Friday, June 11, 2010

Peer Pressure

"Honey, I think it's time we had a talk about peer pressure."

Lisa set her books down on the kitchen table and turned to look at her mom. "No... No, it isn't."

Her dad spoke up from where he was leaning against the counter beside the sink. "Well, you're in High School now, and some of your friends are probably going to-"

"Stop," said Lisa. "Please, just stop. This is the same message I've gotten from every fourth cartoon since I was six years old. We've talked about it at school. It comes up at least four times a year in youth group." She took a breath. "I promise you, if I wind up hooked on crack, or get pregnant, or get myself arrested, it won't be because everyone else is doing it."

Her dad's lips quirked, and he straightened. As far as he was concerned, the conversation was over. When he turned to open the silverware drawer, that confirmed it.

Her mom wasn't entirely reassured, though. She was on the other side of the table, and Lisa could see her open her mouth for another attempt.

"Besides," Lisa continued, smoothly cutting her mother off, "have you seen the people I go to school with? We may be classmates, but they aren't my peers." She hesitated, hating to ruin the line by nitpicking, then added. "Well, one or two. But those aren't the sort to get me into trouble."

This is, in a nutshell, the response I had to every Peer Pressure presentation after I turned about twelve - and I was forced to sit through a surprising number of them. "What makes you think these people are my peers?"

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