Bending the rules just a little.
Because I can.
Like many children, I “ran away” from home as a toddler. My mom watched me drag the extremely heavy suitcase out the door, and merely shrugged. (She knew my aunt lived in the adjacent building and that I would go there.) So, as soon as I slammed that door behind me, she engaged the lock, turned to my brothers and said, quite loudly, “Ok, she’s gone. Let’s have ice cream!” I remember screaming and begging to be let back in. Of course, mom took her own sweet time doing that, and then told me she was sorry but all the ice cream was gone. I never ran away again.
In elementary school, my idea of disobeying my parents was to sleep on the floor in my room instead of in the bed. For some reason, my childish self thought that would hurt my mom and get revenge for whatever slight I felt she had dealt to me. Come morning, she just laughed. I never did that again.
In high school, I was one of those goody two-shoes nerdy glasses-wearing chicks that the teachers love and the kids hate. I never got into trouble, if only because I knew mom would be incensed if I did. The other kids picked on me constantly because they knew they could and that I wouldn’t fight back. Until I did. But after that, everyone pretty much left me alone.
I seriously could not wait to get out on my own, as far from home as possible.
Which is why I opted out of attending college, even though the State of New York had granted me a full scholarship to any SUNY school. My guidance counselor was askance. But I simply could not stand the thought of even one more day of being harassed by my peers. Mom backed me up, saying whatever decision I made was fine with her, so long as I was happy in the end. At that time, women were still expected to work only until they got married and had babies; college really wasn’t needed except with an eye towards attracting the proper type of mate.
Having thought long and hard about it, I declined the scholarship. Instead, I went to work for the Federal Government, in Washington, D.C. – far enough away from home. There I became a woman and learned, finally, to stand up for myself. Today, I’m one of the strongest women I know. I take shit from no one. It took many, many years to learn that I don’t have to kowtow to anyone.
Recently, I received an invitation to the 50th reunion of my high school class. I declined. I hated high school. Why would I want to relive those memories half a century later?
Perhaps if I’m not there, my old “friends” can still talk about me behind my back. If they even remember me, which probably most of them won’t.
Anyway, since the reunion is in summer, I’ll likely be too busy playing with my cameras.
Speaking of which, here are this week’s photos. The snow has mostly gone already, but more is on the way:
HAPPY WEEKEND, FOLKS!
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalie Studio