Sunday, September 17, 2006

Being a teenager is pretty tough....

I was at a family event today and in being there I had the absolute pleasure of spending time with the Berry Queen and the Berry King and their newest addition, Berry Baby the Fifth. (Who I immediately absconded from her parents and refused to unhand until it was absolutely necessary. So precious.)

We were discussing the trials and tribulations of being a teenager: My own arrest at a young age for having not commited a crime; my ensuing criminal record and the impact it had on my life; the pressures for drinking, sex, and drugs that exist in this world.

As per usual, I use country music as my guide and I think of Martina McBride's This One's For the Girls. She sings "This is for all you girls about fourteen/ High school can be so rough, can be so mean/ Hold on to, on to your innocence/ Stand your ground/ When everybody's givin' in"

Yeah. Totally. Hang on to it.

My mom and I had a vicious battle when I was sixteen or seventeen about a house party I wanted so desperately to go to.

Picture me: The biggest loser in my high school. Nary a friend, except of course my best friend and my high school boyfriend. My social circle consisted of two people. And I got invited personally to a supercool house party.

So, I told my mom in so much excitement. A house party! ME! YOUR DAUGHTER! You know, the LOSER who has NO friends?!!?!? I GOT INVITED TO A HOUSE PARTY!!!

To this day, I feel like screaming it off rooftops. When I was sixteen, or maybe seventeen, I got invited to a house party!!

And my mother said no.

I was not allowed to go.

No way, no how.

And I cried and cried and begged and pleaded. And I told her "You know what? Every other teenager in the FREE WORLD would be lying to you right now. Saying they're going to be studying at So and So's house. And I told you the truth, and I'm the fuckwhit who's getting punished. Thanks."

I tried to explain to my mom today. Don't you see? You raised a daughter who has, and always will be, strong enough to stand up to the pressure. Peer pressure has NEVER done me in. Never. Not once. I never got into the drug thing. I've always listened to the least cool music on the planet. I drove to school in a frickin' station wagon, for Heaven's sake. I went to school all last week in a Lumberjack Jacket. (It was a gift from the Berry Queen at my birthday and I love it.)

That's not to say I never felt pressure. Because there are immense amounts of it in this world. That's not to say that I haven't spent many a night laying in bed crying over my lack of coolness.

I have no coolness to speak of.

There is so much in this world that is there to tempt young people. Drugs, sex, money, alcohol, popularity.... It's all out there for the having.

If I could say one thing to the young teens of this world, it would be really profound.

If I could say one thing to them, it would make them stop before every choice that they make and think "How will I feel about this in five years?"

If I could say one thing to them, it would be so powerful that not another teen boy would ever walk to school with his pants hanging down around his ass; and no teen girl would ever feel the need to don uncomfortable underwear and low waisted jeans in a desperate fit to be accepted among her peers.

But I can't think of anything profound enough or powerful enough to say. I want to scream at the teens that I know to stop. Slow down. How cool or uncool you were in high school SOOOO doesn't matter five years from now!

But it's so hard to see five years from now how you'll feel when someone hands you your first mixed drink at a party. Or when someone hands you your first big fatty (Or whatever the hell the curent term is for joint). Or when your first boyfriend whispers the words "I want you" when you're alone. Or the first time a drunk person offers to drive you home. Or the first time you have car keys in your pocket and someone offers you a drink.

It's just so hard to see and I don't see any way to make the teens in my life, who mean so very, very much to me see the reality of the decisions we're faced with every day

So I say this:

Hold on to, on to
your innocence...
Stand your ground
When everybody's givin' in....

With Love,



Blogger Amber said...

Ah... Reminds me of myself in HS and the 360 I did when I got into college.

5:35 p.m.  
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Anonymous Jummy said...

I'm listening to this song now :)

Great entry. I too had no aspirations towards coolness. I cry sometimes too, because it sometimes seems that if I wasn't I'd be better off.

It'll be a challenge to raise kids in this world who have enough self confidence to know that they don't have to bend with every gust of wind and do what everyone's doing. But we turned out ok so I'm sure those we can influence will too!

12:48 a.m.  

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