I expected my "sweet 16th" birthday to be something special. But there was no party, no cake, nothing. I wanted to do something to celebrate, so I asked permission to go to the movies. First I asked my father. Then he told me to ask my mother. And then she told me to ask my father. It was a familiar pattern, and usually they'd end up agreeing. But this time they didn't. My father thought I should be allowed to go, but my mother didn't. (It may have been a school night. I don't remember.) I went back and forth between them pushing to get my own way.
It ended up causing my parents to fight-and me staying home. My parents never fought in front of us kids and never went to bed angry. This was the first time. They didn't speak to each other for a week or so. And boy did I feel guilty.