It was the summer of my sister's 8 year old trip. When we would turn 8, my grandparents would take a couple grandchildren on a road trip from New Mexico, where they lived, up to Wisconsin, where my grandma was from, to visit relatives.
On my eight year old trip, I had been paired up with my older cousin, Kristin, and her family had met us up in Wisconsin.
Now, Olivia was on her 8 year old trip. I was 11, and my family ended up meeting up with them at a cabin by a lake. Olivia had been spending the trip with our cousins Ashlynn and Sean. While my 8 year old trip had my cousin Kristin picking on me, Ashlynn had spent the trip picking on Olivia and Sean.
Ashlynn was six months older than me, and 11 at that time too. She was an only child, and I had always thought she was incredibly cool. Kristen and her had always been pretty close, and had formed a clique of sorts among the cousins. This was the summer that I felt I was finally let into that clique-mainly because Kristin had remained in California, and as the closest one in age to Ashlynn, we were spending a great deal of time together.
A full three years older than Olivia, and five to six years older than my other sister and cousins, we were clearly above such antics. After weeks spent traveling with Olivia in the car, Ashlynn was sick and tired of hanging around her. It didn't take too long for her tagging around the cabin to get on my nerves as well. Ashlynn and I would find excuses to get away from our crazy family-taking the canoe out on the lake and paddling away as far as we could along the river.
We had been there for several days, and we had already gotten in trouble a few times because, as the cool older cousins, we had done some things that looking back, I'm not proud of-even if they were pretty funny. The adults were cleaning and packing and preparing for leaving the next day. We were already packed. Knowing it was best to steer clear of our moms when they were on a mission, we walked down to a bench swing near the water. It was meant for two people, and since we were small, we had plenty of room as we chatted and swung on it. We thought we had escaped from everyone, but then Olivia found us.
She sat down on the swing next to us, and as it was now a bit more crowded, Ashlynn scooted closer to me, annoyed. We tried to continue talking, but Olivia was now interrupting and being distracting, throwing off the rhythm of the swinging bench seat. We asked her to leave and stop being annoying, and she refused. As we continued to argue with her, Olivia turned, her back up against Ashlynn, and used her feet to push against the armrest, squishing Ashlynn against me, pinning us against the opposite armrests.
Cries of "Stop it!" and "Cut it ouuuuuut!" went on for a moment, while she replied "No!" and continued. Then Ashlynn issued her threat. "If you don't stop it, I'm going to bite you!" I had no doubt in my mind she would. Olivia, who always liked pushing boundaries said "No you won't!"
Ashlynn turned, then, reached down and yanked on the hem of my sister's underwear, giving her a pretty nasty wedgie. Olivia howled, and ran up to the house.
We began to laugh, triumphant that the tactics to be rid of her were successful. Plus, when was a wedgie not funny? Our conversation resumed. Then we became aware of my mother storming down the walkway to our bench, furious.
"Leah, stand up." I immediately obeyed, no longer smiling, practically shooting out of the chair. Without a word, she reached behind me and gave me a wedgie.
"Your sister is in there crying because you gave her a wedgie! It isn't so funny now, is it?"
Shocked, in pain, tears came to my eyes. I was a rule-follower, I hated being in trouble. "But I didn't even do anything! Ashlynn did it!" I cried out, pointing towards my cousin.
"Ashi, stand up." My cousin knew what was coming, but couldn't refuse what my mom was asking. She was soon the recipient of the wedgie.
I can no longer remember what sort of scolding my mom gave us, but I'm sure it included the ever-present "I'm very disappointed in the both of you" and "You're older, you should be setting an example". We likely protested that Olivia had been annoying and hurting us, that we had warned her, and my mom hadn't gotten both sides of the story. Clearly Olivia wasn't innocent in this whole affair. She had been deserving of the wedgie.
At the time it was a horrendous injustice to Ashlynn and I. Now we look back on what happened with laughter when recalling the story.