Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Don't Worry Guys, I Solved Teenage Pregnancy



There's no issue that makes my blood reach the boiling point quicker than teen pregnancy so you can imagine the cardiopulmonary issues this story has caused me. In the New Amanda Order, all girls will be taken aboard the Magic Menstrual Carpet the day they become a woman and will be fitted with an IUD (originally typed IED, which everyone knows will be reserved only for the really bad girls) that can only be removed after a minimum of 10 years of hard lessons and ill-advised moves and multiple bad relationships and numerous evictions. I think it's silly to say that Juno encourages teen pregnancies. It encourages speaking like you live in an endless episode of Gilmore Girls. It encourages poor taste in soundtrack purchases. It encourages people to say the phrase "This is one doodle that can't be un-did, homeskillet", which is a terrible phrase to let escape your mouth. But teen pregnancies? Nope not buying that. Jamie Lynn Spears? Here's the thing. I only vaguely knew who she was before she was pregnant. Once she was pregnant, she was on the cover of magazines! Her boyfriend proposed to her! She got registered for presents! She got attention! She probably didn't get in trouble for anything because all she had to do was say "But I'm pregnant!" So in a way, though I'm sure she didn't intend to, I think she showed young girls that being a pregnant teenager brings you attention and gifts. Neat!

What amazes me about not only the Gloucester pregnancy story, the Jamie Lynn Spears story and pretty much anyone under, say, 30 (I only partially kid) who is pregnant right now is that it wasn't that I was "careful" or "good" or "well-behaved" in high school. Getting pregnant in high school was as much of an option as turning into a Mighty Morphin Power Ranger was. I don't remember my mom having any big talks with me. I don't remember any sort of finger wagging or head shaking. It just wasn't on the table. If I were to make a list of things that were achievable in high school, conceiving a child would have come in somewhere between leasing-to-own Wonder Woman's glass plane and being Jared Leto's date when he picked up his Nobel Peace Prize.

Obviously, I have the biological and genetic material needed to make a baby as did many, nay, all males at my school. But shop class probably had enough fertilizer to make a decent pipe bomb too. That never interested me either. Both of them would have been loud, obnoxious and gotten me in trouble.

I have done some very rudimentary surveying of the opinions of some people I know (read: who was on gmail when this story first came out) and the opinions are both opinionated and easy for me to cut and paste:

First off, my mom. My mom is actually completely qualified to opine on this. She teaches at an alternative high school which is where they send all the pregnant teens. She has a 17 year old student who, upon giving birth to twins, is now a proud mother of FOUR. That's right I said both PROUD and FOUR. And she has diabetes now too though I guess the good news is that there will be no shortage of Insulin Helpers.

Mom's response:

I read this story in today's NY Times. It doesn't really surprise me. I have even had male students ask me what was the best way to get their girlfriend pregnant. There is a group that encourages each other and there is nothing we can say that will mean more than what their friends are saying and doing. These pregnancies are not accidents. No program is going to stop or decrease this trend until it becomes unpopular to be a teen parent.

Thank you for being in the unpopular crowd.

Love you,

Mom


While the little slam about being unpopular at the end was a little brutal, I guess she has had time to come up with all those zingers because she hasn't had to babysit my teenage bellyfruit. So I will take it with grace.

Aaron's response (he really got into the 24-year old homeless guy angle):

[15:35] clearspider: so crazy.

[15:37] amandacobra: yeah. TWENTY FOUR YEAR OLD HOMELESS DUDE!!!!!! girls need to have their vags taken away

[15:38] amandacobra: pass your vags to the front of the class. they will be returned when you stop wearing j lo perfume

[15:38] clearspider: lucky guy though. that's like HOBO HEAVEN!!!

[15:39] clearspider: we don't need a condom in hobo heaven

[15:39] amandacobra: i bet that baby's got a great dna setup

[15:39] amandacobra: mom's stable, dad's stable

[15:40] clearspider: good, solid church background

[15:40] amandacobra: good support system to raise the kid. i want to see the scrapbook. "here's daddy's garbage barge we brought you home to"

[15:41] clearspider: he cleans up real good don't he


And finally, Philip says it short but sweet:

philiprobison: holeeee shit

me: yeah. 24 year old homeless dude
kids are fucking bad. i'm glad i liked the smiths and ramen and not making eye contact in high school

philiprobison: Yeah, I'm glad I had an incredibly chick-attracting propensity to wear vests over t-shirts and a super-stylish buttcut.

me: that's the thing. when i think about what i and everyone i knew looked like in high school, i know why no one got pregnant. we were goofy looking theater students. there wasn't a chance of that happening. these kids need to be put in theater asap

philiprobison: Yeah, if I have a girl, I'm going to force her to dress like a poligamist colony resident.

me: listening to the smiths and eating too many carbs worked well for me. i would recommend that

philiprobison: duly noted






And so there you go, folks. The solution to teenage pregnancy is all or one of the following options:

1. changing the social perception of teen pregnancy as being acceptable and cool
2. stop offering free teen sex to hobos
3. get all teenagers into the Smiths (will vouch for that one personally)
4. high carbohydrate diet
5. "the buttcut"
6. school uniforms for boys include mandatory vest over t-shirts
7. Theater Arts

Seriously, Theater Arts is pretty much all you need. No Theater kid ever got pregnant. Ever.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

PLEASE post a photo of yourself in theatre in high school. k thx.

meg said...

That new Baby Borrowers show i think is a step in the right direction.

kelbelle said...

I hope so. They say that show is like birth control.

Nate said...

How about teens start using REAL birth control!