Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Monday, January 21, 2008

{Learning}

Here's something people might not guess about me: I was wild in my youth.

Not wild wild. I never had any desire to drink or do drugs (though there was a phase during my teenagehood that I considered planting a pack of cigarettes in my bedroom just so my parents would think I was wayward, thus making anything "bad" I did afterwards not seem so bad after all. [I never did follow through with that notion. I guess it wasn't such a great idea. They probably would have shipped me off to Dr. Phil's boot camp]).

No, my wildness was fairly mild. [That's right--I was a mild wild child.] Basically I was just...off the walls. Hyper. Enthusiastic. Passionate. Enigmatic. Psycho.

Adults hated me, essentially.

If I--as an adult--had known me then, I would have hated me. I mean, just look at me:


I was the girl who made even the most stalwart primary teachers beg to be released (there's a true story to back me up on that one). Every time I run into someone who used to be in our ward, I cringe--they always start out saying, "You're Camille? Camille Strate? Man...I remember when..."

I was the Marky Davis of the Maricopa Stake.

As most hyper, enthusiastic, psychotic children do, I got in trouble a lot. Most of the time, "getting into trouble" was no big deal. I'd get sent to my room. I liked my room. It gave me time to think about what I'd done and look at my rock collection. [I named my rocks. (Like I said: psycho.)] But occasionally, I would get in trouble and it would really stick. I knew I'd crossed the line. I knew I was busted. And I hated it.

Like the time I was shimmying up the palm trees at Lincoln Elementary and Ms. Hinshaw, the P.E. teacher, came out and gave me 3-day detention. I guess climbling trees wasn't allowed--unfortunate, since I had such a knack for scaling tall edifices.

And the time I got my good friend's bike stolen. Oh boy, was that bad.

And the time I skipped Mr. Buck's Junior AP U.S. History class to addend a boy's volleyball tournament--which Mr. Buck just happened to attend, also. That was a big-time bust. (Though I distinctly remember getting in less trouble than Sadie Babbott*, who did the same thing and lied about it. At least B and I told the truth...) But it was nevertheless bad.

There have been more recent escapades, too. Right after high school graduation, for example, I went to England with my good friend and got into a nice heated debate with the bobbies. We'd been misbehaving, naturally. I was so ashamed of myself.

I still get in trouble occasionally; only as an adult, I can't simply go to my room. As an adult, "going to my room" would mean I'm just running away from confrontation. I suppose part of being an adult is 1) not getting into trouble anymore, and 2) owning up to it if I do.

I got in trouble recently, and it was bad. I could feel the confrontation brewing just like granny can feel a storm coming on; I could feel it in my bones. And in my blood pressure. My heart beats faster. My hands shake. My eyes dart about the premises, frantically searching for the nearest escape--anywhere but "here" will do. That is me in the face of confrontation.

I am such a little girl. 21 years old, and I might as well be a toddler, for all the "growing up" I've done.

These kinds of realisations are most unpleasant... When I was a little kid, "saying sorry" was such a good solution--the natural solution--to all of my tight spots. It worked every time. My question now is...am I past that? Is there anything that we adults are supposed to do differently--anything more sincere than "sorry?" And if so, why don't they teach a class on that in high school? It would have been substantially more valuable than most of the other blather I sat through...

*Names have been changed for privacy's sake*

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5 Comments:

Blogger Melissa said...

I don't know for sure if you are referring to what happened today. If so, don't beat yourself up over it. I wasn't bothered at all (just surprised) and you have every right to feel the way you do and to voice it the way you want to. I think you're clever and love you're writing. You have a true talent.

January 22, 2008 at 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok...for what's it's worth, dirt-biking on a residential street IS very inconsiderate of the neighbors, and against city ordinances as well. I experienced seeing it and listening to it on your street last fall when I was visiting there. The noise alone was bad enough, but the safety factors are pretty scary.

Unbelievable!

I was surprised that no one called the police.

L R Fairbanks

January 22, 2008 at 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

You mean the police officer that happens to live right next door to all the commotion?

A humorous little ironic twist.

January 22, 2008 at 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Millie,

I had forgotten all about that picture of you at your birthday party...Funny how one little snapshot can bring back a truckload of memories. Oh, and I LOVE this song; I've never heard it before today, and I think it's great. Quite fitting for the topic at hand, too.

Fellow Archives readers,

For those of you who are reading this and are saying to yourselves, "Camille Fairbanks? Wild? I can hardly believe it!" Take it from one who knows--it's the honest to goodness truth. I recall several times in our childhood when Camille LITERALLY CLIMBED THE WALLS. I. am. not. joking. It's really quite interesting to watch, and equally entertaining to watch my mother's face when Camille made a whole in the wall with one of her long, stilty legs. Ask her for a demonstration; I bet she can still do it! As long as she does it at your house, not mine!

January 22, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger lindser-lou said...

hahahaha, we would have been such good friends as reckless youngsters. I was also quite the climber in my youth and cursed the wretched arizona landscape for not growing a tree big enough to build a proper tree-house in.

alas, i bet they have good tree-house trees in canada.

January 28, 2008 at 3:13 PM  

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