contrary to what i feel like might be popular belief, i didn’t get up to too many hijinks in high school.
i mean, i was in our version of detention a lot but that was for things like “skipping breakfast” and “being late always” and “writing an inflammatory speech about how unfair it was that we had to eat breakfast in the dining hall when we could be using that time to SLEEP” and “dyeing my hair with bright streaks against the express written rules of the student handbook”.
okay in hindsight i was actually….. in detention….. a lot.
they used to email our parents every time we were in detention and it got to the point where my mother emailed our dean of students and asked if, to save time, she was only emailed when i WASN’T in detention.
but i feel like i wasn’t a troublemaker???
like okay objectively i was…in trouble often but–
the POINT IS, my young and very gentle delinquency aside, the only time i was ever in like, real trouble is the time that my boyfriend and i got stuck on the roof of the boys’ locker room in the football stadium.
i guess the important background info here is that where was an hour every night between study hall and final dorm sign-in that students were allowed to leave their dorms and ~mingle with one another, though there were all kinds of rules about where you could and couldn’t be.
school was like “you have to be in a lighted area” and students were like “lmao.”
there was also a hilarious rule during co-ed visitation on the dorms that you had to have “your door open and everyone had to have at least one foot on the floor at all times” which is an adorable way to try and curtail the Teenage Get Down.
anyway, the boyf and i were looking for a cool fun place to hang out and talk about, god, i don’t know, whatever it was that we talked about.
a few things about this boyf:
we had a spanish class together and he was very tall.
he had a lot of other good qualities, including “he was so nice to me all the time even when i was horrible” and “excellent deadpan” but my initial interest was because he was SO. VERY. TALL.
a pretty good summary of our relationship as a whole was that he called me to be like, “hey, we’ve been….talking a lot…….i was wondering what you were trying to do with that” and i was like “uh———i wasn’t——i like—-UHHHHHHHHHHHH” and he was like, “WELL DO YOU WANT TO LIKE, GO OUT??” and i was like, “SURE BUT I HAVE TO GO NOW BYE”
ah, to be young.
so boyf and i went for a fun little adventure looking for some ~privacy and struck upon the BRILLIANT idea of scaling the locker room building and hanging out on the roof, because nothing says “romance” like “the smell of a football equipment”. so he managed to find a ladder somewhere and up we went. a lovely time was had by all until i looked down at my watch and realized i had five minutes to be back on dorm.
“oh, shit,” i said, and getting to my feet and jogging to the edge of the roof. i looked down.
“where did you put the ladder?”
he looked up. “i left it where you’re standing.”
i looked again. #confirmed for no ladder.
“are you sure?”
“yeah, where else would i put it?”
“well, where did you get it?”
“i don’t know, i found it….on……the grass………”
A WORD OF ADVICE: don’t ever just assume that ladders left lying around are for public use!!! they are ALMOST NEVER for public use.
“is it possible that was someone’s ladder, and they came and took it?”
SPOILER ALERT: it was possible!!! in fact, it was probable!!!
SPOILER ALERT #2: it was, in fact, security’s ladder, and security had taken it, assuming, of course, that two idiot students hadn’t just taken their ladder and climbed onto a roof that they 120% were not supposed to be on at 10pm.
“well,” said boyf.
“well,” i said.
“i could jump down and then catch you,” he offered.
we looked at one another. we looked down at the ground. we looked back at each other.
“you’re not THAT tall,” i said.
so, our options:
jump off the roof.
call for help.
accept that we now lived on this roof forever, build a home out of what we could scavenge, and never face the consequences of our actions.
“so, do you want to just live here?” i asked. “we could be happy.”
“PLEASE HELP,” yelled boyf. “WE ARE STUCK ON THE ROOF.”
boyf was more willing to accept responsibility for his actions than i was, which is also why he was willing to try to be friends when we broke up and i hid in my dorm room for a solid 3 months until he graduated.
after a few minutes if our shouting, security and the coach of the football team–who must have just been on duty?? i don’t think they like, called him every time there was a football stadium-related incident.–gathered at the boys’ locker room and glared up at us in the dark.
“HOW did you even get UP THERE,” shouted mr football coach.
“there was a ladder!” boyf protested. “it was right there! it was a public ladder!”
“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PUBLIC LADDER.”
“i’m gonna jump down,” said boyf again.
you know, all these years later i’m still not sure if he was nobly trying to take the brunt of the scolding or just like…. really wanted to jump off the roof.
“please stop trying to jump off this roof!!!!!” i snapped.
after probably five minutes of incredibly awkward two-level scolding, in which we sat with our legs hanging off the edge of the roof and the football coach said things like, “WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS,” and “WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN” and “IT IS SO EASY TO BE ANY OTHER WAY THAN THIS” security arrived with “their” “ladder” that “wasn’t” for “public use” or whatever.
i don’t know if you’ve ever been scolded while literally looking down at the authority figure you’ve pissed off but like, it is incredibly weird.
like on the one hand you feel like you have all the power, because you’re like “LOOK AT THE TINY PEONS BELOW ME,” but also you know logically that you don’t have all the power and you have to at least look contrite because in 5 minutes you’ll be on the ground and then the authority figure will hold all the cards again.
also it just feels rude to have your shoes dangling above an authority figure’s head but like, what else are you supposed to do?? it’s weirder to stand???
standing feels aggressive when you’re on a roof looking down???
EMILY POST CAN YOU WEIGH IN HERE
boyf and the football coach walked me back to my dorm.
“uh, bye,” i said, feeling for some reason like i would never see boyf again and we were both going to prison.
“GOODNIGHT,” said the football coach. “YOU WILL BE HEARING FROM THE DEAN.”
“you can see why it might seem….to outside parties…..like you were on the roof for……private reasons,” said the dean, scolding both boyf and i outside the chapel just to remind us that we had let not only ourselves down, but also probably jesus.
“WE WERE STARGAZING,” boyf and i said in tandem.
“but you can SEE why it might SEEM like you were doing something ELSE,” the dean said. “if it happens again i’ll call your parents.”
“if it happens again i’m totally jumping off the roof,” boyf whispered to me when the dean had turned away.
“OH MY GOD,” i said.