Friday, June 20, 2008

In the News: Why Cabbage Patch Kids May Have Ruined You

Have you heard this news story that 17 girls in a Massachusetts high school --all of them under 16 years old-- made a pact to all get pregnant? They wanted to all go through it together. They thought it would be fun.

One of them, in an effort to do this, got pregnant by a 24 year old homeless man.

What a loser.

I don't know what is wrong with these girls' lives that they have decided that having babies with homeless men is a better life plan than going to college or, at the very least, spending their late teens and early 20s partying a lot. It's sad. But it's also sort of like, "Hey, you thought this was a ba-rilliant plan. Now look. Sucks, huh?"

I'm not being very understanding, I know. Ok, but how about this? If you are going to go be a moron and get yourself knocked up, at least pick a guy who's loaded so you can live off his money. Don't pick a bum.

I should probably be concerned that most of the fathers are in their 20s. But I'm not that surprised. Guys are creeps. So.

This whole disaster makes me think of the time one of my 6th grade classmates thought she was pregnant. After a few days, it was established that she'd "lost the baby" or something. In hindsight, I'm sure she was making the whole thing up, but at the time I did not even consider that she was probably lying.

She was 11. The father was allegedly one of our 11 year old classmates. And she knew she was pregnant because she took one of her mom's pregnancy tests. Apparently the woman kept dozens in her closet at all times.

What a mess!

But what disturbs me most about the whole scenario was the fact that I was not disturbed at the time. I recall sitting in the library and hearing this news from her during "reading time." (And this little lady could've used a lot more reading time, and a lot less free time, if you ask me.)

We all gathered round the table, as she discussed, in a whisper-yell that she was with child. I was seriously not part of the cool crowd, which she was (because 11 year olds who have sex are cool!), so I was surprised they were even letting me listen in on this important piece of gossip.

And as she sat there looking distraught, everyone comforted her. "It will be fine." "We can help you." "You'll make a great mom." "Maybe he could punch you in the stomach."

I said nothing, but not because I was scared or upset. I just didn't know the protocol for something like this.

Nowadays, when a friend says she might be undesirably pregnant, I know the protocol is to say, "Oh fuck!" followed by, "I'm sure you're not. Have you been eating less? Are you stressed?"

So as I read this story about these sad sad girls, I can't help but relate to being young and having no freaking clue that pregnancy is a big deal. And that having babies is not fun, not even if 16 of your closest friends are all going to be preggers at the same time.

It's only as you get older and you start feeling like you have a life of your own, that sacrificing that new life you just made for yourself is a terrifying prospect.

But before we reach that stage of maturity, the only understanding we have of raising children is from playing house. And when you play house, you can feed your baby doll imaginary food, and you can accidentally drop her on the floor a few hundred times, and you can forget about her for a few hours if you want a take a nap or go on a play date.

So in response to this news story, I don't blame the schools, and I don't blame the disgusting men who slept with these girls, and I don't blame the parents, necessarily.

No, I blame the dolls. And the social construct that girls are supposed to play with dolls. So that we end up with girls wanting to have babies when they themselves are still babies.

And while we're at it, I should add that I don't think it's the best idea for boys to play with guns and little army men. That's not producing fantastic results either.


Inono said...

I didn't have 16 friends with which to make any sort of pact growing up. Am I lame?

Also, the article says that the girls "went to the school clinic to get pregnancy tests and were very upset every time they found they were not pregnant." How many times does this have to happen before some adult gets involved?

Katelin said...

yeah i heard that story and it's ridiculous. i can't believe girls would do that at such a young age and even be so desperate to get pregnant by a homeless man, it's just so sad really.

rs27 said...

how dare you call a homeless man a loser, maybe he was just...

Oh, never mind.

Usually when one of my friends says, "I have something to tell you," I always blurt out, "you're pregnant" as a joke.

One time it was true.

I am not funny.

JenBun said...

Did you also see, though, that some reality show is coming out where some teenage couples, who think they'd be "really great parents," are given babies and have to actually take care of them???

Part of their tagline is actually, "It's birth control."


Phil said...

I think you may be onto something with your idea about dolls. Good call on that and also on the boys' toys.

Oh, and Jen, I heard about that reality show. My question is, who would be crazy enough to offer up their babies to high schoolers to take care of? Seems to me no sane parent would do so.

surviving myself said...

Imagine what those kids are gonna be like.

A gang of idiots, that's what I'm guessing. At least they'll have each other.

Corinne said...

I once received a Cabbage Patch Doll at one of my birthday parties.

My and my friends sat in a circle and enjoyed (well, I enjoyed) a nice time unwrapping my gifts. I unwrapped the box containing the doll and took one solemn look at it, as my friends stared in jealousy. I guess they were pretty popular.

"Um, thanks. But what am I supposed to do with this?" I asked, untactfully. Then I flung the poor doll aside and picked up the next present from the pile. Oh, I was such a precious little thing, wasn't I?

Now, as an adult, I dislike babies and children. The majority of my dolls consisted of Hush Puppies and My Little Ponies.

And I am indeed obsessed getting dogs. And a unicorn that can produce bubbles.

miss clover said...

a twenty-four year old homeless person is probably a lot like a lot of twenty-four year olds. he was probably the cute stoner they all brought weed from. either way, i think the "homeless" part takes away from how young he is and when you take that into consideration, it's probably not what you think of when you hear "homeless person", which is a fifty-year old meth head that smells like baby diapers. although maybe he was vile. who knows.

i do know those girls are losers.

Peter said...

I blame the parents.

And I suspect these chicks will be even worse as parents.

Also, I really gotta start getting out more. If even homeless dudes are getting laid...

Tia said...

uhm. i never had baby dolls. only my little ponies. mainly because i loved their hair.

i'm 27, and the idea of having a baby still freaks me out a little. 10 years ago i probably would've had a heart attack.