Friday, September 12, 2008

Contributing to the delinquency of a minor

Last night Husband, Husband's Friend and Husband's Friend's 15-year-old Nephew (hereafter referred to as Nephew) went to the baseball game. The stands were incredibly empty. Probably due to a combination of tight economy, it was a weeknight, and it was Sept 11.

The game began with a tribute to first responders, the singing of the national anthem, flags at half mast, and a fly over by 2 F-18 fighter jets.

After the game (the Braves won over the Rockies), Husband wanted to go out, but Nephew has school tomorrow! After some discussion, Nephew assured us that he regularly gets to bed well past midnight, so we went to a bar. On the way over, they used my cell phone to call Nephew's mom to say "oh, we'll have him home in 45 minutes." yeah, right.

Husband said when he was a teen, he had older friends (uh, 25 years older?) who took him to bars and got him drinks while underage. He thought it was great and gave him bragging rights at school, and he turned out okay. (Insert standard joke that Husband turned out to be a lawyer, is that what you mean by "okay"?)

Slightly against my better judgement I drove us to the dive bar that Husband and I used to hang out in all the time. It's in Little 5 Points, a part of town that's like neo-hippie central. There's the organic grocery co-op, head shops, tattoo parlors, dive bars, performing arts venues, etc. It's just like State Street in Madison, where Husband and Husband's Friend grew up and where I went to college. So it's a part of town we like to go to, even if it is gentrifying and a Starbucks has moved in.

Anyway. We went to the bar, got us all drinks (except me, the designated driver). This bar didn't check IDs, so Nephew got his vodka and cranberry juice no problem. I also saw one of my friends and former board members there.

We finished our drinks and I dropped off Husband's Friend and his nephew at the nearest train station at 11:45pm, about 15 minutes after Husband's Friend told his sister that they'd get home. At midnight I hear my phone go off as I'm driving. At 12:15am I reach home and return the call, figuring it's Nephew's mom. It was and she wanted to know where her son was.

I called back and said "hey, I dropped them off at the Inman Park MARTA Station at 11:45pm."
Her: "They said they'd be home by 11:30!"
Me: "They did? I don't know anything about that. I know that I dropped them off at the Inman Park MARTA Station at 11:45pm."
Her: "I don't know what that means. I don't know where Inman Park is."
Me: "It's where Little 5 Points is, on the East line."
Her: "That doesn't mean anything to me. I don't know where at is."
Me: "Well, all I know is, I dropped them off at the Inman Park MARTA Station at 11:45pm."
Her: "Okay, well, thank you."

I'm thinking, Husband's Friend and his nephew are going to be in deep trouble when they get home.

On the one hand, I don't think what we did was all that terrible. Nephew's had an experience, chaperoned by 3 relatively responsible adults, that will help him deal with drinking and bars in the future. We all have to learn how, eventually, and heaven knows that the way I learned, as a 19 year old young woman alone at college with no relatives around, was not the best way. Thank goodness I came to no harm, unlike many, many, many young people. The worst that will happen is that Nephew will be very, very tired today at school. But who's to say that he wouldn't stay up until 1am playing video games or whatever anyway?

On the other hand, I do feel a little guilty about it. I mean, look at the title of this post. And Husband's Friend said that his sister was verbally abusive to him, so there's some chance that she will also be verbally abusive to Nephew. Keeping him out later could put him at some risk. But I hope not.

And here is another example of why I don't use real names on this blog.

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