One time when I was eight years old, my family had a beach trip reunion with everyone on my mom's side, plus Jay.*
Jay was the 10ish year-old friend of my cousin. He came with their family from Texas expecting to enjoy the Florida beach and annoy his friend's family. He succeeded in both.
I don't remember all the counts against Jay. I remember that he kept the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle which he did not help put together. After everyone gave up hope of finding it, he swept in and put it in place. Major jigsaw faux pas. I also remember he made my barbies do inappropriate things. Barbie faux pas.
One afternoon midway through the trip, I was playing Barbies with my sisters and cousins, and Jay walked into our room with a plate of potato chips. He sat next to me and said something sarcastic about my Barbies. It was the last straw.
In a moment of heightened emotion, I grabbed his forearm and bit down as hard as I could. He screamed, tossed his plate of chips, and ran out of the room.
My behavior was not age-appropriate by any means. I was well aware of the consequences of such action in my parent's household (tobasco sauce on the tongue). But here at a family reunion, biting a kid that isn't even a part of my family...I had no idea what to expect.
In fear, I hit in the bathroom with my cousins. Time passed...maybe hours. Nothing happened. I wasn't punished. I wasn't forced to apologize. I don't even know if my parent's talked to me about it. I just know that Jay left me and my Barbies alone the rest of the trip.
When I was sixteen, I visited my cousins in Texas. During the trip, I was reunited with Jay. It was embarassing, but we reconciled. Plus, he turned out to be a good guy.
Our family recounts this story every once in a while, ending with the line, "Deborah did what we all wanted to do, but couldn't."
*named change to protect the insolent-- I mean innocent.