The Hormone House

The Hormone House

A Story by Carole

Anybody that has teenagers knows about the "H" word. This story is what you call half-n-half. One part fiction and one part non-fiction. :-)


Two-thousand-and-three marked a unique time in history for our family.  By a unanimous vote we decided to invest in a brightly colored neon sign for the front yard.  It wasn’t the typical plastic “Beware of Dog” or “No Soliciting” sign in black with orange letters.  We had determined, this sign had to be something special.  It read in big bold flashing lime green, orange, yellow, pink and blue letters: “The Hormone House. Beware!  Three Hormonal Teenagers and One Menopausal Woman Inside!"   It had this disclaimer flashing underneath: Enter at your own risk! 


Good old Forest Gump seemed to have a handle on a mighty truth:  "Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're gonna get!"   I wonder if he had any inside knowledge on hormones?  You never know when the old hormones are going to flair up.  They could very well be likened to riding an emotional roller coaster.  That drop can surprise the heck out of you causing an adrenaline rush that will make your hair stand on end.  Up one minute and down the next. 


When it came to our teenagers, I had done everything I could think of to ward off nasty attitudes, the proverbial blame game, and the know-it-all entrapment. I talked until I was blue in the face.  I am not sure if the blue was lack of oxygen to the brain, or boil over from anger.  Whatever the case, I felt like I was talking to three brick walls, and adding me in the mix, made four.  I just couldn't seem to get through the bricks and morter, no matter how hard I tried.


I had fallen prey to the “Perfect Parent Syndrome” many years prior to this and I was still determined to do EVERYTHING right, menopausal or not.  I wonder if I'd set my sights too high?  I had heard a multitude of stories from other parents.  Some of them sounded fairly good; maybe even believable.  Now, I am not so sure.  “I just chose not to believe for problems with my teenagers, and so I didn’t have any,” “My teenagers were perfect angels,” and yada, yada, yada. Guilt travels fast and was hitting me at ninety mph. Was I reaping some sort of punishment or pay back from something I had done in the past that I had long since forgotten? I wondered.  My teenagers were not perfect angels and I tried to believe they wouldn’t be like half of the teenagers on the planet, but…they were pretty much normal teenagers…the stuff we all hear about.

I saw a sign the other day that read,
“Raising Teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree.”

Hmmm...that's pretty darned accurate.  Or…what about this one?  "Teenagers:  Tired of being harassed by your parents?  ACT NOW!!  Move out, get a job, pay your own way, while you still know everything!" Sounds like a near perfect description of teenagers to me!  We threatened each of them on several occasions; gave them the normal ultimatums… Did just about everything we could think of, short of putting a suitcase with all of their personal belongings on the front porch or dropping them off at the bus station while quickly hurling their bags to the ground behind them.  There was more than one occasion that we grounded them for the rest of their lives, demanded respect, and gave them curfews while telling them, Nothing good happens after midnight, you know.  (We adjusted their curfews to the appropriate teenager and their sibling ranking.) 


Being monstrously menopausal myself didn’t help matters.  The hot flashes were in full swing.  Who in their right mind visits a sauna at 3:00 a.m. in the morning?  Hello?!   The brain fog and the memory loss was at an all time high. I depleted numerous supplies of Gingko and I still forgot what I was going to say mid-sentence, while embarrassingly muttering “A…a…I’m sorry, I-a just lost my train of thought.”


The adjectives the kids were using only compounded my confusion.  “That’s tight!”  I have a rubber jar opener for stuff like that, I'd mutter under my breath.  It’s in the drawer next to the frig.  Or, “Did you see the trick he just did on the skate board?  That’s BAD!” “Must they confuse their elders,” I wondered?  Bad to me still means B-A-D.  You know, NOT GOOD.  BAD!  Or, “That’s killer!”  “Don’t they still lock those guys up for God’s sake?” I asked discustingly.  Must you add to the shroud of brain fog already infiltrating my muddled brain?  Talk NORMAL.  You know, normal…MY normal!

Why is every adult older than a teenager automatically catergorized as "Old?"  I’ve been called “OLD” more times than you can shake a stick at.  I usually retort, “Please, call me OLDER, not OLD.  There is a difference.”  When my daughter balks at something I say with, “Mom, that is so 50’s,” I deliver the usual come back:  “Hello?  I was only 2-years-old in the 50’s.  At least, get the year right!”


