rules to live by.

When I was growing up my parents were.... strict. Once my brother hit college they became more lax and then Matt came around and brought with him his inappropriate sense of humor and all bets were off. I thought it could be kind of funny to go back into time a bit with some of the rules we lived by. You know other than the obvious no sex, drugs, and rock and roll. 

- no nail polish unless it was clear. My aunt got married when I was in sixth grade and I remember her asking my father permission in order to paint my nails the lightest shade of baby pink. I was sitting at my Grandma's kitchen table practically bouncing up and down with anticipation. He reneged. 

- no makeup. My first piece of makeup was mascara, and it was clear. It came to me in my Easter basket and I was in high school. I learned how to apply the rest of my makeup from friends before going to dances and have literally not changed it since. This, to me, is a downfall on my part. Teen Beat makeup should never be every day make up.

- no popular radio until you were 13. And this was before some of the more wonderful songs have graced popular radio. Meredith Brooks man... You ruined it for us. 13 was also the magic number in that it opened the doors to MTV. I waited so long to be able to watch My So Called Life and Daria. Well worth the wait. And along the same lines as television and what we could and couldn't watch.... No Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No Butthead either, MTV allowances or not.

- no R rated movies. No movies about witches for that matter regardless of rating system. I went to a Halloween themed sleepover when I was in middle school where The Craft would be viewed. I, ever the honest daughter, informed my mother. In order to be allowed to go I had to promise not only to not watch, but to not listen. I brought my Walkman and magazines and turned my back during the movie. I still haven't seen it. Devil's work that one. 

- no two piece bathing suits. When I was 14 I was asked to go to The Outerbanks with my girlfriend and I desperately wanted to wear a two piece and be a big girl. My mother told me she would "talk to my father" and that she would need to approve the final purchase. I came home with a sports bra and a pair of shorts. Thattttttttt was my first two piece. 

- no pierced ears until you were ten. I think it was ten anyways. I was a real jerk and made my sister wait until she was ten too even though my parents no longer cared. I really revolted against this as soon as I could. I fooled those OCMD Boardwalk people, I sure did. When all was said and done I had 17 holes in my ears. That one backfired didn't it parents? Remember when John pierced his ears and he was forbidden to have them in when dad was in the house? And I used to have to re-pierce his poor ears every time he left? Blood? Everywhere? Yup. That.

- church every Sunday. If the roads of Maine were impassable we held church in the formal living room, with me botching up a version of Christ the Lord Has Risen Today on the piano and my dad reading from The Daily Bread. 

- eat all your peas. Okay this rule I never ever abided by come hell or high water. And you knew that wretched thing kids say? "When I'm a mommy I'll never make my daughter eat her peas!" Well folks. I don't. Nor will I ever. I hate those foul creatures. I would rather sit in the dark sobbing into my plate of cold peas and warm milk than suffer that horribleness. Or I would rather receive a spanking times three than eat just one offensive bean. To bed with no dessert? Sign this stubborn girl up. And for the record yes Letty takes after me. 

Sometimes we tease them, my parents. When the discussion around the dinner table hasn't left bathroom humor or sexual puns for an hour someone sighs and says look how far we've fallen. When my dad pours me a glass of wine that he has purchased himself (always Matt's favorite kind too). When all of us have a tattoo here or there. They were strict, yes... But they were perfect and I wouldn't change a thing. 

Except maybe the earrings thing. 

So instead of "I'm All About That Bass" I'll teach my three all about The Beatles or Jay and The Americans, followed by a side of Neil Diamond. 

Oh and might I add two of my own rules kids of mine??
- no Stephen King books until you can drive, at least. 
- you are never ever I mean never allowed to date your brother's best friend. Ever. 

The end.