Monday, March 26, 2007

I Was A Teenage Idiot

Oh, my. The memories this post brings back.

I think I might have mentioned somewhere before that I went through a phase for about a year when I was teenager where I was drunk or stoned pretty much any time I wasn't in school. I had a group of friends that I had started hanging out with that, while good friends, weren't exactly the best influence. Now I was never really one to cave into peer pressure, it's just that being around it all the time made me curious. So I fell into the same habits they did.

Getting stoned? Sure. BAD experiences. First time I did it, I stumbled around feeling nauseous and as though I was going to die for 2 hours before eating three toast sandwiches (just toast...nothing else. No butter, no nothing.) and a bowl of potato salad and falling asleep after shrieking at my then-boyfriend NOT TO TOUCH ME EVER AGAIN OR I'D DIE. Another time (having not learned from my first experience, evidently) my friend and I managed, WITHOUT EITHER OF US KNOWING, to get hold of weed that had been laced with CRYSTAL METH. I shit you not. I was totally out of it for 12 fuckin' hours, during which I nearly put my eye out when I broke a string on my guitar after trying to play Stairway To Heaven (because , you know, I was a guitar MASTER suddenly) squinted at the radio for half an hour trying to figure out why all the music was playing too fast, and annoyed the large group of friends who were babysitting us both by repeatedly asking when this shit would wear off. About nine million times a minute.

After that, I quit smoking. I was a bit reckless but not a complete idiot.

But drinking? Yea. Drinking was still fair game. I'm sure I don't remember most of the very dumbest things I did while drunk, as I got the black out experience more than once. There is nothing quite so embarrassing as waking up in your bed and hearing stories about how your friends had to carry you home and clean up vomit from various places. The first time I kissed Ex? Yea, I was blacked out. Can't remember it to save my life. As a matter of fact I woke up the next day wondering why I suddenly had a crush on him. I suppose I should have realized this boded ill for the rest of the relationship, but alas, I did not. Another time I decided I just HAD to walk home and sleep in my own bed (at 3 AM, when everyone else was asleep) so I set off. I do not remember anything about walking home, but when I woke up the next day I was in my bed, covered in mud and with a hole in my shirt. Turns out I somehow managed to cross a six lane highway, scale a six foot board fence, fall into a ditch and most amazingly of all, get home without being arrested.

Luckily for me I was always around a group of friends who took care of me if they had to and watched out for me. They interfered more than once on my behalf with scuzzy boyfriends trying to take advantage of my inebriated state. For that I am very thankful.

Whenever I look back at all this I cringe. Oh, how I cringe. The times I should have gotten arrested or hospitalized defy the imagination. I cannot believe how dumb I was. And considering my parents were dead and I lived with my grandmother, who was blissfully clueless to all this and let me come and go as I pleased...I'm honestly amazed I didn't come to more harm.

Thankfully I had a streak of common sense just big enough to prevent myself from going totally over the edge. And eventually I realized I was wasting my time and acting like an idiot, and I got a job and quit doing quite as many stupid things.

And now I have a daughter. And while her teenage days are still a comfortable distance away, I still get nervous. Because when it comes down to it, it is the kid that has to make their own decisions. Unless I keep her locked away in a closet, odds are she will run into some of the same situations I did. And while I can impart to her my suggestions and thoughts and advice and rules, in the end it's up to her. If she wants to do something, she'll find a way to do it. I'm not naive enough to think she won't. Teenagers are devious that way. I just hope she inherits less of my teen recklessness and a bit more of my common sense and self preservation.

And my luck, because lord knows I must have had quite a bit of it.