Peer Pressure Strikes…Or, Sneaking Around.

Wine-1If you drink at all, when did you take your first drink?

What about sneaking out of the house or staying after school to “do homework” and kissing the boys? (or girls…)

Did you ever go over to one friend’s house, the one you told your mother you were going to spend the night with, and then you and THAT friend went to someone else’s house?

I have to confess, I wasn’t much of a “sneaker” – I just have that kind of face that gives it alllllll away.  Ha!  I can keep secrets with the best of them, but about what I personally have been doing, I’m not that good at lying.

Fortunately, neither is my eldest.  Ha!  There have been several incidents this year in which some of his friends have gotten in trouble, and he’s either gotten “tarred with that brush” or it’s been big discussion amongst the parents and he’s gotten lectured.  (Picture major eye-rollage over the lectures, by the way).  I am not prone to lecture much – I lecture selectively to keep it sharp and pointy – but he got a big one tonight.

He’s in eighth grade, about to “graduate” to high school next fall.  Over the weekend, one of his friends got drunk and got busted for it.  Ooops!  

Fortunately Eldest Son was not involved, but he might have been had he chosen to spend the night with said friend, rather than be home early for baseball.  One of those “there but for the grace of God, go I” events.  He wouldn’t think of it that way, but it was.

Now it’s a HUGE drama, and with all the cell-phonage and texting and so forth, it is already all over the school and probably known throughout most of our very large area.  Baseball teams around the regions know….several of the boys who got in trouble were on baseball teams my son either plays on or against….and so it’s been big talk there.   Parents are calling, emailing, and texting one another about it as well.

Holy cow, it’s a flurry of texts coming in even yet.  Grins.1321157356

So, for Eldest Son, it’s been a day of long discussion with mom and dad, then big lecture from mom and dad, and again with the eye-rollage but compliance from Eldest Son.  He does listen, bless him, and he is smart enough to know better than to defend his friend.  (Not that he would, since he thought it was stupid) 

All this, as parents, made us, once Eldest Son had gone to bed, roll our OWN eyes and be grateful that it wasn’t our kid getting everyone else in trouble and sneaking alcohol.  The DH and I aren’t big drinkers, and it would be very obvious if alcohol was missing, so that’s one thing.  Another thing, we’ve talked to our kids about beer, wine and hard liquor and – except for the hard liquor – they’ve had a taste of each and been very put off.  Ha!  I figured if it wasn’t made “forbidden fruit” on it’s own merits, but on taste, which needs to be acquired, and must be …uh, like, LEGAL…as my son would say, then they wouldn’t be prone to sneaking.

It got the DH and I talking, however, about our own sneaking, experimenting, challenging parental authority and so on.  

I felt like SUCH a goody-two-shoes.  Snork!  

Maybe girls are just less prone.  Or maybe I was less prone because I saw very good friends get in very, very, very bad trouble and so I chose not to drink or experiment with drugs.  I also went to a school that had a lot of drug issues.  Once you’ve seen someone, high on PCP, try to fly down a set of marble stairs and break a lot of things (including the windows in the school’s front doors), as well as major bones, drugs don’t have much appeal.

8-11-12JohnnyLion'sbirthday!054Alcohol was a little more appealing, given that in my house, growing up, it WAS forbidden fruit.  My parents were teeeeeeetotallers.  :> Still.  I’d experimented some, but again had one of those experiences where, when I was an RA in my dorm, (I went to college long before I was legal to drink, btw), I had to take one of my residents to the ER for a stomach pump for alcohol poisoning.  

Let me tell you, that’s just nasty.  I didn’t drink for YEARS after that.

I love a glass of wine, and probably had my first glass of wine at 16 or 17.   Hard liquor was a little later, 20, but it doesn’t hit me the way wine does.  It doesn’t affect me much until the next day.  Urg.  

Smoking stuff and any other “substance” wasn’t much fun after the PCP incident, so I never really went there.

For the most part, my “crack” was books, and reading and dreaming.  If they’d made reading illegal, I would have been a junkie of the highest order.

What about you?  Were you like me and a goody two-shoes that stuck to the rules – at least about that sort of thing?  

