Saturday, April 4, 2009

Peer Pressure from Grandma

Peer pressure is a part of childhood. Kids want so badly to impress their friends that they will participate in activities that scare or make them uncomfortable. Can you remember those days, going to a party and being surprised by a circle of your friends passing around a joint? Going to a boy's house and being pressured to engage in sexual activity before your ready. Well I can, in fact I can remember the first time I felt peer pressure.

My family was a having a get together/party over my aunt's house. There are a few people in my family that have the title aunt or uncle or cousin attached to their name. So with such a huge family I'm not sure exactly I'm related to everyone but I kind of like it that way. I loved our family get together, they were so much fun. The kids would run around saying the darnedest things and the adults would sit around saying the darnedest things. I feel in the middle. In my family, due to my parents having me when they were young, there was no one that was in my age group. Most of the kids I could babysit and most of the adult conversation were monitored until they just felt the need to kick me out.

My grandma was the coolest; she always included me in the adult conversations. My grandmother always did whatever it took to make me laugh. She is funny, sweet natured and down to earth. I could talk to her about boys, the frustrations my parents caused me and about any hope and dream I had. She was the person that let me know that it okay to think for myself and to comfortably talk about mature subjects instead of pretending I was too young to know what people were talking about. At the party I was alone with grandma in the den; I stood and talked to her as she sat in a recliner, sipping an alcoholic drink. I could tell she was a little more smiley than usual but I would not go so far as to say she was buzzed, she defiantly was not drunk. So I was shocked when she motioned for me to come closer and then to take a sip of her drink.

Confused and flustered I furrowed my brow and said "No grandma". She said come on just a little sip, no one will no. I couldn't believe my ears. I think I was 15 at the time. I had a few friends that started drinking, even a couple of friends in middle school that brought liquor to school, but they never offered me any. As a kid I thought that you should do what your elders tell you to do, but I also believed at 15 I should not drink. And why was she offering this to me anyway. Was this just a trick to see if I would give into pressure? I was a little curious about how it would taste and how it would make me feel. Adults always seemed to have more fun when they started drinking. Still I knew that it did not make since for me to drink, even a sip. I felt uncomfortably rebellious but still persistently I told my grandmother no, kissed her cheek and walked away.

I have to tell you that I felt so proud of myself for that. When I was 16, I went to a party and the kids were drinking. Instead of drinking I danced and enjoyed myself. I also look at the way everyone's behavior changed when they started drinking. One image engrained in my mind was of a girl in a tight dress. She was dancing with a boy that was standing behind her, grabbing her ample bosoms and lifting them up and down to the beat. I was no angel but thought that was a bit much for me. Still no one pressured me to drink. The first time I felt pressured wasn't until I was 18; I was hanging out with some friends and every there was drinking and smoking weed, everyone except for me. My friends tried to talk me into drinking but I did not feel any desire to impress anyone. I was having just as good of at time as everyone else; in fact some people thought I was drunk because I was so silly. Because I abstained I was able to be there for my friend, holding her hair back when she got sick to her stomach. I was also able to say no to sex with my ex. I t felt great to able to go home that night guilt free and tell my mom that I had a good time without feeling like I was lying to her.

Again I'm no angel. I did not make it to the legal drinking age, but I did wait until I was 20 years and 7 months old. When I found out that I could drink without losing all self control all bets were off and I drank more than I should have, but I'm proud that I waited so long. I truly believe that because my grandma pressured me first I was able to deal with peer pressure. I've never asked her what her motivates were that day but regardless of her intentions I give her the credit for helping me think under pressure and avoid addiction that griped a few of my friends that stared indulging too soon. You may not agree with my grandma's actions but you'll have to take my word for it, that her love is intense and that she always has my best interest at heart. Besides, cookie cutter grandma's are over rated, I'll take my peer pressure grandma any day.

How did you deal with pressure when you were a kid?


  1. haha this post brings memories, lool. Now when I think about peer pressure i find it funny and stupid at the same time.
    great post

  2. Awesome story . . . grandmothers are special.

    Peer pressure was never really a problem for me since I have always not really cared about what anyone things about me or what I do or don't do . . .

  3. yes great story indeed, your grandma seems so awesome! shes exactly how my dad is actually lol and i love when parents/grandparents can be open like that;)

    as a kid, i did feel pressure when it came to certain things. it was mostly about getting good grades to keep up with all my straight A cousins and brother lol. i grew up and said screw it! i'll try my best but for me and do what i am capable of a teen (hah only a few years ago, I know i'm young) i think i was the one who actually did the peer pressuring=X I know, i'm terrible but i was always the bad one saying "lets go raid your moms wine cellar" or "here put some vodka in your orange juice, nobody will be able to smell it at school" and "lets go steal from walmart" (yes I know, stealing is bad but i was a stupid teen and i regret it and i'm thankful i don't think that way now)

  4. @LazyKing- Thank you. I can't wait to hear some of those memories; no pressure I'm just saying.

    @Gina Alfani-"...never really a problem..." That's good to hear. I can almost say the same but one area I flattered. Maybe not peer so much as boy pressure.

    @love-"...i was the one who actually did the peer pressuring..." HAHAHHA! Thanks for admitting that. So YOU were the cool kid ; )