Everything happens for a reason! That was my mantra for many, many years and I only dropped this after I lost a very good friend. I think it was my brains naive way of trying to cope with the crap that went on around me. I didn’t like school, I always struggled academically and just hope that if I behaved at school my parents wouldn’t be called in and find out just how shitty my grades were. They had been very strict all my life until I reached the age of fourteen, then their rules relaxed. I don’t just mean, okay now that you’re older we’ll give you more freedom. It was like they had completely checked out, suddenly and really unexpectedly. That’s when my days at school became get your register mark in the morning and then go do something else. Sometimes innocent, sometimes not, but it was okay because my parents had zoned out. This is when my belief in everything happens for a reason formed. I was still young, the larger questions of if everything happens for a reason why were there children starving or being abused, they just weren’t on my radar. Of course back in the mid nineties you couldn’t just pick up your phone and Get a news flash. Back then there was 4 channels, soon to be 5 and you only got news a couple of times a day. Before the internet was at your fingertips the world was a tiny place for a 14 yr old, it started at your house and ended in the town center. So when I began straying from the rules that had been previously enforced by my parents, my life really began.
Now in the unlikely event any teenagers are reading this, don’t be dickheads, go to school and if your parents tell you to stay away from certain places, listen to them! So my foray into rebellion was a rocky one to say the least, I won’t give details in case either if my boys happen to read this. Sufficed to say I was a mess, my parents were still zoned out and didn’t go to parents evenings anymore so they never saw my attendance record or grades for that matter. Again It wasn’t as it is today, the school couldn’t just text or email your parents to inform them I wasn’t at there. A complete juxtaposition to these days wherein your child needs blood coming from their eyes to ensure an ‘Authorised absence’. But if my parents were still monitoring me at that point I would never have met my husband. He was staying with a friend in a block of flats I was forbidden to go to. The day before I met him I had decided to stop hanging out with a group of friends as their behavior was questionable not to mention dangerous. If I hadn’t made that decision I would never have been near where he lived.
Destiny or fate for me when I was a teen was a scary prospect, Before my parents lost interest in my social life I was always getting caught. The amount of times I would kneel at my window and prey to a god I didn’t really believe in that they wouldn’t find out the newest, dumbest thing I’d done. For example, getting caught at school with a small bottle of whiskey that I’d kept overnight for my friend. Cigarettes that I’d held for others, getting caught smoking that type of thing. I guess some people are lucky where as for me, even now, there’s always a catch. I’m surprised I turned out as normal as I did. If fact I can only thank one person for that, my husband. If I hadn’t moved in with him at the age of 15 lord knows what I’d be like now. The main reason I’m sure I’d probably have mental issues is my mum, she has always done really weird stuff. things like, when we left the house she’d make us wave back at the empty house, as if our 26 inch wooden TV with only 4 channels and a broken volume slider had been earmarked by the local burgler. There were times when she’d hit us whether in jest or seriously that if we yelped she’d make us laugh at the wall, all this so the neighbours would, in her mind, still believe we were the Waltons.
If we saw a magpie she’d make us look twice because seeing one magpie is meant to be bad luck. I don’t know if she thought looking twice was some kind of amazing loophole she’d discovered. Then she’d sing the stupid tune, 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy, 3 for a girl, 4 for a boy, 5 for silver, 6 for gold, 7 for a secret never to be told. (I don’t get No.7) So this jingle opened up to my 7 years old self a whole other opportunity, so desperate was I for a boyfriend I’d find a magpie and glance at it 4 times as quick as I could before it flew away and waited for the boys to come running. It didn’t work, but then Christmas rolled around that same year and when I asked Santa for an expensive toy I was told he couldn’t afford it. So the next time I saw a magpie I looked like a freak as my head swung back and forth six times for gold so I could get myself the expensive toy. I don’t know what I expected to happen but alas it didn’t, I was starting to become one cynical little 7 year old. If we said something she thought was tempting fate she’d make us say rewind and if we didn’t she’d chase us with her slipper eventually ending with us laughing back at the wall. There are more things she does, even now, but I can feel a peptic ulcer forming at the memories of her sheer madness.
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