Or were you a Pink Lady, wild child, experimenter?2219984

Books may be your “crack” now, but were they when you were young as well, or is it only with the advent of the Kindle that you’ve gotten back into reading?

Do you find it as shocking as I do that 60% of Americans admit to never picking up a book to read after graduating high school?  (OMG, how do they survive??  And frankly, even if I DID it, I wouldn’t ADMIT to being that ignorant!  Yikes!)

What was the first book you “sneaked”?  Mine was The Exorcist.

 (photos are either the author’s or permission was requested of the photographer)

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  • Amy Conley says:

    So how does he like road trps?

  • Amy Conley says:

    I got pregnant when I was 16 and single had twins when I was 17 and never did get married in till I was 24. I was also a teenager during 70 s and in my twenties during the 80’s so does that answer your question? LOL

  • Jane says:

    Hello Jeanne,
    My dad would let me take a sip of whatever liquor they were serving at the weddings we went to. I didn’t drink it straight. Always added soda to it. My dad always had liquor in the house. I didn’t really take advantage of that supply and never had to attempt to buy beer without a valid ID. I’ve always been a voracious reader, but didn’t read much besides textbooks during college. After college I got back to reading mysteries and romances. It always surprises me when people say they haven’t read a book in years.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Jane! That’s what I do too – let them have a sip of champagne at the holidays, or a sip of wine or beer – but we don’t keep much hard liquor, so they’ve not gotten that. Grins.

      And like you, I can’t fathom not having “picked up a book in years” either! Ha!

  • Mary Preston says:

    I grew up in a family that enjoyed a glass of beer on a hot day or a glass of wine with dinner.

    I was drinking wine with Sunday lunch from about the age of 6 – albeit “watered” right down with lemonade. As I grew so did the strength of the wine I imbibed. It was not forbidden, just moderated.

    I still enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      HI Mary! I know a lot of families who do that – watered down wine/lemonade for the kids. A lot of families and cultures think it’s good for the digestion (which it is) so they give it to the kids. I’m totally for that. And I too love a glass of wine with dinner! :>

  • Mozette says:

    My folks were pretty cool about the booze when I was young. My older brother was the right boozer at the tender age of 2! You know what happens at a bbq… people are sitting around, they have a drink in one hand, a plate of food in the other… hmmm, where to put the drink? Ahhh, on the ground! My brother comes bumbling along and sees a cool, green/blue/red/orange liquid in a plastic cup and he thinks it’s his (remember now, he’s 2 years old and my Mum is preggers with me! It’s mid-1973!). He guzzles a few of the cups down and suddenly, he’s stumbling around with a serious case of the hiccups and the giggles. 😛

    Years later, I’m 15 years old and at my cousin’s 21st birthday party. Her folks pull together a great bash… fantastic food and music and drinkies… but no softies for the kiddies – there’s about 8 kids who are under 18 years old at this party!

    To make things worse the food gets heated up around 4 times…. eewww… guess who gets a really bad case of food poisoning and a case of too much booze at the same time? Yeah, me. 🙁

    I still can’t stand the smell of Trifle…. of any kind.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      OMG, Mozette, that is TOO funny about your brother! My youngest was like that about cups – fortunately not boozy ones, but if it was colorful and sitting about, he’d make a beeline. Grins.

      As to the picnic and food poisoning, I know what you mean. I still can’t face Chicken Chow Mein for that very reason. Eep! :>

  • Caren Crane says:

    Jeanne, I grew up watching my two older sisters (and their friends) experiment with drugs and alcohol. Except for the things they had me try (far too young, like 12!), I really wasn’t attracted to any of that. Sort of a goody-two-shoes. So were my friends! Boys were another story. We were all about THOSE. 😀

    Then came college. When I was 18, you could drink beer and wine at 18. I found I really liked to drink. Not for the taste, but for the buzz. I partied really hard for a handful of years, getting my drink on as often as I could afford it, but always out at clubs. I had ALL the fun! No drugs, though. Never was interested in doing that. But again, BOYS were another thing altogether. I had all of those I wanted. It was more than a few!

