Hopefully, you haven’t been buying your teenage kids (and their friends) alcohol. But if you have been, it’s time to stop.
Tag: underage drinking
Assault. Sexual assault. Underage drinking. Indecent exposure. Alcohol poisoning. Another assault. More alcohol poisoning. Sound like a fun night to you? Then you will probably be sad to hear that Craig’s, aka Favorites Pub, a popular college drinking destination on York Rd. has been shut down by the city’s liquor board.
We all know that kids under the legal drinking age still manage to find a way to get drunk. But do they have to rely on such gross beverages? According to recent research out of the Johns Hopkins Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and the Boston University School of Public Health, underage drinkers prefer vodka, Bud Light, Smirnoff malt beverages, and Coors Light when they binge drink.
In this series, we look at the newest findings coming out of our area’s top research universities. We’ve got some great minds in Baltimore — let’s learn what they’re learning!
Despite the significant investment in drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the vast majority of young children continue to experience serious symptoms in spite of treatment, according to recent research out of Johns Hopkins.
If you’ve got teenagers, you live with the worry that, if you’re away, they’ll throw a party. (The stories are legend!) Thanks to modern technology, mom and dad can now keep tabs on the house and learn if there’s a party in progress.
The Atlantic is reporting an Australian father discovered his 16 year-old’s party while 500 miles away when an energy monitoring app on his Android showed that the air conditioning and lights were on at home. When the teens learned they were discovered, one friend responded: “You gotta get dumber parents, Amy.”
Every day at 8:01, my daughter Jane and I drive to Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, our little car pulsing with the pounding sounds of Z-104.3. Balancing her pink mesh backpack on her knees, swishing a hand in teal arm-warmers to the beat, Jane sings along with PitBull as he offers in his suavely robotic way to pump this jam however we want. Pump it from the side, pump it upside down, or we can pump it from the back and the front!
I sigh and roll my eyes. As the song fades, deejay Jackson Blue takes a call from a listener who wants to know if people think what her boyfriend wants to do in bed is too kinky. A girl they met in the bar last night is involved, and she is really fat!
Punch button, change station. Oh good, we’re back to some double or single entendre song about sex, drinking, or sex and drinking, which go together like…sex and drinking! You like to drink? So do we! Amazingly, despite all the frankness in our house and the various permission slips I’ve signed for sex education sessions at school, some of the innuendos in these songs are not 100 percent clear to 11-year-old Jane.
I can tell from the questions she asks about the 1998-99 season of “Dawson’s Creek,” the TV series onto which we have moved after exhausting “The Gilmore Girls” catalogue, that there are things she doesn’t know. She can’t figure out what Katie Holmes’ character means when she asks Dawson how often he “walks the dog,” even when Dawson explains that he does it every morning, with Katie Couric. When a football quarterback is taunted by a former girlfriend because he has a “soft spot for women in all the wrong places,” Jane has no clue what is being suggested. Recently, she asked me what foreplay was.
I went with “things couples do when they like each other.”
To be honest, I don’t really know if I’ve ever understood what foreplay is. Someone had to explain to me fairly recently that it doesn’t include oral sex. Does Jane know about oral sex? Has she heard the hip-hop classics “Love in Ya Mouth” or “Slob on My Knob”? Isn’t there a middle school oral sex scare? I bet Jane cannot even believe people do that. I don’t want to gross her out by insisting that they do.
Anyway, who needs icky foreplay when you have the life of the mind encouraged by today’s media? For example, last Friday night we pretended we were Ke$ha and Katy Perry, brushing our teeth with a bottle of Jack before getting probed and disrobed by extra-terrestrials. In the morning we couldn’t remember a thing but we are pretty sure it was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“What’s a bottle of Jack?” I asked Jane, just to see.
“Why do you think she brushed her teeth with it?”
Jane is stymied but so am I.
Jane and her friends have a group crush on a boy in their class, and this is how they like it. “At least 750 people have a crush on him,” she reported. This is the perfect first love, one step up from mooning over Joe Jonas when you are nine years old, but not all the way to one-on-one romance. That may still be too much to contemplate. (Author’s Note: Please do not tell Jane that I mentioned Joe Jonas, now more vigorously repudiated than ever was he loved.)
