...I was convinced that my parents sole reason for living was to ruin my life! I had even, many times, considered starting a sequel book to Joan Crawford's "Mommy Dearest!"
I was sixteen....a young, vibrant teenager, entering into womanhood....and I had just obtained my license! My social life was all that mattered to me....school, schmule - I had no use for textbooks and essays....it was crucial that I spend my time flirting with the boys, figuring out who would take me to prom!
Because of mommy dearests and daddy warbucks
I know, right? That is absolutely AB-SURD (...and for those of you that know my sixteen year old son, for the love of all things secret, keep this to yourself!)
This meant that when the weekends rolled around, if some of my friends went out on Friday night and some of my other friends went out on Saturday night...I had to choose! *GASP* I mean, come on....can a girl help her popularity and charm? PUH-LEASE!
Another "command" from my parental units was that all of my school work MUST be complete and correct before I could even THINK about social plans....um, WHAT-EVER!
I share all of this information with you to better help you understand the tale I am about to unfold....meaning, I need you to side with me on this, call me a genius in the end and agree with me that my wardens (parents) should have seen this coming....
...this is a story that mommy dearest STILL, to this day, shares within her circles, looking for sympathy....
Science was NEVER my specialty, much less Biology. I struggled with the whole "take home your Biology book and read a chapter or two each night" ...or the "studying" method that people talk about....
...nonetheless, I wasn't interested. Science isn't shiny and sparkly and it didn't involve Tom Cruise or New Kids On The Block.
So it was only natural for me that when the required and age old project that involved collecting bugs of various species and pinning them to a foam board was assigned, I tossed the thought and activity aside.
...and I would have gotten away with it if my mother wasn't a teacher within the school district and knew EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF. MY. TEACHERS.
It was inevitable....Saturday night surfaced and everyone who was anyone was going to the local movie theatre and out for pizza afterwards. I stood in front of my bathroom mirror, hairbrush pulling my bangs taught as I sprayed them until they were rock hard and higher than Mount Everest. My mother, who was preparing to entertain guests with her gourmet cooking, stood in my bathroom doorway...
"Where do you think you are going?" she asked me, with that "You can think otherwise" tone in her voice...
"I'm going with Niki and the other girls to the movies and for pizza. I'll be back before mid-night, don't worry..." I picked up my blusher brush and began to stroke my cheekbones with pink powder.
My mother folded her arms and crossed her right leg over her left leg, leaning into the door frame..."Oh, I won't worry....because you are not going out. Not until your Biology bug collection is complete and has my approval. Have you even started on it?" She squinted her eyes at me, burning her "no nonsense" ora into my soul....
"Really mom? Like, I started weeks ago. Puh-lease. It's almost finished. Like, okay?" I lied through my teeth as my heart raced with panic....I could NOT miss this social event....Jake Schmitz was going to be there!
My mother slowly unfolded her arms and turning ever so nonchalantly she began to saunter back towards the stairs, "Well then, bring what you have started downstairs for me to look at and then we can talk about you going out tonight..."
Okay...I had this. This was cake. I left the bathroom and raced into my brothers room, swinging his closet door open and diving into the heap of hot wheel cars, G.I. Joe's and superheros to find a cardboard box lid from his Nike tennis shoes shoebox....
....racing up the stairs to the attic, which had been transformed into a private nook/bedroom for my sixteenth birthday, I stood underneath the light fixture on the ceiling of my room. Scrunching my eyes in the light, I quickly unscrewed the nut that held the glass piece over the light bulbs and twisted the glass from it's place. Holding the edges because the glass was hot from the light bulb heat, I brought the piece down to eye level and was elated at what I saw! Several dead bugs lay in the beveled glass, attracted to the light, they had suffered from the heat and their tiny corpses were accumulated in the crevices. I gloriously dumped the dead bugs onto the cardboard lid and then swiftly ran to my sisters room on the second floor. Using the same technique I had used in my own bedroom, I emptied another glass globe of dead bugs onto the cardboard lid.
....making my way across the hall into my mothers bedroom, I opened her closet doors to seek out her sewing kit. Opening the quilted top basket of needles and thread, I grabbed the fabric tomato cushion that housed several ball topped pins in various colors. Within two minutes I had roughly fifteen to twenty bugs pinned onto the lid of a Nike shoe box!
I. Was. A. Genius.
...not only was I certain that I would receive an "A" on my bug project, I was mere minutes from joining my friends and flirting with the boy I had my heart set on!
Carrying my masterpiece, I floated down the stairs to the kitchen and proudly displayed my bugs to my mother and my father (in the presence of company....another genius move, if I do say so myself!)
"What is this?" my mother asked me in her "we have company, so I sound like Mary Poppins" voice...
"Um.....my bug project. You said you wanted to see it." I looked around at my parents friends, smiling, fishing for compliments on my flowered skirt and ruffled top....
"This looks like you just emptied bugs from the light fixtures onto a shoebox lid!"
"It's bugs, isn't it? They are pinned, aren't they? Like, what more do you want?"
.....needless to say, I didn't go to the movies or pizza....and there was no flirting with Jake Schmitz.
The moral of this story is.....
...it's better to be a bookworm.