Troubled Teen Part 2: The Road Trip

Two weeks after I turned fourteen, I hit the road with my boyfriend. A day or two earlier, my mom had issued an ultimatum: Either I stop seeing him, or she would call the police. I had brought him home to meet her, and the sight of a scruffy bearded 26 year old man, assuring her that he was serious about me, must have been horrifying.

I was filled with excitement when he suggested that we run away together. He was a Pied Piper figure on the Sunset Strip, with plenty of followers eager to help in our getaway. In no time, we had fake IDs and a guy to drive us to San Fransisco. Our birth certificates belonged to an 18 year old girl named Debbie and some guy named Warren. For the next few weeks, we had to call each other Warren and Debbie, names I still hate to this day.

I stopped at a phone booth to call my sister. I told her I was leaving, and I’d be back in four years. She was furious and threatened to tell our mother. When I said she could have my over-the-knee boots, she backed down, clearly surprised by her good fortune.

For some reason, I wasn’t wearing my contact lenses. It was annoying but I guess I resigned myself to being blind. It was already after midnight and our first stop was Tijuana, to get married. He must have wanted to make an honest woman of me. I remember waking up some guy in a shack who didn’t speak much English. My bridal attire was one of my every day outfits: an awful brown satin dress that looked like a civil war costume, and bare feet.

From Mexico we went to San Francisco, our driver’s original destination. He let us off near a Goodwill thrift store, where I bought a black velvet opera coat for fifty cents. The plan was to dress like a “straight” person, but I had to rebel. It was a reflex or an instinct; it was all I ever did. My husband went to a barber who cut his long hair and shaved off his beard. I was stunned by how unattractive he looked without the hair and beard, but it was too late. I was stuck with him.

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33 Responses to Troubled Teen Part 2: The Road Trip

  1. 14? omg!
    i was still breastfeeding when i was 14. Had a serious boyfriend at age 21.

    you’re tough! wow! your story’s quite a ride.

    well i remember my ex, i didn’t like him so much, but the breaking point was when he wore this ugly maroon pants. That afternoon i broke up with him.

  2. Stella Mayfair says:

    must be fiction?
    anyscruffyhusband, i like the story.

  3. Jill says:

    I’m waiting with bated breath to hear more!

  4. Ann says:

    I always wanted a sister, one that was cool enough to set the bar so high and give me over-the-knee boots in exchange for my silence.

    More, please.

  5. OMGGMAB says:

    Great story – ghastly really. Can’t wait to hear how you got rid of Mr. Ugly and survived.

  6. Talisa says:

    Please sister tell us more please please pretty please. Nothing worse than having the truth hidden under a ton of dirty hair.

  7. Were you really married at 14, Sister?
    I was such a late-bloomer I was still playing with dolls at 14.

  8. I also won’t to read more. Why did your boyfriend need a fake ID if he was 26?

  9. dana says:

    God love ya! I’m 41, so I can say that kind of thing to people now. Of course, if my kid tries this at 14, she will be dismembered. And yes, more please!

  10. MJ says:

    This is terrific stuff. I can’t wait to hear more either!

  11. Dru says:

    Ah, the problem of the Bad Haircut- I went off so many boys because they got weird haircuts that made them look completely unlike the person they were when I started crushing on them. Luckily, I did not marry any of them first. My parents had me under more or less permanent house arrest throughout my teens, so it would’ve been tough.

    Besides, you were fourteen! You shouldn’t have been stuck with him at that age- or are underage marriages considered legal after they’ve happened?

  12. smashingbird says:

    Great story, I love that your sister caved in over the boots, I’d probably do the same! Can’t wait to hear more…

  13. Aja says:

    I am in awe by this amazing story. I was such a lame teen. And a grump. But your poor mother. You must have given her so many grey hairs.

  14. Jenny Dunville says:

    When I was 14 I snuck copies of “True Confessions” to read. This story has all those, can’t put it down, need to suck up all the dirty details qualities & I luv it.

  15. Mark says:


    Peter, he needed a fake ID because he was a fugitive (or fancied himself a fugitive).

  16. Alicia says:

    Can I come over so you can tell me the story of your life? Or do I have to hear them in installments through the internets? I’m great company, I swear!

  17. Alan Smithee says:

    Yup, yup, I see it clearly now . . . we were on the same road except in different countries . . .

  18. gretchen says:

    wow…makes me feel like such a woose.

  19. kate says:

    Sounds like a pretty great adventure, but why did so many baby boomers get married in order to rebel…seems like the wrong course of action. At least you looked fabulous, minus the civil war dress. Your allegory suggests that you have to lose your shoes to revel in rebellion.

    I, of the Gen Y crowd, did a ton of psychedelic drugs (imitating boomer forebearers), ran a term-paper writing business racket and dealt on the side for income, had turquoise hair while in a terrible synth band, shoplifted stuff I didn’t want (the Zoloft given to me in rehab produced kleptomania), skipped class every other day, and left home at sixteen.

    Compared to us, Jane of Sea of Shoes actually seems pretty together, if lamer in the fogie rock-n-roll wildness sense. Maybe next year Tavi will elope with that French tragic fashion boy in the red cape!

  20. lizzifer says:

    This is like readers digest on acid. You are my hero. My first boyfriend could also have been on To Catch a Predator, but he didn’t have a beard, so your story trumps mine.

  21. K-Line says:

    You never cease to amaze me with your fascinating tales, Sister.

  22. Theresa says:

    Hair is a cosmic source of power. Cutting it is the equivalent of what happens to male extremities in swimming pools.

    How did you even meet this guy? Will you do a prequel post?

  23. WendyB says:

    You need to write a book.

  24. ^^!! And yeah, I would have slept with a lot less men if they’d only cut their hair first.

  25. arline says:

    I agree with Wendy.

  26. I also agree with Wendy and wow how did I miss this post in between sea of shoes and cunt of the week!

    Next instalment please xx

  27. XuXu says:

    ok Sister Lady, it’s on.

    you are your coy peeking out from
    behind the red velvet curtain.

    bring it on sistah lady,
    bring it on!!!!!!!!!!

    i will if you will!!!!!


  28. Dru says:

    I kind of envy you and Kate. My only naughty thrills at 14 came from writing Harry Potter fan fiction, and reading it. And sneaking teen magazines that contained lots of stuff on how to snog (not that I had any chance to find out, or practice).
    Please do continue the tale- I want to know more of what happened after the beard came off!

  29. Dru says:

    Also, to reiterate- you should write a book of this stuff sometime! Really.

  30. Suspended says:

    Nice read, but has to be fiction? Do tell.

  31. hammie says:

    Did Kate just call you a baby boomer? Do you want me to go mess her up? (Kate,
    try a wiki of baby boomer, then come back and prostrate yourself)

    I too had a good haircut boyfriend at age 14, but when he got his perfectly flicked back fringe cut – I dropped him. Which merely entailed saying “you’re dropped” – as opposed to annulments or divorces.


  32. Sister Wolf says:

    Peter – It was to avoid being arrested. He did get arrested in the end, though.

  33. Dru says:

    ^what did he get arrested for, if that’s not asking too much?

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