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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Price of Tea

As I was reading the new Gossip Girl:The Carlyles, a small part of the storyline struck an earsplitting chord with me. Allow me to explain:

Avery, one of the Carlyle triplets, is a sweet girl who is eager to be accepted by her classmates at Manhattan's exclusive Constance Billard School for Girls. She decides to run for student liaison and- inspired by her recently deceased grandmother- hosts a sophisticated tea party in order to win over her less-than-friendly peers. However, despite the fact she handed out invitations to the entire junior class, only one girl shows up. Avery is absolutely crushed and cannot understand the reason for her would-be guests absence. The sole attendee, a girl who is somewhat of an outcast, explains to Avery that people want to go to a party with booze and boys, not a tea party to discuss a school-sponsored position.

The truth and relevance of this situation in the real world blows me away. Many of the people that I know love to drink and party every weekend - and some, everyday. I have never been able to comprehend the allure of alcohol. Does how much one can get drunk define their social rank? I miss the days of innocence, having tea parties with my stuffed animals. Is it so childish now? I honestly don't think so.

Though saddens me to think that this is what my generation has come to, I can't pretend to be entirely innocent. Yes, I have gone to parties and consumed alcohol, and yes, it was disgusting in every possible way. It still makes me nauseas to even think about it. I tried it once or twice, but it is simply not me. I could never be a party girl. I mean, I could try, but that's not who I am, nor is it who I ever want to be. I think many people get into these sort of activities because they are curious and bored, as was I. We live in a world where the media is constantly glamorizing the consumption of alcohol. At every turn their is another photograph of young starlets throwing back martinis at the hottest clubs. It is soon implanted in our minds that this is the definition of "cool" and so the popularization and cultural acceptance of underage drinking ensues. Well, I'm here to tell you that there is no point to this type of behavior. I don't, however, look down on those who choose to drink and party. I do think that there are more productive ways to spend your time, but that's just me. Drinking will not make you happy!

I don't drink (save for those few drops so long ago), I have never done drugs, and I have never smoked. I am very proud that I have managed to keep a mostly clean record despite having such easy access - and frequent exposure - to a number of substances. I am not proud of the fact that I was once involved in the party culture, but I put that behind me and focus on the present. The people who I am friends with now are more than I could have ever wished for. They are beams of positive energy who share my high moral standards and personal values. We have gone to church together since we were children and I am so lucky and blessed to have them in my life.

I want us all to embrace that child that I know is somewhere within us. Go ahead, bust out your teddy and have some tea. Invite some friends over for a British brunch. Have fun!

I'm planning to throw a High Tea & Brunch fund raiser at my church very soon, as a matter of fact ;)


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