The Humiliated Teen

January 10, 2008

First, have a look at this news story.

It was early last month when Jane Hambleton of Fort Dodge found the bottle under the front seat of her 19-year-old son’s pride and joy.

Her next move was a call to The Des Moines Register’s classified advertising department:

OLDS 1999 Intrigue

“Totally uncool parents who obviously don’t love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for 3 weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.”

The son soon found himself on foot. And the meanest mom on the planet became the target of accolades from across Iowa and beyond.

Hambleton, 48, a disc jockey, said she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counselors and even a Georgia man, who wanted to congratulate her.

“The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I’m telling people what happened here. I’m not just going to put the car for resale when there’s nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision,” Hambleton said. “It’s overwhelming, the number of calls I’ve gotten from people saying, ‘Thank you, it’s nice to see a responsible parent.’ So far, there are no calls from anyone saying, ‘You’re really strict. You’re real overboard, lady.’ ”

Steven Hambleton, a freshman business major at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, obviously was not one of the callers. And he didn’t feel much like talking when contacted Tuesday.

“I don’t think you can print” his response to the ad, his mother said. “He’s very, very unhappy.”

Jane Hambleton described her son as a great kid who does excellently in college and is active in church. But she’ll stick to her guns, even though Steven Hambleton said that the bottle of alcohol wasn’t his, and that someone else had left it in his (former) car.

For the record, Mom believes him.

But she and her husband set two rules when they bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep the car locked. The car sold within two weeks, but Hambleton said she will continue the ad for another week – just for the feedback.

“A couple in Hubbard bought it for their 19-year-old son,” she said. “I told the kid when they were leaving, ‘Do not have any booze in that car. And if you do, don’t hide it under the front seat.’ “

I’m actually almost in tears after reading that. Some “big tough” mom found a beer bottle or something in her 19-year-old son’s car, and decided to sell the car as punishment. She made a stupid little ad in the paper where she sold the car, explaining the whole situation. This attracted a lot of attention, as it was apparently newsworthy to the folks at the Des Moines Register. Not to mention all the calls the horrible mom got commending her actions.

I want to strangle that woman so badly. Oh, man, I wish she were right in front of me so I could whack her with something until she stopped squirming. How the HELL can this bitch just do something so callous to her son, who she supposedly loves, and sit there laughing about it with all her idiot little supporters around the country?

Look at happened to this guy. His mother stabs him in the back, and he loses a cherished vehicle. And if that weren’t horrible enough, he is publicly humiliated over it. I mean, just look at the comments on the webpage with the article. Lots of cretins going on and on about how she’s some kind of hero and that it’s great that she’s so tough with such a horrible kid, that “it’s so hard raising teenagers, you’ve done the right thing”.

You know, at 19, I’d say he’s pretty well raised. But not enough for you idiots. You see that he’s under 21 and is in any way involved with alcohol (the article never said he was actually drinking, and if he had, it would have said so), so he must deserve anything horrible that happens to him. You believe his mother owns him and can do whatever she wants to him, including parading him out in public, after she’s done something horrible to him, and leaving him for you all to mock and belittle.

We’ve gone well beyond the issue of the car itself at this point. This guy is being humiliated because of his age and familial status, and little else. If this woman had done this to her husband, this would not happen. She wouldn’t be getting the accolades, or at least not as much. You’d have a lot of people condemning her for betraying her husband, that it was wrong to do to a “grown man”, even if he were drinking and driving.

Look at yourselves. Leave this guy alone. He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t deserve for this family issue to be so broadcast. We should be feeling sorry for him, for all he has gone through. That’s right, he’s going through a lot here, and you all are mostly responsible for it. But I bet you’re more thinking about his mother in that aspect, how she must be having a horrible time dealing with him, that anything he’s going through is trivial and stupid teen crap that he’ll grow out of.

I suppose you think she did this out of love, right? And that somehow makes it all better? If so, you are perverting the concept of love in extremely offensive ways. You’re turning love into coercion and torture. That you must coerce and torture the ones you love, and to be lenient and understanding is to not love them. This is the kind of parenting that is encouraged. This is what young people have to grow up with, and even, as is this case, have to continue to deal with after growing up. This downright sadistic idea of parental love is damaging young people far more than anything the things you think you’re protecting them from ever will.

