them to do things in his home that I will not tolerate. I had to pull him aside and let him know what I thought was inappropriate behavior and then when he let the kids know I was right there beside him. That way they knew that everyone was on the same page. If he wont take the keys can't you have deadbolt added or something that you can lock when your out of town? I am a firm believer in my house my rules.
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#8 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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Comparing throwing a party with drug smuggling is kind of a stretch...

BUT parents have legitimate concerns about teenagers having parties in their homes. In some states, parents can be held liable for events that occur because of underage drinking in their home. Also, parties tend to get out of control, and people show up who the kid doesn't even know. You don't want strangers in your house.

If I were you, I'd take a strong stance that this is unacceptable, while keeping in mind that it is not the end of the world and teenagers do this sort of thing all the time. In the future, you should either have a trusted relative stay at your house, or tell the neighbors to call the cops if they hear any action going on. Tell your stepson that the neighbors will call the cops and he can sit in a cell until you guys get back if he chooses to disregard your rules.
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#9 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Marsupialmom
I might get flamed for this but at 19 I think this falls into the: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." catagory of life. He has not proven you cannot trust him. There shouldn't be a third time. Either you don't leave him alone in your home or he finds a new home. At this point in time he is to immature to trust.
I agree. I don't think 19 is such an age that after they turn 18 they are an adult. 19 is still kinda young and immature, especially if you have been having issues in the past. I'm sorry you are this upset over it and hope you and your DH can come to an agreement. If he were biologically your 19 yr old son would you still kick him out and not let him stay there when you are gone? Just a thought. To me when you marry your partner you accept their children as yours and even though you say he is a nice kid, IMO it sounds like you are having issues with him, again just my opinion. ALso its hard to comment on the situation when you didn't state all the facts at the begining. Going into your liquor cabinet is wrong, i just thought he had about 15 people over and there was no drinking or damage.
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#10 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:55 PM
 
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Step, biological, to me, it doesn't matter. No more staying in the house alone, if that were my child. (again, step OR biological). ANY child in MY home, is to respect ME and MY RULES, I don't care WHO gave birth to you, it doesn't make you exempt.

I do also agree with the 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me' attitude as well. For something of this magnitude, it only takes once of screwing up to lose priviledges, I don't care if you're 16 or 26 or 56. Again, MY house, respect ME and MY RULES for it.

He could've burned down your home in your absense. Thank god he didn't, but we're not talking someone taking care of your plant while you were gone, we're talking someone who was supposed to be caring for your home. (caring for/respecting etc, I'm not saying he was the housesitter, but if you leave an adult in your home, you don't expect them to leave the house with doors open etc, you expect them to care for it).

