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Justa Taste
Photo: Martin R.W
“The way you are is not the result of what has happened to you, it’s the result of what you decide to keep inside you.” -- Unknown

When I was in college, I had a girlfriend who thought she was cool and could attract guys more readily if she drank beer. One night we went to a pizza joint in downtown D.C. I ordered a large cheese pizza, and she ordered a whole pitcher of beer. She coaxed, bribed, teased and begged for me to have just one taste. I wouldn’t. I still haven’t. I never will. She ended up living on the streets as an adult, still drinking, still trying to attract a cool guy.

Have you ever thought about how ironic (or double-standard) it is that although society looks down their noses at the town drunk slouched against a street-side lamppost, this same society attempts to tell you that drinking is high class, romantic, and /or a must for those who deem themselves important or cool?

You have to choose

Right, wrong or indifferent, you have to make choices that are in your best interest regardless of what others say and do. Submitting to your friend’s urging for you to take “justa taste” can impact you adversely (in a bad way) as well as hurt your children for the rest of your life.

I work with teens and I see them struggling to “fit in,” I see them struggling with choices so they can have the friends they think they need or want. They are not happy kids. If they make the wrong choice, they regret what they did. They sometimes get addicted which adds a whole new unhappy chapter to their life. They aren’t able to enjoy healthy friendships, or sports or much of anything. Many of them sit in Juvenile Detention (jail for teens) and wonder what to do next, and say they don’t care about life anymore.

So think twice, or better yet, walk away the next time your “friends” urge you to take “justa taste.” Drinking when you’re a kid or a teen will take you nowhere but down. Decide what you want to truly keep inside you, and become who you really want to be. Enjoy your teen years in a healthy way. You’ll be glad you did.

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By Karen Patton. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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