Tomorrow is my birthday! Yay, surviving nineteen years on this planet! Eat cake!
On the subject of birthdays and years and age and currently being eighteen, let's talk about all the unfortunate UnderEighteens.
You know them. You've seen them. You've probably suspected that they were plotting aganist you when they congregate. They don't have votes or IRAs and probably don't have jobs, either.
Truth is, they are very, very desperate. Especially in the Valley. Ever wonder why Parkland has such a drug problem?
The UnderEighteens’ lifestyle is very, very interesting. There is a distinct hierarchy and herd mentality that that has to sort itself out with teenage angst and a building of identity and a search for self and it’s all very painful and confusing and dark and fun. Kids get marginalized because they can’t vote and everyone thinks that they know what’s best for them.
Example: I would finally get my mom to drop me off at the mall with my best friend and then we’d go into a store and get watched the whole time because we were girls and fifteen and GOING to steal something if we weren't watched. It royally sucked.
When I was an UnderEighteen it was horrible. I didn’t drink and I didn’t do drugs and it was really boring. Basements and movies and sleepovers just GOT SO BORING. So I finally got my driver’s license and could go places and then I found Hava Java and spent five hours a day for a whole summer drinking tea and eating biscotti and talking and it was AMAZING. I found real people and I fell in love with all of them.
That place saved my life in many ways that I will not go into at the moment.
The problem is that there isn’t enough supply to fill the demand. I am not even talking about what the UnderEighteens demand*. There is a desperate lack of safe neighborhoods for people to venture into and look around and decide if they want to patronize around there. I drive around Allentown a lot. There’s a lot of love there. There is also lots of bad stuff.
Man, we have got to fix the bad stuff. I don’t know where it starts, whether we have to get more police or better after school programs or better community planning or more places for kids to hang out instead of get bored and start to use material possessions gained by illegal means and money to fill the void. But something must be done.
Those UnderEighteens are desperate. They need something, anything. Just throw them a bone, ask them why they're bored.
*But seriously, they do not even get to vote. They get to spend all their time hating that prison-school and getting all disenchanted with politics and adulthood and start egging houses. There’s AMC and Billiards but they are not enough. There needs to be more.