Last night (K)Ashley and I took a study break to watch the new documentary-turned-mini series High School Confidential. Sharon Liese, the writer/director, followed 12 girls around from grades 9th-12th (2002-2006, which is especially relevant to me because those are the years I was in high school) and each episode features two different girls and the changes they experienced throughout that formative 4 year block. Last night we met Lauren, a drill team captain Christian who was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor and forced to have brain surgery. I can't imagine going through something like this, especially during those painful high school years. But girlfriend handled it with grace and control.
Then there was Cappie. Hailing from a single-parent home, Cappie hung out mostly with boys and began drinking at the early age of 15 (hello, who didn't?). The thing that shocked me is that all of her behavior was so startlingly textbook and predictable:
1. She didn't have a father in her life, and alternated between pretending it didn't faze her and being stark-raving mad and upset about it. ("Imagine going to your friends' house and seeing them hug their Dads and you... you don't have that. It's hard.") So, naturally she only had one good girl friend, who probably also struggled with Daddy issues; and though she claims she was "The Virgin Mary," she clearly had definite problems with men. She even dumped her best friend in order to steal her boyfriend. I know that not only girls with "daddy issues" are prone to this kind of behavior, but I think it explains a lot, psychologically.
2. Her mother didn't really seem to care about what she did. She knew that Cappie hanging out with all guys was probably bad, and she admitted that Cappie was probably into things that she shouldn't be doing; but her total nonchalance allowed Cappie to begin failing classes and take up harder partying. I think single parents are heroes; it must be unimaginably difficult to raise a child on your own. The problem wasn't that her mom was a single parent, it was that she was a distant parent, completely disowned from her daughter's obvious issues with men and with substances.
High School Confidential, overall, did a pretty good job of capturing the troubling issues teenagers confront when they enter that painful time. Not to mention it's going to be undeniably addicting. I mean, it's right up my alley: young people engaging in risky behavior? My favorite book is Catcher in the Rye and my favorite movie is the loosely-based-off-of-Salinger Igby Goes Down. Teens + drugs = fucking awesome entertainment.