With friends like these…

A conversation last week with co-workers about the truly unintelligent things teens tend to do led me to muse on some of my own teenage stupidity…

My senior year in high school I started hanging out with a friend of a friend. I think I was fascinated by her life – she basically had no boundaries and at the time I found that exciting (now, of course, I realize how sad it was that she had no one who really cared what happened to her).

My friendship with Kim turned into a series of disasters that I look back on in awe. It’s pretty amazing that one person could lead to so many “WTF!?!?!” moments. To be fair, I made plenty of completely stupid teen moves on my own, without Kim’s influence. In reality, I’m pretty lucky to have made it to adulthood without serious injury and/or jail time.

A few samples of “Kim stories:”

  • In the interest of full disclosure, I was a cheerleader in high school. One night, wearing my adorable uniform, I picked Kim up for a football game, and she had a guy with her I’d never seen (this was a common occurrence). No problem – I gave them both a ride. It wasn’t until the next morning that I discovered the pipe the guy had left in my back seat. Gee thanks, Kim. What a great gift that would have been had a teacher or parent found it before I had. It would have been instant removal from the cheerleading squad. I would never have forgiven her the loss of that darling uniform.
  • About a month before I headed off for college a group of us, including Kim, used our fake IDs to get into a club on male stripper night. Two strikes against me for a) owning a fake ID and b) underage drinking. But where the evening really got exciting was when it was time to head home and Kim was nowhere to be found. The rest of us searched the club in a panic and finally discovered that Kim had taken off with one of the strippers. As stupid as we were, we at least recognized the fact that we were going to be in deep $#%*! with our parents when we came home without one of our group. Second act: When I got home my 6-month pregnant mother wormed out of me what had happened, and insisted on driving back to the club with me to search for Kim one more time. Believe me when I say trailing behind a pregnant mom through a disco dance floor cured me of wanting to hang out at male stripper night ever again in my life.
  • My night at the disco.

    My night at the disco.

    My final Kim experience took place during my freshman year in college. Set-up: My dad lived in Kansas City, as did my boyfriend at the time. Somehow I ended up inviting Kim to spend the weekend with me at my dad’s – in hindsight I’m certain she finagled the invitation for her own reasons. We spent one evening at my boyfriend’s house, which he shared with a couple of other guys who were in school with him. When it was time for my boyfriend to take us back to my dad’s house, Kim was holed up in the bedroom of one of the roommates and refused to come out. I begged and threatened for an hour, then finally gave up and went home without her. Oh, boy was it fun to explain that to my dad. I don’t know how Kim got back to her house 60 miles away after that weekend, but it wasn’t with me. In fact, I never saw her again. That weekend was the nail in the coffin for that “friendship.”

I do have Kim to thank for one huge life lesson: Listen to that little voice in the back of your head – it can save your life. It took me a year of bonehead stunts, of waking up on a Saturday morning feeling tainted and guilty (even if Friday night had been perfectly tame) just from having spent time with her. But I did eventually learn the lesson, and it’s one I’ve passed on to my kids.

So am I the only one? Anyone else have “stupid teenager” stories?

photo credit: Roo

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4 thoughts on “With friends like these…

  1. I was part of a trip to Italy that involved the offer to ferry drugs back to the UK (no thanks! I wouldn’t even buy duty free fags!) and a late night race around country roads in cars driven by the mafia. And that was a SCHOOL TRIP. All of the lunkhead situations – that also included a minibus driving off with three of us still trying to get in and a pedalo being swept out to sea and needing lifeguard rescue – were instigated by teachers!!! Funnily enough, our Italian teacher didn’t show up the following term and they never repeated the trip. It made my own stupid teen decisions look like small fry in comparison though.

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    • Wow, that’s a good one. I’ve known a few teachers in my time who would do stupid things like that. I don’t know how those people manage to pass themselves off as responsible adults…

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  2. Too funny! I have a bunch of stupid teenager stories, but it took me until my late 20s to learn the lessons I should have learned years earlier. It’s during those years I discovered that tequila is the most horrid tasting liquid on earth. If you climb out your window at night, make sure the cat is in your room and not standing on the other side of the door meowing, requiring someone let her in—my brother found me a block away, and drug me back home.

    Oh! And I was convinced by one of my lovely “friends” that it would be a great idea to skip school and hitchhike to a Kmart. When I got home, my mom was on the phone with the other moms, and I received three days detention after school, sitting outside the principal’s office. I’m glad I was smart enough to ignore her encouragement to shoplift as well.

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