For my 18th birthday, Brandon burned me a CD. Very early 2000s, yes? Which I played constantly in my Camaro Z-28 convertible (yes. seriously.) until, one day, Mom had to drive my car. And she heard the CD. And she took it! For its explicit nature! fair enough. Trick Daddy never covered a nursery rhyme.
Lord, the yell fest that ensued when I realized she took it.
And said she wouldn't give it back! (Why didn't you just throw it away?!)
Because she was planning to use it as leverage. That's why.
And in my first offensive move of teenagerdom, I quit hollering.
And when she wasn't home, I took her favorite hairbrush. And hid it. And waited.
The first day, I felt awful. Mom scrambled around for 30 minutes. A whirling dervish of periwinkle pastel terry cloth. Late for work. The whole nine yards.
For the next week, she scrambled on.
Oh, y'all.. did she complain about that brush.
My resolve nearly buckled at the sight of her daily distress.
She went through the seven stages of grief, one of which was definitely Blame Courtney and Ransack Her Room. Multiple times.
Which may have revealed a lone empty Miller Lite can.
Which is when I quit feeling sorry for her at all.
After a terrible, terrible awful tongue-lashing, she went back to ransacking her own room. Daily.
See, best-brush-ever-for-trademark-hairdo had been procured a few years previous in a Clinique free gift.
Even so, 'replacements' were purchased of nearly every drug store variety along with those from multiple department store make-up counters.
And I giggled. And I reported to my friends daily. I hollered a little about the ransacked room. And car. And closets. You know, to make it seem genuine.
It was a big deal at school, as almost daily, someone would ask in passing, "Still have the hairbrush?"
Every now and then, a couple of days would go by and I would hear no tale of woe.
I would worry. ..Maybe I've waited too long to pull the string? Maybe she's resigned herself to a life of less fluff at the bristles of a Conair or Goody.
Until one day, I heard her on the phone with Clinique corporate. . . seeking a replacement.
As she listened intently, clutching tightly to the phone cord and her only hope, I saw her face fall in acceptance. Knowing the trail had gone cold.
It was time to strike (and/or haul ass, should the situation not go to plan)
"How badly do you want that brush back?" I asked.
"So if I could find it, you'd give me my CD back?"
"Yes." (imagine a look of equal parts rage and relief, if possible - boondoggled, really.)
..So that's how I got it back.
..but not before she, honest to goodness, called me "Diabolical!" and meant it with every strand of her flat hair.
So, she never took a CD again, what with the threat of reciprocity so keen.
And instead, developed a classification system of sorts, pictured below: