“Where have you been?” her mother nearly screamed. She ran up to the girl and hugged her while tears ran down her face. “We’ve been calling you and calling you. We were just about to call the police and file a missing person’s report! Your father and I have been worried sick. You haven’t posted anything on Facebook in five hours! We thought you’d been kidnapped, or ran off with some pervert that you met online or something. Where were you? Are you OK? Do you want go to the hospital? Somebody boil some water. Where were you? Do you think you can find it again on a Google map? I swear we’ll find the people who did this to you and bring them to justice.”
“Mom! I told you I was going to a party at Kathy’s house, don’t you remember?”
“You told me? You mean you didn’t email me? You didn’t share it on your iCalendar with me? You told me? What does that mean, young lady? Am I supposed to remember everything people tell me? Is that the way we do things in this house now? We tell people? Maybe it was my fault, maybe I raised you wrong, maybe I just thought I was leading by example. Well, whatever it is, I can see it didn’t take.
“I called your grandmother and your Uncle Art and Aunt Helen and they’re all in an uproar. What will I text them now? What will I say to my Facebook friends when they get back from their search parties? That you turned off your phone? What kind of person does that? What were you thinking? What is wrong with you kids today?”
Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life,” “Baby’s First Tattoo” and “Now in Paperback.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.