A couple of weeks ago I was taking our daughter to get her wisdom teeth out. As I got into her car I smelled cigarette smoke. I think it would be fair to say that I started questioning her fairly intensely about why her car smelled like smoke. She assured me she had no idea. To which I responded, "Well I can just tell you that a car doesn't smell this intensely of smoke unless someone has been smoking in it. I believe that you haven't been smoking. Have you had someone on your car with you?????"
I should back up and tell you that our daughter has had her license for about 3 months and before we allowed her to drive her car she had to sign a contract. The contract included things like no one would be allowed to ride with her at this point without permission and there would be no alcohol or cigarettes allowed in her car.
To make a long story shorter.....
She told her Dad that her car smelled like smoke and that I was upset. He mentioned that it might be the air conditioning filter. In spite of the fact that he used to detail cars and might have some knowledge about this area, I jumped in there saying there is no way that all of the sudden the car is going to start reeking of cigarette smoke.
Yesterday Dad and daughter went to the car parts store and the guys said it was probably her cabin air filter (aka the air conditioning filter) Hummmmm. When they changed it out, the old one REEEEEKED of cigarette smoke. The guy said the previous owner of the car was clearly a smoker and this was one of the worst air filters he had seen.
When they returned home my daughter was very quick to point out that I was WRONG and needed to apologize for not believing her in the first place.
She's right and I did.
While I felt bad about the situation, I don't think it was totally a bad scene. I want her to know that we are paying attention. There are too many times teens get in tough situations with their friends and get coerced into doing something they don't really want to do. I thought this may have been one of times.
I did ask her why she didn't tell us when her car started smelling like smoke. To which she replied, "I didn't want to get in trouble." I explained that letting me just find it on my own made the situation a whole lot more suspicious than if she had come to us and told us her car was smelling funny.
Lesson learned for all involved!