June 18, 2008

The Wild Child

When I was growing up, I went through a period of about 2 years when I tried to be rebellious. Other than that, I was a perfect angel--right Dad?
I think I first wandered from the straight-and-narrow around age 10, and it continued into age 12. I was a fifth-grader, I was too cool for school, and most importantly, I was hanging out with Vanessa Nantze and Amy Birks. Now let me just say, the things I did with Amy and Vanessa were things they wouldn't have considered rebellion. But for me, it was against the rules.
When we watched the rated-R, slasher flick Scream, their parents gave them the go ahead. I just didn't tell my parents about it. That's right, I looked Mrs. Birks straight in the eye and said, "Yes, it's fine if I watch this movie, Mrs. Birks."
What a little liar.
But I paid for that lie! That movie scared the beejeebies out of me. The several nights following were full of dread and terror. I just knew someone was going to stab me in my sleep. Ten-year-olds should not watch those kinds of things.

There is one major rebellion that stands out in my mind, that I feel I have to tell you about right now. I don't know why I'm doing this. I'm filled with embarrassment that I ever tried to get away with something so stupid. But then again, I was 11 and I was rebellious.

On that fateful day, for some reason my parents were out of town. I don't remember why. But I was left in the care of my dear grandparents. They were kind enough to let me stay over at Amy Birks' house for a slumber party with Amy and Vanessa. On Saturday morning the three of us grew restless, and Vanessa suggested that we walk over to the Mesilla Valley Mall to "hang out." Amy's house was right across the street from the mall.
I knew full well that I wasn't allowed to hang around the mall. My parents had very, very specifically told me that under no circumstances should a child my age be left unattended at the mall. But oh, I wanted so badly to be one of those mall rats. I wanted that freedom, that independence--and here was my chance! My parents were out of town! They would never, ever know.
Unfortunately, when I excitedly agreed to this plan, I had not foreseen that Mrs. Birks might make me ask permission before going. That meant I had to call my grandparents and ask if I could go...I hoped they hadn't talked with my parents about this whole mall hang-out thing.
Apparently they had.
I dug my heels in a little bit, I whined, but in the end I had to acquiesce. Boy, were Amy and Vanessa disappointed in me. They frowned and pouted, and let me know it was pretty much the end of the world. Basically, I was the most uncool person on the planet.
Then, I had an idea!
"Guys," I said, "Let's just go anyway! It's not like anyone will ever find out if I go!"
Amy and Vanessa thought this was a genius idea. I can't remember if I told Amy's mom that it was okay for me to go or if Amy told her that we were just going out for a walk, but we made it out the door and took off for the mall.
As we walked together to the mall, I felt that life was good...I only had a small pang of doubt in my mind, but I blew it off. Who cares? I thought, "I'm going to the mall!"
We started to cross the parking lot (which was almost empty--it was pretty early on a Saturday morning), I noticed a familiar red Dodge Neon parked close to the mall entrance, and I also noticed a familiar couple walking out to the car. My stomach shot up into my throat.
It was my grandparents!
And they saw me too.
I'll spare you most of the gory details that remain (I think I've blocked them out of my memory...), but I do vaguely remember grabbing Vanessa and Amy by the arms, whisper-shrieking, "That's my grandparents!!" and trying to make a mad dash across the empty parking lot, but it was no use. I'd been spotted like a spaghetti-sauce stain on a white table cloth.

I would never be a mall rat (at least not until I was 15 and Christi had her birthday party at Lakeline, hahahaha. I think my parents were so anxious to have this moody, crazy teenager out of the house for a few hours that my mom would drop me off there and await my call from the pay-phone, "I'm, like, gonna go over to Christi's now, mmkay? I'll call you, like, later.").

You know, the reason my grandparents were at the mall so early was because they used to walk laps in the mornings to stay fit.
I've always thought that was a funny coincidence. For some reason, I've never been able to get away with much. It's the fear of the Lord (and my DAD) that's kept me in check all these years. And I plan on being a hardass too! I won't have mall rats living under my roof!


Thanks Mom, Dad, and especially Grandma and Grandpa, for keeping me in line and putting up with me all these years! :)
I love you!


  1. We didn't know you were once "wild." We thought by reading your blog it was a recent event. We only know you as the most precious, beautiful, intelligent, etc., etc. young woman anyone can have as a granddaughter. We are very proud of you. Grandpa does not remember the mall incident but I do, now that you mention it. Guess we knew you were only being a child. We love you too. Grandma & Grandpa

  2. I'm so glad to know that the incident wasn't still fresh in your minds, burdening you hearts with fear for your poor, lost, mall-rat granddaughter. I should have let that one lie, but I have some inner, self-destructive tendencies that cause me to relive these unfortunate incidents over and over again, causing me great discomfort.
    In this, I mortify the fleshly desire to be a mall rat!!!

    Thanks for all of those nice things you said. I think you're the best paternal grandparents I ever had.