It’s Thursday. You know what that means. Please check out my weekly blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Mom Of Many (Susanna): One Mom’s perspective on life, raising kids, knitting and other unrelated topics.
For this week, Susanna’s topic choice was: As teens or young adults we all did something our parents would not have been real happy about. What did you do? Did you ever tell your parents about it?
Up until the 2nd semester of my sophomore year, I was a model student and a pretty geeky kid. A friend of mine has this memory of me, from middle school. He said we were in English class, and he sat right behind me. We were supposed to sit quietly and read, and yet there was conversation going on around me. He was part of the conversation, and I turned around and told him, “You need to be quiet! We are reading here!” I don’t remember doing that to him, or being that much of a goody two shoes, but I don’t doubt that occurred. I really was a great kid. Notice the past tense.
A girlfriend of mine convinced me to skip for the very first time when I was 15. I remember the absolute fear that laced through me as we left school grounds and headed for the local Arby’s. I kept glancing back at the front entrance to the school, convinced we would be spotted and someone would set out to bring us back. It never happened, and eventually I eased up. What was once scary became second nature to me. We skipped all the time! I don’t even remember my junior year. Most of it was spent at a park about a few blocks away, and another friend of mine deemed it, “Park 101”. We tried to convince ourselves that we were still learning something, just not in a classroom setting. We were learning about real life and about nature, the things that were really and truly important. Anything to dull the fact that what we were doing was wrong.
The girlfriend who first got me into skipping- well, there were days we’d head over to her house, knowing full well her parents wouldn’t be home until much later in the day. They would be none the wiser, and we’d get away with it, every time. Ok, ALMOST every time. Imagine how much I wanted to piss my pants when I saw my dad’s truck parked right in front of her house. That was very unexpected, yet thinking back- how many times did I think I’d skip classes without my parent being notified? I mean, really? She and I had a severe talking to, and my dad was FURIOUS. Her parents handled the situation a little more delicately, but my dad had me hop into his truck and he took me right back to school. We met with the school counselor, trying to get to the root of the problem. Why was I skipping? What drove me away from school and into the arms of the degenerates of my generation? Walking the straight and narrow only took me so far. That meeting with the counselor led me to a few weeks of good behavior, but I went right back into my destructive pattern. I don’t even think my dad realizes just how much school I missed. I know when my senior year started, I was in the hole by 5 credits.
I had this penchant for being an adult. I never really felt like I was a teenager, and I never thought I had to check in or account to anyone else in my life. I was probably difficult to deal with. When I was 16, I started dating a much older man who was 22. Yes, 6 years difference doesn’t sound like much, but at that age it’s huge. I don’t think my dad cared much for the situation, but I assured him it was on the up and up. Not much happened with this guy, other than some make out sessions. My friends thought I was nuts, and the guy was much more serious about our relationship than I was. One weekend, I went away with him to the beach and I never told my dad where I was going. This was before the time of cell phones. I was gone for three whole days. I have never seen my dad so angry in my entire life, as he was when I strolled into the house after my trip. He gritted his teeth and spoke at the same time, and his voice was low and gravelly. “Where the hell have you been?!?” (That’s another thing; he doesn’t cuss unless he’s mad). He reached out and grabbed onto my ear, tugging as hard as he could. My dad is not a violent person. I can only recall one time in my entire life he’s ever spanked me, and I was 3 at the time. That’s it. But when you really screwed up, he wasn’t afraid to pull on one of your ears! I was grounded for a very long time after that, and I know now it was completely justified. He should have given me a severe ass whooping!
I did smoke weed as a teenager, as most Oregonians did and probably still do. It wasn’t really my thing, though. I think I did it more to fit in with my friends. One time I went to a friend’s house for a party. Her mom would go on weekend trips, so she’d have us over and we’d RAGE ON! That was our expression back in the mid-90’s. Someone brought over a bag of weed, and it was obviously laced with something. I felt as though I’d turned into a tree, my legs growing into the linoleum in the kitchen, and I couldn’t move or do anything! I was a tree! Images jumped out at me in 3-D. Later I got severely drunk, and an ex boyfriend showed up. That was a big mistake. I only remember bits and pieces of this night, but I do recall chasing after him with a knife at one point, then much later searching for him around gravestones in a cemetery by my friend’s house so I could apologize for my faux pas. I was no longer allowed at my friend’s awesome parties. As she put it, “YOU’VE BEEN 86’ed SARA!”
I went to a ton of parties, drank a lot, and was really rowdy, although once I moved from Oregon in 1997 I stopped smoking the weed, and haven’t touched the stuff since. Alcohol wasn’t off limits though, and I partied pretty hard until my mid-20’s. I remember many weekends crawling into bed at 6 in the morning, having to be up and working by 9am. I was leasing apartments at the time, and I’d sit at the desk with my feet propped up, eyes closed and trying to catch some shut eye until I heard the “ding” of the door. I would immediately drop my feet, smile widely and look alive!
A lot of things have happened to make me change my ways. The biggest thing was how much weight I was gaining with the party lifestyle. It doesn’t allow for much room to be healthy, when you drink a lot, and eat a lot of unhealthy foods because those two things go so well together! When I couldn’t button up my largest pair of pants, I knew I had to change. I wasn’t healthy, and I felt like total shit. I was always waking up with hangovers, my stomach felt bad, my mouth felt dry and as though I’d shoved a pound of cotton into my throat. I got sick a lot, too. The other thing was my impending marriage, and I wanted to look good. Don’t most brides? So, I changed my eating habits and I started to exercise, which I completely loathed at the time. Immediately following that was the birth of my 1st son, and I did everything I could to ensure a healthy pregnancy for the both of us.
Yes, I was crazy as a kid, but I wouldn’t change it at all. I feel I went through those experiences for a reason. I learned a lot from them, learned a lot re: WHY I was behaving in that manner, and I feel it’s made my dad and I much closer. I hope he forgives me for the hell I put him through, and I am sure karma is going to give me a swift kick in the ass with my own boys, someday. I can handle it. I’ll be able to identify with them and know where they are coming from. I hope I can share some of my experiences, and earn their trust. They know that I have their back, just like my dad had mine when I was going through that rebellious stage.