Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday Night Fever

Okay, please forgive this rant. IF, though, you have a daughter (or son, I guess) please take special note of this rant. IF you have a daughter (or son, I guess) you may or may not think this will ever be your child. But, IF you have a daughter (or son, I guess) know this may very well be what happens when you are not around aforementioned daughters or sons.

Tonight was our stake's turn to host the regional youth dance. A church dance. Not too much to have a problem with, right? Right. Good, clean fun. Take many adults (who are taking time from their families on a Saturday night), a decent DJ, youth from our side of the valley, and a house of the Lord and you get a potion for some good times. UNLESS a few of the said youth neglect to take note of the instructions on their dance card, which clearly states what's allowed for dress standards and what's not. And UNLESS they choose to walk right past the sign on the door that re-reminds them that "No shorts and No capris" are allowed. And UNLESS they throw a tantrum that would give my four year old a run for her money. And UNLESS she (or they) continue spouting off their opinion and ranting about not being allowed into a "stupid" youth dance since they are wearing shorts, especially if the shorts are modest, knee length shorts for nearly forty minutes while she (or they) waits for her mother to bring her a change of shorts. Now, don't get me wrong. I thought those who showed up in shorts (or capris) were not hoochies or risking their (or others') eternal salvation. I told them that I appreciated the dilema, but it was not personal and we were not going to "just let it slide this one time." It is what it is, and the dance cards say NO SHORTS. That means, no shorts!

Now, as a parent of daughters (and sons - who, by the way, try to sneak in with their caffeine drinks and baseball caps and play around in the bathroom instead of talking to young women who are dying for the boys' attention) I understand that these kids who spout negative and angry comments at grown adult leaders probably were not taught to speak that way. And don't get me wrong, I definitely embrace the youth having strong opinions. I just don't understand what part of not following the set rules would make a 14-18 year old young women stand in the foyer of the dance she is waiting to get in to and say things like, "At least we're not all having sex in the middle of the street. And I guarantee half of those youth ARE having sex anyway. And YOU'RE [meaning me] worried about my shorts" or "What's the difference in shorts and a skirt? It's a bit more fabric, big deal" or "This is __________ [use ridiculous, stupid, not fair in the blank]" or (one of my personal favorites) "This is one of the reasons I have a problem with this religion. I hate all these Mormons and their rules." After reasonable logic failed, I finally told her I didn't want to hear it from her anymore. If she really wanted to take up the issue, she needed to meet with her stake presidency and discuss it with him since [IRONICALLY] it was her very own stake that so adamantly opposed the proposal to allow shorts to regional dances. I also told her it was our job to enforce the rules, but it wasn't personal against her. When I told her she could make different decisions when she was the leader, she told me she would. Finally, I pointed out if she thought the whole thing was so dumb and unfair, she could protest by going home. No harm, no foul. I seriously ended up with a headache after restraining myself from going off on her (and a few others who were being difficult) any more than I did. I am not naive to think my kids won't maybe try to stretch the boundaries, and I expect they will try to get away with more than they should, but if I EVER found out my kids talked to (or about or around) an adult the way some of the youth did tonight, I will personally accompany them to any social situation to make sure they never got so high on their horse again. I would humble them by good 'ol mom embarrassment. I am not above that. I think it would be pretty hard to mouth off to another adult while MY mom were standing right next to me, or with the threat that she would be accompanying me to the next regional dance. And I am counting on YOU all to let me know if my kids ever misbehave, at a church dance no less.

SIGH. It's sad, really, to have to fight such a silly battle. Not that it's so much a fight as an annoyance. I assume the young people don't get what they are doing and how obnoxious and disrespectful they are being. I assume they have been taught better and may be having a bad day. And I assume that the real reason they are reacting so verbally violently at a church dance, is because they really do like the dorkiness of it all and they really do want to be there. I know it could be worse, but want to think, "Why can't they be better?" Shouldn't I be bugged that the standard is to let the kids think it's okay to speak to an adult that way? I wanted to hug the girl by the time she changed [partly because she shut up, too], but her snide "Yeah, right" when I offered her a well wish to enjoy the dance made me want to call her mom. Oh well, so many mountains, and I don't feel like this molehill is worth much more than a blogging rant. Maybe if enough of us could call these kids on their snotty behavior, they would know it's not going to be accepted any more. In my book, they have to be a lot older to get away with catty, snide behavior.


Chris said...

i heard about this from matt - i am so sorry you all had such a trying experience with the youth at the dance. you are much better person than i am. i would have just made her call her mom and sent her home - no dance. and her telling well at least i am not. . .well what others are doing is not her concern what matters is what she chose to do and she chose to not follow the rules and to be disrespectful.

i applaud your patience. you are so good with the youth. i would have wanted to smack her.

hope your Sunday is a relaxing one in light of last night's events.


Daniel said...

I do not have kids, but I have a spray bottle for my cat. When ever he is confused or bad I spray him. You could try that it may not try your patients and could be fun.

Erin Mohler said...

I'm with Daniel, get a spray bottle for those little turds.

Nan said...

Kids are punks! I would have never imagined talking that way to an adult when I was younger. Now, you can't get me to stop voicing my opinion but I pretty much knew and respected that what grown-ups say, goes. I like the spray bottle idea:) They would never see it coming and it's better than getting a lawsuit for smacking them:) Although, smaking them would be my first instinct:) Punk kids! You are an angel with the patience of Job :)

Jenn Stanworth said...

Oh Sarah! I can only imagine . . . your level of patience blows me away.

I love working with the youth - some of them can be so great - and some of them can be equally not.

You rock for putting up with all of that. :)