When have you acted out of character? — Writing Prompt #16

I ended up skipping last Saturday’s writing prompt post; the task of keeping up with a newborn was catching up to me apparently. I’m aware that my no-show had absolutely no effect on the world, but it certainly hurt the perfectionist within me. Now when I look at the list of posts I have written in the order they were written, there are two poems in a row with no writing prompt between them, completely breaking the pattern I began back when I first started my tab for poetry. That inconsistency is so ugly! If there were a way to retroactively list a post under the date 10/6/18, I would, just so the list of past posts (that nobody but me will ever look at anyway) wouldn’t be marred by that tiny, little blemish 😥

But you didn’t need to know that.

Today’s prompt: When is a time you acted out of character? Did you regret it?

brown firewood
Photo by ilaria88

My memory:

My father chose to heat our house with a wood stove in the basement, rather than the conventional American heating method. I know — you and everyone else thinks I was Amish growing up. Other than the belief system part of it, you wouldn’t be that far off. Using a wood stove, however, meant that every summer my family spent a lot of time down by our shed chopping logs for the winter months.

Man, the more I type this and start throwing out phrases like “winter months”, the more I’m starting to think we really were Amish.

Since my parents always had us kids “contributing” by doing chores, I was helping stack the chopped wood even at an early age. My guess is this particular memory happened when I was about 7 or 8 years old. We lived kind of back in the woods and my dad had quite a bit of land, so the shed wasn’t near our house. I was walking down to meet my dad and brothers who had gotten a head start on me; I had just left the house and was right outside the front door on our big wrap-around porch wearing a colorful, weird-looking, puffy jacket. It was just getting cool out for Autumn, and my mom wanted to take a picture of me before I started working. As I was standing there waiting for her to take the photo, something came over me. It was like a sudden urge to do something completely out of character because even as a tiny young 8-year-old, I was starting to feel like my naturally quiet personality was a bit boring. So at the very last second, right when mum was taking the picture, I suddenly ducked my upper body down in a sweeping motion, maintaining eye contact with the camera while smiling like a maniac (mainly because I felt sheepish and stupid). Mum was upset and annoyed at my atypcial behavior. The whole time I was helping work with the wood, I just felt really foolish and pathetic.

I saw the photo a couple years ago and it actually looks like I was really enjoying myself. Like I was a super happy little kid. It’s odd remembering how I felt during and after the photo while also seeing the expression on my face at the exact moment the shot was taken.

I wish I had the picture available so I could post it here, but it’s up in NH at my parents and it would take close to a year to find it.

That probably sounds like a pretty lame story about the first time I acted out of character, but I was such a shy kid that I even had a hard time talking to my own older siblings without going red in the face. So such a daring, bold move meant I must have been starting to mature a little 🙂

But since my story is so lame, spruce up this post by telling me about a time you acted out of character! Did you regret it, or no?

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2 thoughts on “When have you acted out of character? — Writing Prompt #16

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