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Pamela Fagan Hutchins | Crack or cupcakes. They’re practically the same thing.

So my 15-year old daughter Susanne got a debit card at the same time as she got a summer lifeguarding job. We discovered fairly quickly that the only thing standing between her and an empty bank account was lack of a drivers license, because if she could legally drive to Claire’s or Buffalo Wild Wings, it would all be over ‘cept the crying.

She decided to keep lifeguarding once school started. We think this is a grand idea. Someone has to support her spending habits, and she’s the one we vote for.

As part of my (awesomely-performed) mothering responsibilities, I monitor her bank account. I also monitor Clark Kent’s and Liz’s. Liz is in college, so we’re easing up on her a bit, and Clark Kent only spends his money on books and computer games. Susanne spends hers on, well, everything. And her spending underwent a giant uptick recently when (shh, this is a secret) she acquired her first boyfriend. No, we haven’t told Tim Tebow, yet. Frankly, I’m waiting to see how this plays out first. And, yes, she does seem to like this young man more than Texas-shaped waffles. But I digress.

Last weekend, I was appalled to see Susanne spent $75. At that burn rate, she couldn’t keep up with her profligate spending no matter how many shifts she worked at the pool. But it wasn’t her spending that stopped me dead in my tracks. It was her deposits.

Susanne is paid by direct deposit to MY account by the pool at which she works. (You like how I did that? At our house we don’t call it stealing from our children. It’s a “service fee.”) She makes no cash, to my knowledge. I don’t even pay her cash for an allowance anymore. I just transfer money to her account, and she accesses it with her debit card. The only cash that crosses her sticky palm is lunch money, and most days she takes her lunch, or doesn’t eat at all. Because, hello, she can’t eat in front of her boyfriend, puh-leeze.

So imagine my surprise when, after a wild weekend in which she spent 75-as-yet-to-be-explained bucks, she deposited $56 into her account. I emailed her father, Edward.

“Did you give Susanne money?”


“Do you know how she would have gotten $56 to deposit into her bank account?”

“Maybe she stole it from her brother?”

While a slightly appalling thought, Clark Kent does leave stacks of twenties out on a routine basis, money which we give him for lunches and allowances (because he can never find his wallet, or, if he has his wallet, he can’t find his debit card), and which he promptly “loses.” I wouldn’t exactly blame Susanne if she succumbed to the temptation to claim it as salvage. It’s not like her brother would miss it. But, still, I didn’t think that was it.

I texted my husband Eric. “She’s probably selling drugs.”

He replied, “You’re probably on drugs.” (See why I love him?)

Hmm. Meanwhile, Susanne’s father emailed me again.

“Susanne said Lindsay’s Mom gave her the money.”

“What? Why?”

And that’s when it hit me. It was for the drugs. Susanne was not only selling drugs, SHE WAS SELLING THEM TO THE MOTHER OF HER BEST FRIEND.

Edward emailed, “For the cupcakes.”

This made no sense. Cupcakes? What cupcakes? Except that it did make sense, if cupcakes was a code word for drugs. Which I was now sure that it was.

A cold dread seeped over me. I hung my head. Was all of this happening now because we were the bad parents who missed her choir concert?  Or because I had threatened to tattoo her picture on my bum if she was a butthead? Did she develop her drug connections while skipping class 23 times in middle school? Come to think of it, she hadn’t changed her relationship status on Facebook, so maybe the whole “boyfriend” thing was just a cover for meeting her supplier??? Oh, the parade of horribles.

I pulled out the bank statement one last time to see if I had missed anything before I turned my beloved youngest daughter — Tim Tebow’s possibly-former fiancee, for goodness sakes, and the recent amour of a sure-to-be-devastated-and-very-nice sixteen-year old boy (if he wasn’t, in fact, her supplier) — over to the cops. Something about her $75 in weekend spending caught my eye.

An entry for “Crave Cupcakes” accounted for $55.83 of her $75 weekend. Visions of hash brownies in a cupcake display danced in my head. I googled Crave. They purported to be a purveyor of gourmet cupcakes.

But we all know better, don’t we? Please join me in praying for Susanne’s rehabilitation and immortal soul. And my future as the mother-in-law of a good looking do-gooding NFL quarterback…




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30 Responses to Crack or cupcakes. They’re practically the same thing.

