[ editor’s note: words or concepts in “quotes” are meant to be sarcastic and, for my young readers(if there are any at all), I do use the “F” word. Once. ]
On New Year’s Eve our house got egged while we were catching the Avett Brothers in Charlotte.
I didn’t think people even egged houses anymore. But there it was…
Suffice it to say, it was a real unnerving end to an otherwise awesome holiday!
I cleaned the place up, soap, warm water, ladder, everything was frozen, and all the while I scrubbed the planks on my house; my brain slowly started to crack. I suddenly felt incredibly bitter. Beyond bitter actually. I mean, what the fuck? The whole point of moving into a “nice” neighborhood was to avoid all this kind of B.S.! To be amongst families that were “above all that”, had good “christian values” and tight family units.
But alas, I quickly learned that teenage-suburban-wasteland-blues are prevalent everywhere, and when you get right down to it, I really knew that all along.
So, knowing that, why the hell was I so bent out of shape?
I guess it came from the fact that my property, while not damaged, was compromised in some way. Yes, it was “cleanable” but still, some punk was bored and felt the overwhelming urge to throw eggs, and I am ashamed to admit but; that seriously scrambled my brains something awful.
Through the urgings of Mel and a few close friends who put up with my bitchings about the whole situation off and on for the following weeks, I finally got over it. I chalked it up to a one time thing. That kids were crazy bored, drunk, stoned, or all three, on New Year’s Eve and decided to egg the first house they came upon where the owners were stupid enough to take off without leaving a single light on.
Yeah, that’s it, they did it because no one was around to catch them.
I told myself that and, eventually, I started to believe it. I slept less lightly and wasn’t so worried. Life was good.
But then, this last weekend, some kids spray painted some real estate signs and actually spray painted someone’s car. No kidding.
I was pretty shocked. I mean egging is one thing. Sure it’s a pain in the ass to clean up, but spray paint on a car!?!? I was so frustrated for these neighbors that I didn’t even bother to find out what happened.
And then, just like that, the intense worry and anger seeped back in. I kept thinking, if these kids are willing ruin a car, then what’s next? A house? A break in? What else?
Everything came flooding back and I was right back where I started. Mel, again (though even she was a little startled by the audacity of these punks), said that our neighborhood is fine, that I shouldn’t get this stressed and that there truly is nothing we could do about it. But all I could do was think about catching them some how.
Catch them and make them pay…
But then I breathed, and then I breathed again. And with those breaths, done repeatedly the week afterward, I came back up from dread. I spent a good amount of time ruminating on the past. I remembered when I was that age. Probably somewhere between 15 and 18; not old enough to get my license or clambering to go to college and get on with my life. I remembered the intense angst I had then and how, for that brief amount of time, I didn’t think there was ever going to be an escape.
I remembered how you do stupid things when you’re in that headspace. I know I did.
And while those memories didn’t erase the irritation I currently had, they did damper the worriment. Mel’s right (surprise, surprise!), there is nothing we can do about it if it happens to us again, we have the means to fix anything they trash (unless they’re more unhinged than I thought), so instead of letting it consume me, I should brush it off, focus on more important things, and simply move on.
All wise sentiments, and all true. No one’s been hurt in these instances, and even if I did catch the sniveling brats, chances are they’d wet their pants and drop their cell phones trying to call Mommy. So what’s the point in it?
None. There is no point. Whoever did it will go on to college, become whatever they become and then one night, while out at a cocktail party, their house will get egged. They’ll shrug their shoulders and admit that they deserved it. <ahem>
In full disclosure, Mel didn’t add those last two sentences in… What can I say? I gotta be me. 😀
The real point is this though: times don’t change. They’re always the same gift, just different wrapping paper.
These kids are going through exactly what I went through at their age, except they’ve been afforded more. More technology, more money, different means and more privilege.
As much as I wish they’d respect those things (and, from what I can tell, a ton of them do), there’s a bunch that won’t/don’t.
I imagine my Dad said the exact same thing about his kid’s generation.