    I am often glad there were NO CELL PHONES when we were young. We would all have been busted my our parents!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Heehee, Caren! You party animal you! I was all about the boys as well. And thanks to older sibs wasn’t about the experimenting either. That kind of “example” can put you waaaaay off that sort of thing. Hahah!

      I’m often quite grateful that my otherwise clueless parents didn’t have cell phones back then. They DID have a huge network in the community and we got “called on” for being seen walking with the boys enough as it was. Snork! If there had been instantaneous comminques? Holy moly we’d’a been in trouble. Snork!

  • Liz Fielding says:

    It was absolutely hopeless trying to get away with anything when I was young. My mother knew everyone and no matter what I did it would get back to her!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      I’m LOL Liz as I felt the same way about my own doings, at least until we moved out of our home community in NC. We were either related to everyone there one one side of the family or another, or they’d “married in” in some way. Small town. Eeep! Once we were in the north and in bigger places, they didn’t track us quite as easily, but they still had a network! Hahah! And my mama could “smell a lie” on me. From ten paces. Snork.!

  • Shannon says:

    I was goody-two-shoes. My folks did let us have a glass of wine at dinner for special occasions. When I went to the international science fair, we arrived on a Sunday in Cleveland where most things were closed; some small store had sandwiches, nuts, and alcohol. My Mom the chaperone said we could have that and a bottle of champagne in our hotel room to celebrate. They also allowed a sip of a hard drink here and there.

    As for drinking seriously, my Mom was a teacher and knew what was going on and who was doing it. I did go buy a six pack for a post-rehearsal party at the grocery store. I don’t know who ratted, but my Mom knew the next day. I didn’t do it again.

    My parents, especially my Dad, were odd about lectures. Dad had a series of lectures about integrity, not drinking to excess, not getting a girl pregnant or getting pregnant, not cheating, being kind to those who were different, and so on. My brothers and I had a system of numbering the lectures. “Yeah, Dad is probably going to do #8 at dinner tonight.”
    “Naw, he went for #6”. They felt we needed to know wrong from right by the time we were early teens.

    As for drinking, I discovered oblivion through drinking. I was no longer a goody-two-shoes. Around age 29, I had to get honest about how often, how much I drank, and how unmanageable my life had become. It was not easy or simple make a change. I do envy my friends who can have a single glass of champagne when we’re at the Kennedy Center for a musical or an opera. But those days came and went.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Shannon, that’s a hoot about numbering the lectures! OMGosh! How funny! My parents would lecture more on integrity and “perception of self by others” – my dad’s high-falutin’ way of saying people were watching what you did.

      Had to laugh, ruefully, about the oblivion through drinking. Ouch. I did that a couple of times and the pain was correction enough, thankfully, and I didn’t have to go to the bottom like some of my family members did. Glad you realized it early and made the change. :> Life’s a lot of fun even without oblivion. Grins.

  • catslady says:

    I was the good child until I met my future husband lol. I never did anything I shouldn’t but once I met him in high school I would lie about going out with groups of friends sometimes when it was just us lol. Although he would do some drinking (he was 2 yrs. older) I never did. But now I do love my wine lol. He taught me everything I know (good and bad lol). And I always read books – they kept/keep me sane. It is so sad that so many people don’t read – you can learn so much and I think it can make you a more interesting person.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      So the DH corrupted you, did he? Grins. Obviously in all the right ways since y’all are still together after all these years. Grins. If I remember right from another post about being married awhile, you’ve been married awhile. Huzzah! on that alone!

      And I’m so with you on the books. (Obviously!) I love talking to people who read (again, obviously…) because if nothing else you can debate the merit of a particular book, or discuss what you loved about a whole genre. It’s great conversation. And it always opens my eyes to something I didn’t see or catch in a book. So fun!

