Curse that Good Behavior! by Deb Jenny

I know this might be hard to believe, especially since I recently regaled you with tales of my (accidentally) giving a formal date a bloody nose and once being a unwitting passenger in an RV full of raucous fraternity brothers en route to Fort Lauderdale for spring break and such. Sure, I’ve been involved in some questionable pursuits at times, but the truth is I am seriously afflicted with the good behavior gene.

Well, maybe not always. I admit to having been involved in a few less than parentally-approved things in my jaded youth, but overall, like it or not, I can’t help but follow the straight and narrow.

I remember the day when the light bulb went on over my head, when I realized that bad behavior always comes back to bite you in the behind. I was in 10th grade, standing in the kitchen, the object of my parents’ wrath for something I did wrong. All of a sudden, as the hammer was coming down on me, I finally “got” it, and it was then that I thought, “You know, it’s just easier to not do the bad thing in the first place than it is to deal with this.”

And from then on, I behaved. Sort of.

Growing up, I had one tame brother, one deliberately wild brother, and one sort of accidentally wild brother. While they were out carousing in the neighborhood, getting into all sorts of mischief, I stayed home and baked cookies. Loser? Maybe. Trouble-free? You bet. It wasn’t until well into my high school years that the idea of getting into trouble crossed my mind. And with those two always in my rear view mirror, pretty much nothing I could do would look bad next to whatever they’d already done. So I suppose all things are relative. But I do think, in hindsight, that my parents should be thankful that I wasn’t a troublesome child. Even if I did give my formal date a bloody nose.

Nowadays, about the naughtiest thing I get up to is cheating on a diet. And even that I pay for on a regular basis. So I guess the lessons keep coming in. You do the crime, you’ll do the time. Back then it meant being grounded, maybe losing driving privileges. Now? It means being relegated to too-tight blue jeans.

On second thought, I had a lot more fun back when my behavior had nothing to do with cheating on diets. Maybe I ought to reevaluate.
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12 thoughts on “Curse that Good Behavior! by Deb Jenny

  1. Amen, sister. I’m darned tired of exemoplary behavior! Get thee to NYC stat and we’ll see what we can do. These days listening to Howard Stern on Sirius is about as racy as I get. Sigh……

    I just read Sleeping with Ward Cleaver by the way and WOW! You have a amazing way of translating emotions and visual situations into words. The book was a lot of fun to read. And I NEED FUN! 🙂

  2. Kim & Jenny – can I join in? I too have three brothers (all older) and ended up being the goodie goodie left at home to hang out with my parents. Then, at about the age of 15, all that changed with one word: independance. I became the teen from hell and the student from hell and I cringe now when I think of the lies I told, the stupid, dangerous things I did, and the horrible way I treated teachers and my parents. Bored with it all and sick of how classes cut into my social time, I ended up dropping out of high school. I became a party legend, and there are still times when the stories of my misspent youth are dusted off and told again.

    Long story short, I finally got my stuff together, got a university degree, a husband and a real, grown up life. Now I’m as boring as they come, almost never drinking and barely ever going out. I could use a girls’ night out. Just, please, don’t tell my parents.

  3. Hey Kim! Thanks for that! I appreciate it 😉 . NYC sounds like a GREAT plan. We’ll have to work on that!
    Wow, Joanne! Who knew you had a dark side?! The little wolf in sheep’s clothing, eh? Glad to see you straightened up your act!

  4. I peaked early, that’s all I can say. Got suspended from 6th grade for bringing Vodka and Cherry cigars on a Field Trip to the “Whole World” celebration at Hines Hall in Boston. The nuns were not amused…. I was an early derelict and it’s no wonder my parents sent me to boarding school, where I found more trouble! Now? I’m as boring as white paint. Sad, but true.

  5. You sure were an early one! I didn’t know the meaning of wild in 6th grade. Girls like you I avoided LOL. I’d never avoid you, Kim!

  6. Jenny, I about freaked out thinking I’d missed the LAUNCH of the book! But no, just a few sneaky people (ahem Kim) have an advance copy I see! Well I’m happy to know I was one of the very first and boy did I freak out when I read your manuscript girlfriend, as you know. You’ve worked your tail off to get here, and deserve a reward. Hmmm Chocolate? Okay how about your book actually ON THE SHELVES!

    Ah Kim, you and I were kindred spirits. I remember passing out drunk in the driveway at 14 after proving to the boys I ‘d hung with that I could out-beer guzzle them. But that early stuff made me get sick of it quicker (particularly drinking) Now I am like REALLY boring. LOL. But my kids can’t get away with ANYTHING~! I know all the tricks, and what it smells like. har har. Hey, I write fiction. Go ahead, lie to me.

    Suz

  7. Please this is NOT a criticism but To All Debs, your topics tend to be either/or on a continuum and many of you search for the negative. Why? This tends to be a one-sided — rather than well-rounded — perspective of who you are and, thus, I hardly know you at all.

    Perhaps, instead of Naughty or Nice?, this week’s topic might have been: What are girls (or boys) really made of? 😉

  8. Oh Suz, you are such a kind soul to say those nice things! We’ll talk privately about your teenaged years LOL
    Danielle, thanks for your faith in my intelligence 😉 . And Eileen, if given my druthers, I’m with you. I get up at 5:30 every morning, so nighttime is my cue to tuck into bed with a good book and fall fast asleep (until I wake at 3 am remembering things I have to remember to do!)
    Larramie–I don’t know that you aren’t ultimately getting a well-rounded view of us. I’ll have to review to see about those extremes, but I think eventually it all fleshes out into who we are and maybe how we’ve gotten to be the writers we are. Now about that difference between boys and girls, well, maybe we’ll get an insight into that when my book comes out 😉

  9. Loved reading this Jenny. Baking cookies, huh? I guess I was somewhere in between. Finding some trouble in high but leaving for college early enough to redirect my energies and then typical college mayhem and early twenties looking for… something. But since I met my husband at 24, when I look back I think I could have enjoyed a few more years of recklessness…

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