I’m participating in The Scintilla Project. You can read my first post here.

Prompt: Talk about your childhood bedroom. Did you share? Slam the door? Let someone in you shouldn’t have? Where did you hide things?

I spent a good portion of my youth with my bedroom door off it’s hinges.

Because privacy was a privilege. Not a right.

My parents grew tired of listening to my sister and I enter into angry door-slamming arguments. So my Dad invoked the “you slam it, I remove it” rule.

As a teenage girl, nothing got me going more than being door-less. Like any teenage girl, I valued my privacy. I wanted to paint my nails blue with silver sparkles while listening to Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill album and chat on the phone with my best girlfriend about our current crushes without my family listening and watching.

So this lack of a door thing really got to me.

I’d crawl back to my parents with an apology and swear up and down I wouldn’t slam my door again. Of course, like any teenage girl, I broke that promise a few more times before I learned better ways to solve disagreements other than slamming my door.

But my door still caused problems even when it remained properly installed.

My sister and I are eight-and-a-half years apart. That’s a lot of years. A lot of life space between us. But like any little sister, she wanted in on my life. And like any big sister, I wanted her out.

We spent many days with me on one side, holding my door shut, and her on the other side, pushing to get in.

And when I wasn’t around, she’d steal my stuff. I kept my room meticulously clean and organized. So I knew when some messed with my things.

I’d sneak into her room to located my stuff, and I’d always find my Lip Smackers, faux pearl necklaces, and blue nail polish squirreled away in her closet.

Just like a big sister, I’d rat her out to my mom for stealing my things.

Tired of her getting into my stuff, one day I decided I’d just lock my door. I was sitting in my room with Alanis on repeat when I heard her coming towards my room. I popped up, quickly shut my door, and with smug satisfaction, locked it.

She went ballistic. Banged on the door. Begged me to let her in.

Like a big sister, I ignored her.

After a few minutes, I thought she gave up. But then I heard a grinding noise coming from my door. And my door knob starting jiggling and spinning around. And then my door sprung open to reveal my sister, holding an unbent hanger she jammed into my lock.

My door never locked again. The knob just spun around uselessly. I couldn’t keep her out. She continued stealing my things. Most of the time, I gave up on retrieving my items.

Now that door-slamming, Lip-Smackers-stealing duo is 27 and almost 19. The girl I’d yell and scream at and rat out to my parents for stealing my stuff babysits my daughter. I trust her to care for Kate when I’m not home. She’s kind and caring and a great aunt. Instead of trying to keep her out, I welcome her in.

But I’m pretty sure she still has some of my stuff.


Sarah is a thiry-something wife to an engineer and mother of three. She loves teaching aerobic and cycling classes, learning to shoot with her DSLR in manual mode, and drinking coffee.