  • Debbie says:

    Growing up my parents would have a beer some evenings and if I wanted a sip they allowed it. When we would get sick and have a bad cough, it wasn’t unknown to have a shot of whiskey thrown in a cup of tea. Cramps…dad pulled out the peppermint schnapps, weddings…we would get the occasional drink snuck to us. Cigarettes were the big thing when I was growing up, both of my parents smoked, I hated the smoke in my face all the time, dad even let us try one when we were young, to this day I don’t get it, that was the most disgusting thing I ever tasted. I have never been drunk, I figure it’s a loss of control thing, as soon as I feel funny I quit. I still laugh at the day my friend coaxed me to a beer party in the woods, all these kids were there and she was all excited and I thought it was weird that these kids thought that this was something exciting, it was nothing new to me, I left.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      OMGosh, Debbie! I LOL about the beer party in the woods. Snork! If you’ve already tasted it, its no big deal. I figure Eldest Son won’t “go there” because, like you, he’s already had that taste, didn’t like it, and moved on. ha!

      I’m with you on the smoke though. I tried it a couple of times, figured it was cool, but I guess my lungs aren’t built for smoke because I just about died of coughing. Snork! And kissing a guy that smoke cured me of dating guys that smoked, so…yeah. Grins,

  • Becke says:

    Too funny and lordy did that question bring back memories.

    I grew up in a small town and most of the cops were on my dad’s payroll. Any and everything I did got back to him.

    However, my parents were BIG partiers as in I’d come home and you couldn’t get in the drive and most of my parents “gang” were inebriated.

    So at 16 I could chug a beer with the boys. Like your experience, a girl in prep school did the bonkers thing on hard drugs so I never went that route. However, I did a little grass in college.

    I sneaked a romance from mom- Mandango or something like that and read the hot parts! I was maybe 11-12.

    No books? Good grief. That’s just sad.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Becke, seeing someone else really freak out on drugs can sure put you off them, can’t it? Yikers!

      Had to LOL about the “gang” being inebriated. I never acquired that taste for beer. I only like it on the hottest of days when it goes down like ice cold, funny tasting water. Snork! Otherwise, I’m wine or a crisp Tom Collins. :>

      And yes, it’s totally sad about no books after college or high school. Really? What do you DO? How do you think? Breathe? Live? (Heehee)

  • Jo Robertson says:

    Great topic, Jeanne. Let me tell you, as the parents of 4 boys, I’ve had my share of teen experimentation. Trouble is (so I always told my students) that you often don’t know when you try that first sip or puff of whatever if it will become an addition).

    OTOH, children will experiment. It’s part of growing up and pushing away from parents, so you have to walk a narrow line between understanding and censure.

    As for myself, never tried any of it. I knew my parents would disapprove and (middle child that I am), I didn’t want to disappoint them.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Jo! I shudder to think of the trouble four boys could get into. I have enough trouble wrangling two. Grins.

      Which were worse, the boys or the girls? Grins.

      And for me, there was some of that parental disapproval bit too – as I said, my mama could “smell a lie” on me, at least – and that seems to be working on my boys as well.

      Since Eldest Son is a big sports nut, we’ve talked a lot about Len Bias. For those who don’t know, Len was drafted to the NBA from U of Maryland, an ACC champion at the time, and was looking forward to a huge career and promising life. He tried cocaine one time. Once. Overloaded his athlete’s heart and blammo! he was gone. So….yeah, a good way to give that “you never know if one puff or pill could lead to addiction or death so don’t go there…” :>

  • Jeanne,

    I so prefer my drama between the pages of a book. Your poor phone! And your poor son for having to deal with some of the fallout of his friend’s poor choices…even if thankfully from the very edges!

    I didn’t ever smoke anything. Both my parents smoked when I was growing up and guess who had to clean the ashtrays on a daily basis? Yep. Gross! Kept me from even trying the nasty habit.

    We didn’t have alcohol in our home and I didn’t experiment much until I was in Nursing School. I was only 17 when I started Nursing School, but several of my friends were old enough to visit the State Liquor store. I discovered…I really, really, really liked Vodka. Ahem, to the point that I could finish off a fifth of the stuff by myself in a weekend.

    Fortunately for everyone, I also realized how much I liked it and that consuming that much while having other people’s lives in my hands wasn’t a good combination. So now, except for a certain RWA Conference, I tend to diligently watch how much I consume. Rarely more than 2 drinks at dinner or with friends.

    Now books…that is something I’d sneak when I could. My most famous sneak? THE GODFATHER when I was about 13. Mom caught me when I was nearly finished and long past the infamous page 49 scene!! 🙂 She never tried to censure my reading after that.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Ewww! Cleaning ashtrays would probably have kept me from the habit too! Ha!

