So something good has happened.
For anyone here who doesn’t know, Lori Drew is the sick, twisted excuse for a human being who drove a thirteen-year-old girl to suicide by posing as a teenaged boy of MySpace, befriending the girl, spreading her secrets, then cruelly making fun of her.
Apparently drew told police she “didn’t feel as guilty” as she might have, once she found out the girl had attempted suicide once before. Which makes perfect sense, really, because all feeling people let themselves off the hook when they discover the child they were manipulating was fragile to begin with, rather than simply driven to fragility by their own acts.
What the fuck is the matter with this woman? What the fuck is the matter with parents like Roseana Scaduto, who not only drove her own daughter to a fistfight, but participated? When did parents start totally abdicating their responsibilities, and start behaving as though they themselves are the same age as their children?
I know, I know. It’s actually been going on for years and years. Nobody wants to be a parent anymore. They want to be “cool”, they want to be a “friend.” They want to shove their children into the adult world before the kids are ready, then take a step back from that world themselves. Shit like this has always happened; these parents have always existed. But I think the capacity for true harm used to be smaller, and I think it used to happen less often. So why?
I’ll tell you why I think it is, at least in part. (Oh yeah, I have a LOT of theories and opinions on this one, but I’m going to focus here.)
It’s because being an adult isn’t fun anymore.
Remember when you were a kid? Remember your parents having adult parties, with cocktails and cigarettes and fondue? And they’d get dressed up and play music, and you wated to be at the party but weren’t allowed because this was something only grown-ups got to do? So being grown-up seemed like a really big deal? One day you’d be able to drink daquiris made with Kool-Aid in the blender, one day you’d wear high heels and perfume and eat whatever you wanted, one day you’d have a cool car, once day you’d get married and actually have sex, and it all seemed like such a huge privilege you just couldn’t wait?
Except now nobody’s allowed to smoke anywhere, and drinking is frowned upon, and it seems like once you hit the age of about 27 you’re expected to eat nothing but fruit, vegetables and bran and drink nothing but water. You’re expected to be in bed at a decent hour and spend your weekends having “quality time” with your kids at some theme park somewhere. Don’t have even a glass of wine in front of the children, it sets a bad example. Don’t watch anything more mature than Shrek (if there even is such a thing; it seems very few good films are being made these days that aren’t “for the whole family”.) Watch your language. No fatty foods. Exercise. Blah blahblahblah.
In short, once you become an adult you’re expected to give up all the fun things adulthood should represent. It’s teenagers today who seem to get to live the lives we all wanted as kids: drinking, smoking, fucking, driving, wearing expensive pretty clothes, staying out till all hours, doing whatever they want, while the adults piddle around with bowls of cereal and bottles of water.
Adulthood used to be something people looked forward to. Now it’s dullsville, baby.
I say we take adulthood back. Make those damn kids keep their parts in their pants and go to bed by eleven, make them work for their spending money, while we stay up drinking bourbon and watching The 40-Year-Old Virgin. (One thing I love about Judd Apatow; he’s actually making fun movies for adults only. Aside from all the other things I love about Judd Apatow, that is, which is everything.)
Let’s have parties again. Let’s drink and eat whatever crap we like. Let’s do what we want to do. We’re fucking adults now! WE get to say what happens. Isn’t that what we all wanted when we were kids? So why did an entire generation give up their right to rule their children like fascist dictators and have some fun themselves?
It probably wouldn’t do much for sick twisted shitheads like Lori Drew, a woman who must feel very proud of herself for having cleverly outwitted a vulnerable young girl. I know when I tell seventh-graders that the world would be a better place without them, I feel really clean and pure and good about myself, so why wouldn’t she?
But for the rest of us? Yeah, I think it would be pretty cool. Maybe if we stopped making adulthood into some sort of prison, our adults wouldn’t be so eager to behave like teenagers again.
Just a thought.