In order to deliver on my word of 4 parts, this post is super long.. My apologies, grab a drink and get comfy.
I should start with a incident that occurred over Spring Break, as that actually was a factor in us ending up in a ditch... I guess. :0)
I am convinced that every neighborhood has that one person/couple that deems themselves the cop or watch guard of the ENTIRE neighborhood. They start of course with anything concerning THEIR yard first and then branch out to "What is best" for the neighborhood in general. (Yeah, you all know who I am talking about!)
Mrs. Seeders lived in the corner house on the end of my street right where the bus stops for all the schools, elementary through high school. That was also the only corner that had a stop sign in the entire neighborhood. There was a lot of speculation among the youth in the neighborhood and even a few adults that she had the sign put in and not the county. We just had very little traffic and the traffic that did pass through were parents or knew that we had lots of children on bikes and in yards so they went really slow. Mrs. Seeders would decorate this stop sign for every season and make a big production while doing it too! (Who does that???)
She would sit out on her front porch with her lemonade and notebook and just wait for something to report. If any children even got close to stepping off the sidewalk into her front yard, it was IN the book. By the end of the week she would tally her notes and start the phone calls so that each parent had a good account of their children and probably an ear full about some others. I swear that if the phone rang on a Sunday night people in the neighborhood cringed in fear. I think she had called my parents at least twice to inform them my brother should sign up for NASCAR as he surely didn't know how do drive anyway but fast down our street.
Lori and I had wanted to make some money so we offered to watch a few kids during Spring Break while their parents were at work. We had about 8 or 9 kids, which wasn't too bad and for the most part it was an easy week. There was a bit of bribery, as we had promised the kids if they were good all week on Friday we would walk them down to the store and buy them some candy. Everything was fine until our return trip and kids juiced up on sugar decided to cut across Mrs. Seeders yard. Now to be fair some of these kids were from other neighborhoods so they didn't know and we had neglected to tell them about this fun lady. So when she came running outside screaming about respecting property and crying her flowers would never recover.... Well she scared two of the little girls into tears and I lost it. I ran over and picked the youngest one up (right through her yard and flowers) and turned on her.. "Your flowers are not in any danger and these two don't know the pleasure you bring to this neighborhood and how to avoid it. They were being kids and running, they didn't mean any disrespect... Good day!" I turned and grabbed the hand of the other girl and once Lori saw me in motion she gathered the rest and on we marched. We made it almost half way down the street before we all started laughing hysterically. Which I am sure just fueled the situation even further, but we were teenagers mind you and that lady would drive a saint crazy.
Mrs. Seeders didn't wait until Sunday night to call, she actually got dressed in her best and invaded us during dinner. I knew the second I saw her at the door what was coming and just wanted to slide under the table and disappear. Had I been smart, I would have told my parents what happen and to avoid the phone on Sunday night at all costs. But I hadn't think she would march herself down the road for a direct report of what happen earlier. Well after it was all said and done, I was told to apologize and put on restriction of one week. Both my parents were sure that Mrs. Seeders had over reacted but that my response to her overreaction could have been better and more respectful. Grrrrrrrr and double grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...
Skip forward two months..
A few of us were together trying to figure out the ultimate senior prank, as we wanted to go out with a bang. Not sure I have mentioned this or not, but Lori and Jay.. Water and oil, they didn't get along at ALL!! Having any kind of normal conversation with these to involved was a major challenge and this time wasn't any different. I don't remember now how they got around to the day of my encounter with Mrs. Seeders but they did and I guess maybe I had forgotten to tell Jay what had gone down. He was NOT happy, but I was able to get him back to senior pranks. I just knew in the back of my mind that this wouldn't be the end of it... Oh how right I was. Sigh. The guys wanted to flood the court yard and show up in bathing suits with rafts. But the girls thought maybe we could one up that so we decided to do our own thing. So we split and Lori and I brainstormed for days... Until one afternoon she went with me to feed Max, he was the laziest bull dog I have ever met. I would dog sit for him when his family went on trips and they paid me to come "play" with him for thirty minutes a day. Lori and I were sitting on the back swing while Max ate and brilliance struck...
Lori: "You know Max looks just like Buddy."
Me: "Buddy, as in the school mascot and principal's dog Buddy?"
Lori: "Yeah, like the one no one has ever been able to steal as a prank."
Me: "Oh girl... We are going to go down in history for this!"
