Saturday, May 29, 2010

What Goes Around, Comes Around

I walked out the door this morning and discovered this:

Ahhhhhggggg. It always happens at the most inopportune times. My family is camping out at the beach this weekend which means my house is going to look like this for a day or two. I refuse to clean it up. I paid my dues back in the 70's. Now it's Eden and Claire's turn.

I remember the first time I went toilet papering with my friends back in 6th grade. It was the most exciting thing I'd ever done up to that point in my life. The thrill of running around in the dark throwing rolls into the trees. Making patterns in the bushes. Watching the white streamers blow in the breeze of night while we stood back and admired our work. Hiding across the street when lights went on in the house. It was so much fun that my friends and I made this a weekly ritual during summer vacation. We slept outside almost every weekend and wandered the neighborhood with a shopping cart full of toilet paper and paid our respects to our secret loves. Well, that's not entirely true. We didn't always have access to a shopping cart. But when we did, it was 100 times more fun because we took turns giving each other rides down the middle of the street. Also thrilling. I loved having these adventures in the quiet of the night under a watchful moon. The best part was getting a call the next day from a boy who said "Did you do this????" We played dumb of course.

Teenagers now, are missing out. At least mine are missing out. I can't allow my kids to wander the streets in the middle of the night unchaperoned. It's not safe.(It probably wasn't safe back in 1970 either.) Plus, teenagers here have curfews which the police department enforces. My little friend Jenna was picked up by the police for standing outside her front door on the side walk with a group of friends after 9:30. It's true. I had no idea teenagers here had a curfew until she told me her dramatic story.

The minute I opened my door this morning I shook my fist at the sky and yelled

'Those menacing teenagers. This is vandalism. Vandalism!! I'm going to get to the bottom of this!!'

Without even realizing it, my feelings towards toilet paper have changed. I hate toilet papering. Hate. It. I think it should remain in the bathroom where it belongs. But then I remembered my nights marauding in the dark. It was such fun. I love those memories. Every teenager should have that kind of fun at least once -- wouldn't you agree? My heart softened. I closed my eyes to the big mess and got in my car. As I drove away, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw streams of toilet paper fluttering from the car roof. I had to hop out and un-decorate. I shook my fist in the air again, but this time I didn't say anything, I smiled.

When I got down to the beach my kids were sitting with a band of their friends on towels in the sand. I said 'Our house was T.P'd last night! Do you know who it was?' There was excitement on their faces. Claire and Eden smiled. When you are a teenager, and your house gets hit, you are the celebrity of the neighborhood. The group started to try and figure out who did it. Someone said: 'I heard a rumor that Devin had been pestering his parents about this very thing only two nights ago.' Someone else said: 'Yep, it has to be Devin. You know how he is when he gets something in his mind. He will not rest until he gets it done.'

The group concurred. The TP job has been blamed on Devin. But, truth be told, I'm not so sure. I know I heard a girls voice last night when my dogs started barking like manics. Maybe it was Devin's sister who drove the getaway car. Maybe the mystery will be solved tomorrow at church.

When we got home, Eden and Claire admired the work of the midnight bandits. Then they pulled out the trash cans and got busy cleaning. The excitement ended right then when Eden proclaimed

'Man, I hate this. I am going to find out who did this, and when I do...... payback is coming and it is coming big!'

Them there is fightin' words. Beware all you mystery marauders, (especially you Devin), Eden is out for revenge.

I think I just discovered the reason why the act of toilet papering continues in popularity. All it takes is one person to to declare war. Then the game continues as the party who's been attacked gets so mad, they have to pay someone back for the mess they had to clean up in their own yard. Then that person gets mad and does the same thing to someone else. It travels from neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, and state to state. It's just one big giant payback that's been going on for over 60 years. Sort of like that 1 Christmas fruitcake that gets passed around and around until it lands back in the hands of the person who originally made it.

Last night the "fruit cake" was handed back to me. It's come full circle. I'm finally getting paid back for all that dastardly work I did in 6th grade.


Puttin' Down Roots said...

Been there done that!! I've been hit a time or two, but I definitely deserved it!

We missed you guys tonight....but it was fun for the short while!

Puttin' Down Roots said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

Such good memories! I wrote about my exploits in the toilet paper wars on my blog at

It might give your kids some tips on payback! Ditches are a kids best friend.