11 thoughts on “The Humiliated Teen”

  1. She should have sold the car. Serves him right. I wonder who was paying for the car? Insurance? I bet his tough mom was paying. That means she had the right.

  2. Having the right doesn’t make it the right thing to do. She only did it because she got some pleasure out of publicly torturing him. The article itself says she believed him when she said the alcohol wasn’t his, yet she went and did this anyway. Why? Power over him.

    And so what if she was paying for it? If a woman were a housewife, and her husband decided to take away her car (since he would technically be the one paying for it), would he be right to do so? Think about that one honestly. Or maybe if it her an elderly parent’s car, or anyone else who is dependent. I guarantee you that you wouldn’t think it’s as wrong. But because this guy is her son and is a teenager, everyone thinks she can do whatever she wants to him for her own sick desires. She can rot in hell. I hope her son has the sense to cut off contact with his parents once he’s independent. This was a dastardly thing to do to him.

  3. I don’t think it was right for her to sell his car. She should have just told him to pay his own damn insurance instead. I hope he buys himself another car so he can have her charged with theft if she sells it.

  4. “But she and her husband set two rules when they bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep the car locked.”

    The mother and the son had an agreement: she and her husband would buy him a car, and he would have to follow two rules. The son broke the terms of the agreement, so he had to suffer consequences. I don’t see how that’s back-stabbing, torture, or sadism.

    I did think the mother went too far by publicizing it so much, though.

  5. It’s the publicizing and public mockery of him over it that is the sadism and torture. I mean, she’s clearly taking joy out of publicly ridiculing him. It’s one thing if this were a private family agreement, it’s another to invite people all across the country to laugh at him and call him a dumb disobedient kid over it. What’s the purpose? Who does it help except whatever sick desires the mother has?

  6. Perhaps the mother felt she had to publicly humiliate her son to really get the message across to him. (I think taking away his car was sufficient.) Or perhaps she was trying to set an example for other parents: “I’m not afraid to discipline my kid for underage drinking, and you shouldn’t be, either.” If that were the case, she’d feel that she was helping to solve the problems of drunk driving and underage drinking, thereby helping many teenagers and young adults stay safer. Maybe you don’t think the drinking age policies she’s trying to enforce are effective, but that’s a different issue.

  7. You don’t have to look around this site much to see that I’m quite ardently opposed to the current drinking age. How come Steven could enlist and go to Iraq to get his head blown off but can’t drink a beer?

    And you just don’t get it. Steven is not hers to humiliate. He’s not a piece of property she is free to do as she wants with. He’s a human being just as she is, a member of her family, who deserves respect just as much as she’d respect her parents or her siblings or the like.

    Anyway, answer me this. Would it have been okay to do this exact same thing to her husband? Why or why not? What makes doing this to her son, her adult son I might add, any different?

    And you think she’s making an “I’m not afraid to discipline” example? Are you kidding me?! This kind of family coercion is the CAUSE of all teenage and young adult problems! This idea that just because of their age, they have to be treated with disrespect under the outright delusion that it is for their own good, when, in most cases, the only thing it does any good for is the ego of the parents. Which, of course, leads right back to what I said earlier about sadism.

    And I’m sure you actually believe the parents do things like this out of love. If THIS kind of treatment, this public humiliation over a personal morality, is your idea of love, then, honestly, you’ve got a lot of twisted problems yourself, as do, sadly, millions upon millions of other people.

  8. What “message,” exactly, needed to be “gotten across to him”? That it’s bad to have anything to do with alcohol, no matter how remotely? He could very well have been a designated driver. There’s no evidence that he drank at all, much less drove drunk. Maybe the “message” is more like “even though you’re a legal adult you’re still under your mom’s thumb because you’re young, and therefore less of a person.”

  9. I’d not be opposed to her doing it to her husband. If they had an agreement, say, no beer or I sell the car, she finds beer, she sells the car.

    But do you really need to boost your ego by shouting out the situation to the whole world?

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