Sunday, January 21, 2007
Scott's Google Earth Meme, Part IV
This is the fourth installment in Scott's AELEOPE Google Earth meme.
I'm pretty sure that each one of us has experienced that WTF?!? feeling at least once. By that, I mean you're ambling along without a care in the world, never for a moment realizing that what you did or what you are doing would affect other people to a magnitude that would probably rate a 9 on the Richter Scale. You're minding your own business, and when you find out that other people are having a cow at what you did (or are doing), you go WTF?!? Was what I did (or what I'm doing) so bad?
I was boringly normal when I was in high school. Dutiful student, deeply involved with the school newspaper, member of the library club. Never getting into any scrapes. I never gave anybody any aggravation...or so I thought.
Until that day in my 14th or 15th year (I forget exactly when). I took my brother-in-law's scooter and scooted over to a classmate's house (somewhere in the area marked B in the photo). It was about 3.5 kilometers (2.17 miles) away from our house (located in the area marked A in the pic). Sounds unremarkable, really. I went over after classes were over, met with a whole lot of other classmates, had a snack with them, let some of them try out the scooter, then with a fond and carefree wave goodbye scooted my way peacefully back home.
But instead of the dinner and relaxing evening I was expecting chez moi, I got the tongue-lashing of a lifetime.
WTF?!? What'd I do?
Several things, apparently. Near-mortal sins that a child can commit according to the parental point of view.
-I used the scooter without permission.
-I neglected to let the house gods (read: parents) know where I was going...or that I was going somewhere in the first place.
-I was missing for what seemed like forever (hey, it was just a few hours!).
-I worried the house gods out of their minds. (In retrospect, this concern was valid. The roads to my classmate's house during that time didn't have that many houses along the way and street lights weren't ubiquitous in that area.)
"What were you thinking?" [they raged.] "Something could've happened to you! Riding by yourself, in the dark, not telling us where you were going! You could've been RAPED! What WERE YOU THINKING?!? Were you even thinking at all???"
Blink blink. Speechless. Flabbergasted. Thinking: "Why the histrionics? Everything was perfectly safe! I'm home now. Nothing bad happened to me." Blink blink.
Fast-forward 20 years or so. That carefree girl who rode a scooter--with no thought of aggravating anyone--has become a mother herself.
And suddenly she understands the reasons for her parents' (seemingly) exaggerated reactions to that jaunt of half a lifetime ago.
Oh, lord. When her daughters reach their teens, please, please let them have the sense and consideration that their mother so obviously lacked in her youth!