A friend of mine, Becca, writes posts on occasion (usually about politics) that bring the frothy-mouthed commenters out of the woodwork. We were chatting about it last week, and she mentioned that I don’t get any crazy commenters because I don’t really write anything that would bring them out in droves.
Just Wait Until Your Father Comes HomeJuly 17, 2008
I hadn’t thought much about that before, but it’s true. I don’t write about controversial subjects because I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t want anyone to be mad at me.
For me, my biggest fear always has been and still is getting in trouble. I hate having people mad at me. I was a pretty darn good teenager because I was always so afraid of getting in trouble. I never broke my curfew (I would start stressing if I was even three minutes late, which is ridiculous, because my parents are not hard-noses at all).
In January or February, my mom called my cell phone while I was in class, but didn’t leave a message. I texted her back to ask what was going on and she replied with something like “Just give me a call when you have a chance.”
And, ridiculous as it was, I started freaking out like crazy, worried that I might be in trouble. I know that is crazy. I’m an adult; I don’t live at home; I hadn’t even done anything that could possibly have gotten me “in trouble.” And yet, there I sat, as worried as if I’d stayed out all night and was just waiting for my dad to come home and lay down the law (clearly in my imaginary world, my dad is totally different from my real dad, because he’s not the kind to come home and “lay down the law”).
Fortunately, I was not in trouble. It was just some surprising news that she needed to tell me. I breathed a big sigh of relief.
My mom is like this, so I come by it naturally. My youngest sister is the same way, but to an even stronger degree. She has, on several occasions, passed out when she gets in trouble (both at home and at school).
Several years ago, one of my parents read a story about a mom and a young son driving together in the car, when the son started feeling extremely sick to his stomach. He cried out that he was going to throw up and the mom pulled over to the side of the road. “Open the door and throw up out there,” she told him. He opened the door, leaned out over the street and then retracted his head, asking worriedly, “Is this against the rules?”
That story? Could have been written about me.