This post deals with several methods my sisters and I used (in some ways we still do use them) to get what we wanted from our parents. First I will deal with the tactics each of us used the most followed by the strategy I found to be most effective. Hopefully you will find my observations and conclusions entertaining, if not useful.
The Fight Back Method
This method was most often employed by my older sister, but we all used it at some point in our lives. It also never worked. No matter how strong your logic and reasoning, or how loud you yelled, there was no way you could win against my mom. But that didn’t stop my older sister from trying. She would yell until she was blue in the face repeating the same points over and over again while my mother would do likewise. It was an exercise in futility, but I suppose it was an exercise nonetheless. Perhaps the most memorable example of this stratagem involves my baby sister. She came home from a really, really, really bad day and really, really, really wanted whipped cream on her hot chocolate, but my mom was having none of that. The ensuing spat made everybody else in my family flee to the basement in raucous laughter and clearly illustrated just how redundant this method had become.
The Hissy Fit Method
This is something of a variation on the previous method, but doesn’t require you to say anything intelligible. Instead you just scream at the top or your lungs while writhing around on the floor. This a rather babyish approach to problem solving, and not so surprisingly it was always my baby sister who used it. At her peak, she could hit the ground faster than you could say, “No,” and she could scream like a banshee with a megaphone. Eventually though, instead of inducing headaches, this strategy would merely induce laughter. For a while she thought that screaming harder would get us to see the error in our ways, but we weren’t buying it, and so she grew out of it.
The Seclusion Method
I had exclusive rights to this method which I’m proud to say, for a time, was the most effective of all our tactics to get what we wanted. Essentially, whenever something was unfairly forbidden to me, I’d get all mopey and lock myself up in my room. I’d stay there for hours on end or until my parents felt so guilty that they came up and just gave me the candy. Often they’d even apologize to me, despite the fact that I was the one being a whiny bitch. It was great until it got the point where it was more of blessing than a curse to have me out of the way for a couple hours. It was around this time that I stopped doing this, and moved on to a far more simple and elegant solution.
The “Fuck It” Method
Sometime in high school, I discovered that rather than fighting over something I wanted, it was far easier just to take it. This was coupled with the realization that everything we were fighting over was so petty and pointless it really wasn’t worth the effort. Nowhere was the lesson more greatly learned than on the same day my sister and mom had the whipped cream fight. There was a box of chocolates that my mom had specifically told me not to open, but I said, “Fuck it,” and ate some anyway. After the aforementioned argument had died down, my mother say the open box of chocolates and asked, “Who opened these?” to which I admitted my guilt. “Oh well,” she said and ate one herself. It was then that I realized that instead of dividing ourselves over silly arguments, we should unite ourselves in chocolaty goodness.
Bonus points to whoever had (or has) their own creative method of problem solving, or has an entertaining story about a silly argument.