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A woman in a car | Source: Shutterstock
A woman in a car | Source: Shutterstock

My Parents Gifted Me a Car with a Hidden Dash Cam to Spy on Me – I Taught Them a Lesson about Privacy

Roshanak Hannani
Jun 27, 2024
03:38 P.M.

My parents thought they were so clever, gifting me a car with a hidden dash cam to keep tabs on my every move. Little did they know, I was about to turn their surveillance into a hilarious prank that would teach them a valuable lesson about trust and privacy.

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I have a helicopter mom and a dad who's just happy to go along with whatever she says. It's been this way my whole life: every move scrutinized and every decision questioned.

Now, at 26, I should have a bit more freedom, right? When they told me they were gifting me their old car since they got a new one, I thought maybe, just maybe, they were finally starting to trust me.

I was ecstatic but thought: is the world about to end?

A vintage white car | Source: Pexels

A vintage white car | Source: Pexels

"Surprise!" my mom squealed as she handed me the keys. "We wanted to make sure you're safe on the road with a sensible car."

My dad just stood there, smiling and nodding.

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I was so grateful, even when we had to arrange a bunch of paperwork for the registration and insurance so that the car would be in my name officially.

It was a hassle, but I thought it was so worth it as I slid into the driver's seat for the first time after all the legalities were done. The bomb was about to drop, though.

A woman inside a vintage white car | Source: Midjourney

A woman inside a vintage white car | Source: Midjourney

My mother had a big smile on her face, and my dad was his quiet, simple self as they watched me arrange the seat, start the engine, and put on my seat belt.

I was so ready to take my "new" car for a spin when something caught my eye.

It was a weird little bulge on the dash. I leaned in for a closer look and my heart sank. It was a dash cam; not just any dash cam, but one of those sneaky hidden ones, and I just knew it.

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The dashboard of a vintage car | Source: Pexels

The dashboard of a vintage car | Source: Pexels

This wasn't a gift. It was a trick. But I could never say anything. I could practically hear my mom's voice in my head if I dared to complain about it: "It's for your good, honey."

So, I acted like I hadn't seen it, but inside, I was fuming.

I gulped, waved my parents goodbye, and drove off straight to my apartment.

That night, as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling, I couldn't shake the feeling of being violated. Was there something I could do? Should I give it back?

A woman in bed looking at the ceiling | Source: Midjourney

A woman in bed looking at the ceiling | Source: Midjourney

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How could they do this to me?

After fuming in bed for some time and doom-scrolling on TikTok, I finally came up with a plan: if they wanted to spy on me, I would give them a show they wouldn't forget.

So, although it was 3 a.m., I called my best friend, Alex.

"Dude, you won't believe what my parents did," I said as soon as he picked up.

A woman in bed calling someone | Source: Midjourney

A woman in bed calling someone | Source: Midjourney

"What now?" he asked, already sighing. He knew the drill with my folks.

I told him about the car and the hidden dash cam.

"That's insane!" he exclaimed. "But you know your mom, always trying to protect you from the big bad world."

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"Yeah, well, I'm done with it," I said. "I'm a grown woman! I'm going to teach them a lesson about trust and privacy."

A woman in bed calling someone | Source: Midjourney

A woman in bed calling someone | Source: Midjourney

"Oh, this I've got to hear," Alex said, and I could almost see him rubbing his hands like a villain.

So, I laid out my plan, and he was all in, although he had several suggestions of his own that would be perfect.

The following afternoon, I picked up Alex, and we headed out in my "new" car. I tried my best not to look at the dashcam to avoid giving anything away.

A man and a woman in a vintage car | Source: Pexels

A man and a woman in a vintage car | Source: Pexels

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But I was smirking the entire time Alex and I drove to our first destination: Inky's Tattoos. This was going to be fun because, among the tattoo parlors in our town, this one had a horrible reputation.

I.e.: hygiene issues and questionable clients.

I parked the car, and Alex and I skipped inside. The walls were plastered with designs I would never actually consider: skulls, dragons, and scantily clad women.

They were perfect for the role I was about to play.

Tattoo parlor | Source: Unsplash

Tattoo parlor | Source: Unsplash

"Hey, man, we're looking to get some ink," I said to the heavily tattooed guy behind the counter. He grunted in response, his eyes scanning us up and down.

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"You?" he frowned, knowing I didn't fit the part, so I had to tell him the truth: we wanted temporary tattoos. After chuckling a bit, he told us to pick our poison and sat us down.

I chose a giant skull with flames for my bicep, a snake wrapped around a dagger for my forearm, and a barbed wire band around my ankle.

Tattoo designs | Source: Unsplash

Tattoo designs | Source: Unsplash

Alex opted for a full sleeve of tribal symbols, which I knew would send my mom into a tizzy.

Luckily, she didn't know enough about this industry to understand that these intricate designs would take days if they were permanent tattoos.

These were done quickly, but we told the artist to take his time.

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The temporary designs looked surprisingly realistic. We paid the artist and left, making sure to display our tattoos in front of my car without being too obvious.