  1. Eric Hutchins says:

    Tim is going to be crushed, not only is he losing her, but she has gone to the Dark side. A double whammy. Maybe there is an opportunity for an intervention.

  2. Vidya Sury says:

    :-) Cupcakes. Hmm. You know what I enjoyed most? The fact that I’ve read all the posts you linked to in this post. That’s such a beautiful feeling. So what were the cupcakes about? And why? Now I am worrying. Vidur is going to be fifteen in Nov this year and he doesn’t carry pocket money. Hmm.

    • Pamela says:

      The real story, although I got so confused, which really is the origin of this post/riff, is that Susanne paid for some cupcakes for a birthday party with her debit card b/c her friend’s mom didn’t have her wallet with her, and the mom paid her back. But all of this got so convoluted in the telling that my joke “maybe it’s drugs” became a running theme in the conversation. Trying to understand a 15-year old girl’s explanation of anything…Lord help me!

  3. So so funny! I love that “service fee” and I plan to make it retroactive in this family. Alpha Son will be here Saturday and I’m hitting him with a huge bill for service fees for the past 30 years. Then again I have it on good authority that one can also be hit up an extortion fee by the daughter-in-law – I pay her so he won’t come home to live again. Hmmm. Guess that means the bill and the extortion cancel themselves out. Darn. I was looking forward to making some $$$. Funnnny post!

    • Pamela says:

      LOL, you could collect the service fees, then pay them to the DIL…
      I think Eric and I are tempted to pay the kids to give us some space when they leave. Oh, who am I kidding? We miss them almost as soon as they walk out of our sight.

  4. Cathy b says:

    Hi my name is cathy & I am a cupcake addict too. Please pray for us because it’s a nasty but delicious habit. We buy extras so we can get our friends & family hooked too. I will now have to go into hiding because the cupcake lords will not be happy since I have spilled the sprinkles!! Thanks for the laughs. Cupcakes Rule!

  5. Awesome! What is it about young teenage girls and B-Dubs as they call it?!?! Mine will woof down 20 boneless wings in a moment! Great post! Keep’em coming!

  6. Ann says:

    You crack me up. I gotta stop drinking my coffee while reading your posts or I am definitely going to have to buy a new keyboard.

  7. Sandy Webb says:

    My first thought is….who would spend that much money on cupcakes?!?! Secondly, I love that her check goes into your account. Seriously Pamela…how do you talk your kids into doing that??

  8. Grace says:

    I have two daughters who can find 37 ways to spend every dollar they get. I don’t understand it, either.

  9. Oh, the things kids do. And oh, the even crazier things we parents do in response. So glad she’s choosing cupcakes over crack…even though those sound like some pretty darn expensive cupcakes, if you ask (cheapskate) me.

  10. Eric Hutchins says:

    They are never presented with a choice :) . Pamela Rocks.

  11. Haha! Even your title is hilarious. For a minute I thought you were going to talk about how irresistible cupcakes are, that they are like crack. But you are not a predictable writer! I never would have thought this post would be about your daughter who is using cupcakes as a code word for drugs but really just cupcakes. And that line about pot brownies? I’ve never met a pot joke I didn’t like:) Love this post! And now I’m craving crack. NO! I’m not. Just chocolate.

  12. Crack or cupcakes?! Looooove it. Those cupcakes are about as expensive as if they had crack IN them, just sayin. 😉

  13. it was all very confusing. So glad to know that it is just a cupcake addiction. I actually learned a lot of good ideas by reading this. “service fees” sound good!

  14. […] I am glad Jami’s ok. And that whatever got on her hands didnt get in her eyes or mouth! Pamela recently posted..Crack or cupcakes. They’re practically the same thing. […]

  15. Ally says:

    This is hilarious. I gather she paid for the cupcakes for the mom, who paid her back. But it reminds me of when I saw my son hiding a baggie of green stuff in his baseball bag and I was sure it was marijuana… only to find out it was souvenir blades of grass from the one and only time he got to play baseball on a real major league ball field. Ahem.

  16. […] my life enjoy hunting (not my husband). And so it came to pass that recently we took our youngest, Susanne, and her best friend and her boyfriend for a day jaunt to Nowheresville. The aim of the trip was […]

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