There comes a time in every parent's life when they have to say "no" to their children. It is a terrible moment for a child because he or she suddenly realizes that the father and mother never loved them.
So it was with Colleen McCarty, a 16-year-old who discovered just when school was out for the summer what her parents really thought of her.She said to her father, "May I have $50 to go to the Grateful Dead concert?"
To her amazement her father said, "No."
Colleen shrieked, "What do you mean `no'?"
"I meant that you can't go because $50 is a lot of money and I could use it for something like a new battery."
Colleen couldn't believe her ears. "I'll die if I don't go to the concert."
Mr. McCarty said, "People have died from going to a rock concert, but no one ever died from not going."
The rejection could be seen all over Colleen's face. She said: "Is this the father who carried me on his back to Fourth of July parades? The one who tossed a baseball to me on the front lawn, the man who defended me when the principal said that I talked too much in school?"
Colleen decided to have one more crack at it. "If I clean up my room and make my bed, could I have the money for the concert?"
Mr. McCarty asked, "If I say no, will you hate me forever?"
Colleen replied, "I won't hate you but I'll never trust you to have my best interests at heart again."
At that moment Mrs. McCarty walked into the room.
Mr. McCarty said, "Colleen wants to annul our relationship because of irreconcilable differences."
"Give me one good reason why I can't go to the Grateful Dead concert, which happens to be the only important event of the year in this dumpy town?"
"Money doesn't grow on trees," her mother said.
Colleen screamed. "Why do you always say that when someone wants to go to a rock concert?"
"You hate me, don't you?" Mr. McCarty yelled.
"Hate is too strong a word, Dad. At the same time, I am not going to ask you to walk me down the aisle when I get married."