Tags: grounded, punishment, teenagers, trouble
The fear (and excitement) of the possibility of getting in trouble runs deep in the veins of adolescents, who spend the majority of their time testing the boundaries of right and wrong. I for one never wanted to get into trouble, but I was certainly no angel.
Lucky for me, I was the second child in my family, the “good child,” if you will. My brother paved the way for me by getting into trouble in any possible way he could. By the time I got to high school, the assistant principal knew who I was simply because of my relation to my brother. I might mention that she never saw me in her office. I was too slick for that. I learned from his mistakes. I was never sent to detention, or suspended, or arrested. Sure I skipped class and broke a few minor laws — who didn’t?
For me, the worst trouble I could get into was with my parents. My parents were actually very lax and I was never grounded. Instead they used the old Jewish guilt to punish me. When my dad caught me smoking just by giving me a kiss, the look on his face was enough to make me never become a smoker. The last thing I wanted was to disappoint my Dad.
They were slick as well. One night when I was in about 9th grade, I snuck out the back door of my house to go hang out at a boy’s house (we were just friends, I swear!) When I came home in the wee hours of the morning, the back door was locked. I thought this was strange, but obviously I had to get in. So I went to the front door, and when I walked in I was staring at my father sitting on the couch. I don’t know if he actually said, “where were you?” or if that’s what his face said. I had gotten so used to walking around my house in the dark, it definitely caught me off guard.
And still my favorite story of getting into trouble, and pardon me if I’ve told this story before, was when I was 20. By this time, I was slick enough to know how to bounce back from the unexpected. I was out with my best friends from high school and college on Thanksgiving eve at a local bar. My best friend from college had traveled from Boston to spend the holiday with me. Thanksgiving Eve of course is the biggest night of the year to go out, and I had been going out for years, but usually not to my local bar, where we could run into jack ass ex-boyfriends like my best friend’s. This ex-boyfriend had the gall to call the cops on us and got all the under age people out of the bar. I was three months shy of 21 when the cops took the three of us home to our parents at 4 in the morning, just to teach us a lesson. Obviously no charges were filed on us, but you can only imagine the look on my parents’ face when we got home. Not good. It may be interesting to note that it’s not like my parents didn’t know I drank. Hell, they found me on the morning of my 18th birthday puking my brains out, and teased me all day.
But like I said, I bounced back. On Thanksgiving Day, I whipped out the trusty Bat-Mitzvah VHS and the ‘rents went soft.
Now, 8 years after that fact, I of course still look for the approval from my parents and hate to disappoint them, but I obviously don’t worry about getting into trouble anymore. But it’s sure fun to look back at the stupid things we are did!
What’s your best story of getting into trouble?
Tags: hoarding, memories
When I moved out of my parents’ house, I took the majority of my belongings with me. I wasn’t moving far, but I wanted to be as independent as possible, so I didn’t want to use my parents’ house as my own personal storage unit. The few things I left behind I planned to pick up at some unspecified point in the future. I left behind some books, stuffed animals and my collection of dollhouse furniture — nothing I was going to need anytime in the near future and nothing I was ready to part with.
And why couldn’t I part with these items? A lot of them had some sort of sentimental value, some sort of memory tied to them that I wasn’t ready to let go of. We all stuff our closets with memories in the form of physical objects only to stumble upon them during some massive cleaning effort or some purposeful memory searching effort.
So I have been taking these items home with me, one at a time over the past 4 years that I’ve lived on my own. Very often, I end up giving the stuffed animals to my dog, who will have 30 seconds of enjoyment out of them before they end up with their stuffing on the outside, but it’s more fun than I ever had with them. But I can’t do that with the ones that have sentimental value. At this point, there aren’t many left that don’t have this “value” and what I am now noticing is that if they did at some point have sentimental value, I no longer remember why. Where did the memories go? I held on to some of these things for 15 years or more. I know that I got the stuffed kitten from Chuckie in Kindergarten, but what about that bear? I know the Chinese dolls are family heirlooms, but where did that sheep come from?
I’m sure that I have these memories somewhere in my mind, but the physical items are no longer jogging my memory. It is kind of funny how that happens. We are so focused on the material items that we forget the memories that make them special. But the memories aren’t lost. They are within you somewhere — somewhere that can never be thrown away.