Today, I thought I would talk about the time I first learned about peer pressure and the fact that just because someone acts like they want to be friends, it may not be so.
But first, a little backstory:
Every once in awhile Dad would have babysitting duty. His idea of babysitting was to have some tickle wars, maybe a story or two, and then nap time. I was a no-go on the nap time part, so sometimes he would drag the couch in front of the door and take a nap himself. I and little brother was supposed to entertain ourselves by watching cartoons on TV or quietly play on the floor. He felt we were safe because the couch kept us contained in one room.
Or so he thought.
Bored one day, Tim and I crawled over Dad WHILE HE SLEPT ON THE COUCH and dropped over the back of the sofa into the next room. We were so proud of ourselves, we giggled in delight which woke Dad up and alerted him to trouble.
Another day, I don't know what Tim was doing, probably sleeping, but I climbed up and over the couch by myself. I decided to go outside to play.
Back in that era, in the neighborhood I lived in, kids roamed the block playing in each other's yards. A neighbor girl happened to be outside. One that I barely recognized. We struck up a conversation. It's a little hazy now but I think we might have been climbing a tree. Anyway, she said she was thirsty. She wondered if we could go inside my house and get a drink?
Ever one to court approval, of course I said yes. We came up the stairs to our apartment and entered by the back door. As soon as we came into the kitchen her eyes fell on the carton of Pepsi bottles sitting on the floor.
One of our little family traditions was that we got one carton of Pepsi a week. It was for pizza night on Saturdays when we watched Perry Mason and broke out a Pepsi bottle or two. There were 8 bottles in a carton and it had to last the whole week for the whole family.
There were 3 bottles left when the neighbor girl said longingly, "Oh, I love Pepsi. Can I have some?"
I felt grown up and important as I said, "Why sure you can!" After all, we have to be nice to guests, right?
When ALL the Pepsi bottles were empty, the neighbor girl suddenly had to leave. I don't remember ever seeing her again ...
When my parents found out what had happened, they were mad. This is the first time I ever heard the phrase, "If everyone else jumped off the bridge, would you do it, too?" I learned just because someone suggests you do something doesn't mean it is a good decision.
I wish I could say I learned that lesson perfectly the first time!
This post is #8 in my series, 31 Days of Life Stories. Hundreds of writers are linking up at the 31 Day Writing Challenge hosted by Crystal Stine. There is a wealth of information on many topics. Go visit and see! I'll be posting under the category "Inspiration and Faith."