Your poor parents. Think: they literally create you, they raise you, they keep you alive with food. And then you turn 13 and start screaming at them for being unfair because they won't let you to travel to France unaccompanied to meet an internet friend. Then you turn 14 and start disappointing them with the majority of your life decisions. Then you turn 15 and everything just goes to hell, until whatever age you start to understand that, actually, your parents just don't want you to die and are mostly looking out for your best interests. And then everything starts to be fine again
But the years before that turning point can often be a struggle.
We spoke to some of our friends about moments from these years – moments when their parents have caught them in the act and ended up extremely disappointed.
DO NOT EAT THE PINK VALIUM
There have been times when I've called my dad on acid, or have done gardening with him on 2cb, but the worst time for me really sticks out in my head – or rather doesn't, because I blacked out and had to be told later what happened. It was quite a heavy night – I think MDMA, coke, weed and booze was the hit list; one of them nights, y'know – and by the time we'd left the party it was like 9AM or 10AM the next day. I was feeling ghastly and my friends had ordered these strange pink "super valiums" from the internet on a "legal highs" site, and warned me that they were very strong, so obviously I decided to pop a handful. And then I had about three more. Still extremely wired and on no sleep at all, we went back into the house where my parents were farting around drinking coffee and gardening, what with it being a sunny Sunday morning. Then I woke up fully clothed at 6PM on my bed and didn't get the full story until a couple of days later.
Apparently I'd taken it upon myself to show my friends the entire contents of my garage, and I spent a couple of hours taking everything out and showing it to them – and my mum – in painstaking detail. I found a box of 1950s erotica and decided to loudly read some of it out. At some point I poured a cup of tea over my laptop while trying to jump over a table. Basically I behaved like someone you'd meet at the Boomtown toilets at 5AM, rambling incomprehensibly, making weird noises, hooting and hollering, rolling around, while my parents were trying to read the Observer and have a sandwich. There's probably so much that I can't tell because it hasn't been told to me, probably to preserve my own sanity, but everyone was very weird with me for a little while after.
I got most of the story from my friends. My mum was wryly amused about it all and my dad was silent, except for the classic, "So… ahh… feeling better this morning?" I'm sure there's some stuff from that night I've forgotten, but god knows I'm not fucking asking them about it. Do not eat the pink valium.
I was 18 and it was New Year's Eve. I was going to a squat rave somewhere in Shoreditch, but it was 11.45PM when I got there and I still hadn't had a single drink, so I was panicking. I had a lot of Russian friends at the time, and when I got there one of them had brought back a bottle of 80 percent vodka from a recent trip to Russia. At that percentage you can't actually taste anything, and I was 18 and dumb, so I just started necking it. I don't know how much I drank, but by the countdown I was fucked and pulling some 30-year-old dude. Shortly after that the room started spinning and I started throwing up uncontrollably. I tried to go outside for some fresh air but puked on the stairwell. I don't remember much after that until one of my friends told me they'd called my dad to come pick me up.
This would have been great, except for the fact my parents are super strict Muslims who don't know I drink. My dad arrived, bless him, and my friends pretty much carried me into the car, where I spent the long journey home back to west London intermittently puking out of the car window and mumbling some bullshit excuse about food poisoning while loads of people who were out celebrating shouted, "GO ON LOVE! GET IT OUT!" at me. It was a quiet ride – my dad mainly just seemed disappointed more than anything else, as both of parents are in denial about this side of my life. I was in such a sorry state I didn't even get into trouble; my dad never brought it up again and I spent two more days in bed throwing up and barely able to eat, with low-level alcohol poisoning. I've never touched vodka since, and the heavy drinking part of my life is still hidden from my parents.
BIG STONED ELEPHANT
I think this happened to me the year before I left home for uni. I went to a party with my boyfriend and friends, and got so wasted that I went to kiss my boyfriend and ended up smashing my front tooth on his. My tooth chipped off and I was hysterical. All the booze, tears and weed conspired to make my eyes sore and puffy, so I was like, "Time to take my contacts out." Problem was I was so mashed I didn't know what I was doing, and basically kept scratching at my corneas and getting more upset.
So my boyfriend called my dad, who came to get me at 4AM to take me to hospital. Not best pleased, obviously. He'd seen me a bit drunk before but I was totally fucked up. In the car he asked if I'd had a good time on the "happy hay" and I was INDIGNANT that he could think I was capable of such behaviour. So I made a really piss poor attempt at convincing him I was stone cold sober and had just had a lenses mishap. Anyway, we were in hospital for fucking hours. I had to wear bandages on my eyes for three days and my dad "wasn't angry, just disappointed". The worst. He said nothing about it afterwards, which was the hardest part – typical of my dad. It was the big stoned elephant in the room for a long time.
FULL OF MDMA
Me and my siblings came over to Manchester for a gig and were supposed to be staying at my older cousin's. We all shared a few grams of mandy before going in, and I'd never had any before. My cousin was so drunk and fucked that we lost her and had nowhere to go, so we had to get my dad to drive over an hour to pick us up and take us the whole way home absolutely off our faces. I was only about 17. It was very embarrassing and anxiety-inducing because we had no idea if my cousin was even alive. I couldn't stop talking. I explained to my dad that my jaw was moving on its own. I just kept saying how amazing the gig had been on repeat.
At first we didn't tell him, but he really babies me and kept asking, "You OK, pet lamb?" Eventually my brother was like, "Dad, she's full of MDMA", to which he was like "Oh, Rosie." and laughed quite a lot. I must've looked really funny to him, my eyes were like saucers, it was grim. He was very cool about it but my mum went ape when we got home. She kicked off big time, not really at me because I was the kid but at my brother and sister. She kept saying I could've got lost like my cousin or hurt, like crying and stuff. We eventually found my cousin the next day, she'd passed out in the paramedics tent all night.
A FAILURE TO RESPECT WOOD
I was having an outdoor party at my parents' house while I still lived at home, and we had this outdoor chimney in the garden, so I was burning all this scrap wood we had. I'd been drinking since early afternoon and my parents arrived home at about 3:30AM, so I was annihilated and struggling to stand. I said goodnight and went upstairs, but was called down soon after. My dad took me outside to the chimney and asked me where I'd been getting the wood from. I took him to the garage and showed him the pile. He went red and just didn't speak for a bit. I can't totally remember what he said, but it was the most angry I'd ever seen him at the time.
It turns out for the last few hours I'd be accidentally burning my sister's deconstructed wooden four poster bed, which was worth about £500, in this chimney. I'd been jumping on the beams to snap them in two and burning them. Needless to say, they weren't happy. This is where the alcohol comes into the equation, I feel; fuck knows why I just assumed these boards I'd found were fair game for burning, but I did. My mum had gone to bed and was more forgiving afterwards, but I genuinely didn't speak to my dad for like two days. At the end of the day, my real crime was failing to respect wood.