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Being the only daughter in my family, I did get away with a lot with my dad, but he was definitely strict when it came to certain things. When I got my first car my curfew was “dark”. He allowed me to drive to my job each morning. It was clear from the beginning I was not to use my car for running around with friends.

Huh? I was a teenager. This is what teens do when they’re old enough to drive.

No, not me, for I had to be home at dark. I was 17 years old. Most nights I didn’t think about coming home at dark. I had “wheels” and they spun. My dad made me pay though. One morning I went out to leave for work and my car wouldn’t start. I knew he had something to do with it. I called the lady I babysat for and she came to get me. When she was in the military she was a mechanic—How lucky for me! She took a look at my car and knew right away the rotor in the distributor was missing. Hmm, how the heck did that happen?

Grrr… Dad!

She offered to  put a new one on for me, but I knew better. I still remember the words I said to my dad when he came home from work that night. Picture me, who used to be daddy’s little girl, saying, “I want the rotor back in my car! Go put the rotor back in my car.” Yes, demanding he go right out there and put it back. I can also remember the look on his face when he realized I knew what he took out of my car motor. I think he was both shocked and proud that I figured it out. I saw that smug smile. Did he run right out there and put it back? NO! It took him a whole week to prove he was the boss.

Did I do what I was supposed to do with my car from that point on? What do you think? What would you have done?

I most certainly did not do what he wanted, but something changed soon after that episode and he eased up on the rules a little. We both learned a lesson. Dad wanted to protect his “little” girl, and I wanted to prove I wasn’t a “little” girl. That was a long time ago, but between dads and daughters, it’s still the same. They want to be the boss and protect us until we’re thirty-five years old. From the time we’re about ten we want to prove we’re not little girls. Such is life, huh.