Breaking All the Rules

  1. Who in your family was the person who made and enforced rules?
    I wouldn’t say that my father made the rules, but he was the one who enforced them.
  1. Did you grow up with many rules, or was your life a little more flexible?
    Most of the rules concerned chores, like cleaning my room, cutting the grass, walking the dog, or taking out the garbage and I guess they were flexible.
  1. Were you a rule follower or a rule breaker?
    I had a reluctant attitude about doing chores, but I eventually did them after much procrastination.
  1. How were discipline and – in contrast – rewards managed in your household?
    Discipline involved getting yelled at and spankings were used to deter bad behavior.  I did get money for doing certain chores, which was kind of like an allowance.
  1. Were you given the opportunity to plead your case in matters of disagreement?
    My parents were understanding, but they didn’t always see my point of view.
  1. What tools did your parents use –  ‘I’m going to count to three‘ or ‘don’t make me get up‘ or a time-out chair?
    My mom would often threaten me that my dad would hit me with his belt when he came home, if I failed to listen to her.
  1. Did fear of discipline curb your desire to break or bend the rules?
    There was nothing scarier than watching my dad take his belt off, so I usually behaved.
  1. Did your upbringing influence the way you (as an adult) managed rules in your own home?
    I never had any children, but I think my parents taught me good values.
  1. Were you ever ‘grounded’? Do you want to share the story?
    I will share the story of my last spanking, which took place while I was still a Freshman in Hugh School.  After that I got big enough to take the belt away from my dad and that ended all of my spankings.  I was on the bus coming home from school and my next-door neighbor called me a jerk for sending her a Valentine’s Day card in school.  I thought she was cute, and this was my way of flirting with her, but when she received it in homeroom, she got embarrassed, because all of her friends teased her.  She went off on me on the bus and I got so mad at her that I told her that she should keep her legs closed because her breath smelled.  I didn’t know a lot about girls at this point in my life and I think I read this phrase in a book.  This shut her up and everyone laughed, and I felt good for a while.  As we walked from the bus stop to our homes, she told me that she couldn’t wait too my father got home.

She sat on my front porch and when my dad arrived, she told him what I said to her.  My dad grabbed my arm as he started taking off his belt and he whacked me good several times while telling me that he did not raise me to have a dirty mouth and talk like a pig.  My neighbor got the last laugh watching me getting spanked and that was the last Valentine’s Day card that I ever sent out.

  1. Did you break rules your parents never knew about? Want to confess and leave with a clear conscious? No?
    Ok, what the hell, another story and although this does not involve discipline and I have a totally clear conscious about this, I think it is a funny story.  We never had a rule that said I was not allowed to bring drugs into my house, but common sense told me that this was wrong.  My mom never liked wasting anything and one day when my sister came over with her family and her dog, my mom said that she was going to see if the dog wanted to finish up the last of the turkey soup that she had made from the Thanksgiving leftovers.  It was about 10 days old, and the dog loved it, but a half hour later it laid down on the kitchen floor kicking his legs around.  Everyone thought that the turkey soup had gone bad, and they rushed the dog to the veterinarian to get its stomach pumped out.  I always hid my weed in my closet, and I discovered that the dog got into my stash and ate a bunch of my buds.  I knew what was wrong with the dog and I told my brother what happened.

This remained a secret for about 20 years, long after the dog passed away.  My dad loved to tell stories and every year around Thanksgiving he would tell the story about the dog getting sick on the bad turkey soup.  My brother couldn’t stand keeping this secret anymore, so he let the cat out of the bag, and he told everyone that there was nothing wrong with the soup and that the dog got sick from eating my marijuana.

Written for Throwback Thursday #50 which is hosted by Lauren and Maggie and this week it is Maggie’s turn and her topic is “Are Rules Made to be Broken?”

15 thoughts on “Breaking All the Rules

  1. Jim, I felt a certain sadness as I read parts of your post. Those old wounds can stay with us a very long time if not careful. I am not a huge fan of valentines, but I would certainly not hesitate to send one of so inclined. It was a missed learning opportunity for your father, I think. He could have given you better tools to communicate your feelings. A father’s belt was a fear struck in the hearts of many in my generation. And that poor dog! I am thankful he was okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Who in your family was the person who made and enforced rules? – Dad was the rule maker, no question! I remember getting whacked over the head on occasion and mum would try to protect me.

    Did fear of discipline curb your desire to break or bend the rules? – We were all kind of scared when dad would get mad at us. Yes, we had respect for both our parents and even the police. I always tried to stay on the right side of the law.

    Liked by 1 person

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