An arm with tattoos | Source: Pexels

An arm with tattoos | Source: Pexels

Our next stop was the local tobacco shop.

We walked in and walked around for a while. The cashier eyed us suspiciously because we weren't grabbing anything and asked, "Are you going to buy something?"

"Just this," I said, taking a handful of candy cigars.

Neither Alex nor I smoked nor used anything sold in here, but we had to spend some time in here for the footage to be believable.

A box of fake, candy cigars | Source: Midjourney

A box of fake, candy cigars | Source: Midjourney

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So, we paid and exited the store. We made sure "to smoke" our fake cigars right in front of the car to add to the show.

But we weren't done.

When night fell, Alex and I drove towards the city center, straight to "Club Euphoria," another place that would send my mother into hysterics.

"This is it," I said to Alex. "The pièce de résistance."

A woman in a vintage car at night | Source: Midjourney

A woman in a vintage car at night | Source: Midjourney

"Showtime!" he replied, grinning evilly.

We got out of the car, making sure the dash cam had a clear view of the club's entrance and went inside. We talked to the staff, and they made an exception, letting us out of the club through a side door that led to an alleyway.

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We walked to the nearest street, called an Uber, and headed off, leaving my car at the same spot, so my mom would think we were partying all night.

The Uber dropped off Alex at his house and drove on to take me home.

Someone getting a taxi at night | Source: Pexels

Someone getting a taxi at night | Source: Pexels

Our plan was complete, and I knew it was only a matter of time before Mom and Dad checked the footage.

***

The next morning, I was barely waking up when I heard it. My mom was pounding and yelling at my door frantically.

I only had a second to wonder who had let her into the apartment building. It must have been a neighbor.

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"Do you have any idea how worried I've been?!" Mom screamed as soon as I opened the door.

An elderly woman with a worried look | Source: Pexels

An elderly woman with a worried look | Source: Pexels

I suppressed the urge to chuckle and instead invited her inside. "Mom, before you say anything more, let me explain."

She didn't listen and went into a rant, but I kept quiet, guiding her to the couch.

When I also sat, I truly saw her disheveled state: gesticulating with her shaky hands, bags under her eyes, and hair in disarray as if she had pulled it.

Perhaps I did go too far.

An elderly woman listening | Source: Pexels

An elderly woman listening | Source: Pexels

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But that was done. So, I pulled out my phone and started playing the behind-the-scenes footage Alex and I had captured. She immediately went quiet.

I had recorded what truly happened inside these places for this very moment.

Mom's eyes widened in disbelief as she watched all my videos.

The footage showed us laughing and joking in the tattoo parlor, revealing our fake tattoos.

Hands holding a phone | Source: Pexels

Hands holding a phone | Source: Pexels

It showed us giggling as we walked around the tobacco store and "smoked" the candy cigars.

Finally, another video showed us going into the Uber after leaving the nightclub through a side door.

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"See, Mom? Nothing happened," I said calmly, once the last video had finished. "It was all a setup. I saw the dash cam, and I knew you guys would have access to it through your phones. I'm 26 years old. Spying on me isn't the answer. It isn't protecting me."

My mom stared at me, breathing hard and looking stumped. Her features were frozen for a long time before her face crumbled, and she covered it with her hands.

An elderly woman covering her face | Source: Pexels

An elderly woman covering her face | Source: Pexels

"I'm so sorry. I just worry about you so much," she mumbled, sobbing.

I moved closer and patted her back comfortingly.

After around an hour, she composed herself and looked at me with a new expression.

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"You're right," she said, sniffling. "I've been so focused on protecting you that I forgot to trust you. I'm sorry for invading your privacy."

An elderly woman with a thoughtful expression | Source: Pexels

An elderly woman with a thoughtful expression | Source: Pexels

I nodded, exhaling in relief.

Another knock came, but it was softer. I knew it would be Dad, so I opened it and smiled. His grin was… rueful and apologetic. He must have been eavesdropping.

"I also want to apologize," he said, shrugging. "We should have trusted you more. We'll remove the dash cam, and we promise not to invade your privacy again."

I laughed brightly and loudly, especially because I knew they would find other ways to keep protecting me in the future.

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A woman smiling brightly | Source: Midjourney

A woman smiling brightly | Source: Midjourney

I would always be their child, after all.

But as an adult, I needed enough privacy to make my own life. So, although I could've given them a heart attack, I don't regret this lesson I taught them.

What do you think? Was it too much?

Click here to read another story: They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but when my ex-husband's new wife reached out to me, I found myself caught in a web of desperation and secrets. I thought I'd left the pain of my past behind, but her plea for help opened old wounds and led me down a path I never expected.

This work is inspired by real events and people, but it has been fictionalized for creative purposes. Names, characters, and details have been changed to protect privacy and enhance the narrative. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

The author and publisher make no claims to the accuracy of events or the portrayal of characters and are not liable for any misinterpretation. This story is provided "as is," and any opinions expressed are those of the characters and do not reflect the views of the author or publisher.

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