When I was younger, I was quite a rebel. Oh yes, I was very much the trouble maker. What? Okay, for those of you who knew me when I was younger and have wet yourself laughing at my “rebel” statement, I confess. I wasn’t a bad kid. In fact, I was the kind of daughter that most parents wished for. You know the type. Straight A’s, athletic, musical, hung out with a good crowd.
It wasn’t because I was afraid to get in trouble. And it wasn’t because I was so nerdy that I feared authority. It was simply because the bad kid roles had been filled. I was the youngest of 3 kids. There wasn’t much I could do that hadn’t been done and handled by my parents. The only untapped market for me was the good kid. (In fact, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I heard the story of the time my brother and sister snuck out of the house. One night they both snuck out of the house to go to an AC/DC concert. They ended up running into each other there. Yeah, small world. Meanwhile, I was probably at home doing homework of sleeping. Like I said, I was the “good one.”)
Until my junior year in high school. I began to take note of all the things that I had seen other kids do (namely my brother and sister) with no real consequences. I thought to myself “What have I been doing all these years following the rules?!” So I tested the waters.
My Algebra II teacher was awful. Nasty. Mean. She very much resembled Lily Munster but years and years later after tons of junkfood and bad make-up. So, one day she is droning on about something that was completely over my head. I was lost with a capital L. I raised my hand and asked her to explain an aspect of the lesson. Her reply? Are you stupid? I already explained it twice.” Are. You. Stupid. Those three words set me off. So I looked her in the eye, stood up and screached, “Did you just call me stupid? You? A teacher who is supposed to be an adult called me stupid? What kind of teacher are you?” She laughed and told me that if I didn’t like the way she taught, to leave. Being ticked off and pushed past the limit, I gathered my books and started to leave. That made her quite mad. She told me that I had better sit down “or else”. I looked her in the eye and quite calmly (You know that calm that extremely psychotic people have right before they go all wacko on you? That calm.) “You told me if I didn’t like the way you taught to leave. I don’t like the way you teach. In fact, your very existance offends me. So, LILY, I am leaving now. Good day.”
Once I walked out of the room it hit me what I did. I was shaking and thought to myself that I must be the biggest dumbass to walk the halls. I went straight to the principal’s office and told him what I did. Then, handed him his own phone to call my mom. He set the phone down, looked me in the eye and told me that I would not be punished.
What?! Not be punished? How is that? You’re kidding me right? He wasn’t. In fact, I got transferred out of her class and she got the honor of being observed by the principal for the next 2 weeks.
Lesson learned? Being a bitch can be FUN! (And you don’t even get in trouble!)
That little outburst didn’t cause me to become a rebel overnight. (Though, remind me to tell you about the time I got grounded for a year.) I didn’t start smoking, drinking and hanging out with the fast crowd. (That came much later in life.) But I did learn that the rules are so easy to bend without breaking. I pushed a lot more limits after that. (And still do.)
Now that I see my own kids growing up, I want to teach them some of my life lessons, but we all know we can’t do that. If they don’t learn them on their own, they won’t learn them. I see how my brother and sister and I turned out. All of us are good people. My sister is married and has 2 kids and is a wonderful mom. My brother is happily married and has a great career. You see, we all turned out great.
I guess the only difference is that they had a whole lot more fun growing up. And now, I am pretending it is my turn. Maybe that is why I ended up in rehab in my late 20’s. Rebelling late. And why I have trouble “playing well with others” when I can see how phony they are. And why I have no problem throwing a fit in the grocery store when the machine malfunctions. I am regressing into my rebellious youth.
So, since I am a bit behind in my rebelliousness, I have a question for you….
Who wants to go with me later to toilet-paper the PTA president’s house?