#TBT: When Your Biggest Worry In Life Was Your Curfew
High school wasn’t about growing up, it was about sneaking out.
Let’s be real here: If there’s one thing we learned in high school, it was wasn’t the Pythagorean theorem, or how to climb a straw rope (because that was likely to happen).
Rather, it was about how to be a little f*cking sneak. How to lie, argue and manipulate. How to be an assh*le while still keeping your car keys and cell phone.
Those were the days -- not that I can remember much of them beyond faint glimpses and moments.
Most of such memories revolve around that crazy look my mother got in her eye when she’d come running down the steps in her pajamas as I entered the house at 1 am.
I get chills even now. If there is any sort if empathy in the world, it comes from that moment.
Everyone remembers the terror that swelled up the moment you decided to miss curfew.
That moment you decide you’re having too much fun with your friends to care about the pain and punishment that will rain down on you the second you walk back into “their house.”
To better explain my point, I had a friend who was so scared to come home after missing her curfew, she stayed out for two weeks.
We’d go to extreme measures to hide from that pain. We’d rope our friends in, webbing lies, forging notes, hiding evidence.
We’d be thieves, liars and frauds. We’d do things to hide it that were worse than the actual crime.
For anyone who lived under the rule of their parents, you can attest to the many lessons and skills learned from the imposed curfew. Because everyone knows a curfew doesn't mean home by 11 -- but out by 12.
You were drunk by 8.
High school was all about the moments -- they were all you had. You didn’t have all night; you had before 11.
You were partying by 8 and making mistakes by 9. If you were lucky, you were getting a ride home by 10:59.
You were nice to siblings.
Around the time you got a curfew was also the time you stopped fighting with your siblings.
You couldn’t risk having them against you any longer -- you needed them as allies.
You knew how to make a plan.
Unlike the lazy motherf*cker who can’t figure out what he wants for dinner, you were organizing supply chain logistics, conference calls and multiple alibis for plans B, C and D.
You didn’t need a f*cking day planner to remember a doctor's appointment; you were the doctor's appointment.
You learned to have respect.
Even though it was a stupid rule, you still obeyed it (or at least, tried). Now, if someone told you to be in bed by 11, you’d sign off Tinder.
You thought things through.
Snacks under the bed, wet towelettes to avoid running the sink, slippers by the window…
If you put that much thought and planning into your daily adult routine, you’d be Batman.
You stalked the sh*t out of your family.
You knew which floorboard creaked, when mom got up to watch TV, in what part of the house your dog was asleep...
You knew exactly how to time your father’s bowel movements and your sister’s karate lessons. Now look at you. You haven’t bought toilet paper in three days and missed your subway stop, twice, yesterday.
Then again, maybe you’re just high…
You knew know how to tell a lie… and convince yourself said lie was true.
Maybe you’ve finally gained some moral ground, or maybe you’ve just become a terrible f*cking liar.
When you were a kid, you could tell people it was snowing in July, and tell your parents you had a quiet weekend in… and, if it weren't for the damn police citation, they would have believed you.
You learned what was worth it and what wasn’t.
In high school, besides school and anything your parents asked, you didn’t do anything you didn’t want to do.
In reality, it was because you had a maximum of four hours a day to yourself and were too young to even do anything you wanted to be doing.
You learned to pass the blame.
That curfew rule was the bane of your existence, until it was the best reason you had to leave.
To certain people you managed to avoid for four years, your parents may as well have been Amish prison guards.
You knew what "getting your sh*t together" meant.
You couldn’t lay around the house with a bottle of gatorade, ordering Seamless and watching "Bad Girls Club" for six hours.
You had to get up and pretend raking the leaves didn’t make you want to throw up the late-night McDonald's you definitely didn’t have. You fought through that hangover because you had to.
You had f*cking balls.
It was never "too cold" or "too far." If being grounded meant no license, or if your curfew prohibited the use of a car after 11, you didn't think twice about jogging.
If you needed alcohol, you'd find a way. You'd take risks, cross the line and push it as far as you could without losing your cell phone privileges.