Thursday, April 13, 2006

Kids These Days (What's grosser than a squidmonster?)


Okay, if there's one thing that scares me more than babies and toddlers, it's teenagers. There's a movie theater in town that we positively avoid at all costs because it's, well, pretty ghetto. (That's not a race thing, it's a reality thing). Full of teenagers of every hue talking during the movie, chatting on their cell phones, and having just a blatant disrespect of everyone esle there who paid for the movie not just to get out of their parents' house, but to see the damn movie.

My husband and I decided late last night that we needed a break. After reading some great reviews about Slither (and being huge Nathan Fillion fans because of Firefly and Serenity), we decided to catch the late show. We figured the place would be empty, so this theater was a viable option. (BTW, if you don't read further, go see this film. It's like Shaun of the Dead but American…it was great)

Sure enough, there were only four other couples in the theater. A couple in each corner and the back row, and one a couple rows behind us in the center. It became pretty clear that the last couple was the only one there to see the film.

Now, I'll admit, I hate talking in the theater and I can be kind of a bitch about it. A whispered comment here and there is acceptable, a full-blown, full-volume conversation is not. Talking on your cellphone? DEFINITELY unacceptable. So I pointed out to A about halfway through the movie that even with only a couple kids in the place, there was still someone on his cell phone. He was my hero, and went to politely tell the girl to please keep it down. Scared her pretty bad, too, which is funny because he was sweet as pie. But that ended that.

Another couple left about a half hour before the movie was over, but at the end of the show, I had a good hypothesis why. As the house lights went up, I glanced around -- and caught a couple of teegagers ZIPPING UP!! Pulling their pants up and zipping up. They couldn't have been more than 16. A light bulb went off in my head… THAT's why the kids were tucked in the corners. Oh eeew eeew eeeew!! They probably bought tickets to Slither because it's not very popular (seriously, see it) and hey anticipated an empty theater.

I would absolutely slaughter my teenager if I heard about them doing that! Making out is one thing, but these kids, IMHO and I'm no prude, were far too young to be doing the nasty in the back of the damn theater (nevermind that it's no place for that ANYWAY, especially when, as they were leaving, they got into a giant SUV which probably would've been more comfy… I'm just sayin'…)

But how can it be stopped? This is no world I want to be raising a child in. I see my niece and I am just terrified for her. Her friends who are in public school are already dressing like little sluts (no thanks to Bratz and the like) and speaking with potty mouths. I can sort of appreciate why homeschooling is a trend, but I don't think that's a solution either. This world is so sexually charged it makes ME uncomfortable sometimes. Sure, we had 90210, but I guarantee shows like One Tree Hill and The OC make promiscuity and drug use seem a lot more acceptable (and fun!). I can't think of anything but 90210 that was geared toward kids and featured sex a lot. I think back to 21 Jump Street and other favorite shows and remember all the morals -- don't do drugs, don't have sex 'til you're in love, etc. There were exceptions, but now the smut is the rule, and that makes me scared.

Nevermind that 30% of teens won't make it out of high school -- that's a whole other issue for another day.

It just pisses me off is all. I want to be able to go to a movie without teenagers being disrespectful and definitely without teenagers getting it on in the back row. I don't want to watch my niece grow up and start having sex at 14, 15, getting knocked up or something. I want to protect her from this world. She's ok for now -- she's a bookworm and doesn't watch anything but kids' tv. But she's 7. It won't be long before the girls around her start growing up too fast and she feels the pressure that I know I did to be popular and do what all the other girls are doing. I don't want to hear about my niece going down on boys in the bathroom at 12, 13, because that's what the cool girls do. I want her to have her innocent crushes and be a kid 'til she's at least 17, 18, and even then I want her to know how NOT to end up like her mother, strung out on drugs and abandoning her children.

I think it's important that in the next couple years we talk to her about the path her mother went down and how crucial it is that she not go down that path. My brother would tell me never to do that, to shield her from that, but when she grows up a little more, I think we're going to have a talk, Daddy be damned. She needs to know so the cycle doesn't continue.

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