The brightly colored sign flashing “The Hormone House,” was sold at a garage sale shortly after my oldest son turned twenty and life in our household began to calm down.  It went for a pretty penny.  Evidently the Hansen's were as amused as we were when we bought it at Whitaker's sign shop.   I just drove by their house the other evening.  It's shining brightly for all to see.  We’ve remodeled the “Rubber Room.”  It had surely seen it’s better days of teenagers running their finger nails down the blue foam rubber when we locked them up for a spell, and me banging my head on the one of the four walls crying frantically while searching for answers to one of our teenaged dilemmas. 


All in all, it wasn’t near as bad as it could have been. We could probably consider ourselves fortunate.  We’ve survived several car accidents, (one a mere ten-thousand dollars worth,) a few traffic tickets, and accompanying our youngest to his court hearing for fleeing the scene of an accident.  Attitudes at present are on the down swing.  Our oldest son is getting married in September, and our daughter a year from this June.  I don't know what in the world I was thinking?    I should have known the rubber room would never become obsolete.  Let's see...where's the number for the contractor that designed that room?  I know I have it here some where.  Who ever complains about repeat business? 


© 2009 Carole

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Featured Review

Don�t get rid of too many signs or that rubber room; the grandchildren can be just as maddening. Still, you can have a chuckle when the kids start complaining about �the kids�.

Been there, done that and worn the T-shirt (apart from the menopausal thing - being a fella).And we still love them!

Great to read and reminds other parents - they are not alone.

Well done!

God�s Blessings

Posted 17 Years Ago

8 of 8 people found this review constructive.


Very cute write! I can't believe you actually had a neon sign! My best friend is going through this right now. Sigh......most of the time I'm glad I never had children......

Posted 15 Years Ago

LOL, I liked this story "The hormone house" I bet everybody that drove by got a kick out of that sign.
When my mom was little if her room was a mess her parents would throw EVERYTHING out the window for everyone to see and she would have to go pick it up, my mom has threatened me with that.
A rubber room sounds like a good idea, my nephew could use one to scream in.
Good sense of humor, I enjoyed this very much.

Posted 16 Years Ago

This was very uplifting to read. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you for sharing. Debileah

Posted 16 Years Ago

As the time passes and things change , so do the signs that we post in our front yards !! "Wanted ...Bifocals" Yes all things change and boy can they throw us a curve ball now and then . This write stesses the importance of not taking ourselves too seriously. As life will not let us forget just how serious it is all on its own. The ups and the downs and greys replace the blondes and browns. time goes on and we must roll with the punches.
Wonderfully expressed.

Mr. Lopez

Posted 16 Years Ago

carol, what in the world " rubber room" ? and neon signs, you really have a way with creating a subtle yet stage perfomance scenery as written from general, realistic, everyday circumstances, time, and growing up,
memomeories, this has a way of speaking to the heart, with coming of age endearment, i could feel my
own childhood in your words, and thats what brilliant writing does, causes the reader to reflect, i really enjoy the way you pen your thoughts with writer's need, its touching, crafted with humor and life, mike

Posted 16 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is a great story. Sounds like my house only now, I get to watch my oldest daughter have such a hard time. She has three girls of her own now that drive her crazy. I just watch and laugh. Because I spoil them rotten them send them back home to her. I'm sure every parent who reads this has is felt these feelings.
You did a wonderful job of expressing it in this piece. Great read as always.

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

a great read for other parents, kinda some of the reasons why i dont want kids in this lifetime lol.

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is hilariously told and oh so true of both teenagers and menopausal women - I saw my mother suffer through that one for quite some time - luckily I was older and tried to help whereas in this situation teenagers most often just think of themselves. So wonderfully described and witty. Thank you for sharing.

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is really funny..I had to laugh..I have no children..I lost the ones my body tried to carry..But being raised in a family of 9 children and a strioct dad..whew..I think we might have caused him to have an hormone imbalance!1 Loved it..God bless Valentine

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

OH MY GOSH...I LOVE THIS! You've written a worthy magazine article! You need to submit this somewhere...soon! My favorite lines:
Teenagers: Tired of being harassed by your parents? ACT NOW! Move out, get a job, pay your own way, while you still know everything!"

Darn it! I knew I shouldn�t have remodeled the rubber room.
What a great closing! You've boldly and fearlessly...what most parents never admit. This is priceless..and I see no errors at all! Good job! You should send it out again and have people read this!

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

First Page first
Previous Page prev
Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


22 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on February 5, 2008
Last Updated on January 1, 2009



Rio Rancho, NM

There comes a point in your life when you realize: Who matters, Who never did, Who won't anymore... And who always will. So, don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn.. more..


Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..