Friday, December 14, 2007

REALITY. CHECK.

I've led a sheltered life. Big Boss Man will attest to this, and reminds me of it when I read an upsetting story about kids smoking pot or 12 year old girls having sex and getting pregnant. I'm naive in the worst sense of the word; the slightest things shock me.

That being said.

We went to a mall tonight and walked around. It was my birthday today, but my "party" (gambling and mayhem at the casino) isn't until tomorrow night, so we went just to get out tonight. We got The Boys new shoes (can you say "stinky" and "holey"? Those are the only two words that can describe their old shoes). Then we just walked around, and not people watching is impossible when you're in a mall on a Friday night.

What I saw put a fear in my heart that I've never experienced before.

I didn't fear for my life in a physical sense. I didn't feel the need to have my hand hidden in my purse, resting on the grip of a Kahr PM9. I did fear for the futures of my children. As we were sitting down to save a table at the food court, two girls (couldn't have been older than 13, maybe) jogged just past our table to a few older guys. They were dressed as I've never seen girls that young dressed before, and one of them spoke up with a "Hey!" shouted to the guys. "Do you want my friend's number?"

Huh?

Did I miss something?

"YEAH!" the guys said back, and the girl went on to ask if they had cell phones. Of course, they did, because children of all ages have cell phones in contemporary times {insert eye rolley thing here}. She rattled off the number like water off a duck, and then her and her friend sauntered away, butts twitching like they'd been paid to shake what their mama gave them...at 13!! I think my heart may have actually stopped right then and there.

So BBM came back to the table. He proceeded to give me CPR to jumpstart my ticker. I told him what I'd witnessed, and he acted surprised...not surprised that it had happened, but surprised that I seemed so shocked by it all. Obviously I haven't been to the mall in...well, years.

So we continue to eat (and people watch), and we see so many things. So many things that I can't even write them all down here, as I really don't want to relive the experience. But I do have a couple questions:

1. What, exactly, are young people expressing when they choose to wear dark eyeshadow and black eyeliner that, quite honestly, makes them look like football players who don't quite know how to put glare paint on their cheeks? I don't get it. And I'm not just talking girls here...some of the young men we saw could give drag queens lessons on application. I get that they're individuals, and they're exercising their right to be an individual, and they're expressing "who they are", but who does that? Who are they? If their expressions are shining through, I ain't gettin' it.

2. If children are so insistent on being individuals, why did we see groups (and I'm not talking one or two kids, I'm talking groups of five, six, seven kids) ALL. WITH. THE. SAME. HAIRCUTS??? Isn't that a little hypocrisy, or am I just old? It was something I'd never seen before...all of them the same with maybe a difference in hair color...you know, some pitch black, some bleached white. Because that's individual.

3. Who on God's green Earth is sitting at home with these kids, telling them they look "great" or "nice" or "cute" or "hip" or whatever the word of the year is, packing them in the car, and dropping them off at a busy mall for the evening??? Is having a night alone without the blaring music of your pre-teen, tween, or teenager really so important that you'd risk ditching them at a haven for sex-hungry predators? Because from what I saw tonight, sex-hungry predators are not just dirty old men watching little girls from afar...now they're kids that are the same age as our children, going to the same school. My soul shivers at the very thought of it.

What can parents do? I am a member of a couple mothers' groups, and I can honestly say that NOT ONE of the women in these groups would let their kids hang out in an environment like this. So why are there so many children still at the mall?? Why is it so hard to stop this 'epidemic of individualism' from taking over? I want to take my children out of school. I'll home school them until they are old enough to get their certificate, at which time they'll be shipped off to the military, where they'll learn respect and discipline for 4 years. Either that, or I'm going to start a town for people who don't want their children to succumb to the temptations of this day and age. You have to fill out an application to get within city limits, and I'll have a One Strike and You're Out policy. No bad apples to spoil the barrel. Since neither of these options are viable, I'd like to end with a thought (or another one, since this post has been nothing but my thoughts): I'm all for expressing yourself. Go get a pencil and some drawing paper. Get a paint brush and a giant canvas. Not artistic? Grab a guitar, or maybe a piano or an accordion, if that turns your spokes. Music not your forte?

GET. A. BLOG.

You can express yourself all you want.

12 comments:

Patrick Truax said...

I found the boys wearing eye shadow quite disturbing..

Ness said...

Really enjoyed your post. It's definitely not the times I grew up in. I'm thankful my children are grown for it's a strange world out there today.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I gave up being shocked about the way girls dress these days years ago when CJ was in Middle School - they all looked like strippers. And apparently that's what they want to look like!

I'm just thankful I have boys...
Hallie

Rising Rainbow said...

I think strippers is being kind, more like hookers. I wonder what their mothers are thinking.

Elizabeth said...

"So why are there so many children still at the mall??"

Because their parents don't give a !@#$!!!!!

I can and will blame the PARENTS for every bit of this. Offended?? Good! Get off your lazy !@# and PARENT YOUR KIDS.

*deep breath*

And how was your evening??? ;)

Falcor said...

Thinks like this actually give me mixed feelings about having kids...because no matter how well you parent your kids, they are still going to be out there with all those kids...

By the way - Happy Birthday! (you and the 6 other people I know that have your birthday, though I no longer talk to any of them :)

Elizabeth said...

Fishies?! What are you doing around 11ish?? ;) I'll be on that side of the river cause I've got a client this morning.... call me on my cell if that works. :)

Rick said...

Heavy post for your birthday. Do you want me to sing a John Denver song to you? Now that would put you in a gloomy mood.

Thanks for dropping in - stay "tooned."

http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

Dan said...

Happy Birthday!! Sorry I'm a few days late. Hugs!

My wife and I notice the same things all the time. 12 year old girls walking around showing more skin than my mother showed on her wedding night! Maybe it's just that these days so many households have both mom and dad working and they can't keep an eye on the kids? Or they feel guity for being absent themselves and don't want to reprimand them? Beats the hell out of me.

This was surely a thought-provoking post, though. Thanks for that!

And Happy Birthday once again!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Where did you go? No new entries?

Wake up!!

Hallie
http://wonderfulworldofweiners.blogspot.com/

Faerie Mom said...

Hi! Followed you here from Mom o matic. I have to say that I find this trend of dressing "sexy" in young girls to be distressing as well. I have a daughter who will be turning 14 very soon. She, luckily, has some sense in her head. She wants to "express her individuality" but does not feel the need to dress like a ho. I also have let her no in no uncertain terms that I have full veto on anything that she wears out of my house. It is up to the parents. And a parent who sees nothing wrtong with the "sexy" dressing of their 13 yo really needs some help. Either they don't care, theya re not aware, or they agree with it. And any of these three is scary to me. Our chiuldren need to have boundaries... and they are not getting them!

Great posta nd happy late birthday!

PS I am emailing this post to my daughter to read. I think she will enjoy reading it.

Manda said...

One of our stores is in a mall, and every time I go there I almost stroke out. The way kids throw themselves at each other is quite disturbing. I even saw two kids rolling up joints. I about passed out.
-Once Upon A Lifetime