Moving back home is hard, especially when you’re still a teenager. When you’re post-grad you at least have a set goal. Whether it be to move out, to find a job, or to become a gold member on that sugar baby website you made a profile for “just in case,” it sucks. Moving back home for summer is a new form of torture. After several months of tasting the sweet taste of freedom, you’re back in your old room with your old rules and rolling your eyes because your mother has expressed her concern for your “unlady like” behavior, again.
Needless to say, when I went home for summer after my freshman year, it was a bit of an adjustment. I love my family and my home. My old stomping grounds, if you will. But as fearless as I was in the dorms (breaking literally every rule and still never getting a single writeup) I wouldn’t dream of pulling the same shit at home. In the dorms I had sex in the public areas, and back home my dad pulled out a gun if he heard a male voice coming from upstairs. My parents were not particularly strict, in fact, they’re pretty chill. But because they give me more leash than most, that means the rules that I do have are not to be broken.
So yes, I could drink in high school, but I had boundaries. I wasn’t allowed to talk to boys (according to my dad) but I had to go to all of my health tests and show I was on top of my birth control (according to my mom). I didn’t have a curfew pretty much at all but I had to answer my phone and tell them where I was. That was my high school life, pretty easy right? Except not when I had grown used to being an ~adult~ at school.
In an attempt to rid myself of the reminder of my youth, my friends and I decided to take a page out of our old high school playbook — sleep on the beach. In my hometown, sleeping on the beach is extremely illegal. So is building fires on the beach, having sex on the beach and any form of intoxication. But we were experts in this. We had done it so many times. What could go wrong?
Giddy, I packed my dad’s truck. Sleeping bag? Check. Condoms? Check. Bottle of rum hidden in a case of Diet Coke? Check. “Don’t get arrested tonight.” My dad warned. Suspiciously eyeing the clanking case of diet coke.
“Dad!” I rolled my eyes, “I’m not going to get arrested. I’ve never even been close to being arrested.”
“Yes you have! I’ve just gotten you out of it, you’re an adult now, you can get in real trouble.”
“Well, I’m not going to. I’m not an idiot.”
“Good, I’m tired tonight. I’m not going to save you.”
With one last eye roll, me and my cockiness took off in the truck to meet my friends. I smiled as the harsh, salty wind whipped my face. It was like time traveling back in time. My friends danced in the sand, swam in the ocean, and drunkenly shared stories of our past year apart from each other. Then we heard sirens.
Fuck. I hid the bottle back in the soda case, sat down in the sand, and willed myself to sober up.
“Hey, the beach is closed. It’s hours past curfew,” the police officer called to us.
“We’re sorry officers, we must have lost track of time,” my friend responded.
“Are you aware it is illegal to be on the beach past curfew?”
“Are you all over 18?”
“Any illegal substances?”
“Okay, we’re going to need all of you to come up here.”
We grabbed our stuff and headed back to the parked cars. After lying profusely about our blankets just being for the cold, not because we planned to camp out, they started checking IDs and asked us to sit on the curb. When they came to me, they started flashing their flashlights in my bags, but didn’t search anything. I prayed that they didn’t change your mind about that.
We stayed sitting on the curb while they ran our licenses and checked our registrations. Drunchies hit and, without thinking, I got up to retrieve some cheetos from my bag.
“Ma’am, please sit back down.” Called out one of the officers.
“Can I bring my cheetos?”
“Yes, but sit back down on the curb.”
“Do you want one?”
“Ma’am, you can not bribe an officer with cheetos.”
We were in the homestretch, they started letting everyone go home, except for me, because I was driving my dad’s truck and we had different last names. I cursed my parents for giving me my mother’s last name and pleaded with the officers to believe me that it was mine. Finally, they agreed to let me call my father, to have him verify that the truck wasn’t stolen.
“It’s 1:30 in the morning, why are you calling me?” my dad answered groggily.
“Um, will you speak to the police for me, please?”
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
As always, my dad came through, again. Of course, I was in a shitstorm of trouble. But the lesson to be learned is this: no matter how much I think I know, no matter how much experience I have, my parents will always, always know better. But at least they’ll also be there to help when I don’t listen..