So yesterday at the League blog I bragged about what a brave little stalwart my Faerie is. Which made me think of how lucky I am in general, that my kids are basically good and haven’t done any of the things I did when I was a kid (there was an AW thread about this a few weeks back as well, but I thought it would be fun to bring the topic here.)
Like the time when I was about three–just about the same age as I was in the family photo I posted a little while back–and, apropos of absolutely nothing, I wandered into the kitchen, grabbed a big heavy metal spoon from the drawer, walked calmly over to my brother, and whacked him over the head with it as hard as I could.
Apparently my parents, who’d witnessed the whole thing, had a very difficult time trying to both yell at me and keep from laughing.
Oh, but that wasn’t the end of me tormenting my brother. Once I threw a pair of scissors at him (I admit I’m still horrified I did that, although I don’t remember if I did it because I was mad or if he’d asked me for the scissors and I unthinkingly tossed them to him.)
When I was in first grade (or was it kindergarten?) I met his teacher, Mrs. Kovasic, and said, “Oh, my brother hates you!”
(Don’t worry. He got me back, although I did what I did out of childish innocence and not terrible vengeance the way he did. When he was in sixth grade he was on the Safety Patrol, and he actually reported me for some stupid thing I did. His own sister–even the Principal didn’t know what to do about that one. I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart!)
We raised some tadpoles once. I was supposed to go down to the creek in the backyard to get more water for the Tupperware container we kept them in, but I was too lazy and instead filled it from the hose spigot outside. The tadpoles all died. I felt awful.
In eighth grade I found the Christmas presents in my parents’s closet. This was actually a good thing, though, as it taught me it really isn’t as much fun if you know what you’re getting, and I’ve never done it again.
I used to steal cigarettes from the people I babysat for (in my defense, they paid shit. $12 for an entire night’s work–we’re talking 8 pm to 2 or 3 in the morning. And I didn’t really smoke. And I was 12, for Pete’s sake. I was bored and stuck in some stranger’s house all night. I read their copy of The Joy of Sex cover-to-cover, too. Which they rather inappropriately left right there on the bookcase in the living room.)
Every weekend for like two months we TP’d the same house. The guilt! I still wonder what the grocery store clerks thought when four giggling thirteen-year-olds came in and bought nothing but multipacks of toilet paper and four cans of shaving cream.
Oh, this is really diabolical. My best friend and I used to sneak out at night during Christmas and pull one bulb from the strings of lights people had on their bushes or whatever. We made a huge deal out of this, dressing all in black, including hats and gloves. We even smeared our faces with black eyeshadow. The trick was not being seen–we had hiding places all over the neighborhood.
When I was seventeen a couple of friends of mine and I stole Christian Slater from the Mobsters standee at a theatre near me. This was an even bigger deal because the theatre in question was in the same chain as the one I worked for. I remember one of my managers telling me about the theft. I’m pretty sure she knew who did it, but I kept cool and never got busted for it. I kept Christian in my bedroom for a while (no, get your minds out of the gutter. Where was I supposed to put him, in the kitchen? I was seventeen and living with my Dad and brother.)
So, do you think I’m an awful person now? Or will you join me in shame, and tell me some of the awful things you did when you were young and careless? (I will say this, though. We never messed with little kids’s stuff. No pumpkin smashing, no touching toys left outside, no real theft–we even left the pilfered lightbulb somewhere it could be found. The fun was in sneaking out and wandering around, not in actually causing harm.) And I have lots of other stories, too, but these are the ones I remember best.
So go on. I’m forcing my sharing on you in order to make you feel like you have to share in return. Confess. It’s good for the soul.