Sunday, June 22, 2008

It Takes A Village Idiot

When 17 girls at Gloucester High School in (surprise) Gloucester, Mass., got pregnant, it was four times more than the number of girls (in the school of about 1,200 students) that got pregnant the year before. Those in the softheaded department came to the conclusion that movies such as "Juno" and "Knocked Up" "glamorized" young, teenage, unwed mothers. Yeah, that's it. I'm sure there's a more ridiculous rationalization than that, but I can't think of it.

Fortunately, someone at the school was paying attention and noticed that the number of pregnant high school students was way more than it should be (and the fact that it should be any number other than zero is a sad reality). Those paying attention and not blaming the preggers boom on the Hollywood media also noticed that when some of the girls would go into the school clinic to find out if they're pregnant (What? They don't have EPT over there in Massachusetts?), some of them would seem to be upset if they weren't pregnant. Wait. What?

Now, I, for one, could not imagine thinking I was pregnant when I was in high school. But if I were in that situation, I absolutely, positively, for the life of me, could not imagine being freaking UPSET if I was NOT! But some of those chicks were. So what gives? You better sit down. And have a case of beer handy. Apparently, a bunch of girls at the school, none of whom were older than sixteen, made a pact to get pregnant and raise the babies together. WTF?

According to the principal, a Joseph Sullivan, some of the girls reacted to the news that they're going to have another human being growing inside of them (as if they were the human host of an alien creature) by high fiving each other and planning baby showers. Now, in case you're unfamiliar with what most people who are sixteen react like when told that they're pregnant, it goes something like this: Picture what those girls were doing, the high fives, etc. OK. So, it's the exact OPPOSITE of that. Usually complete with tears, more tears, phone calls to the one friend they told, more tears, and then complete hysteria. Please note the absence of any high fives, low fives, or any other kind of five.

Oh, wait! I almost forgot. Yeah, one of the fathers (translation: sperm donors) turned out to be a 24-year old homeless dude. (If you feel that the shedding of tears as mentioned in the above description for this situation would be appropriate, now would be the time to open the floodgates.)

Seriously, what the hell? Aside from these girls not quite understanding the entire picture of not just carrying and expelling the child from their bodies (in a process akin to taking a pot roast and shoving it through one's nostril), but of raising the child and providing for the child for the next eighteen freaking years. EIGHTEEN. And girls, you're going to need a little bit more than this "It takes a village" mentality to raise these children. Yes, it takes at least one other important aspect that I have yet to hear mentioned. (Granted, there's more than just one other things these girls overlooked. I'm just trying to hit the basic and more obvious ones.) Money. I must have missed the part about which of them (who are willingly reproducing before they have entered their junior year of high school) has a job. And I'm sorry, but I guess I also missed the part about how you will be supporting these children without a job? Oh, MY federal tax dollars? Oh, OK. Um, NOT.

See, this isn't the "It takes a village" mentality at work here. No, this is the "It takes a village idiot" mentality at work here. Are they all going to move into one big commune and pile the babies up in the middle? What's yours is mine and what's mine is yours? Are you girls crazy? What are you thinking?
In case you missed it, none of them are older than 16. 16 is young to anyone who is not 16. 16 is THE age...until you turn 18. Then 18 is THE age...until you turn 21. Then 21 is THE age...until...yeah, after that you don't care any more. But when you're about 30 you start to realize how young 16 was. (You also start to realize that it is somewhat of a miracle that you're still alive somehow, given some of the stunts you pulled. And can you believe someone thought it was perfectly acceptable for you to DRIVE when you were 16? Holy crap, are you kidding me?! See, that's only one of the many, many reasons I will never reproduce. It would be too tempting for me to just keep the kid in a box in the back room of my house. "Hell, no, you're not going out there. Why? Because I went out there too when I was your age. And I know darn good and well what I was capable of and what I did. Like what? Oh, I'm sorry, that information is still classified. and will remain that way until the statute of limitations runs out on that unfortunate incident in the peach orchard involving couple of wayward alpacas.")

Another ridiculously speculative theory is that, because the high school that the girls attend is very liberal in it's treatment of teenage mothers (going as far as to provide free day care at the school for those who made the mistake of getting pregnant whilst still in high school), perhaps the girls thought they should just do this now while they have these free services that they can take advantage of, because they'd have a difficult time paying for day care later on. (Please note that at the beginning of this paragraph I deemed this a "ridiculously speculative theory". I was being kind. That is the stupidest reason I have heard yet. I don't think they were getting pregnant because of their "economic situation". If they were that aware of what was going on in the world or even just around them, I highly doubt that their response to it would be "I know, I'll have a baby!" Morons.)

A lot of the speculation (since the girls aren't talking) as to the reason for the intentional knocking up of ones 16 year old self, is that it's a small community whose economy centers around the fishing industry. No, they're not blaming the fish. Yet. (Although, if they're looking for someone to blame, they're not trying very hard. Movies. Fish. Come on, people, you can do better than that.) What they're saying is that it's one of those towns where your future is almost set in stone for you. You'll go to this high school (because it's the only one). You'll live in those houses after you graduate (because everyone always does). You'll work for this business (because everyone always has). Your whole family lives here (and continues to live here). You get the point. Thus, one of the theories is that it was a "way out" or a way to "add a little excitement" to their lives.

Wait. Why does that scenario sound familiar? Well, everything but the pregnancy part. Seriously, it sounds strangely familiar. A small town. A boring place for teenagers. Everything is always the same. Teenagers aching for something different. Teenagers trying to find a way to do something, to make a difference, to make a change. Oh! That's it! Now I remember! Sure! It's the plot of Footloose.

Why couldn't those girls just do that? You know, stage a dance in some barn somewhere. Or, since they fish over there, on some dock (away from the bait station, however). A mirrored disco ball, some tin foil stars, LOTS of glitter floating down from above, Kevin Bacon, Sarah Jessica Parker, why couldn't they do that?! It sounds better than giving birth. Maybe John Lithgow could show up with a big kettle of fish, professing the importance of sustainable fisheries and the need for protein in a daily diet. Anything, really. Anything other than intentionally getting knocked up by a 24 year old homeless guy when you're 16 or younger. Anything.

Yeah, those girls were the wrong kind of "loose". They should have been Footloose. There weren't any babies in Footloose and everyone seemed to like that JUST fine.

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Anonymous said...

These Gloucester girls are swigging whiskey, doing meth, smoking pot, and sucking God only knows what else...just give these little harlots some birth control pills so they will stop screwing up their family's lives.

Mare said...

Wow. That might be a little harsh. (Although nice job with using "harlot". You don't get that a lot these days. I liked it.) The thing is, in this situation, since they WANTED to get pregnant, I highly doubt that birth control pills are going to help.