Responsibility — What’s that?

February 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Life and Living, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Growing up, I was never much of a trouble-maker.  I was certainly not a goody-two-shoes, but I was never sent to the Principal’s office, never grounded, and never arrested.  I found the balance in having fun without completely breaking the rules.  Sure I trespassed, cut class, snuck out of the house, drank underage and all the typical stuff, but I typically did what was expected of me — I was an Honor Roll and AP student.  I also had fairly lenient parents who were more likely to make me feel guilty than to punish me.  Disappointing them and telling them when I was in trouble was always much worse than any punishment was.

I think this is why I had a great reputation with my friends’ parents.  Many of my friends would often use me as their safeguard when they wanted to go out and do something their parents didn’t approve of, whether it was staying over at a boyfriend’s house or going to a club.  I was mostly open and honest with my parents about my activities, so I had few restrictions as long as I was careful. For my friends, they needed someone their parents could trust to help them save face.  I became that person early on — the “responsible” one.  My friends may find this laughable, but I was playing a good game.

When I got to college, I was fairly advanced in terms of teenage vices.  While several of my new friends had not yet drank or been intimately active, I was ahead of the curve.  I wasn’t an expert drinker in the least but I was always very good and pretending to be sober when I needed to.  I could hold myself together pretty well. I had learned early on from my mistakes.

These skills have come in handy throughout my life, and to this day when I go out, I always know when it’s time to go.  But responsibility only gets you so far when others are involved. Somehow others have not developed this same sense.  In my mind, nothing good happens in a bar after 3 am.  This is when all inhibitions are lost and if you are lucky the worst that happens is you end up in the bed of a guy who has a giant tattoo on his back that you somehow didn’t notice the night before.  But the outcome could be much worse than that.

I may sound like an old person when I say this, but look how long I’ve survived.  There is definitely a way to balance being wild and adventurous with a sense of responsibility.  Maybe one day others will catch on, but maybe not.  Whatever works for them, but I’m happy to play the role of the “responsible one.”

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