Have you ever been wrongly accused? I’m sure you have and I don’t have to tell you it’s emotionally crushing to be on the receiving end, to know that people who should know you better, people who claim to care about you, are so quick to think the worst of you.
Being wrongly accused has been a running theme in my life, especially for the last few months or so: A dear friend accusing me of all sorts of truly bizarre actions and motives. Another I considered a good friend silently doing the same and disappearing. My boss repeatedly accusing me of inflating my time sheet. Chickenbone accusing me of saying something mean on Facebook about my nephew.
Each and every accusation couldn’t have been more off base, and so completely unlike the person I am. And it hurt each time.
I’m not sharing this to gain sympathy or pity, but to show what the effects have been, and how it has changed me for the better.
“I’m trading you two in for good kids,” my dad bellowed to Chickenbone and I one summer day long ago after we’d been acting up.
After our parents divorced, Chickenbone and I spent summers at my father’s house in Carlsbad, California. We were generally allowed to run amok during the day while he was at work, or sometimes we would spend days at our grandparents house nearby. We loved the freedom, but we also got bored after a while.
We were shocked. “Trade us in? What do you mean?”, one of us asked.
“I’m trading you two in. As soon as the catalog comes in the mail, I’m going to trade you two in for good kids.”
(This post was inspired by Oh Noa’s on lying to her future children. It reminded me of the many lies my parents told us.)
I don’t know about you, but I need some humor while I sort through the Match.com adventures. So today I bring you Lies My Parents Told Me.
1. If you don’t behave I’m going to trade you in for new kids. My Dad said there was a catalog of kids he could trade us for. A catalog of good kids. Chickenbone and I believed this. We were cuter than we were smart. After my father threatened to do this one too many times, we got really worried. We told Mom that Dad planned to get rid of us by trading us in for good kids. After she stopped laughing, Mom told us that he couldn’t do that. Then she laughed some more. When we told Dad that Mom told us the truth, he laughed, too. That is, until he realized the threat was no longer valid.
2. This is going to hurt me more than it will hurt you. Yeah, I’m an adult now and I still don’t buy that crap.
3. We’re divorced. They weren’t. Then they got back together. Then, years later, they got divorced. For real. This time they waited until the minute my father was leaving with suitcases in hand to tell us. Not much time for us to get used to the idea. No time to learn that divorce meant Dad wasn’t going to live with us anymore. A heart-breaking moment for sure. I’m still scarred. And you wondered why I blog. It’s all starting to become clear now, isn’t it?
4. If you don’t eat your vegetables, kids in Africa will starve. Since we really didn’t want the vegetables and the kids in Africa needed them, we asked if we could send them our vegetables in the mail. Mom said no. So we said she shouldn’t buy so many. But, wait! There’s more…
Criminal profilers say torturing small animals and insects is first act of future serial killers.Just a bit of foreshadowing that probably explains a lot about me now. And probably why I blog.
When we were little, my father taught us how to build small, light-weight paper airplanes. (I’ll skip the details of the airplane construction because I’d rather not contribute to the delinquency of other minors. Unlike my father. Hi Dad! He taught us all the great stuff like shooting, playing poker, and torturing flies by making them pilots.)
Ahhh, childhood memories. So sweet, so innocent, so…
…much like a college frat party.
What is was like at Mom's.
For the most part, I lived a pretty sheltered life growing up in the Santa Barbara area until shortly before the age of 14. After my parents divorced when I was around eight, my younger sister, Chickenbone, and I lived with our mom most of the year. We had to be in the house at 5pm, and in bed at 8:00 or 8:30pm, depending on our age. We had chores to do every weekend and were fed health food.
McDonald’s was not on the menu. We stole candy from the local candy store because we were starved for sugar. (I hope the statute of limitations has run out ’cause I just totally confessed to a major crime. Again.)
Then I was sent to live with my father in Capitola, but for the next year my sister continued to live with my mother. Things were very different at Dad’s: My curfew for school nights was midnight, bedtime was up to me, I could eat whatever I wanted, and drink from the liquor cabinet.
(Side note: If you view the more recent photos, note we did NOT spray paint the place, or destroy the statues, and were quick to lecture those who did. We loved that place. I would like to see it restored but it’s going to be torn down and turned into a Bed & Breakfast or something.)
The monestary/Rispin Mansion was once a beautiful mansion built in 1922 by a wealthy man, reported to have transported liquor during the Prohibition.
It seemed only fitting we should go there to drink illegally.
The place once had beautiful parquet floors and statues. It still had secret hidden rooms, and a sliding bookcase. People, I couldn’t make this shit up – I’m not that imaginative. IT WAS AWESOME!
The place was abandoned around 1958, and it’s considered trespassing to be on the grounds.
The Four Seasons Golf Resort – probably not the one we were at.
Golf Carts Don’t Float, But Golf Tees Do – Who Knew?!
For a little while after my parents got divorced my father stayed in the general Santa Barbara, CA area. My sister, Chickenbone, and I would spend weekends and long summers with him where we would learn all kinds of grown-up things (much against my mother’s wishes) like playing poker, driving before we were even in our teens, and eating junk food all day long.
My father raised us very differently than my mother: My mother was a fairly strict and conservative parent who raised us on health food, while my father pretty much let us do absolutely anything we wanted. (See My First Brush With The Law for an example.)
And he would often help us cover up the crime.
We were too young to be left alone, not because we couldn’t take care of ourselves, but more likely we’d have burnt down the house. But my father liked playing golf, so he had to bring us along.
Just imagine two independent, but restrained-9-months-out-of-the year-then-suddenly-unleashed kids running amok on the golf course.But, wait! There’s more…
Yes, I did say my “first” brush with the law. (Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Aren’t you glad your kid has a blog? That’s read internationally? (A shout out to my three foreign readers!) Cool stuff, huh?)
Huh, I thought they only came in fuzzy.
When I was around 13 I moved from the tranquility of mildly conservative Santa Barbara to the Dead-head, surfer town of Capitola to live with my father full time.
I went from living with a very strict parent in a conservative environment to living with a very “laissez faire” parent in a stoner town.
It’s no wonder I score polar opposites on personality tests – on the same test, or I score dead center.
Just imagine what it’s like inside my head…
You, wondering for a moment what it’s like inside my head: *thinking… imagining… letting out small scream*
But I digress…
Capitola was an awesome beach town to grow up in as a young teenager because you could walk everywhere. This was very helpful for someone who didn’t have a car. It made it MUCH easier to get into trouble.
Wonder what your kids are doing while you’re at work or not with them? Keep reading because my parents NEVER knew about this (until now)….But, wait! There’s more…