Anyway. Priviledges lost, take away the house keys, and no longer staying in the home alone, period. He can go to a friends etc (I don't think I'd come out and say 'stay with your mother', with the step-child dynamic in place there, but I would come out and say 'find somewhere else to stay), OR arrange for him to pay half costs for a motel room next time.
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#11 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
He can go to a friends etc (I don't think I'd come out and say 'stay with your mother', with the step-child dynamic in place there, but I would come out and say 'find somewhere else to stay),
Thank you, that was what I was trying to say..
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#12 of 30 Old 04-19-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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Thank you, that was what I was trying to say..
Yeah, if I were to say that to my step-child (or hell, even if SO were to say that to him), he'd feel instantly rejected by us. Even if only one (EITHER) of us said it, he'd feel totally rejected by us BOTH. We love him completely. He is OUR child to us. But to him, he's walking a thin line between two homes and two families, and definatley no reason to make that feeling any harder.
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#13 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I discussed this at length with DH last evening. His son is on his way home tonight, and DH will speak to him and I will be present (biting my tounge!) We have agreed that he is no longer to stay alone in the house, and that he will be told he has to stay elsewhere the next time we are out of town. As well, none of his friends are allowed back in the house either, while we are there or otherwise. After the first incident, where we had allowed him to have 1 friend stay overnight, and he had a party, I guess DH thought that by telling him no one was allowed over at all, this was laying down the law. Apparently it didn't go to far. I feel very very badly for my husband as he is extremley hurt by this. Him and his son have always been very close and very affectionate with one another. It seems that just in the last 2 years as he gotten to this stage, he's changed. The point is that he is lying. We also found out that while he has been out of town for work - and living at my BIL's, that he has been lying to his uncles as well. *sigh* . We have pretty much given him everything and it seems the more we give the more he takes. I have told DH that he should be charging him rent and that he can put the money away and that when his son decides to go to school, he can give it back to him, however his son will not agree to give him money. And to another poster who had asked if I would react the same if he were my son? Well it would never have gotten to this point if it were my son. I saw warning signs a long time ago with him, and DH did not believe me and kept giving his son the benefit of the doubt. So there you have it. I can talk to DH till I am blue in the face, but when it comes right down to it he is going to do what he feels. Problem is, every single time he has a heart-to-heart with his son, his son turns the conversation around and starts pointing the finger at his dad "well I don't feel loved by you, I don't feel wanted around here". He has asked him why he feels that why and his son can not come up with a reason. I really believe that boy is not taking responsibility for himself and then he tries to turn it back on his father. And then his father bends because he feels badly and I can see that his son is taking advantage of that. : As DH is working all weekend, I am going to see about spending some quality time with his son, and maybe having a talk of our own. We have always been close. He used to come to me and confide in me on subjects he wouldn't share with either of his parents, but he has been drifting away.
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#14 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MeganW
If he wont take the keys can't you have deadbolt added or something that you can lock when your out of town? I am a firm believer in my house my rules.
DH will not take the keys away from him as he believes that this may make him feel unwanted, and I agree. However, he will tell him flat out, that he is not staying in the house alone when we are gone and when we do leave, DH will make the house unattainable.
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#15 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
..I don't think I'd come out and say 'stay with your mother'
My comment was more directed to what I was saying to DH. In other words "tell him he is no longer staying here alone, it's not like he has no where to go as he can stay at his mothers". I would not say this to his son.
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#16 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by papayapetunia
...parents have legitimate concerns about teenagers having parties in their homes. In some states, parents can be held liable for events that occur because of underage drinking in their home. Also, parties tend to get out of control, and people show up who the kid doesn't even know. You don't want strangers in your house.
This is the basis of why we told him that we do not want anyone partying in the house when we are not there. We also could be held liable if someone got hurt, and we explained this scenario to him on many occassions. Not only that, but we have a very expensive collection of swords in the house that we picked up through our travels, one of them is over 1500 years old. We can tell that they have been picked up just by the way they have been placed in their holder. We are now discussing having them put under lock and key. As well, we decided to put a lock on the liquor cabinet. It is upsetting when you feel that you have to go beyond the means of just locking your front door, and having to lock up everything inside the house! :
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#17 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 11:29 AM
 
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You sound pretty reasonable to me. You and your husband stated your expectations, he knew what they were, did as he pleased and tried to hide it. Your expectation that he not have friends over, given that it had turned into a party before, was reasonable - it's your house, and you should have the opportunity to be present and in control of the situation if there's going to be any partying going on. I remember reading recently in the news about a house party getting out of hand while parents were out of town (it was a step-kid situation and she lied, saying she would be at the other parent's place), and uninvited guests did $70,000 of damage! And there are always a couple of stabblings or shootings a year that I hear about at house parties. So, not an unreasonable ground rule at all.

No, you don't want him to feel unwanted. But you also don't want him to milk that angle to take advantage of the both of you. And what's with being 19, in work, and paying no rent??

