Thursday, 4 March 2010

Breaking the law

I have to tell you something.
I'm a law abider.

I know. Shocking isn't it?
I don't know what it is about me but I just have to follow the rules. Sometimes I don't even question the rules, I just blindly follow them without hesitation.

Who knows why this is. Some people were born to break rules, others were meant to followthem. There could be a whole nature/nurture debate. Do I follow rules because I was brought up to just do what I was told - by my Mum and the private school I attended? Did I follow the rules because I just like an easy life? The debate will rage on endlessly I'm sure.

I had one detention throughout my whole school career. And that was for being caught inside school premises at lunchtime when I should have been outside.

Rock and roll or what?
I was absolutely mortified however and to be honest I still am. Maybe this is why I don't break rules - the feeling of shame is such that it burdens my soul. If I am breaking a rule I spend that much time panicking and worrying about getting caught that it's really hardly ever worth breaking the rule in the first place. I'm just always certain that if there's a group of people doing something they shouldn't and one of them is going to get caught, that person will be me. I am just always that person. The person who fainted in the senior school production of Carmen? Me. The one child to come back with her leg in a brace after the school skiing trip? Me. (I know, productions of Carmen, skiing trips - yes I did go to a private school. Try not to hate me.)

Sometimes. Just sometimes though. The pain and agonising and worrying about getting caught are worth it.

Case in point 1
and Case in point 2.

Now technically Fred and Lily shouldn't come and stay with us. We have a 'no pet' clause in our contract although technically they're not our pets, which I guess is a loose interpretation of the law.

So yesterday when my phone rang and the person on the other end said she was from our letting company, I got a little worried feeling in my stomach...

"I just wanted to check something with you and it might be a misunderstanding but when we took you on as tenants there is a 'no pet' clause in the contract and we've reason to believe you've got 2 cats living in your flat."

After I had managed to stop myself from relieving my bladder all over my trousers and dealt with the wave of nausea and intense hot flush I was experiencing, I did what all people in my situation would do.

Tell the truth.

Now don't get me wrong. I can lie when it's required. There are many times when I have delivered an Oscar-worthy performance. But the first rule of getting caught out? Tell the truth. Lying will only make it worse. If there is one piece of wisdom I could impart to you, this would be it.

I explained that they were not our cats (true), that they were my Mum's cats (true), that they were being picked up at 5pm that day (true), that they had only been there for a few days (true) and that we had tehm because my Mum had been suddenly called away for an emergency and didn't have time to put them in the cattery (not true - but a small lie is ok as long as it is surrounded by truths. Says me.)

My immediate thought was "OH MY GOD WE'RE GETTING KICKED OUT!" which flashed like a beacon over and over and over in the my head as I apologised and apologised and apologised to the letting agent.

She actually seemed fine about it, just said if we needed to have them again could we call and let them know and that what had happened is that the landlord had come round to visit the property and had seen them staring out the window.

I had to suppress a laugh because the image that popped into my head was that of this photo I took that morning before I left for work...


I spent the rest of the day in a rather wobbly panic. I had visions of us never being able to rent a flat again because we'd be blacklisted. I had visions of the landlord waiting for us at the flat to evict us. I was, quite frankly, a bit of a state. And most of all, running through my head was the fact that there would be no more Fred and Lily visits.

And really it was unnecessary because, as the boyfriend pointed out, the landlord would be pretty foolish to evict us seeing as he's already got 2 empty flats in the building and, most importantly, she didn't say we couldn't ever have them again, she asked us to let them know next time.

So the panic gradually subsided, although I still do not like the feeling that I've done something wrong. Now that lady on the end of the phone knows I'm a RULE BREAKER. That's a feeling i don't like.

But watching these two look after each other is a feeling I do like.

12 comments:

P said...

I'm a law abider too. I hate it. I want to be a rebel.

When we went to Manchester, I was stressing out because more of us were staying in the apartment than were meant to. It turned out okay, but me (and a few others) were worrying about it.

Speaking of meet-ups, one the last weekend in May in Edinburgh if you're up for it...

J said...

You law-breaker you! How could you?
I'm sorry, your post made me laugh. Especially the part about the Fred & Lily staring out of the window at the Landlord. You'll have to keep the curtains/blinds shut next time :0)

Bubble Fish said...

I'm not a natural born rebel either.. it just doesn't suit me! Those two are gorgeously cute together. We only have one cat, and while she's very pretty, she has nothing like the 'aaww' factor of those two entwined tails!

Itch2stitch.com said...

Oh I am sure that your honesty would have been appreciated and everything will be fine. Love the phot of them looking out of the window, made me laugh out loud at the thought of the landlord looking up at the squatters and them looking down on him ! I generally follow rules, but at school in one term only I got 22 detentions! Yes, hangs head in shame... every one of them for giggling and not being able to stop! Some detentions I got while in detention while giggling, as We had to stand in the school hall in silence, all the offenders, and it used to strike me how very funny it all was, thus sending me into a fit of giggles....think I may blog about school one day!

Suzie xxx

The Curious Cat said...

Oh my! I am so just like you in every respect! I remember getting a 'blue note' - a warning at school when got told off for passing a note to a friend - I was absolutely mortified. Or the time I was late to my job as a waitress at uni (when usually I was fifteen mins early every time) because I'd foolishly decided to wait for my friend who was also working and I got told off...I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. I remember all the times I have ever been told off like that - because they are few and the feelings of shame I felt!

Having said that...if I can get away with something I will - as I have got older...I've relaxed a little. So not quite a law abider but I definitely want to give the impression I am. I'm like Brie Vandercamp in that respect...I always used to say 'I'm a geek...but with a dark streak...' :) Your kitties looks so cute here - and I agree too that the truth is often the best way if you ever do get caught out...otherwise you just dig yourself deeper. When you do get caught though -oh boy the adrenaline, the sick feeling....it is the worst thing in the world!!!

Diane said...

I'm not a law breaker either, and its a good job as hubby is a bobby!! If I am ever in a situation where everyone is getting told off - because 1 person has done something, I am the only one who ever looks and feels guilty!! xxx

mooncalf said...

I hate breaking the rules too. But I hate stupid rules that made me all jumpy for breaking them when I'm really doing no harm to anyone even more.

topchelseagirl said...

I'm exactly the same as you, if there's a rule I feel I must obey it even if I think it is a stupid rule and I disagree with it completely. As for detentions I never ever had one, what a good girl I was - well not really, but I think I looked a lot more innocent back then. That photo of the cats at the window is so funny imagining the landlord looking up at them.

Heather said...

Tut tut, you're so naughty!

just to let you know, your AMAZING parcel arrived yesterday but I only opened it this afternoon as it coinceded with my freakout yesterday afternoon. I'm blogging about it now! I tried earlier but my blog broke ... scary biscuits but it's back up now.
Thank you so much xxxxxx

Christopher said...

Come to the dark side, it's oh so fun.

Petit Filoux said...

oh no!!!!!!! I’m not really a rule breaker, have said a few white lies here and there, but I can just imagine the feeling when that woman called, oh my goodness!!!! They do look so unbelievably cute though!! I’d love to have seen the face of the cats staring back at the landlord, priceless

notesfromthefrugaltrenches said...

lol we are sooo alike. I too am a total law abider!

You know in some countries they are not allowed to enforce the no-pet rule as it is against your rights. I say we should be more like other countries!!!!!