Left to My Own Devices

My parents rarely left me alone until I was 10 or so. On the occasions when I was left alone, at home, to my own devices, I went buckwild.

My parents were, until very recently, very boring people. Boring by these standards: They paid their taxes. They had the same jobs since I was born. They subscribed to your standard suburban people magazines: Time, Better Homes & Gardens, Sports Illustrated. The people in their address books actually lived at those addresses and those were their real names. Their hobbies were reading, golfing, cooking, and vacationing to non-exotic places, like the beaches in South Carolina. They never talked about illicit drug use, shagging in microbuses, or anything else truly insane, other than doing unscrupulous things while drunk, like driving over railroad tracks, but that happened before I was born, so it really didn't count. Not that I wouldn't have been horrified (!!!) if my parents actually had talked about these things like they actually happened recently, "So, you know, we were all just lounging on Patty's back porch and talking about the best way to tame Wisteria when all of a sudden, Monica, started the wave, and by that I mean she lifted up her shirt..." but my childhood was mainly stable and very boring, and, for this, I consider myself very fortunate.

These days, my parents are much more interesting. But I'm not going to give you the goods on them for free. You'll have to pay to read about them in my autobiography. After I write it, someday.

But back to being home alone in the house of my boring parents. Even if my mother was only gone to the bank for 15 minutes, I would raid all of her Christmas letters - the ones that were addressed exclusively to her. I would go through her jewelry box and try on all of her gypsy-ish earrings. I would try to unlock my father's briefcase. I would go jump on the living room couch, reserved only for sitting on when company came over.

None of these activities ever netted me the kind of mischievous satisfaction I had hoped it would. Of course it didn't. My parents were very boring people.

And if they had anything exciting to hide? I'm sure they would have hidden it, in places that I would never have thought to look.

As years passed by and I was left at home with my siblings for long nights, and as I garnered a fairly large pool of babysitting clients, the temptation to stir up trouble began to fade. I didn't want to look at things that didn't have my name on them. I didn't want to open doors, or briefcases, that were obviously barring me from entry. I don't know if this was part of becoming a teenager and feeling as though I had so many thoughts of my own to keep under lock and key, but I began to be more respectful of the responsibility of being left alone.

Now, however, since I am Never Alone, since I have the loathsome chore of coming home every night to a warm, loving body, who immediately asks what I want for dinner, the moments that are Mine All Mine alone in our two floors of ghetto fabulosity are rich and delicious. Yesterday, while Warm Loving Body was practicing for his triathlon, I staged a photoshoot -- Ohhh and we've lost the entire state of Utah's readership and that of my sister at the mention of the word photoshoot. Not that I implied it was anything risque, even though, when my bunkmate finally found the pictures after sitting at his laptop for 8 hours where the pictures were SAVED TO HIS DESKTOP WITH HIS NAME AND "LOOK AT THESE" clearly typed, I told him that the man from craigslist had come over to assist me, since I wasn't very talented with the tripod.

I soon think my bunkmate will be password-protecting his laptop from now on....

Mama didn't raise me with no manners. But she sure did give me an imagination.