Support & Appreciation

Look Who Stopped By

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Legal Schmegal

OKCupid has this thing where they ask you a hundred bajillion questions, then they take your answers and compare them to other users answers and see how well you match.

The questions are completely voluntary and are all multiple choice. You pick what your answer would be, then you pick what your ideal mates answer would be and then you pick how important their answer is to you.

Here's an easy one for example

How often do you keep your promises?

My word is my bond. No exceptions
Whenever possible
When convenient

Then it asks you if your ideal partners answer is irrelevant, a little important, somewhat important, very important, or mandatory. You also have the option to just skip a question altogether.

Most of the questions are pretty simple, with straight forward answers. Some of them are more situational, and some, like the one I'm going to discuss are just down right ridiculous. Not that the question itself is ridiculous, but that it's a question that should, or even could be asked.

Allow me -

What do you feel should be the minimum age at which a child should be allowed to drink an alcoholic beverage under the supervision of a parent? Choose the category that contains your answer.

00 to 11 years of age
12 to 14 years of age
15 to 17 years of age
18 years of age or older

I'm sorry, WHAT?!?

At what age should a CHILD be allowed to drink alcohol? Parent or no parent, the legal age for drinking is 21. Correct me if I'm wrong but my interpretation of that would be uhh NEVER. Yup that's about the age that a child should be allowed to drink alcohol.

I may not be a parent, but I've done my fair share of caring for children and as an adult there aren't many things that will piss me off more than a parent who says "Well they're going to do it anyway, may as well make sure they're doing it safely, where I can watch them".

1. Drinking underage is just not safe. The body is still growing and developing and consumption of alcohol is just not a good thing. A child can't possibly understand the effects of over-consumption or the dangers.

2. It's ILLEGAL. As a parent it is your job to make sure your child has a solid understanding, appreciation and respect for the law.

By allowing them to break it "as long as you're watching" is total bs. You may as well hand them a syringe and a bag of whatever the hell it is you shoot up and let them have at it.

While you're at it, why not go out and buy them a couple of cans of spray paint, oh yea and a baseball bat, and go vandalizing with them. Hey you're driving the car! At least you know what they're doing, right?

I'm not one hundred percent sure if I would be so passionate and forceful about this particular subject if I didn't have personal experience with it, but I have a feeling I would be.

My little brother got expelled in 6th grade for having weed in his backpack. Some other kid told on him and he missed an entire year of school. He later went on to not only make up that year, but graduate a year early with all A's & B's, but that's besides the point.

After my parents divorced, my mom (for reasons beyond my comprehension) decided to pick back up a few bad habits from her younger days. Smoking marijuana was one of them. So following the whole "he's going to do it anyway" theory she allowed him to smoke with her. I'm still not happy about it, probably never will be.

I realize that because I didn't do any of the things most kids or teenagers do while growing up, I have a harder time relating to people who have. Those things being, drinking, smoking, trying drugs, early experimentation with sex, etc.

I've never been drunk, I've never smoked a cigarette, I've never even one time tried drugs of any kind and I was 24 before I had my first real kiss with a guy. And I am fully aware that those things make me some sort of freakish statistic in today's culture and society. But what I don't believe is that they will make me any more strict of a parent than I would have been otherwise, or will cause me to have lesser expectations of my child once I have one.

A parent is supposed to be a role model, someone you can look to as a gauge of what is right and wrong, a guide in life, someone you can admire and respect.

Once you break that boundary, that respect, the authority you once held is forever breached. You can't drink and drive as a parent and expect your child to listen to you when you tell him drinking and driving is bad. You can't sit in your room smoking weed, then tell your kid he shouldn't do drugs.

You can't say "I can do this because I'm the parent, and you can't because you're the kid" because that is just some double standard bullshit. One day the child will become the parent, and they will remember everything you did that they weren't allowed or supposed to do.

So what does it say about parents today when someone has to or even can ask the question "At what age would you let your kids drink illegally as long as you were watching?".

I can only thank God that He protected and guarded me from having the curiosity or desire most kids have to try things that will only cause them harm. And I can, and do, thank Him daily that because I never tried any of those things, that when I do have a child, I can tell them, it's ok to be different, it's ok to not "follow the crowd", it's ok to stand up for what's right and good.

I can tell them, "Hey, I had some really hard times in my life, and never once did I try to run or hide from them by using drugs or alcohol and I made it through, so I know that you can too."

1 People who coughed on a furball:

Ms. Florida Transplant said...


I can't believe that was a question!