I grew up in a suburb of D.C. where selling alcohol was prohibited. Funny thing is, everyone within the 3-mile radius of Kensington ended up a drunk, or worse. I used to blame the town for my troubles, until I came across a photo of my younger brother. It wasn’t until Peter pointed out the Playboy nonchalantly sitting on the table next to my infant brother, that I decided maybe I was being too hard on K-town.
My parents did the best they could (I guess) and I love them, but the combination a backwater country girl and an Italian city slicker, makes for a very confusing upbringing. It’s a miracle their three kids graduated from college (barely), never went to jail (well, one of us might have been arrested), or damaged any property (not true, I caught some stuff on fire). I find it astonishing that they would leave me charge whenever they went to Atlantic City to gamble away our college fund. They were fully aware of my ineptness for giving a shit about anything, so why would they leave their other two children (who they liked a lot more than me) and their beloved home in my care? I think they were on drugs.
When my folks went to the movies, I’d invite friends over to guzzle as much Milwaukee's Best as we could in two hours, so you can imagine the utter debauchery that took place when they left town. Or maybe you can’t. Maybe you were a good kid and obeyed your parents. Perhaps you didn’t start stealing your father’s cigarettes at the age of ten, or raiding the liquor cabinet when nobody was looking... If you were a golden child, then you won’t understand how something as innocent as a birthday gathering with five girlfriends could end up with your younger sister puking up gallons of wine coolers (along with a wad a gum that we swore was an undigested French fry) on the living room rug, a broken window, footprints on the wall, holes in the ceiling and cigarette burns on the floor.
The last time my folks left me in charge (and it was definitely the LAST time), I had a big party. It wasn’t much fun for me because I spent the entire night cleaning up after everyone, like a street sweeper removing every last bit of evidence. By Sunday morning the house was sparkling clean. To avoid any unnecessary grilling, my sister and I left before our parents returned (note: I have no recollection of my brother’s whereabouts). We were at a friend’s house watching Dirty Dancing for the 100th time when the phone rang…
Our friend muffled back some laughter and said, “Simone and Adrienne, your mom found two roaches and a roach clip. You need to go home.”
After a brief moment of panic, I devised a lie and called the house, “Mom – it’s not mine. It’s Jonathan’s.” Jonathan, bless his devious little heart, was our go-to scapegoat anytime we got caught for anything. And it was believable because 85% of the time he was guilty. Poor bastard, he didn’t stand a chance in our neighborhood.
“Come on, Simone, do you think I’m stupid?” My mom was completely irritated (um, YES – you’re the one who left your 16-year old alcoholic, pothead, hopeless wreck of a daughter in charge...)
“Mom, if it was mine, don’t you think I’d do a better job at hiding it?” That was a true statement –I was a stealthy little bitch.
“Either way, the house is entirely too clean, I know you had a party when I told you not to. You’re on restriction. Get home now.”
This was nothing new - I spent the majority of my high school existence “on restriction”, and a lot of good that did for the cause. I really don’t know how to end this blog because I’m still trying to figure out if Jonathan set me up. Moral of the story - don’t smoke pot, or smoke it. Whatever. It’s legal in most places. Except Kensington.
Keep writing. It saves lives.