If You Wait Long Enough...You Might Just Find Out!

I was the "original" strong-willed child. Oh, I know that I said David is my strong-willed child...BUT who do you think he got it from? I've always just hated being told what to do. The minute someone says I HAVE to do something or I see the word, "required", the hairs on the back of my neck start prickling. Why, even as a baby, (I'm told) my mother tried to get me to drink a little glass of prune juice...which from my highchair, I promptly struck from her hand. I knew I didn't want that stuff and haven't had any of it to this day. And because of our very nature, both David and I have landed ourselves in some pretty tough spots over the years. I don't know if it's the fact that our mouths tend to open at exactly the wrong moment or that we just have that "authority problem"...or perhaps, a combination of both. Our motto has always been, "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission " (although, I must admit that asking forgiveness at times had been quite painful). Anyway, we are always somehow landing in trouble. Yes, I know for some of you, this may be hard to believe...but even at the age of 48, I can still end up in trouble. I have, however, settled down some over the years (I can see Robby rolling his eyes, even as I'm writing this), but as a teenager, I seemed to be riddled with troublesome situations. As a junior in high school, I went to live with my sister and her family. I only lived there that one year, but while doing so, I encountered a few...shall we say, "little incidents". You see, I was not a big "fan" of school (I know...why the heck did I become a teacher then...), although I made decent grades. So, I made friends with the girls who lived across the street from my sister, who would also be my new classmates. That year, we actually became carpoolers back and forth to school. As time went on, I became bored with going to school EVERY day. All of those RULES...so institutional. So...to remedy this problem, I decided to start taking a few "Fun Days" every now and then. There was a little church around the corner from where my sister lived and this became the drop-off, pick-up point for my little "Fun Days". You see, I would have my new friends take me to meet an old friend...and we would head out for the day. OH, don't worry...to cover all my bases, I would go immediately to a local convenience store, use the pay phone (this was before the day of cell phones) and call myself in sick for the day to the school secretary (I know...kind of Ferris Buhler-ish). I'm really surprised that this worked, what with all the big trucks whizzing by and causing such noise. But, it did indeed work...and quite well for some time, I must say. UNTIL...I got a little carried away with my adventures. My birthday was coming up and I really got into the spirit of things by calling a whole group of my friends to join me for a little birthday celebration (this is most likely where I went wrong...groups attract attention). The plan was to go into town that day and do some shopping, visit the record shop and then eat a little lunch at Pizza Hut. I must say, it was a truly GREAT day. However, much to my surprise, that evening after dinner, I was called into the living room...and the conversation went like this: "Barbara,where were you today?" OK, I'm thinking...NEVER let them see you sweat; stay calm. "At school", I replied. "Are you sure?" "Yes". Then my sister said, "Well, SOMEONE told us they saw you in town today. Did you skip school?" YIKES!!! OK, I have my story and I'm sticking to it. Probably that school bus driver friend of theirs..."No, it wasn't me. Who said they saw me anyway?" I was told I really didn't need to worry about "who" told them, but that they were really disappointed in me (suppose for both skipping school AND lying about it...although I never confessed). They decided that they were not going to punish me; that I would just have to earn their trust back. WHAT??? Did I hear that correctly? PERFECT! I LOVE that kind of punishment. But still, for years I wondered...who could have seen me out and about? I always thought they had lied to me about it not being their bus driver friend. However, much to my surprise and when I least expected it...I found out. 31 years later, while sitting around visiting with my sister and the rest of our "Birthday Club" members, one of the members said, "Remember that day when I came back to work from lunch (she and my sister worked together back then) and said I thought I saw Barbara dancing around the water fountain at the old Green's Department Store?" All of a sudden, the room became very quiet. My sister's eyes got wide. And then this HUGE smile came across my face. My sister told our friend that she had never revealed her source all of these years. And I said, "Mystery Solved...Case Closed"! If you wait long enough...you might just find out what you've always wanted to know!

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