Parent Trap It.

At some point in your life, and maybe it’s happened already, but somebody is going to try to Parent Trap you. This is not what you probably think it is. I don’t mean that after your divorce your twin daughters are going to go through an elaborate scheme to get you and your ex spouse back together, because they’re lying assholes and this is why you shouldn’t have kids. Let me explain.

A friend of mine coined this phrase. I think I’ll leave her nameless in case she kills me for discussing this on my blog. She and her boyfriend (and his dog) went on a trip together and part of that trip included spending time with his ex, because apparently he and his ex are really good friends. She has a farm somewhere and they spent a few days with her on her farm living on the fat of the land like Allman Brothers songs or whatever. They (her boyfriend and his ex) are outdoorsy types who love nature and sleeping in it and eating it in and bathing in it with a cup of water and a palmful of soap.

The three of them (mostly the boyfriend and the ex) decided to go on an impromptu hike and my friend wasn’t wearing hiking shoes because she’s a normal person. But she wasn’t about to be left behind. She wasn’t going to let the ex take the glory. The hiking glory. The glory of, “look what I can do that you can’t.” So she followed. They walked through brambles and mud and my friend was smiling the whole time, like she was strolling down 9th street in NYC. Until she was startled by a salamander. The ex picked it up and cooed at it. Just picked it right up and started telling it how cute it was. This is where my friend had to make a choice. She could either freak out and look on in mock disgust or suck it up and touch the thing. Why? Because, she explained to me, “It was just like the scene in The [newer] Parent Trap where Lindsay Lohans take Dennis Quaid’s blonde fiance or girlfriend or whatever into the woods and torture her.”

“Wait, I think that’s Last House On The Left.”

“Ha. Anyway, I thought, I’m not going to let her do that to me. I’m not going to let her Parent Trap me!” So my friend also picked up the salamander and also insisted he was cute. Then she probably died inside. They continued on.

“Watch out for stinging nettles,” warned the ex. “What the hell are stinging nettles?” my friend thought, but instead said, “Okay!” very cheerfully. She wasn’t about to let the ex know that she had no idea what stinging nettles were. She took her boyfriend’s dog off the path, because dogs like to go off the path sometimes, and when she came back the dog was in distress, scratching and whining. “Thanks for walking my dog directly into stinging nettles,” her boyfriend hissed. “Oops.” She’s doing it, my friend thought. She’s totally Parent Trapping me. She swore she saw a brief smile of satisfaction on the ex’s face after the stinging nettles incident.

Frankly, I don’t think I would have lasted nearly as long as my friend. At some point I would have broken down, and, like Christopher Guest in “Waiting For Guffman” shouted, “I hate you and I hate your ass face!” Between the spontaneous hike and the Eliza Thornberry ex I would have been done. It’s a tough situation.

I’m putting myself in her cute, non-hiking shoes. On one hand, you don’t want your boyfriend to think you’re jealous, but on the other, you don’t want to pretend to be someone you’re not. I guess when you find yourself Parent Trapped you can either bow out and wait until it’s over or grit your teeth and pretend to enjoy it. Just watch out for stinging nettles.

Summerland — The Woodlands

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14 thoughts on “Parent Trap It.

  1. Yessi

    Brilliant. Thank you for giving a name to this horrible conundrum. My boyfriend’s ex works for a non-profit. Bitch.

  2. deromanticize

    This girl actually agreed to stay in his ex’s house for a prolonged period of time!? That would have put me out of the game right there. This term is awesome, though.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Honestly, I think that would have been my, “I’M OUT, JERRY!” moment as well.

  3. Feanne

    I feel so annoyed on behalf of your friend! I wouldn’t have lasted as long as she did too… and am of the opinion that boyfriends should not be THAT close to their exes. It’s just asking for trouble!

    And, I’d really rather not pretend anything. If this person can’t take me and my jealousy, then perhaps this person isn’t quite right for me… To be insincere is the most tiring thing in the world.

  4. The Parent Trappee

    This girl was me!! Here I would like to say my plan was to meet this girl and see what all the cookies were crumbling about – which somehow involved staying at her house – but – for the record and the cherry on a sundae – we slept in boyfriend’s car you can sleep in outside. Like a car with a bed – which isn’t the best but it’s better than saying we slept in the car and having it be a Fiesta. I don’t know what a Fiesta is, but I always hear people mention it when they talk about crappy cars from the days of yore.

    Secondly, this girl was being supercool and acting totally okay with me and I wasn’t about to be the one of us to act like a big ole bitch bucket of partykillers when I was met with a little obstacle. Because than she wins! And boyfriends think that exes are winners and we are hasbeen neverwases. Persevere!! And you will be rewarded! I ended up looking superawesome.

    I should also mention that in that same hike I fell in a river and bloodied my hands and laughed it all the way to the bank!! Because I was a cool lady who acted like I knew how to put on the cat’s pajamas we all win. And I was able to tell a good story AND coin termage. TERMAGE!!!

    Plus, on the hike I was drunk. And we’re all winners when we hike drunk.

    1. Almie Rose Post author

      Oh God I thought this was the ex at first at I swear I felt the blood in my veins freeze.

      I totally forgot to include the part about falling in the river!!! DAMN IT! I was going to and then forgot. You need to tell this story. I’ll then re-link it.

  5. Feanne

    Woman, I admire your bravery and fortitude. I would not have had half the strength! May your man be ever deserving of such an awesome girlfriend as you.

    I’m happy to hear you won 😛

  6. ryan rose

    as a mountain-loving hippie disguised as a city girl, i live in fear of folks like your friend and evan “i lied about being the outdoor type” dando, because the flip side is going on a delightful camping trip with a dude who says he’s all hardy and shit, and ending up doing everything, from building the fire to setting up the tent to taking it all down and throwing it into the car along with the wet dog when homie can’t fucking hang. YOU HID UNDER A TARP WHILE I RESCUED YOUR PUPPY FROM A THUNDERSTORM. DATE OVER.

    however, i love you and evan dando for turning this situation and its awfulness for all into fodder for cleverness, as usual. wish that dude had just had the balls to play me this song and get out of my life before we bought adorable dishware together. UGH.

    Always had a roof above me
    Always paid the rent
    But I’ve never set foot inside a tent
    Cant build a fire to save my life
    I lied about being the outdoor type

    I’ve never slept out underneath the stars,
    The closest that I came to that was one time my car
    Broke down for an hour in the suburbs at night
    I lied about being the outdoor type.

    Too scared to let you know you knew what you were looking for
    I lied until I fit the bill God bless the great indoors
    I lied about being the outdoor type
    I’ve never owned a sleeping bag let alone a mountain bike

    I cant go away with you on a rock climbing weekend
    What if something’s on tv and its never shown again
    Its just as well I’m not invited I’m afraid of heights
    I lied about being the outdoor type

    Never learned to swim cant grow a beard or even fight
    I lied about being the outdoor type

  7. jessietron

    As someone who has been taken out into the wilderness by trusted but more outdoorsy friends– shit is intense. I’d like to extend an extra “Hear, hear!” to all my people who don’t own hiking shoes because we are normal people, but can slide on our ass down a sheer rock face with a smile on our face and a beer in our hand. Because, yes, hiking is pretty chill when you’re drunk.

    And to hell with smarmy exes. You guys broke up– get over it.

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