Why did you plaster over…

Did I ever tell you about the time I punched a hole in my bedroom wall?


This seems to be the week of reliving adolescent angst. Yes, I was thirteen, and my mother had had it with me and my hormonal swings for the day, and in exasperation she banished me to my room where I’d be far enough away (I slept in the third floor “turret” room of our Victorian era home) from the rest of the family. So I took my black mood and my indignation and whatever else was roiling around inside me and marched up, up, up the stairs, beating the wall with one fist as I climbed to vent and blow off steam without causing permanent damage to anything–or anyone. Or so I thought. Imagine my shock (and after the initial disbelief, my horror) when my fist suddenly cleared the material of the wall like it was nothing but dust, and I found myself buried up to my elbow in a hole, about six inches in diameter.

Oh golly.

You know that sinking feeling when what’s done is done, and no matter how you slice it, you’re in big trouble. I pulled my arm out of the wall and contemplated my options. I could run away from home. I could pretend nothing had happened and stay in my room and wait to see how long it would take the parents to notice. I could try to fix it myself. I could write the family a letter and include my life savings to cover damages. Or I could just turn around and go back downstairs and tell mom what had happened and see where things went from there.

After about five minutes spent deliberating with myself on the stairs, I decided on the final option. It held the most hope, if nothing else. I was raised a good Catholic, and I decided to cling to the possibility of mercy. Mom was annoyed, yes, and threatened me with the usual tortures and deprivations, until I pointed out to her (even in a rage, I was a pretty rational person) that a teenage girl’s fist technically shouldn’t be able to puncture a wall. That did bring her up short, and she blinked and then (I think) she laughed and sent me back to my room while she worked everything else out. The fruit of the situation ended up being pretty major renovations to the whole attic, resulting happily in a wall I could not destroy. At least not without serious effort.

I don’t really know why I’m telling that story now, except that at times in my adult life I’ve really wished for a wall–or something–I could put my fist through at the end of a long day.

That, and it’s just a great story.


6 thoughts on “Why did you plaster over…

  1. Mary Beth,
    I LOVE your blog. So insightful, and really beautiful reflections. I don’t know if you remember me or not, but a couple of years ago, you were headed back to Hampton Roads after college and looking for young-adult activities and somebody gave you my number. I know we never got the chance to get together, and I’m bummed. I know we would have been great friends!
    Sounds like you and I had similar adolescent angst. I know I would have punched through many a wall, had I not been a weakling and been thwarted by structurally sound walls.

    Thanks for laugh and God bless you!!
    I’ll be reading 🙂
    Take Care,

    • Hey there Laura,

      Of course I remember you! One of the saddest things about leaving Suffolk was not getting to meet you after all. How have you been these past three years? Sometime when I’m down there visiting the family (which I hope to do a good bit this summer), we should grab coffee and “catch up.” 😉

      God bless,
      Mary Beth

  2. I punched through a wall, and then hung a picture over it. It was years before anyone caught on. My brothers and I also destroyed at least two bedroom doors, a couple storm doors, a few cars, and each other. The good thing about damaging humans is that they heal, after a while.

    Good post MB; I hope your angst subsides soon!

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