Thursday, January 1, 2009

I am Not Now nor Have I Ever Been a Hippie (Or Am I?)

Jeff from View From The Cloud wrote a post recently giving some great parenting advice. Doug at Taunt Vortex commented there that his goal was to get his kids out of high school with a). no arrests, b). no drug addictions and c). no pregnancies.

But by Doug's criteria, my parents failed the test.

I was 18 years old and out with a few friends at Tony Packos, made famous by Toledo’s own Klinger from MASH. Over a pitcher of beer, we decided to be more spontaneous in our lives. Thus on the way home we stopped at a city park, climbed the fence, and close your eyes daughter if you are reading this, took off our clothes to skinny dip.

But before we could indulge in the cool chlorinated waters of the public pool, the police showed up. We were told two things:

-put on your clothes

-if you have, close your eyes again children of mine, any of this:

get rid of it now because they will impound your car downtown and search it thoroughly.

Well, we didn’t have any of this:

because this is the leaf of an Ohio State buckeye. And of course we didn’t have any of the other herb either mainly because we couldn’t afford it.

We were taken downtown, photographed, fingerprinted and then locked in a cell until another friend came to release us. 

We had been charged with violating park curfew and unauthorized use of a public pool.

What did we do?

Well, we decided to put our spontaneity on hold and also to keep our arrest and upcoming court date to ourselves. I mean, why worry our parents, right?

Yet the next morning on the front page of the second section of the newspaper was a rather large article detailing our new-found spontaneous lifestyles. (There was also an adjacent article about a guy who got arrested for jogging on a golf course. Yes, the police were cracking down, man, putting our taxes to good work.)

My parents owned a small family restaurant at the time. When customers filed in at 6:00 am with their newspapers and subsequent questions about the Delinquent Daughter, my parents were mortified. With me being a writer-ly type even then, they figured I’d make the newspaper in more of by liney sort of way.

At any rate, we went to court and were required to pay court costs and a fine and then we were put on probation. (I did later get my by line in the paper many times over and it always involved being fully dressed).

So what is the moral of this story?

That Doug's goals are too lofty and we are destined to disappoint our parents?


That one should confess to one's parents about one's spontaneous acts particularly on a slow news days?


That having an illegal herb in one's possession is somehow less of an offense than using a public pool after dark?


The Ohio State University logo is confusing?


That planning to be spontaneous is just plain oxymoron-ish?


That I am one ahead in the next future meme someone will no doubt bestow upon me?


There is no moral to this story. 

I only mention it because the other day when Teen accused me of raising him to be a hippie, I had to laugh.

I doubt a real hippie family would pay money to have their kids advertise The North Face and UGG, those pricey lamb-skin boots:

on apparel which could otherwise be purchased for a fraction of the costs. 

Yet, I wondered if this skinny dipping/Ohio buckeye leaf incident was what he was referring to. 

Or could it be the fact that I hitchhiked across the country after high school?

Or that I lived in Venice Beach with my boyfriend when I was 19. And by living together, Daughter, I do not mean in the biblical sense.  

Or that I couch surf. 

Or that I invite complete strangers into my home on Christmas night.  OK,  it was just that one time. Scroll down for the whole sad/happy ending story.

Why do you think I’m raising you to be a hippie, I asked Teen.

Because you make us walk the 1/4 mile to school, he responded.


Well if the UGG fits, maybe I am a hippie after all.

Check out more delinquent hippie types at Humor-Blogs.


Anonymous said...

Peg: Can we hear more about your various semi-criminal activities? What are you getting away with (or not) these days?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Awesome post. I'm just glad your drunken nakedness didn't lead to Doug's violation "c"... no pregnancies. That's not an uncommon side effect. ;b

Meg said...

Anon - The fact that you call me Peg means that you know it was my name before I dyed my hair red and changed it to Meg. Which means, you might actually know me in the real world. Which means, you should call me up and we can discuss my other semi-criminal activities over real beers in the real world.

Jeff - Actually the violation of "c" came two years earlier. ;)

Jen said...

Hmmm... a whole 1/4 mile? You nature girl, you!

I bet you even pack granola bars in their lunches.

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

You have pictures of "herbs" on your page and talk about skinny dipping and you're over...mumble, mumble...yep, you're definitely a hippie. Not to mention the letting strangers into your house. Weird.

Enchanted said...

Walk a 1/4 of a mile to school? No wonder he thinks you are raising him to be a hippy. No self respecting hippy would drive their children to school. I bet you make them wear tie die too! And,and, listen to the Beatles. It is just too much. What are you doing to these poor children?
Oh, yeah, I stopped in to wish you a Happy New Years.

Meg said...

Unfinished - But it's all very Christian of me don't you think?

Enchanted - Thank you. Of course I make him listen to the Beatles but also Wilco.

Meg said...

Jen - Yes, I'm very much like your friends in the People's Republic of Ann Arbor.

JD at I Do Things said...

I want to hear the "violation of 'c'" story!

Altho this one was quite good, too.

JD at I Do Things

April said...

Wouldn't a real hippie homeschool?
Happy New Year, Meg.

Meg said...

JD - You'd have to get me drunk for that one.

April - Yes!! The fact that I pushed my kids out the door at four years of age to go to school proves I'm not a Hippie.

Unknown said...

For a minute there I think I heard strains of Alice's Restaurant there in the background, and expected them to bring out some photos with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used against you...

Maybe the cops reserved that for the golf course jogger. :)

The Self-Deprechaun said...

You are one of those free-spirited beautiful people with whom I want to be friends with and who I try to look like and then later write about. But unfortunately, I'm always mistaken for the takeout guy.

Unknown said...


Ed said...

I suppose it could have been worse. You could have been arrested getting pregnant while addicted to drugs...

Just sayin' said...

Totally a hippie.

I thought your story would include you meeting all three criteria at once.

Whew! Got off easy.

robkroese said...

I don't want to live in a world where it's illegal for high school girls to swim in public in the nude.

A Free Man said...

This post really reminded me of "Alice's Restaurant"!

Meg said...

Jenn & A Free Man - I'm a bit like Alice but I got rid of my long hair ages ago.

Self-D - Hey, take out boys are HOT!

Chris - You so would have been a hippie if you were born a bit sooner.

VE & Tracey - Thankfully those three incidents happened separately.

Diesel - Thank God we have gangs in the city now to give the police something constructive to do!!

Anonymous said...

Peg: What's this Meg stuff? How's it going in the now?

Cat said...

I always brag about what a great job my parents did by saying out of the five kids only one ever had to spend the night in jail. I call that success.