Parents Who Let You Drink In Their Basement; Stressed Teens; Time>Money; Lena Who? (Sept. 8–11, 2016)

From: The Atlantic

“Good Parent” vs. “Get-Real Parent”
There was a kid I was friends with in high school who occasionally hosted drinking parties at his house.

Some of my favorite memories from those years were made in his basement during those nights, sipping on a Miller Light, being introduced to all sorts of music, goofing around with the guys, hoping the girls were impressed. There were usually 10-20 of us, tops, and I remember the layout like it was yesterday, even how the bathroom was decorated (flowered blue wallpaper).

We were really cool. The whole scene was really cool.

His mom seemed really cool, too, of course. The Atlantic’s Caitlin Flanagan would call her a “Get-Real Parent,” and not in a good way:

Get-Real Parents think that high school kids have been drinking since Jesus left Chicago, and that it’s folly to pretend the new generation won’t as well….Better for Charlotte to barf her guts out on the new sectional than in the shadowy basement of a distant fraternity house.

On other end are parents Flanagan calls “Good” — moms and dads who “think that alcohol is dangerous for young people and that riotous drunkenness and its various consequences have nothing to recommend them. These parents enforce the law and create a family culture that supports their beliefs.”

All parents start off as Good, Flanagan writes, but GRP get hip to what their kids are inevitably going to do — go to college and get sloppy — so they decide it’s better they facilitate entry into this lifestyle and be on hand if things go awry than attempt to fight a losing battle. At some point in this evolution, the GRP begin to “roll their eyes” at the GP for being so naive.

But how Flanagan characterizes GRP is not how I remember my friend’s mom. The modern GRP, as she describes them, are helicopter parents, raising their rich white children with all the trappings a wealthy upbringing can offer while ensuring their academic, extracurricular and extra-extracurricular needs are met. Think Regina’s mom from “Mean Girls.” They are eager to be cool; they try really hard to appear to not try really hard.

The mom I remember from my high school days made no outward effort to be a “hip” parent, even if I considered her one. I don’t recall her being overly obsessed with her son or his siblings, or righteous about her attitude toward underage drinking compared with the attitudes of parents who forbid it in their home. I think she was just busy: a single mom trying to raise a brood, hold down a job, make life happy. She trusted her kids, and trusted her kids’ friends, and we respected that. Her leniency did not seem to be motivated by a desire to prepare her children for the binge-drinking college days ahead so they could “learn their limits,” as Flanagan writes. She just said, “Sure.” And that was that.

Everything else seems like overthinking it when it comes to basement drinking in the 1990s. It was much simpler back then, without cell phones and Snapchat and sexting. I’m not a parent, but it seems the pressures on parents to portray a certain “type” of parent to their friends, kids and kids’ friends are greater than ever.

Back in my friend’s basement, a Good Parent could also be a Get-Real Parent. And that seemed okay.

From: The Philadelphia Inquirer

Best to Keep Them in Your Attic
A study to be published in the October issue of the journal “Body Image” found that just three minutes of play with a traditional Barbie doll made girls as young as 6 more critical of their own bodies. And the outfits made no difference: dress B up in a swimsuit or street clothes, the girls were still overly scrutinizing themselves. Maybe that’s because a real-woman version of Barbie would be 5’9 with an 18-inch waist and a 36-inch bust — proportions that only 1 in 100,000 women actually have, according to another study.

Dewey Drugs System
The American Library Association is encouraging librarians to get training on interacting with drug users in light of recent heroin overdoses in libraries in Virginia, Indiana, New Jersey and Chicago.

Totally, Like, Overwhelmed
According to a recent report from the American Psychological Association, teens report their stress level far exceeds what they believe to be healthy (5.8 versus 3.9 on a 10-point scale) and tops adults’ average reported stress levels (5.8 for teens versus 5.1 for adults).

Some quotes from the 4 teens interviewed from Cheltenham High:

I stress over how much of myself can I really show. I’m not sure it’s not a unique problem to me but there is a lot of myself I don’t show people.
Disappointing others causes me the most stress.
One night I was up thinking until 2 in the morning and crying and so upset.
Parents remind you that your life is not balanced.
I know parents will be reading this. I want to tell them that even if you think your kid is going to do something you don’t want them to do [like take on a sport even though they’re taking 2 AP classes], it helps them to have you on their team. It’s your foundation.

From: The New York Times

Fantasy News
Author Megan Abbott likes to fall asleep to WNYC. Sometimes she wakes up at 2 or 3 in the morning as the hourly news gets started and what she hears will “become part of a dream.”

Show Me the Time
A study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science examined what people believed would make them happier: time or money. Of the 4,415 people surveyed, 64 percent chose money.

However, incorporating the results from other questions, the people who chose time reported being happier. One theory is:

The people who chose time over money thought about the resources differently and had different intentions for how they would spend the time or money gained. Unlike those who chose money, who were more likely to be fixated on not having enough, people who chose time focused more on how they would spend it.

The elephant in the room: those who can choose one or the other are the truly fortunate among us.

The Newest Apology Tour 
Coming up, some of Lena Dunham’s lenghty “I’m sorry” for, according to The Huffington Post, talking about black men in a manner portraying “peak white entitlement.” That black man was one of the best wide receivers in football, Odell Beckham, Jr., and the apology tour kicked off b/c Ms. Dunhan expressed her honest impressions of how she felt Beckham interacted or did not interact with her as they sat next to each other at the Met Gala.

Her basic vibe: he didn’t check her out enough, but still debated if she was f-able.

"Despite my moments of bravado, I struggle at industry events (and in life) with the sense that I don’t rep a certain standard of beauty and so when I show up at the Met Ball surrounded by models and swan-like actresses its hard not to feel like a sack of flaming garbage. This felt especially intense with a handsome athlete as my dinner companion.”

The kicker? As of Sunday, no one was entirely certain Beckham even knew who Dunham was, or about her apology. He’s been dodging questions. A perfectly good “I’m sorry,” gone to waste. What a shame.

From: The New York Times Magazine

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