Surviving The Dreaded TEEN PARTY

Posted by Dave

Did you ever notice that the mere utterance of two words can strike cold fear into the hearts of the bravest parents? Those shiver-inducing syllables: teen party.

We immediately have visions of wrecked furniture, rampaging hormones, police responding to neighbor complaints, and… Oh, wait! I’m remembering OUR teen parties! Kharma has now made it our turn to suffer exactly the way our parents did. (Somewhere, our folks are laughing their keesters off.)

For starters, just look at the dances kids do today – disgusting! And the music – if you could even call it music – it’s nothing but noise! (Wow – we really do sound just like our own parents, don’t we?)

But in that Rap, Snap, and Hip-Hop is a partial solution to your growing sense of dread. Because – as long as the kids are dancing – they’re not doing something else worse. So – how can you keep them on the dance floor as long as possible?

1. Let the girls pick the music. The boys from son Erik’s high school were into Classic Rock, which was great for me as a chaperone, but didn’t fill the dance floor. Downloading the girls’ favorites from i-Tunes resulted in a gaggle of gals packing the floor to joyously scream “Since you’ve been gone!” and other oldies (from 2006) in time with the music. And – wherever the females were – the boys followed. Obviously, some of today’s pop tunes have R-rated lyrics, so it’s comforting to know that all but the worst of these are also available in PG versions.

2. Remember that YOU liked it loud, too. In order to give kids the bone-rattling beat they like, but not induce permanent hearing loss, I recommend elevating the speakers above the heads (and ears) of your teens. Because there are no bodies obstructing the sound waves, the amplifier volume can actually be turned down to something less than jet engine-level, without the teens being any the wiser.

3. White lights are un-cool. Colored lights are way-cool. If you are the father of a teenaged girl, darkness on the dance floor is your enemy. But you remember from your own youth that kids shrink like vampires from anything resembling light. The solution? Strategically-placed red and blue-gelled spotlights, and plenty of them. They provide enough light for you to monitor who’s doing what, while adding to the disco ambience for the revelers. And – in the “I Would Never Do This, But” Department – the current crop of digital video cameras have military-quality light enhancing properties. Under the guise of shooting a bit of home video, you can see clearly through the viewfinder in almost-pitch darkness. (But I didn’t tell you that.)

4. Leave the dancing to the kids. They really don’t want to see your renditions of the Bump, Hustle, or Boogaloo. In fact, they don’t want to see you on the dance floor at all. So – if you feel like dancing – wait ’til it’s your party.

Oh – and one last thing: good luck. What? I said GOOD LUCK!!! WHAT? Oh, never mind.


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