March 27, 2011

funny story

I am trying to get back on a regular blog schedule, I promise! Yet, somehow, last Sunday got away from me. It takes some time to (re)build a habit. I have a lot of thoughts rolling around in my head, but thought that I would give you some insight into my past. Some insight into the journey that brought me to where I am. I think this will make so many things clearer.

Picture it: 1984 or 1985

I would be more specific, but I was in the first grade at this point. It was not winter, so it was either Autumn of '84 or Spring of '85. This was around the time my hair was still roughly the color and texture of an orangutan's. I am lucky that I remember any of this time, as I really should have expunged this era of my youth. You are lucky I didn't because you get to hear this story.

In these days, we had three fifteen minute recesses. One in the morning, around ten, one after lunch (which was lumped into the lunch period, so the faster you shoveled down your lunch, the more recess time you got. I am realizing suddenly why my stomach is such a hot mess these days.), and one in the afternoon, around two. Huh. This is sounding a lot like my current work schedule. Maybe I need to squeeze some jungle gym time in there, assuming I can find a jungle gym in the immediate proximity.

I digress. In those days, we needed all the recess we could get. Six and seven year olds get restless easily, and are chock full of potential energy. In fact, I am pretty sure the energy crisis would be solved if we could harness the energy on playgrounds across the country. Cars, computers, televisions could all be powered by grade school kids with some to spare. This energy needed to be expended outside of the classroom, lest the school become rubble from trapping it.

During one such recess, I had a, shall we say, falling out with two of my friends. For the purposes of this story, we will call them Lacey and Ted. I wanted to play with Lacey, and she wanted to play with Ted. For fourteen minutes, I begged Lacey to play with me. She refused. By the time the warning bell signaled that we should queue up to go back to class, little Raven of the orangutan hair had enough. I was a mere few feet behind Lacey and Ted as we walked toward the brick building. I picked up a rock from the dusty ground, only small enough for my wee hand to just barely grip it. "You guys are ASSHOLES," I shouted. That got their attention. The pair turned to look at me. I launched the rock, which connected with Lacey's temple.

In that moment, I realized I'd really screwed up. I hadn't intended for my projectile to seriously hurt anyone, I just wanted them to know how angry I was. As Ted announced he was telling, I started to regret some life choices I made that day. Particularly since my mother was the school librarian. There would be no respite from her assured fury until she could drive to the school, or until I got off the bus in the afternoon. I would have only the walk down the hall to the office. I began to apologize profusely. I begged them not to tell anyone. I offered bribes in the form of "Property of Raven" stickers (because who doesn't want stickers emblazoned with someone else's name??). As more of our classmates joined Lacey and Ted, it became very clear that I was in serious trouble. "You could have killed her'" admonished a fellow seven-year-old.

We filed into the building. Lacey continued down the hall past our classroom to the office. I headed to my desk, silently praying. It was for naught, as I had barely sat in my chair when our teacher called my name. She questioned me in front of the class, running down the list of my offenses. I confirmed that I swore, threw the rock, and tried to keep it quiet. I was sent to the office. Sure enough, when I walked in, my mother was standing there. I didn't even get to the secretary's desk, much less the principal's office within. Her arms crossed she said, "What did you do?" Her tone was very low and even. The volume that is reserved for only the worst offenses. My head bowed, I could barely lift my eyes to look at her. She gave me a lecture, and led me into the portion of the office reserved for ill children. Had we a nurse, it would have been the nurses office. However, in a small town, the secretary typically gets to fulfill these duties as well. Lacey was sitting in a chair, ice pack to her head. It was confirmed that she would be okay, but the secretary made the possible outcomes very clear. I apologized, and Lacey forgave me.

We walked back to class, holding hands.

If only all disputes could be solved with the simplicity of a seven-year-olds'.

Posted by raven at March 27, 2011 09:53 PM
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