You know, 13-year-old boys can be disgusting in a burpy, farty sort of way. But I can cope (just about) with that. What I can't cope with is willful, disgusting, destructive behaviour. Like what happened at my daughter's 14th birthday party Saturday night.
She wanted a disco. I didn't want it in my house. She wanted to invite 40-plus people. I didn't want them in my house. So we hired the clubhouse at the local tennis club. I've been there for quite a few events and knew having the bar open would be a bad idea. I knew my husband and I alone wouldn't be able to keep tabs on 40-plus teen-agers. I knew that a few recent parties had ended with the teens getting drunk on vodka someone had sneaked in, vomit in the garden, parents who stupidly had gone out coming home to a wrecked house. That wasn't going to happen on my watch, I decided. So I invited the parents to stay, and a few kindly took me up on the offer. One or two of those kindly helped police the event.
There was an almost fight at the far end of the courts. I went out and told them all to go back inside, even the ones shoving their tongues down each other's throats. They just about obeyed. They kept going round the side, and I or my husband or a friend kept following them and encouraging them to join the party inside.
At the end, we congratulated ourselves on keeping things from getting out of hand without upsetting my daughter. We cleared the place up, then did a check of the bathrooms.
One troubled teen, and I know which one it was, decided it would be funny to pee all over a roll of toilet paper and leave it in the urinal. That was disgusting! I can't imagine ever leaving the parents of one of my friends to clean up something like that. I'd been watching him in particular all night. I saw him and his friend and a couple of the girls disappear into the gents' loo. I urged my husband to keep checking on what they were doing. He didn't know what to look for. I did. I should have gone in there. I found no evidence of alcohol, and perhaps the boy decided to do the pee show out of frustration or lack of respect. Yeah, I know it could have been worse. But I wanted -- and want -- my daughter to have good, well-behaved friends.