A big THANK YOU to Mama Kat and her Pretty Much World Famous Writing Workshop for providing me with the platform to "share".
Assignment- Tell us about a time you were grounded...what did you do?
This is a LONG story that I will attempt to shorten for the sake of keeping your attention. It's a good one that eventually outlines more than a FEW life lessons learned when I was only 14 years old. I think it saved me from some possible teenage angst and problems that high school often brings for parents and kids alike. I hope that sharing this story on my Blog will provide Ave & Bryce with a TRUE cautionary tale of what happens when you make bad decisions.
Intrigued? It's all about the first AND last time I touched alcohol until I was legally allowed (Actually, until I was 18 1/2 yrs old and with my mothers permission. Another story. Another time.)
It was grade 9. My first year in High School and all was new and exciting and a tad intimidating, to be honest. When it was time for the annual, greatly anticipated and much looked forward to, formal Christmas dance, 2 of my girlfriends (we will call one Blue and the other Green) and I planned and prepared for the "big night". We decided we'd wear our fancy-schmancy Grade 8 graduation dresses, get our hair done, pile on the make-up AND have a few drinkie poos. After all, isn't that what EVERY high school kid was gonna do?!?! Yes. Yes, most would but not to the $hit $how extreme we managed to put on. Silly gals.
Fortunately OR in hindsight, unfortunately, my girlfriends and I didn't have to solicit some adult outside the local liquor store to get our hands on some "juice" . You see, my father owned his own business and every holiday season he would give his employees a bottle of liquor. I didn't think he'd miss a couple bottles so, I helped myself to two 40 oz bottles of rum. Blue, Green and I had already agreed that the first forbidden cocktail of our lives would be Eggnog and rum. You know, keeping with the festive theme of the season and all. Silly gals.
When Blue and I arrived at Greens house, she had already helped herself to some of her parents homemade red wine. She offered us some but I think Blue and I were pretty insulted that she had gone ahead and started the party without us AND that red wine was NOT Eggnog & Rum (the decided drink of the evening). We passed on the vino and hopped onto the city bus wearing our fancy dresses and carrying gym bags packed with eggnog & rum. We got off "downtown" rather than right at the high school, another planned detail as we needed a few blocks to "toast" the season with our cocktails. Silly gals.
The details get a tad fuzzy at this point because I can't remember for the life of me why Green walked so far ahead of us with ONE of the TWO 40z bottles of rum, all I do know for certain is that Blue and I dumped out a 1/4 of the carton of eggnog and filled it with rum, gave it a shake and took a sip each. We were NOT impressed with the foul taste, perhaps too much rum??? We took a second sip each and then tossed the carton in the ditch and immediately we were giddy with laughter because we were drunk...ya, ok! Anywho, by the time we caught up to Green she had downed almost the entire bottle of rum sans eggnog. She seemed as "drunk" as we were (meaning, not at all), laughing and talking C-L-E-A-R-L-Y! We had no idea that almost 40 oz of alcohol consumed in less than 1/2 hour would lead to one of the most frightening moments of my life. STUPID GALS.
Fast forward about 1 hour into the dance. All. Hell. Broke. Loose. People were gathered in the cafeteria talking about some Grade 9 student who was plastered out of her mind and how the teachers were trying to "hunt down" the girls who had come to the dance with her so they could confirm what she had "taken". I instantly knew they were talking about my friend Green. I stood frozen for some time before I could fully comprehend that we were all in some serious trouble, with a capitol "T". I eventually headed to the hallway where Green was being monitored and I was horrified to see the condition she was in. HORRIFIED. She looked nothing like the beautiful belle she had arrived at the dance as. Her eyes were slits in her head, her strapless dress kept falling down as one of our older English teachers tried to discreetly keep her modest but the seriousness of the situation only hit me when she was being carted out in an ambulance as her mom screamed at me "Tell me what she took Ginger!"
I responded "I don't know." All I was trying to do was plead my case of innocence and truthfully, not giving a second thought that an honest answer could save her life.
Her mom pleaded with me, "Ginger! Please tell me what she took. TELL ME PLEASE!!"
The fear in her eyes was raw and it made me snap out of my selfishness and I said, "Rum and wine"
"How much? How much did she drink?"
All I could say was, "Lots."
And off she went with my friend Green in the ambulance. I don't remember much more of the evening but I am pretty sure the dance continued on like nothing had happened but I do know that I felt sick. I felt guilty. I knew we were all in trouble. That I WAS in trouble.
I left for Florida the next day and spent the next two weeks pretending that nothing had happened. I still get sick to my stomach thinking back to that Christmas and my dishonest behaviour. My parents had gone ahead 2 weeks before me so they were clueless to the fact that Blue, Green & I had done something bad. That I Had Done Something Very Bad. I didn't want to face the music and somehow I had convinced myself that everything would be forgotten when I returned home. That no one would remember that Green was rushed to hospital and that maybe she wouldn't confess that I had been her "supplier". SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED GIRL.
When I did return to school in January, I was called to the Vice Principal's office and he asked me to tell him all about that night of the Christmas dance. I left out a few incriminating "details" but basically recounted how things had happened in regards to the copious amounts of alcohol Green had drank. He was disappointed. He knew there was more to the story (my guilt) and through whatever clairvoyant abilities he possessed, he also knew I hadn't told my parents. He stated apathetically, "You need to go home and tell your parents because I will be calling them tomorrow to discuss this matter."
Deep down I KNEW I wouldn't get away with my actions, as much as I had hoped I would. And so, I sat at the kitchen table waiting for my parents to arrive home after school. I told them in FULL detail about the night of the Christmas dance, not leaving out any of my transgressions. Given the seriousness of the situation, my mother handled it better than I ever imagined. She grabbed a bottle of rum and told me to drink. She shouted that, "If I wanted to drink and be a loser that I should just go ahead and DRINK". I lost it. Sobbing and crying hysterically. I knew and she knew I was crying more because I had got caught. NOT because I was taking responsibility for my actions. She didn't actually make me drink one drop of liquor that night but she did provide me with my punishment...
Grounded. Indefinitely. No phone. No friends over. No going out, except to school & family engagements. Grounded in my house was serious business.
You may think that indefinitely is an exaggeration but it wasn't until THREE MONTHS later that I finally mustered the courage and sat my mom down and asked for a "pardon". I wrote her a very lengthy letter expressing my deep remorse and taking full, unselfish responsibility for my actions that fateful night. It took me 3 long months of solidarity (mostly) to reflect on how I had been a coward that night when I ALMOST didn't help Green by not disclosing what she had drank, how I was a thief who stole from her family, how I wasn't totally honest when the school confronted me, how I had felt sorry for myself for getting caught and more importantly, how I had almost contributed to the death of another human being.
Green survived. Thank you God.
The Vice Principle never called my parents. As an adult, I am thankful that he made me take accountability & confess to my parents.
I learned a multitude of life lessons during my "Grounding Sentence". Most importantly, that everyone makes mistakes but you eventually have to face the music and take responsibility and the consequences that come.
I never touched alcohol again until I was allowed.
I was never grounded again.
There you have it. Now you wont be surprised if you ever hear me start off a conversation something like, "Let me tell you about the time I almost killed someone in Grade 9..." Ya, it's a REAL attention grabber...
Go get your inspiration on...