      Had to LOL about liking vodka. I do too. Grins. And RWA’s always the temptation time, isn’t it?

      Ooooh, the Godfather! Mario Puzo. You go, girl!!

  • JackieW says:

    I think my first “sneak” book was Lady Chatterly’s Lover. I read a lot when younger but mostly stories with either horses or dogs in them. The Black Stallion remains one of my favorite stories…Ladd, A Dog was very sad. That led me to reading a lot of Western stories too.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hey Jackie! I loved, loved, loved the Black Stallion and Lad, a Dog. Lady, the companion book to that one, and Big Red are STILL among my favorites. :> They’re old fashioned and very “not politically correct” but still good stories for their time.

      Lady Chatterly! I’ll say what I said to Suz…You GO, girl!

  • My deepest sympathies on having to deal with teenaged boys and all of the dangers flung in their path these days. Makes me grateful I don’t have children and grateful for those parents who manage to raise decent kids!

    I was raised in a teetotaller home. My Mom grew up with an alcoholic Cherokee father who was a mean drunk. My Dad was a hard drinking Pennsylvania Yankee when they met, but when she told him she would not marry a man who drinks he gave it up. Period. Never touched it again for the entire forty years they were married. He did, however, smoke Camel unfiltered cigarettes until the year I graduated from college. His first heart attack made him miss my college graduation. He gave them up after that and I was so glad he was there to see me get my Masters!

    My brothers sneaked around to drink as teenagers, but they always got busted. We lived in a small town and we couldn’t do anything without my Mom finding out. I swear if they had sent her after Bin Laden he’d have been captured in a week! And my Mom once showed up to bust my brothers dressed in her nightgown, housecoat, fuzzy slippers with her hair rolled and wrapped in toilet paper. They didn’t get into much trouble after that. 🙂

    Witnessing my Dad’s family’s behavior at family reunions, where the beer was delivered by a Budweiser truck, I decided at an early age alcohol was NOT for me. With alcoholics on both sides of the family and my knowledge of the addictive personalities most musicians had I made a decision not to try it. Ever. I have not in all my almost 56 years ever had a sip of alcohol, a puff of a cigarette or any sort of recreational drug. It has nothing to do with a morals judgement. I make a mean tequila sunrise. But I knew myself from a very early age and I knew that was a road I didn’t want to travel for fear I could never find my way back.

    Now, when I sign a contract with a publisher for my first book I will break my own rule and have a glass of champagne. And probably either end up dancing on a table or pass out cold in the floor.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Good for you, Louisa! I always think it’s a “know yourself” deal, isn’t it? I know better than to try some things – hell, I’m strange enough stone cold sober, I’m pretty sure drugs would make that weirder! Heehee!!

      Love that your daddy gave up drinkin’ for your mama. And cigarettes so he’d be there to see you graduate! Yay, him!!

      Teenaged boys are a connundrum and like riding a bronco – bucking one minute and placid the next. Haha!

      We will SO be popping champagne for you and with you, girl!!

    • Cassondra says:

      Louisa said:

      I swear if they had sent her after Bin Laden he’d have been captured in a week!

      I love it! And I bet you’re right!
      Louisa, your stories are always wonderful.

  • Oh, Jeanne, hugs! Even parents with sensible kids worry during the teenage years and there seem to be so many more things for kids to get into these days – the Internet has some very nasty sides including bullying and rude stuff. Personally I think people should just look at videos of cute cats! 🙂

    I was a goody two shoes too. I remember going right through uni without anyone offering me an illicit substance. I was most insulted at that – I wouldn’t have partaken but hey, I would have liked to think someone might have thought I might walk on the wild side. The wild side and I have never really got along! And like you, I’ve got the sort of face that always gets me caught. Sigh.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Snork! cute cats! Well, that would be a good punishment for my boys when they go places on the internet that they shouldn’t! “Two hours of nothing but cute cats!” Snork!

      THe wild side and I never really got along either. And the trouble I did get in wasn’t the typical stuff, so…yeah. :>

      What about illicit reads? ANy of those for you?

