On the Safe Side.


Yeah, I know I said I wouldn’t be going anywhere this weekend. I didn’t go anywhere Friday night, but I went out with a few friends on Saturday night, just to their house to play cards, nothing crazy. Bud Lights and a few games of Spades.

Speaking of ‘nothing crazy’.  I wanted to touch on some things I’ve been thinking about a lot more recently..

When I was little I lived a fairly lax lifestyle. I had several adult “parents” who guiding me in their own ways. Two males, my grandfather and my uncle, and four women, my mother, my grandmother, and my two aunts. I was the product of a teen mother so I was raised in her childhood home, so her being parented was overlapping onto my own and it made for a very confusing time for me. I was raised with a strong sense of morals, on the lines of guilt- you know, the Catholic Tactic. Don’t get into fights. Stay away from strangers. Don’t get involved with kids who smoke or do drugs. Watch your mouth. Don’t lie. Don’t steal. When you hear us call or whistle for you at dusk, you better be close enough to hear us calling you..or else.

I have always been remotely precautious. I always wondered why I never took many risks and I found myself having discussions with friends about the things that they enjoy and the things that they find fun and despite my fun-loving outgoing nature, always ready for a good time. I know my limits.

I don’t go down into the city where I’m unfamiliar with people, places and the atmosphere – and drink to get drunk. I don’t drink and drive. I don’t do drugs. I have been safely married since I was seventeen. I refuse to gamble because it’s dangerous to my family’s finances even the smallest amount thrown away to gambling is not a thing I’m ever going to risk. Some people don’t consider it a risk. I went to a casino a few times before and I watched my friend put 20.00 into a penny slot and it was gone in less than 4 minutes…and that was the moment I decided I would never “throw away” money.

Some friends of mine want to do crazy things like drag race or bungee jump or , hell I don’t know, there’s a long list of things people I know and care about will do, even though none of which are illegal, some of them are just considered too ‘risky’ for me. I don’t know any other way to really explain it.

In my childhood backyard my grandfather and my uncle would grow all sorts of vegetables, egg plants, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, peppers, and more recently grapes. I remember going out and picking one of the red peppers and hiding behind the garage with it. I didn’t want my grandpa to know I’d picked the pepper before it was time. I would stare at it’s shiny rubbery texture and wonder just how dangerously hot it’s insides were. I would lick the skin and squint my eyes real tight expecting for my mouth to burn at first touch. It never did.

I built a little tent in the basement and I was inside the tent pretending to sew. I had a needle and string and a pair of my mothers sharp little scissors. I was sewing different pieces of scrap fabric of my grandmothers together with gigantic messy stitches. I looked at the little blue scissors in my hand and I wondered just how sharp they were and if they really could cut me. I started snipping at the air and putting my left index finger in the line of danger as the scissors would slice closed as I jerked my finger out of the way. I did this several times before. FUCK!!!!!! Lines of red ran down my finger and onto my purple wind breaker pants and onto the Aladdin and Jasmine blanket underneath my knees. I raced upstairs and showed my Aunt and told her what happened and she wrapped my finger up tight.

I stopped doing those tiny risks things after a couple more minimal things and a hospital stay from going down a hill in a Radio Flyer Wagon (let’s not go there)….BUT… after that, it was back to being on the safe side.

 I find myself as an adult being in the same safe patterns. I won’t go with friends to parties where I fear there might be drugs of any kind or questionable people. I take safe steps with my family and my friends and my fun times.

 Are you the kind of person who plays everything on the safe side? or do you take risks regularly? What is it and for what reasons? Do people recognize the things you do as risks?

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3 thoughts on “On the Safe Side.

  1. Hey Alyssa,
    I am one who prefers playing everything on the safe side. Maybe once in a while I’d try things that I’ve never tried before but I’d always make sure it is legal and abiding the law. I’ve never done anything dangerous either. The roller-coaster rides in amusement parks is too scary for me. 😀

  2. I’m pretty much on the safe side too, although I have done a few risky things in my life too, but not since having children.

    As mom’s, I think most of us tend to stay on the safe side of things. Last night my husband and I went out to eat, and when leaving there was a man in the parking lot throwing a small girl up in the air and catching her. I don’t mean just tossing, I mean throwing her, like 5′ above his head. It almost gave me a heart attack. I could just see her careening down to the asphalt below.

    This summer we were at a creek playing with the boys, and some teenagers were jumping off a bridge into the water. Someone told me, “Your turn”. I was like, “Maybe 10 years ago, but probably not even then.”

  3. I agree with Alyson- there’s something about parenthood that makes you more cautious. I think it’s almost instinctual- you have to be together for your kids. I used to want to bungee jump soooo badly, but I never would, because I had two small kids. Now they’re (almost) grown, but I won’t do it because I’m a chicken! I lost a lot of my fearlessness somewhere back there in time.

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