But soon enough, it all changes. Suddenly the wave catches you and you don’t just want a sports bra and mascara and girly gossip, you want to pitch all the trappings of your childhood into the fire, and now that you have boobs, dudes of all ages stand ready to help you. Or at least that’s how I remember it. I’ve always had quite a bit of sympathy for Lindsay Lohan, whose transition from sweet little princess to wild, drugged-up slut seems so familiar, so willed, so iconic. If Lindsay is different from other girls, it’s mostly a matter of degree. And of being onstage all the time, with a bunch of bloodthirsty hypocrites watching. Honestly, I hope she finds her way.
The end of girlhood is masterminded by nature of course, but culture gets its mitts on us too, rough, insistent and full of contradictions. Today’s 11-year-old girl knows that she can do anything she wants, have any career, be a mom, make it on her own, with kids or without, with a marriage or not, with a man or with Ellen DeGeneres. She also knows it is time to put her hands in the air and her bootie on the floor and start the party, and find the pictures on Facebook in the morning.
I was not much older than Jane when I got my first kiss — back in the days when “Lay Lady Lay” was a really hot song. As Caitlin Flanagan points out in her new essay collection, Girl Land, which meditates on these same worries plaguing me now, Dylan’s song was not just erotic, it was romantic. Whatever colors you have in your mind/ I’ll show them to you and you’ll see them shine. Romantic is one thing commercial hip-hop is not — at least not about sex.
Glen Willis kissing me on the golf course in 1970 was not all that romantic either — what I remember most about the first few years of doing things with boys was (a) that I felt nothing, and thought I might be “frigid,” especially since private experiments had demonstrated that I could both experience desire and solve the problem, (b) I kept track of all the boys I kissed in a little notebook annotated with ones, twos and threes to indicate what base we got to, though the exact meaning of the bases was a matter of continual debate with my girlfriends. Really, I didn’t get it. But believe me, I kept at it until I figured it out. And once my passionate soul and my fresh young body caught up with each other, and with a copy of the 1970s classic, The Sensuous Woman, I’m afraid we were trouble.
Trouble. That’s what we’re looking at here, with my beautiful peach of a girl and PitBull and hormones and middle school and Dawson Leery’s daily monkey-spanking. Nothing has ever made me feel as conservative as being the mother of an 11-year-old.
I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss her.
Marion Winik writes “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a column about life, love, and the pursuit of self-awareness. Check out her heartbreakingly honest and funny essays twice a month on Baltimore Fishbowl.
University of Maryland sophomore and Montgomery County resident Teddy Michaels was federally indicted last month for making fake IDs and selling them to his fellow students. The fact is, the vast majority of young adults between 18 and 21 drink alcohol. At that age, and really throughout all of adulthood, alcohol is everywhere. In my experience, getting a fake ID is critical for most kids under 21. I remember my own desire for one; friends who had one seemed to be blessed with some sort of golden ticket.
People who don’t have access to a decent counterfeit (like me a few years ago) often settle for the next best thing: the actual ID of a friend or relative who looks like them. That’s great if the person you find actually looks like you, but more often than not you are a peach-fuzzed baby face and that guy with the five o’clock shadow in the photograph looks like he just escaped from Guantanamo (and if you’re mistaken for THAT guy, your troubled cousin Alfred, you’ve got bigger problems on your hands). At the very least, if you try to pass one of those around, you are eventually going to be embarrassed by any bouncer or cashier with an ounce of common sense.
These problems keep quality fake IDs in high demand, which gives upstarts (opportunists) like Michaels the ability to drive up prices and make small fortunes. But people like Teddy Michaels are rare because it’s hard to acquire the equipment to manufacture convincing fake IDs. If you get one it is more likely to be printed on computer paper and laminated with an DIY laminating kit from Learning How than an elaborate copy like the ones Michaels produced. And when someone like Michaels does come around, the excitement around him is so great he draws a lot of attention not only from students, but also from authorities. Unfortunately, poor Teddy (a triple major in finance, accounting, and economics) should have known better than to merge the two things he was learning in school: business and partying.