Good luck!
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#18 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 11:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by snugg_bug
And to another poster who had asked if I would react the same if he were my son? Well it would never have gotten to this point if it were my son. I saw warning signs a long time ago with him, and DH did not believe me and kept giving his son the benefit of the doubt. So there you have it.
I was that poster. So your pretty much blaming his bahavior on the lack of parenting by your DH? That if you raised he would be much better mannered? I'm sorry but I think this is completely absurd and do not agree with it at all. I know mothers who were excellent and always there for their children and yet there children, no matter how much discipline or rules, will continually act out. Teenagers have their own personalities and even if they continue to make mistakes you can't blame the parents 100%. I do not know your situation, but regardless do not agree with your statement, "Well it would never have gotten to this point if it were my son...." He IS your son, your step son.
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#19 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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So your pretty much blaming his bahavior on the lack of parenting by your DH? That if you raised he would be much better mannered? I'm sorry but I think this is completely absurd and do not agree with it at all. I know mothers who were excellent and always there for their children and yet there children, no matter how much discipline or rules, will continually act out. Teenagers have their own personalities and even if they continue to make mistakes you can't blame the parents 100%. I do not know your situation, but regardless do not agree with your statement, "Well it would never have gotten to this point if it were my son...." He IS your son, your step son.
You don't know me. I did not ask you what you agree or disagree with, and for the record, I did not place blame on anyone, you chose to read into my comment that way. I posted this thread in an attempt to try and resolve the situation and topic I posted about. If your intent on this thread is to make negative comments or judgements on me, my family or my situation, please refrain from posting. I'll thank you in advance.
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#20 of 30 Old 04-20-2006, 09:08 PM
 
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He's not allowed to have friends over at your house anymore? Ever? Just my opinion, but that seems a little excessive. It sounds like your real goal is to get him outta there...

If my mom/stepdad had said I couldn't have friends over anymore at that age, I would've moved out in a heartbeat.

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#21 of 30 Old 04-21-2006, 10:17 AM - Thread Starter
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He's not allowed to have friends over at your house anymore? Ever? Just my opinion, but that seems a little excessive.
He's not having friends over for the time being, until we feel he can be trusted again.

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It sounds like your real goal is to get him outta there...
I don't know why you're assuming this?
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#22 of 30 Old 04-21-2006, 10:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Starr
I was that poster. So your pretty much blaming his bahavior on the lack of parenting by your DH? That if you raised he would be much better mannered? I'm sorry but I think this is completely absurd and do not agree with it at all. I know mothers who were excellent and always there for their children and yet there children, no matter how much discipline or rules, will continually act out. Teenagers have their own personalities and even if they continue to make mistakes you can't blame the parents 100%. I do not know your situation, but regardless do not agree with your statement, "Well it would never have gotten to this point if it were my son...." He IS your son, your step son.
I just have to poke my nose in on this comment, as I think there is a point to which she could make a difference in a situation with her own child. Not by controlling the son's actions (if it was her biological son), but by the reaction she gave to the situations throughout his life. I don't think she meant it to mean that she's a "better" parent, or her son would be a "better" kid, but that she would have reacted and developed the relationship differently from the beginning so that it didn't get a chance to get so far, but as a step parent, it's not really her realm to override the biologica parent-child relationship without risking her own relationships with the son and the husband. I know nothing is guaranteed, but if started from an early age, GIVING respect and EXPECTING respect with regard to setting boundaries with your children you're more likely to have situations where they respect your requests and boundaries even if you're not around (I'm living proof, as it's how my parents raised me, very gently, very respectfully, both giving me respect and expecting it from me). Basically, a "people will treat you the way you let them" kind of thing...because we are talking about a 19-year-old here, not a 3-year-old.

OK, end of my nose poking. Just wanted to maybe offer a different perspective behind the OPs comment.

