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Parenting and Spanking

I was hardly ever spanked

Posted by flash gordon on 2018-10-23 01:00:27

Bob,

I got most of my speeding tickets locally, pretty close to where I lived. The town/village courts there didn't accept personal checks for moving violations, so my choice was to either go to the bank and get either a bank check or money or, or just show up in court and pay the fine in person with cash. I chose the latter, especially when I was still living with my parents, because it meant no additional letter from the court which I would have to intercept when the sent a receipt for a mailed in payment of the fine. As I said earlier, I didn't fear punishment from that at that point, but it would have been embarrassing for them to find out about my tickets.

I never really minded going to court. When I'm in trouble, however mild, and facing punishment, I find it a comfort to be with people in the same situation. I was like that in school too. I also wanted to have at least one good companion with me when I had to serve detention, and I usually did. My last ticket I got was about an hour from my house, so I just mailed in the fine on that one. I had to get a bank check. The times I've gone to court, it was kind of fun to banter with the other people who were there for the same thing, and listen to them tell their stories to the judge or prosecutor.

I have a mildly funny story that involves both jury duty and speeding tickets. Last time I went for jury duty, it was a short time after I had gotten my last speeding ticket, and the form we had to fill out asked us to list all crimes or infractions we had been charged with, including traffic violations. I listed the last couple of my speeding tickets. I was picked to be interviewed for a criminal case, and I was brought into the court to sit in the witness stand next to the judge. After I sat down, the judge started making fun of me for getting speeding tickets in front of the prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant, etc. It was pretty funny.

Posted by flash gordon on 2018-10-23 01:06:33

Bob,

That incident happened when I was 13. As far as I can remember, that was the only time I was hit that way by one of my parents. It was my dad who hit me that time. I really deserved it. I never remember seeing something like that happen with my siblings.

I agree it's not good for parents to do that, but nobody's perfect and sometimes you just push them too far. That was a very troubled time, and my behavior then had no relationship to the casual and good-humored defiance of some minor rules that led me to get into some minor trouble in high school.

After that period, I didn't want to be such a problem for my parents, so I behaved much better at home and in their presence. I didn't want to disappoint them and force them to punish me. For whatever reason, being punished by somebody with whom I didn't have any type of emotional connection was much easier for me. That's why I was fine with a teacher or the dean of discipline giving me detention over and over, and why I'm fine getting a ticket from a police officer. I didn't and don't take that personally; I just roll with it and move on.

I realize I'm the opposite of Rick on this one; he said he preferred private punishment at home over getting punished in a public or semi-public way at school. But I never cared if my punishment at school was public; in fact, I liked it that way because it brought bragging rights.

Posted by bob76 on 2018-10-23 12:59:40

Flash,

When I went in for jury duty I think I was asked to report any criminal complaints against me other than traffic violations, so I was able to say "none". It would be hard to remember all the speeding tickets and such that I've gotten, especially if they wanted to know the year of each infraction.

It sounds like the judge was having a joke at your expense when you were in court and he made fun of you for getting speeding tickets. I guess if you were able to laugh along with everyone else it wouldn't have been as embarrassing. That reminds me of a scene from the movie "Happiness". "We're not laughing at you, we're laughing with you." "But I'm not laughing."

Regarding your dad slapping you when you were 13, as you said, nobody's perfect. At least it only happened once. It sounds like you were going through a rough patch around that time. Were you running with a bad crowd or having trouble adjusting to adolescence? If you don't want to talk about it that's O.K.

In my case I didn't get into much trouble at school or at home. I don't remember trying to hide things like traffic tickets from my parents. Maybe it would have been different if I'd gotten traffic tickets while I was living with them.

Bob

Posted by flash gordon on 2018-10-23 15:22:38

Bob,

The form specifically said to include traffic violations, so I had to put the speeding tickets down. I only put down the last couple; the earlier ones were so old as to be irrelevant and I can't be expected to remember the date of every one. I've only have 2 in the past 20 years (15 years at that point); most of them were from earlier.

I wasn't bothered at all by the judge joking about the tickets. I thought it was pretty funny. I've always been amused by speeding tickets when I get them, so a little humor about it doesn't bother me. The prosecutor was concerned that I might be one of those people who hated the police and law enforcement, but I made it clear that that wasn't the case. I have always been a supporter of law enforcement and will continue to be, no matter how many well-deserved tickets I get.

I was going through a rough patch around that time, and having trouble adjusting to adolescence. The family as a whole had gone through a rough patch after my grandfather died, and my mom reacted very badly to that, and I think my difficulties were a knock-on effect from that.

It seems that you started getting your speeding tickets after you no longer lived with your parents, so you had no need to hide them from them. Maybe they wouldn't have cared, or maybe you wouldn't have minded if they had known. Everybody is different in that respect.

Did you parents know about the time you had to stay after school and write the ping pong ball essay for your heinous crime of cutting across the grass? I imagine that if they did, they would have considered that sufficient punishment and not punished you further.

Posted by bob76 on 2018-10-23 20:14:00

Flash,

It makes sense that the judge and prosecutor would want to ask you about your brushes with the law, to see whether you had a bias against the police. I would probably have been asked similar questions if I'd been questioned in court instead of just filling out a form. The case was about a criminal defendant suing the police for alleged brutality, so the possibility of anti-police bias would definitely have been relevant to whether I should be selected as a juror.

I got my first speeding tickets about eight years after the last time I lived with my parents, so I didn't think I had to hide them from my parents and other family members. It was something to talk about when we were all together for my sister's wedding. Four years earlier, though, I don't think my parents knew that I didn't have a driver's license when I bought my first car from them and planned to drive it to the college town where I lived, which was about a two hour drive. If they'd known they might have refused to sell me the car and made me take the bus home.

I'm not sure whether my parents found out that I had to stay after school and write the ping pong ball essay, but it wouldn't have been a big deal if they had. Unlike Rick's father my parents didn't have a policy of punishing me for things that happened at school, and cutting across the grass wasn't exactly the crime of the century. I'm not sure that I even knew it was against the rules until I was caught doing it. Come to think of it, I might have told my parents and/or siblings about it in order to complain about the injustice of having to write the essay.

An example of when my parents definitely did find about something that happened at school was when I was kicked out of the marching band in 9th grade because I missed the bus to an away football game. It would have been hard to hide something like that. I remember sitting in the principal's office with my mom, the principal and the band instructor, feeling mortified that my mother was fighting my battles for me. It turned out well, though. The band instructor wouldn't let me back into the marching band, but he agreed to let me transfer to the 8th grade band, which is where I really belonged based on experience with my instrument (it's a complicated story related to my having been in Rhodesia).

Bob