Monday, March 10, 2014

True Confessions of a Goody Two-Shoes

Goody two-shoes was a nickname that followed me around for years as a child. But sometimes I wonder if the sobriquet was truly earned. It's not like I really had to work hard at it. Maybe I would feel a little better if my life was more like an after school special, or at the very least a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) scenario.

Participating in D.A.R.E. was one of the highlights of my fifth grade life. Each of the activities were fun with an added bonus of being educational as well. We got to interact with cool police officers, watch cartoons with McGruff the Crime Dog and learn the importance of being drug free, crime free and simply saying no to bad behavior in general. What goody-two shoes doesn't love saying no? I just knew I would be able to do so flawlessly. I had the perfect scenario in mind for my moment of saying no (cue cheesy early 90s music).

One day the "cool kids" approach me out of the blue. With their bloodshot eyes and raspy voices they offer crack and promise me a spot sitting with them in the coveted school courtyard if I join their gang. "Give it a try," they say. "Become one of us." None of my friends are around to back me up. I am all alone. But I stand with my head held high and firmly say, "NO!" The "cool kids" start to come after me but get caught by Officer Friendly. Instantly I become a school legend for saying no despite the odds. The end.

Unfortunately that scenario never happened. My sister from a different mister/roommate (Katie) and I discussed this very sad fact a few weeks ago. We never had the opportunity to say no to drugs, much less anything else.  No one even bothered to peer pressure us. Not one single request to steal, try drugs or anything. To quote a line from her, "How do you say no to drugs when you've never even been asked?" I need D.A.R.E. to prepare a lesson on what to do if you NEVER get peer pressured. 

It's not like Katie and I lived in a bubble. There were people in our lives who engaged in less than ideal activities, but none of them ever tried to get us to join in. Sure we would have said no, but it's the principle of the matter. They could have at least asked. We deserved an opportunity to face peer pressure. It's almost as if  we missed out on a pivotal part of our youth. They took our fun out of saying no.

All my life I've waited for the opportunity to say no to drugs, joining a gang or at the very least stealing. I'm staring 30 in the face and still waiting. I just want to say no to something, What's a girl got to do around here to get some peer pressure?

How did you react to peer pressure?

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