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#23 of 30 Old 04-21-2006, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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...........I don't think she meant it to mean that she's a "better" parent, or her son would be a "better" kid, but that she would have reacted and developed the relationship differently from the beginning so that it didn't get a chance to get so far, but as a step parent, it's not really her realm to override the biologica parent-child relationship without risking her own relationships with the son and the husband............
I couldn't have said it better...thank you, your observation is bang on
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#24 of 30 Old 04-22-2006, 02:39 PM
 
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My comment was more directed to what I was saying to DH. In other words "tell him he is no longer staying here alone, it's not like he has no where to go as he can stay at his mothers". I would not say this to his son.
Didn't read further yet, but what you quoted was directed at another poster, not you (and she replied back to me regarding that actually, if you read further)
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#25 of 30 Old 04-22-2006, 02:44 PM
 
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I couldn't have said it better...thank you, your observation is bang on
I will also agree with this. Things ARE different when raising a step-child than a biological one.

I feel like I can go further with my own DD, like I can set higher expectations, and stricter rules etc, but I'm constantly feeling like I need to be soft on DSS because of the whole nasty 'evil step-mother' thing. Like, if I were to come out and discipline my DSS in the way I would my own biological child, then I'd be the bad guy, and we'd have some major issues going on.

In the end, unless you're in the position, you can't say really. (directed toward Starr) It's so rough being a step-parent, yes these are our children too, and we love them just the same, but more times than not we need to bite our tongues, sit back and watch things we wish we had more control over and basically try to keep the peace, even if we'd rather get right in there and speak up more.
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#26 of 30 Old 04-23-2006, 05:51 PM
 
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It is his house too, right?! Why all the my house and pay rent talk? why can't he have friends over when you are there?

Yes, you had a problem here with the parties - him not allowed to stay there when you are out of town solves it. I don't get the angst. Unless there is larger issues here, it is a 19 year old who had parties at your/his house when he wasn't supposed to and thus can't stay at his house when you are gone. Sounds normal and resonable. Case closed and solved.
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#27 of 30 Old 04-23-2006, 06:46 PM
 
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When I was 18, I had my own apartment. My parents told me I could pay rent at home or on my own, I decided I wanted to live on my own. I have stayed at my mom's since then, and if it was going to be more than a couple of weeks, we made arrangements. If he's old enough to have a job that would support him on his own, he's old enough to help out around the house financially. I could tell you about my brother if you're interested...
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#28 of 30 Old 04-23-2006, 06:59 PM
 
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When I was 18, I had my own apartment. My parents told me I could pay rent at home or on my own, I decided I wanted to live on my own. I have stayed at my mom's since then, and if it was going to be more than a couple of weeks, we made arrangements. If he's old enough to have a job that would support him on his own, he's old enough to help out around the house financially. I could tell you about my brother if you're interested...
I lived at home rent and baord free (cause it was my home too) on and off until I was 22. I was working crap jobs and living at home allowed me to save money for things like a car. I worked the same jobs in h.s (with similar hours - 20-30+ a week), and my parents never asked for money because their home was my home.

But I needed it for emotional not just finacial reasons. I hit adolencence late (really at about age 18) and was angsty and directionless and lost from age 18-21 or so. Having a "home" really made a huige difference. My parents weren't particuallry supportive (at my age they were much more mature than I was), but that home, that place of safty, was really crucial.

My sister was 25 when she left. Both me and my sister are fully self-supporting, responsible adults. Not all kids are the same. Maturity happens differently. I need to have my childhood home remain MY home far longer than my brother needed it.
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#29 of 30 Old 04-23-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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ya know... I bet many of us, at that age, would have also thrown a party in the wake of our step-parents and/or parents being gone. I know I would have. Sorry, but true!!!!
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#30 of 30 Old 04-24-2006, 01:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by edamommy
ya know... I bet many of us, at that age, would have also thrown a party in the wake of our step-parents and/or parents being gone. I know I would have. Sorry, but true!!!!
Yeh, that may be true if I was there, but I'd have also known very well that they would be pi$$ed if they found out...at 19, I had a pretty good idea of what my parents would and would not be happy with, especially since it had already happened once, so I'd be expecting some type of consequence as a result.
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