Monday, March 21, 2011

Teen Pregnancy Rant

We got two sundaes because we couldn't agree on what to split.
Last week I promised you a rant about teen pregnancy. This came up because last weekend when I kidnapped my TallMan we needed some food after going to the vineyards, so we went to a diner near-ish to the vineyards, but also near-ish to a historical upper class summer town which during the winter is filled with lower class hicks.
As we were splitting our cheese steak sub and before we got our separate, gigantic sundaes I over heard our waitress talking to a girl at another booth. The waitress and their girl were of a similar age, I'd say somewhere between 16-19, both petite, but softish in places and both decked out in green. The girl at he booth was with her mother, who had no front teeth and was mangy looking at best, and an adorable baby who slept on the toothless mother's shoulder. Had I given them any thought before over hearing the following conversation it would've occurred to me that the toothless mother was the baby's grandmother, but it didn't, so whatever.

Waitress: hey i haven't seen you around mumble mumble mumble in a while.
Girl: Well I have a Baby now so I can't make it as often.
Waitress: Yeah, I have a baby now too, he is six months old.

I immediately assumed that the mumbled section was school or church or work, or even around anywhere. From the other girl's tone when she said "Well I have a Baby now" I took her to be under the misapprehension that being a mother now gives her some kind of amazing status that non-mothers don't have, and that it excuses her from whatever the waitress clearly was insinuating was more important that the baby. For the record, the waitress sounded like she was just being polite and making conversation, and the girl wasn't even holding her own baby, so it doesn't seem like she was a really hands on parent.
Also, did I mention that she looked like a baby herself!

Now I've seen my share of lifetime movies about teenage pregnancy, and I'm sure accidents happen because of misinformation or lack of information about birth control. What I do not understand is how any teenager could possibly think that teen pregnancy is glamorous or fun, or bequeathing of social status. To me the girl seemed to be shirking on duties that would make her life better for her and her baby (job, school, church can all do those things) and our waitress was working her butt off (she had more than 10 crowded tables) on a weekend, and the town was having a big parade that day that clearly the other girl had just come from. It seemed like the waitress was being very responsible for her and her baby and the other girl was being irresponsible.

I want babies, I hear my ovaries ticking, I want to play with tiny baby feet and marvel in their discovering life. But I'm not ready for that now, I won't be ready for that next year, I certainly wasn't ready for it in high school!

But more importantly I don't understand where the idea comes from that having teenage pregnancy is cool, and that being a teen mom is awesome. It can't come from the MTV show Teen Mom watching that show makes me never want to have a baby ever, let alone as a teenager, it makes birth look disgusting, their bodies are ruined, and their relationships make no sense, with friends, parents or baby-daddys. It might come from the Secret Life of the American Teenager, because it glamorizes teenage pregnancy by making the girl seem desirable and able to still go to school and take care of he baby etc. I don't think the pervasiveness of sex in the media helps either. From Miley Cyrus pole dancing at her concerts to Glee's recent show about sex (which I thought was a little much, and I like Glee, sex, and teens being educated about sex) sex is everywhere, glamorized and marketed to teenagers because they are easy to market to and can control their parents spending. Which is a whole other problem about spoiled children, a rant I'm not really ready to give right now.

I feel like I've gotten off track... and that this is a very long post.
Point: Teen Pregnancy=bad. I don't know how anyone could think otherwise.
Also, on a $20 meal I tipped our waitress $10, because I felt like she has a head on her shoulders and despite having made some bad choices (condoms good, sex before you're ready bad) she was working on a better life for her and her kid, and lets face it I felt really bad for a teen mom working on a Saturday.

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