Grounded Again! A Story of Youth.

Quite honestly, I was grounded often, and unfairly excessively as a teenager. I really felt like my parents got this sick joy from it [insert: evil laugh] because they grounded me with such relish.

Surely, it wasn’t because I would sneak out at night; take my stepdad’s car on a joyride, get caught driving my mom’s van to school, or steal liquor from their stash of Scotch Whiskey (all in my magical year of age thirteen). Nah!!

I did get caught at most of those things and more (eventually), but none compared to the grounding that occurred days after my sixteenth birthday.

My parents gave me a rockin’ car for my sweet day in August 87′. A 1984 Mercury Cougar; aka, the silver bullet. She was bewitching! I was in heaven – a teenagers dream – not only my own car, but a really nice one.

Their only rule? I could not pick up, nor see my boyfriend Mike, who they did not approve of. He was from the wrong side of the tracks and had bi-racial parents. Plus he was cute, charming, and corrupting; according to them. In other words, a normal teenage boy.

So I got my new car and I drove straight to his house to pick him up (of course!). We went to the car wash giving the silver bullet a blinding gleam. Then, as my parents wished, I took him home, advising him, he wasn’t allowed in my car. Sorry (thanks for the car wash), seeyalaterbye.

Next stop, the local swimming pool to see my friend Jason. He was a lifeguard. We were “just” friends. I took him for a ride (since HE was allowed) to all my girlfriend’s houses. We had a great time showing off my new wheels (and hot lifeguard), and I didn’t mind the new rule at all (heh).

I returned home, and there, waited MOTHER. By the look on her face, I was in big trouble and she knew. She knew!

Without a word, I was busted. I crumbled under her piercing gaze. I didn’t even bother trying to lie when she asked if Mike had been in my car. I admitted to my car wash guilt.

Grounded – again!

How she found out, I have no idea. Mike had only been in the car ten minutes and no one had seen us. It was not fair, after all, I had barely broken the rule *sniff*.

My punishment – six months restriction from my car. No driving whatsoever, not even to school for my Junior year. SIX MONTHS.

Even worse, as a High Schooler, I was required to ride the bus to school. Not that I couldn’t walk, or get a ride. I could have. The school was less than a mile from home and easily walkable. But no, this was part two of my punishment – riding the bus when I had a car in the driveway and a driver’s liscense in my wallet. The horror! I couldn’t even pretend I rode the bus, and not. My parents were drinking buddies best friends with the bus driver, who stopped by to report every night.

Talk about humiliating….that was the longest, hardest, most miserable six months of my life. Officially, it was only four months. For every room I cleaned spotless in the house, they minused off a day. It was brilliant child labor. Then I went to France for a month over Christmas. When I returned in January, they gave me the car back. I guess they felt sorry for me. Thank goodness!

The worse part of it all, was when I finally asked mom how she knew. She told me my girlfriend’s mom told her when she called her house looking for me. She had glanced outside seeing lifeguard Jason in the car, not boyfriend Mike, and mistakenly told her the wrong guy. Arrrrgh!!!

This post inspired by: Mama's Losin' ItI chose prompt number four: 4.) The craziest reason I ever got in trouble as a child.

He makes me want to cook

If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is. Honestly? I am not a cook. I have never been, nor will I ever be. It’s not something I have ever enjoyed. It’s not even something I’m very good at. But, HE makes me want to cook.

And just like that, I CAN. It’s actually edible. I actually navigate the timing without burning it to a crisp. I don’t over spice, salt, or pepper. I haven’t ruined a pan or a stove burner. Nobody even got hurt. Seriously!

Not that great cooking hasn’t been in my life.  My mom is an amazing cook. She can cook anything. My step-dad even cooked. He made delicious homemade egg rolls. My second husband was Italian and would make melt-in-your mouth pasta dishes. Jason even loves cooking and grilling. I have been surrounded, my whole life, with cooks and maybe that is why I never had to, so, it never came up.  *until I wanted to*

I still don’t have to. The one time I had to was when I was seperated from Sydney’s dad. Sydney was four years old and I had to fix her something to eat. Typically, I made a kids cuisine TV dinner but sometimes I would splurge and brown some ground beef. I thought nothing about giving her a spoon and a bowl of it. Heck, she loved it!  Ha!

Cooking for me consisted of making it out of the box, or nuking it in the microwave, or even opening up a lunch size bag of Doritos. Regardless, If I cooked it, I always burnt it or ruined it in some way (yes, even in the microwave). I have personally burnt water. But since Jason came into my life, things in the kitchen have changed…. for the better.

I love making a meal for him. I love the thought process of what he might like and how to serve it. I love cleaning the kitchen and setting the table. I love that he can sit down and enjoy it, without having to lift a finger.

Jason is getting his masters. He is in class two nights a week from 6p-10p. He works all week 8a-5p. He has the kids every other weekend, plus Monday, and Wednesday nights from 5-7p (for now). He spends a lot of time commuting back and forth to my duplex, on the other side of Arlington. Not to mention, he has laundry and bills and errands and ALL of the things busy working people have to do on a daily basis. Believe me, if I can spare him a few quiet easy moments, I will. It’s worth it. It makes me want to.

I’ll not go as far as saying I’m a COOK. I am (still) not. But I can tell you I am happy to cook now. I find honor and dignity in it. When I find things like that, I explore them,  and hold onto them. Reminds me of washing someone’s feet. (feet and cooking? yeah I know I’m getting somewhere I promise)

My friend Van was telling me how she and Suzy went on a mission with a group in downtown Fort Worth. Everyone gathered with water, soap, and wash cloths and went into the homeless community. They washed their feet, to show them God’s love for them. Jesus washed all his disciples feet, even his betrayer. It’s a humbling of yourself to do that for another, to bow down before them on your knees.

I can imagine the down and out, off their feet, closing their eyes and just for those few moments; all their worries disappear. The thought of it really touched me.

So, one night, I washed Jason’s feet. I wanted to know what Jesus felt like, what Van felt like, what Suzy felt like. What all of those people felt like that trekked under all the bridges to give someone a  gift  and a few moments of paradise. I wanted to remember and to honor. Words can not convey what actions can.

It was deeply humbling. It was important. It was something, I will never forget. Then, it was my turn and he washed my feet with the same love and care. It bonded us more tightly than before. We made a deal that if we ever got mad at each other, we would have to get down on our knees and wash each other’s feet. Wash away the anger and the stress and find the love. The love that can only be found upon esteeming someone above you.

Cooking is similar. It is a submission, a respect, and an adoration. He makes me want to cook, and I have never felt that way before. Maybe his love  inspires me to be more than I am or thought I could be.  All I know,  is that it greatly benefits my life.

Our happiness in this world depends on the affections we are able to inspire.
— Duchess Prazlin