Not My Fault

I am a goody two-shoes. It's not something I'm proud of, or something I consider a personal strength. I can't help it, I was born that way.

For years I thought it was due to my upbringing - my position as eldest of 3 children, my upstanding, responsible parents, my generally conscientious and well behaved relatives. Those may, indeed, be contributing factors, but I have recently realized that, in my case at least, there is a genetic imperative at work here. I couldn't be a hellraiser if my life depended on it.

A number of things have convinced me of this fact:

1. As with any normal teenager, I experimented with alcohol and quickly discovered that after 1 drink I'm relaxed and happy, after 2 drinks I'm talkative and outgoing, and after 3 drinks I throw up. Doesn't matter what I drink, or where, or with whom. The upside to this is that I've never had a hangover. I was also reasonably popular with the drinking crowd as I could always be counted on for a safe ride home. (My father shares this particular intolerance with me, although I understand he tested its limits a lot further in his youth.)

2. I got a tattoo in my mid-20's, when that was still a relatively shocking thing for a young woman to do. Sadly, I was only about 6 months ahead of that particular fashion trend, and now everyone is sporting body art. My discreet dragon hasn't raised an eyebrow in years. Still, the look on my mother's face when I told her was worth it.

3. I recently tried pot for the first time. Somehow, I made it through my teens and 20's without once being offered any sort of illicit substance. I'd heard of pot, and coke, and acid, but I'd never actually seen any of them, or been around someone under the influence. So at the ripe old age of 37, when offered the opportunity to partake, I jumped at the chance (my abstemious behaviour has never been by choice, but was dictated solely by lack of opportunity). And this was when I realized that I am a law-abiding conformist not by choice, or by nurture, but because such behaviour is encoded within my very DNA. Just as I was beginning to feel what my partner in crime assured me was a very good buzz, I was hit by a full-blown migraine. It's been years since I'd had one, and they were always slow to build - I could count on a good 12 hours' warning. This one achieved full force in about 15 minutes. Speaking now from experience, I can state with a high degree of certainty that a migraine is not a sensation that needs to be chemically enhanced.

So I have decided to abandon all attempts at lawlessness - it's just not worth it to me. I will listen enviously as others tell me of their wild adventures and firmly resist their attempts to lure me into joining them. Not because I want to, or because I disapprove, or because I think I'm too good to cut loose. No, I will stand as a shining beacon of law-abiding citizenry because to do otherwise is to deny my genetic heritage (and spend another evening throwing up while everyone around me parties on).