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The Anti-Authoritarian In Me

The Anti-Authoritarian In Me

When I was in the first grade, my mother was called in to talk to my teacher Mrs Westercamp.  It seems that I had a VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM that needed addressing. My mother tells the story of how she was sat down and expected the worst - and given that I was the 4th of 5 children, "the worst" was probably pretty bad in her mind. 

However, rather than horrific crimes against my fellow pupils or failing anything one actually needs to pass when one is 6, Mrs Westercamp told my mother that my offence was quite simply that I refused to wear socks. There were no smell or temperature issues, no hygiene ones either.  She just felt very deeply that it was improper for children to attend school with nothing between their feet and their soles and that in future I *must* wear them. While my mother laughed at the thought of Mrs Westercamp trying to get me to do anything of the sort. And of course, I put my unsocked foot down and refused and after awhile it was never brought up again.

I think my mother should've taken this as foreshadowing for the rest of my school career.  Year after year she was hauled in to discuss various other ways in which I simply refused to follow the convention of school life. In the 4th grade, I declined to do the full math's worksheets insisting a random sampling of questions was sufficient to show my understanding of the skills. I would get sent to the hall as punishment, but it just never seemed worth the extra effort of completing any future worksheet. In the 5th grade, Mrs Whitman called my mom to tell her I refused to read Laura Ingalls Wilder in class and that my choice of book (a non-fiction book on Pocahontas) wasn't appropriate for 5th grade American history. I still wrote my final book review on Pocahontas, despite being told not to. On and on it goes. I just never liked to be told what to do. In fact, telling me to do something was always the quickest way to get me not to do it.

Even now, at the age of 38, I see this defiance come out in funny ways. Hashtags on Instagram:  Ugh, do I have to? Children's project homework: What do you mean I have to make a cardboard castle that I would normally enjoy doing but now despise because you told me that I had to make it. Tell me what to do and I instantly start thinking of ways out of it.

I tell you this all in hopes that it goes some way to explain my absence in this space. I woke up one day after 10 years of blogging and realised it had become a chore - something I was told I had to do by all the people who know stuff on the internet. I tried to keep it going, but failed and resented it. So I stopped. Six months away and I didn't give it much thought, but then the domain came due and I decided to press delete on the whole thing. But then I didn't. Simple as that, really.

And here I am. I have so much to catch you up on. But one things hasn't changed...I still bloody hate wearing socks.


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