So our plan was to take Max around town and take pictures and then post them up all over the school.. Buddy's senior prank field trip would be our theme and just let them try to top that! Three days later we borrowed Jay's truck and went to get Max. It only just occurred to us when we picked him up that Buddy might have been just a bit darker. So in yet another moment of brilliance, I went and got into my father's shoe polish and we added a bit of brown to Max. We got in the truck and were on our way only to find out why the family didn't travel with Max along. He hated being on the road, he was all over the place and Lori was having a hard time keeping hold of him. I managed to drive one block down and over and then Max got loose and he knocked the stick shift and I freaked and started to swerve just when another truck was coming out of the other cross street. Now this wouldn't have been a problem a few hours earlier, as the other truck would have had a stop sign. The one and only stop sign that Mrs. Seeders dearly loved.... WAS GONE! Well Lori and I ended up in the ditch and the other truck... Of all the luck, was Alex and Jay. So one minute I was doing the girl freak scream and the next I was being pulled out of the truck into Alex's arms. I don't know who was shaking more at that point, but Max decided to do a duty on the floor to show he was right there with us.
Alex took Max out and put him in his truck and came back and marched me to the back of his truck only to notice he was covered in brown. I could tell from the look on his face he thought the dog had done an extra duty on him so I quickly told him not to worry it was shoe polish not pooh. Not sure that really helped at the moment, as his face seemed to get even redder and wow... I think this was the first time I ever saw his eyebrow go so high into his hair line. (I really know that look now, but then this was new to me.)
Alex: "I suggest you start telling me why you were all over the road and eventually ended up in that ditch!"
At that comment he swiveled around to Mrs. Seeders yard and scratched his head...
Alex: "Where is the stop sign?"
Then he turned back to me with hands on his hips and started to advance. I started to back up and explain very quickly what had happen..
Me: "Well you see... Lori and I were going to pull the best senior prank ever... I mean EVER! See Max looks like Buddy, only not brown enough so we put shoe polish on him and now he is super brown. Then we borrowed Jay's truck to take Max around town and take picture of his senior field trip so we can put them around school and show everyone we did the ultimate prank. Only Max doesn't travel well and Lori lost her grip... Maybe the shoe polish was a bad idea. But it was all almost under control until you didn't stop and I saw a truck and swerved even more into the ditch."
At the look on his face clearly that last part wasn't said very well... He was still advancing and I had pretty much almost circled his truck at this point.
Me: "Oh nooooo.. I am not saying it was your fault, I mean the stop sign was clearly gone. So why stop right? And you obviously didn't know Max was going nuts or anything, I mean why would you?
At this point I looked over to Jay and Lori for moral support, as things were just not going very well for me. Only they were not interested in us at all, they were too busy making out at the front of Jay's truck!!! Oh yeah, they are getting along GREAT now. This also got Alex's attention so he became the alpha male and people started to scramble. I was put into his truck and told not to move. He and Jay got Jay's truck out of the ditch and they exchanged a few words. Lori was told she would be getting a ride home from Jay and I would talk with her later. Alex and I took Max home, gave him a bath and some extra bones to keep him silent... (Yeah, like he was going to rat us out!)
Then Alex decided a walk up to the pond was in order and off we went, minus bread so I just knew this wasn't going to be as fun as our last pond experience. When we got into the clearing, the stop sign in all its glory was there, with another sign posted below it...'Unless you have bread, then keep coming!' I couldn't help it.. I had to laugh, it was super funny and I knew right away Jay was behind it all. But that was just really not the right time to laugh. He grabbed my arm and marched me to the first log he found and over his knee I went...
Smack, smack, smack....
Alex:"Woman... You are going to give me gray hair. I told you if you ever put yourself in harms way again you would be over my knee. Well here we are and you will remember this for a long time coming. I don't even want to think of what could have happen to you. If I find out you had anything to do with that stop sign..."
This went on for a VERY long time.. I went from confusion to shock and straight forward to remorse and LOTS of tears by the time he was done. He held me and rocked me for a good thirty minutes before I could mumble around his chest..
Me:"You actually spanked me! That really hurt....(Hiccup) I didn't think you would."
Alex: "Oh didn't you little one?"
<Insert long dramatic sigh here.......>
Me:"Yeah, fine. I guess in the back of my head it was always a possibility you are just that alpha you might actually do it. Plus you usually do what you say you are going to do, you are stubborn that way."
Alex:"You really want to throw stones right now?"
Me:"Um... You are stubborn in a really HOT kinda way...."
We had a very long talk about his grandparents and their marriage and how he wanted to model our relationship after them. He would clearly be the head of our relationship and together we would work through anything as long as we had the trust in each other that each of us would do our part. I knew his grandparents and it was very easy to see the love they had together and so I was sure that this was a good idea. I also trusted Alex, because even though I was sitting on his lap with a very sore/hot bottom, I also felt loved and safe. It was almost 4 years later that I finally told anyone what happen that day by the pond... My sister-in-law, Lori.
Jay and Lori married one year before us and have six children... Yes, six... Four girls (Jay so deserves that) and two boys. Their oldest is graduating from high school this year, so I am now thinking Lori and I need to watch for any plans on a senior prank!