Wow, Man, It Really IS Complicated
January 7th, 2010 by Christina

So I went to a lovely, elegant dinner party on New Year’s Eve, as befits a woman of my age and580229259_549c0ef722 station. But since that kooky script writer often shows up unannounced, a sitcom-esque drama ensued.

Here’s what happened: During the cheese and crackers phase of the evening, a few of us were
chatting about the movie It’s Complicated. We chuckled about a scene where Meryl Streep’s character smokes pot for the first time in 27 years and gets completely, stereotypically wasted. One of the guests at our New Year’s Eve party said maybe it would be fun to smoke pot again sometime. Eyebrows raised among the rest of us, who were no doubt thinking what a devilish, oh-so-naughty and vaguely tempting notion that was.

During dinner, we talked about how challenging it is to be parents of teenagers, to want to tell your kids to just say no, even though every one of us said yes at some point during our youthful years, with varying results, ranging from No regrets to Damn, I wasted my college education because I was stoned all the time.

Then, a few minutes after our age-appropriate midnight champagne toast, a joint landed on the dinner table, again upping eyebrows, along with the ante. Some, but not all, of the guests partook, and the banter got wittier until we noticed that one of the guests was slumped over on the woman sitting next to him. Was he just an affectionate sort, we wondered, or was something wrong?

Something was wrong, because the next thing we knew, he had slid to the floor and 911 was being dialed. Soon there was a fire truck and an ambulance outside and several EMS guys streaming through the front door.

Our passed-out friend came to, but his face was the color of mushroom soup and he was out of it. The EMS guys, who looked all of 19 years old, delivered their stock New Year’s Eve line (“Had a little too much to drink tonight, sir?”) After checking him for signs of stroke or a heart attack, they didn’t come to a conclusion as to what had happened, but it seemed clear to us that he had inhaled on that joint quite vigorously and that after two decades living a cannabis-free life, it had simply knocked him out. Fortunately, he was fine, and the scene did not devolve into an episode of ER.

Then, right after the emergency vehicles pulled away, our hosts’ teenager returned from his New Year’s Eve party! Hopefully he had no idea what the old people been up to.

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? The grown-ups trying to hide their pot-smoking from the teenager?

If you experimented with drugs when you were young and are now a parent, how do you walk the line between being honest and not?

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2 Responses  
Raquel writes:
January 7th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I did then, and I partake of the occasional toke to this day. My daughter knows about my youthful indulgence mostly thanks to my parents who find it amusing to tell indiscreet tales of my high school years. I don’t think she knows that I smoke sometimes when the opportunity arises, and that’s fine with me.

We both know that we are in different stages in our lives, and make decisions for different reasons. My attitude is that I will be honest with her and answer most questions, but there is zero need to volunteer information or tell stories about myself. I only want her to know what she wants to know and will answer with only as much info as I think she can handle. She still cares what we her parents think about her behavior, though I know she would not admit that to her friends. It is also important to me that she respect us parents and our privacy.

I think Just Say No is entirely unrealistic. I do casually and periodically bring up both drugs and sex with her in the context of what her peers are up to, and we have very open and honest conversations. According to her, she’s not interested because she doesn’t want to lose control of herself. She has allergies and she says she doesn’t like how external elements can change the way she feels physically, and that’s how she looks at drugs and alcohol. Sounds very reasonable, but I am under no illusion that that attitude will not change. I have said to her that I want her to look to me as the one to call if she needs help in a situation that might anger other parents. I call it amnesty. We will have to discuss it after the dust clears, but I don’t want her ever being in trouble and afraid to call me. She is only 13 and we both know that sex and drugs are happening with a minority of her peers.

I guess my main point is as long as she is willing to be open with me and vice versa, I think we’ll get through this.

Karen Bannan from NaturalAsPossibleMom writes:
January 11th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

OMG! What a scary story! How did you keep it together?

You ask about my drug use. I was always the designated driver, the one who watched everyone else get stoned. I don’t know why, but that’s just the way it was.

That said, I have already started telling Katelyn that I will never be angry at her if she calls me in the middle of the night for a ride. My biggest fear is her getting behind a wheel or getting in the car with someone under the influence. I figure if I start now she will believe me when she’s old enough to be in that situation and make the right choice. Do I want her drinking or doing drugs? No, and I do hope she makes the same choice that I do. But I will be there for her if she doesn’t.

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