      • I remember when I was about 12 sneaking a peek at a supposedly very naughty book called The Virgin Soldiers. Remember thinking that my romance novels were hotter!

  • Helen says:


    My family would enjoy a beer here and there but only when we were out somewhere we very rarely had any in the house and although I was given a taste here and there I never liked it although I must confess to trying more when I was in my early teens around 16 but the taste just didn’t do it for me although i did have a lot of friends that would get drunk at parties we went to and as for reading I have always read and I don’t think I have ever snuck a book my Mum was always happy to let me read what I wanted 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Hi Helen! I never acquired a taste for beer either. Ha! And my parents only tried the one time to censor my reading – they thought The Exorcist a bit advanced (and gory) for a 10 year old. I’m not sure, now that i have a 10 year old, that they weren’t right! Ha!

  • Cassondra says:

    I never did any of it.

    I was a boring kid in that way I guess. But nobody had to tell me not to. I thought it was all stupid. I never wanted something else to be in control of me. (control issues, anyone?)

    And music was my drug. I was always somewhere playing gigs from the time I was 15 on. Even missed my own proms because I had gigs.

    So yeah….I never go the peer pressure thing. Nobody even offered it to me. I think they knew how I would react. I’d have said, “that’s stupid and you are too if you do it.” Who wants to hear that? So they didn’t offer. :0/

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      You and Anna C, Cassondra! Strong, darlings you are! Grins.

      And I can’t imagine gigs at 15, but then again, I went to college at 16, so it won’t have been so different. Ha!

      • Cassondra says:

        Well I’m guessing it was really different, but with some of the same results. *grin*. Steve went to college at 15, so I’m familiar with that. It’s a very different kind of education though.

        Hmmm…there’s probably a book in there.

  • Jeanne, y’all have had an interesting week! I’m glad Eldest saw the folly in his friend’s choices.

    I was pretty much a rule follower. I grew up in a small town where there was no such thing as anonymity, but I’m sort of inherently rule-oriented anyway.

    I had my first beer and my first mixed drink, a rum and Coke, in college. There was alcoholism in my extended family, so I saw the disruption alcohol can cause. As a result, I’ve always paid attention to how much and how often I drink. When I was younger, I did overindulge a few times, always widely spaced out, but I came to decide the resulting buzz was not worth the misery of the day after.

    Books have always been my crack. I don’t recall ever sneaking one, though I did feel very brave pulling The Summer of ’42–which had a round, red sticker, indicator of adult content, on the spine–off my dad’s stack of library books when I was in high school. But he said nothing when I sat down in the living room to read it. When I finished it, he asked me what I thought, and I told him it was okay, I guessed, but I didn’t think it was that big a deal. (The movie version was one of the first, if not the first, R-rated movies I saw.) Neither of us ever mentioned it again.

    I think he was more comfortable than my mom with the idea that I might make my own reading choices. He occasionally picked up one of my comic books to skim through, checking out what I was reading, but he never said they were a waste of time or money. I later learned he’d loved the pulp magaines when he was growing up.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Nancy, what a cool memory of your dad. The Exorcist is the only book my parents ever tried to censor, as I mentioned earlier. And they backed down when as talked to them about the book and about censorship. I think I said something to the effect that there was a lot more gore and more harrowing events in the Bible, which I’d already read, than in the Exorcist. (And I believe I mentioned that it was much better written, but they didn’t like that track….ha!)

  • Alyn says:

    I have tried smoking as a child and didn’t like it so I never did it again. My first beer was when I was in high school. I never liked it and didn’t like seeing people go crazy and whatnot so I didn’t get into it too. Even now I don’t drink alcohol unless I feel like it, which is probably once or twice a year and never to the point that I get drunk. I never snuck out of the house and only ever slept once at a friend’s house without my parents knowing there were guys over. Haa. Yes, I did have my moments of rebellion but my parents were super strict. I was lucky to even be able to leave the house to go to the public library.

    My parents are illiterate so I never had to hide what I was reading from them. They always thought I was “studying” even when I was reading for pleasure. Even now my mom asks me why I still study so much even though I am no longer in school. I try to explain to her that I’m just reading for fun but she doesn’t understand why anyone would read for fun.