Friday, July 27, 2007

Mischief Managed? Not Yet.

I would like to note this post by Chana (and I hope the html worked there because I'm on a computer at work that has the words 'crappy computer' written on it and I have to say, it does live up to its name. This internet browser doesn't even let me get to facebook, it's so old. Er, not that I've tried going on facebook while at work. Heh). It talks about a human desire to destroy, especially if you are the type of person who likes to create.

I'd like to put my own spin to it. This is something I've felt nearly all my life.

I am the good girl. I have always been the 'good girl.' When I was little, I rarely got punished in school (okay, there was that one time in Nursery when I threw a book and got sent into the corner, but that's only because the book had been thrown at me and everyone knows that when you get a book thrown at you, you hurl it quickly back), I (nearly) always did my homework, and, most of all, I was quiet. I was shy and because of that, never talked back to the teacher, or to my counselor in camp. I listened. I lined up when we were supposed to line up, I went where I was told to go, I did what I was told to do. At that point in my life, I saw no reason to talk back, no reason to contradict, unless I wanted to push the limit and see how far I could go before I got into trouble. But while I wasn't a goody two-shoes, I saw no reason for getting in trouble if I didn't have to.

The thing is, after having the reputation of 'good girl,' it starts to get tiring. I felt as though I had stopped being interesting. Being a good girl was boring.

In either seventh or eighth grade, we'd had a layl iyun in school (when just my grade stayed back after school and we learned informally and had discussions and things, I don't remember it much) and a bus took everyone from my community home. There was one girl in my grade (not on the bus with us) who was a hypochondriac (I hope I spelled that right. Spelling was never my forte). And I mean, to the point where all of us knew it and none of us liked her for it. And I'm not sure why, but on the way home, as we passed a store selling wheelchairs, crutches, ace bandages, and other medical things, I blurted out, "Hey look, it's so-and-so's store!"

I don't know what made me do it, but suddenly, I heard cheering. The girls on the bus were applauding my nasty comment. They slapped me five and beckoned me to join them in their rambunctious joking around in the back of the bus. For once, I felt included among the obnoxious girls. I was obnoxious. felt good.

The next day, I went back to being the 'good girl,' but from then on, I knew I had it inside of me to be mean, to be obnoxiuos, to be daring when it came to my behavior.

A few summers later, when I was going into tenth grade, I was in sleepaway camp and I had this strong desire to raid the entire devision. Again, I was sick of being the 'good girl.' I wanted to be bad. Luckily, I had a friend in a similar situation.

Now, you have to understand, it wasn't as though I'd never raided before. Despite being a 'good girl,' I was always rather mischievous. I did not consider my summer complete if I didn't go on at least one raid a month. I had a group of friends who I'd always go with and, of course, all the fun was in managing to get to the boys' bunks in the first place - we never actually did much when we got there (we'd usually go in and wake them all up with our flashlights and then run away when shmira [people on duty to catch campers out of bed] came along) but had an awesomely fun time sneaking around camp, hiding under bunks, that sort of thing. And we had gotten caught a few times, but never sent to the main office and I, proudly, did not tell who was with me or who I was when I was asked by a shmira person once. So yes, I was an experienced raider. But what I wanted to do that summer was something different. I wanted to do something destructive.

So my friend and I woke up early the last week of camp and toilet papered the entire campus (our division had our own campus at the end of the main camp). True, it wasn't that destructive, but it was the best we could do at the last minute when we planned the whole thing. And it felt good. I had wanted to do something like steal all the benches in the chadar ochel (dining room) but my friend pointed out that it was too much work for us and too inconvenient because then we'd not have benches, either.

The points is, I know what Chana meant in her post, and still, there is a large part of me completely and utterly sick of being thought of as 'good' all the time. I want to be bad. I want to cause mischief. I want to pull pranks and make trouble and be known as a wild daredevil. It's just that my annoying conscience gets in the way too much.



haKiruv said...

You two need to take a trip to Mexico and rob a bank or something. Get it out of your system. :-D I'm kidding. Your next blog posts from you guys better not be from a Mexican prison.

I find what's really interesting is that a lot of young women feel the way you do.

haKiruv said...

I forgot to mention: If your company has a policy against going to non-work websites and if they have an IT dept., they might be tracking your attempts to go to those websites, so be careful! I used to work in IT and actually implement that. My manager was a dictator.

Erachet: Yeah boss, I don't quite have that project done...I've been so know...

Boss unravels Erachet's website log rap-sheet which touches the ground

Boss: Yeah, like checking your Facebook five times every hour?!?!

Erachet said...

Haha, I doubt they have that. We all have to go to random websites all the time in order to get info on stories and things, plus if they did have some sort of IT thingie, I bet it wouldn't work with the computer I'm using. The thing is literally a hundred years old. :)

But, no worries, the web browser isn't compatible with facebook anyway! *wicked grin*

Ezzie said...

Heh. I hear you. I think someone wrote this on her post as well, but pranks and joking around (in good taste!) are a good outlet for this. You just need to know when it's the right time/place/most importantly, people.

Scraps said...

I know exactly what you mean. I was always the good kid at school (although later in my school years I got lazy about homework); I didn't talk out in class, or bully other kids (I was the one who was bullied), or participate in class pranks when we had substitute teachers, etc. It wasn't that I specifically wanted to be a "goody two-shoes", but I was scared of getting in trouble so I didn't act up.

It can feel stifling after awhile, though...I, too, can get tired of the Scraps the Good Girl image. But at the same time, I know it's better to be boring than to be mean. I'd hate myself if I was mean.

squirrel said...

Wow, I know what you mean...
I was also always the good kid; my parents barely ever had to repremand me (and knowing how they tell my siblings off, it's not because my parents are the sweet, quiet type...), my teachers always loved me, I never got kicked out of class, I never got sent to the principal, but I always managed to have my fun. I even think my way of doing things was so much better than all those kids who got into trouble--it was such a blast to make trouble in a way that people miss it, it's like the joke's on them in a way.
But, yes, in my old age I've become a little rebellious. In the camp I worked in this summer I made sure to break some of the rules, just for myself, so I could feel rebellious. It was exciting, it made me feel so alive and mischevous... :-)
But the psychology behind the troublemaking is what really intrigues me...I wish I understood it better