BYOB means ‘Bring your own Booze’, I learned five days ago as I was being invited to a new years’ eve party. I was just a little bit worried, but my friend assured me that it would be a perfectly fine party. So, I assumed that it was going to have 21+ year olds drinking alcohol in moderate amounts, while telling the rest of us that we couldn’t have any because it was against the law. There would be some dancing, I thought, some games and good conversation. (Don’t count it against me, ok. I’m relatively sheltered and by choice)
I should have seen the warning signs from the beginning. When my friend picked me up, she asked me why I wasn’t in my party clothes. I told her I was. At all the parties I have attended, Jeans and T-shirts were perfectly good attire (unless they were formal or costume parties). She told me that she would take me back home if there were no sober drivers, but she was sure there would be.
The party began well enough. There were three of us excepting the hostess because the other guests were being fashionably late. We put out snacks and drinks, I started on a jigsaw puzzle and we introduced ourselves and made small talk. After that, the conversation took a disturbing turn. I found out that one of them had divorced parents and both their family lives were (to put it mildly) not very good. Then we started talking about sex and counting the number of boyfriends/girlfriends they had had. The girl had lost count, but the guys’ was in the high teens. I learned that the girl had once been pregnant – she wasn’t married or even in a long term relationship. They asked me if I had ever had a boyfriend. I responded in the negative. They asked if I had ever had sex. I responded with ‘I’ve never had a boyfriend. Do the math.’ They were incredulous; “You don’t have to have a boyfriend to have sex”. They assured me that this kind of talk was normal party conversation. I heard talk abotu who was a better kisser and that was when I knew. These were typical American teens/tweens. I withdrew subconsciously because these were the kind of people I usually stay away from. But the night wasn’t over.
More guests arrived and we turned on the music and began dancing. I danced for a little while, but I got cold so I huddled in a corner working on another jigsaw puzzle and listening. My friend picked the music. You wouldn’t have realized that she was Muslim with a very conservative Muslim boyfriend from listening to it. Call me prudish, but I’m not fond of filthy talk and songs with very explicit sexual suggestions especially if they involve fornication. I just focused on my puzzle and said nothing. I was ready to leave then, but I didn’t want to make anyone leave the party before the new year even arrived.
The new year soon came and my friend asked me if I wanted some wine “Just a little”, she said, “for the new year”. I politely declined. Neither of us are 21 yet (I’m 18, in fact) so I’m sure there was something wrong (or at least illegal) with her offering me alcohol. It’s a strange kind of Muslim, I think who doesn’t eat pork but drinks alcohol and has good friends who see nothing wrong with being drunk.
The rest of the party was manageable. Someone did an impression of drunken Irishmen. They complained that there wasn’t more alcohol. I finished my puzzle and excused myself; I needed to eat and contrary to popular belief, pop corn and chips aren’t food.
What’s Wrong With American Teenagers?
So, why did the party disturb me? Besides coming across as rather shallow, the kids gave me an impression of America you see in shows like Gossip Girl, the OC and One Tree Hill: the image of promiscuous kids from dysfunctional homes whose lives are no more than the latest fashions, who’s dating who and who had sex with who, the kids who have one night stands and get pregnant with kids when they aren’t even grown up themselves. I felt sorry for them because I know firsthand the pain of coming from a broken family and I could see that in a few years, they would be the image of what’s not right in America: single parent homes and divorce, for instance, and producing similarly broken children. It’s heartbreaking.
Those are kids whose parents, teachers, communities and churches have failed them. Isn’t someone supposed to teach kids that there are STDs? That they shouldn’t be putting themselves in positions where they would conceive children who they are in no position to care for? That unrestrained sexual activity puts them at risk for a lot of things? Don’t tell me about condoms and abortion. We all know that with the rate at which sexual activities are going on, they’re not going to take the appropriate measures. I’d rather they not get pregnant till they can care for children than have them get pregnant and then get abortions. And even if birth control would fix it, there’s still the negative emotional effects. STDs are so prevalent among kids their age that it’s not even funny. (Think it’s because of a chronic shortage of condoms?) With everybody having sex with everybody else, how could it not be? If one girl has had five boyfriends who have also had five girlfriends each, how safe is she exactly? Isn’t the community supposed to keep kids safe?!
The vast majority of those kids leave church after high school. Well, why wouldn’t they? Have you seen the teenagers walking around? Do they look like Christians? I occasionally attend evangelism at the BSM and from a random sampling of the kids we meet, churches aren’t teaching Christianity. It’s a miracle if someone can explain the gospel to you and understand the words they speak.
Don’t take this as the words of someone who attended one party. what, with half of all marriages ending in divorce, what else should be expected?
I’ve known all these for a while. These people are in my classes and school clubs. I hear about them. That’s why I stay away from them. New Years’ eve just finally brought it home to me. I’d been trying to think the best of American youth. I’ve been trying to pretend that the majority of them are like my friends, not the people on TV. I’m done pretending. After graduation, I’m looking for jobs in the nearest country that isn’t western. I’d rather have the Taliban around me than broken people who think they’re just fine.
While Americans were busy, something happened to their kids.