WARNING: This post is going to have a strong whiff of high school drama, but the lesson at the end can be learned by anybody.

Friday was my high school’s Senior Gala, which is basically our version of the Senior Prom, but less formal (which I’m perfectly fine with). It’s a fun time, with good(ish) food, music, dancing, and great friends. If you recall back to your high school days, I’m sure many of the social events had alcohol involved in some way, whether somebody had a party afterwards or if someone spiked the punch (I’m not sure if that’s actually something that ever happened or not). Now I’m sure that some parts of this story may have your eyes rolling, but as I said earlier, there’s a point to this.

Alcohol can do funny things to people like make them complete scumbags. My good friend, let’s call him John, asks a girl, let’s call her Jen, from a different school district to Gala. John knows Jen from church, and they have been friends for quite a while. There’s another girl, let’s call her Jess, who is also friends with both of them. Here’s the interesting bit: Jen arrives at the Gala hammered. I could smell it on her breath, and she told me straight up. John, who is an innocent, upstanding citizen, doesn’t notice.

Poor John. Jen is blowing him off all night long (damn that sounds weird), and he’s just taking it. He’s being as polite as he possibly can given the situation. As the Gala was coming to a close, my friends and I decide to break the news to him, and the look on his face was heartbreaking. I could see the trust he had in Jen just evaporate into the air. Jess, Jen, and a few other people go out the side entrance, where there are no chaperones watching, to one of the cars in the parking lot. Sketchy, I know. They return fifteen minutes later, and appear to be somewhat intoxicated (I’ve been told there was a bottle of vodka in the car). By this point, John is onto them. Jess announces an impromptu party at her house afterwards, and invites John to join them. They get into a small argument, and this is where the moral of the story lies.

He declines, because he is an intelligent human being. He knows that they are not fit to drive, and that packing eight people into a five-person car is not safe. He tries to convince them to let somebody sober drive, but to no avail. So he does the smart thing and doesn’t go with them. He calls his father to pick him up. I give him the utmost amount of props, and the highest of fives. It takes a strong individual to say no. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many people ignore common sense.

I should add that everybody arrived at their destination safely. I will also add that I am furious at Jess. It’s one thing to make your friend feel left out. It’s another to make a terrible decision that could seriously injure people. Most Opponauts are of legal drinking age and are responsible drinkers, but to those who aren’t both, please, for the sake of all that’s good in the world, think twice.

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I should add that this also serves to show that there are responsible teenagers. We aren’t all reckless assholes.