“As Long As You Live in this House…”
How many of you remember that line? I know that I’ve certainly heard it before, and I can say now that it was probably a good thing that there were set rules to Abide by while I was growing up.
I will say that, overall, I think I was a pretty good kid–no major trouble here. Sure, I had my fair share of drinks as a mid-to-late aged teen, but my parents made sure that our friends were welcomed over at our house, mainly so that they could keep watch on us and know that we were indulging safely. Smart on their part and yet at the same, they were considered pretty hip for allowing the odd drink here or there. I never smoked (hated the smell of it) and never touched drugs–being ‘out of it’ or ‘high’ didn’t really appeal to me. The truth is that with my sense of humour, I didn’t need a whole lot of help in acting goofy. As lovingly described by my husband, I am a bit of a ‘kook’. There was also a sense of family pride instilled into all three of us by my mom and dad, and we had NO desire to bring shame upon our family name, which was important back then for sure. As a result, my parents didn’t have to impose a whole lot in the way of rules because the family pride thing covered a lot of ground. Another wise move on their part!!
Probably one of the stupidest things that I ever did was when I was 17. I wasn’t yet of drinking age to go to the bar (aged 18 here), so my girlfriend and I used to go ‘cruising’ downtown in my little, red Chevy S10 truck. It was summertime, and we would drive up and down the main drag for hours on end, night after night, with our windows rolled down and AC/DC blaring! We would pull up along others at stop lights, engage in conversation (more like yell at the top of our lungs to be heard over the heavy metal tunes) and then find places to park and hang out–all innocent, really. Just a fun teenaged way to meet new people. But, one night, we met up with a couple of ‘cute, more mature’ guys on motorcycles, whom we’d chatted with many times before. Well, at that age as a girl, who is gonna pass up on a motorcycle ride with some ‘real’ men, right? Not my friend, whereas I was more reluctant because deep down I knew that my folks would likely kill me. As it turned out, they were super nice guys (times seem a little different nowadays) and we all met up (me in my truck) after the ride at a local coffee shop and chatted the night away until we noticed that the sun was actually coming up on the horizon. ‘OH!OH! Just a tad bit past my curfew of midnight!’. I knew that I was ‘up the creek’, but in my mind I had naively convinced myself that I hadn’t really done anything too wrong since we were simply having coffee with them. Naturally, it didn’t occur to me that from a parents’ perspective, their 17-year old girl hanging out with guys until 5 in the morning might be a bit concerning. From their point of view, they couldn’t be sure just what I was up to, so I invited them to come along on the next trip. I mistakenly figured that my solution of having them ride with us might soften the blow somewhat, but they thought differently. A good grounding of sorts along with the ensuing lecture, “As long as you live in this house…”, seemed like a better solution to them and I can’t blame them in retrospect. Yikes! Lucky for us, it all turned out okay, though it might not have had the two guys have been different. Needless to say, we learned our lesson!
Who’d have thunk back when, but I am now most thankful for all that my mom and dad did to ensure our safety and comfort as youngsters, including abiding by their rules. To have someone really care about you isn’t so bad, after all. And, if I had children of my own, I, too, would likely use, “As long as you live in this house….”, hopefully in as sly as fashion as my parents did;-).