Ah, to be young. To be a Fat American teenager! To be headstrong, willful, ingenious. To be so certain that social networking sites such as Facebook mean anything to anyone over the age of 21! To not be able to see past your own fears and foibles and think about the world around you! From the New York Times:
They feel her pain. At the Spence School and Greenwich High and Fullerton Union High and Nyack High and Narragansett High, teenagers and near-teenagers, 806 as of Friday morning, are waving a virtual flag for Tess Chapin, a 15-year-old from Sunnyside, Queens, who has been grounded for five weeks. By the time you are reading this, Tess’s Facebook group — “1000 to get tess ungrounded” — may well have reached its stated membership goal.
This is teenage rebellion, electronic style — peaceful, organized and, apparently, contagious.
And don’t forget stupid. There have been times on SCFOM when we’ve asked, “What happened to parenting?” Enter Tess’s mom and dad.
Tess was grounded for what all parties confirmed was a first offense of drinking at a party and missing her 11:30 curfew by an hour. Why five weeks? “Her dad wanted to give her three months,” said her mother, Jennifer Iselin Chapin, a fund-raiser for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group. “I wanted a month. This was a compromise.” For the duration, there will be no parties for Tess, no sleepovers, no Sweet 16’s, no hanging-out-at-a friend’s, and certainly no hanging out at a party where there is no parent present and possibly alcohol served, like the one that landed her in this situation in the first place.
Poor Tess! Her parents are the only parents ever interviewed by the New York Times who seem to intuitively do the right thing without totes agonizing over it! Of course, one shouldn’t count Tess out.
There are, of course, dissenters. A range of parenting philosophies have emerged on the wall, turning it into a mini-forum on childrearing, 2010.
“If your parents didn’t care,” pointed out a sophomore at Ithaca College, “they would have just let you rot.” Someone agreed with Tess that “parents can be stupid.” A friend of a friend expressed hope that she and her parents would take something “grand” away from the experience. A close pal chimed in, “I love you, but your parents are not gonna unground you for convincing 1,000 people to join a group.”
It is to this last theory that Ms. Iselin Chapin subscribes.
“What’s your fallback strategy?” she asked her daughter Thursday night, sitting across from her in the living room of their two-bedroom apartment in Sunnyside.
“O.K., one: drive you so crazy that you’re going to unground me,” Tess replied.
Her mother shook her head. “That’s not going to do it, sweetheart.”
OK, count Tess out. And kudos to the Times for writing a Facebook story that, crappy and cheap first sentence aside, didn’t make us want to smash things here at SCFOM World Blog Headquarters.
Message to Time magazine: One can do a Facebook story that isn’t completely lame and — hear me out — doesn’t feature Facebook wall quotes such as “omg! my sisters so dumb cant believe she got in2 brown lol!”
Let’s see, today at SCFOM we learned one can write a Facebook story that, while not earth-shattering, doesn’t suck. We learned that people are dumb enough to name their children Tess, and that youth is wasted on the young. Everything in its right place!