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.