Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

The girls attend a school here in England with "American" in the title.  However, only about 50% of the student population is from the USA.  In the past couple days, I've come to realize just how international it really is.

For example, yesterday I spoke with a gentleman to arrange a very last minute Hummer limo for prom.  Don't ask.  As we were discussing pick up times, location and cost, it was mentioned to me that complimentary sodas and a bottle of bubbly would be included for the ride.  Bubbly, as in champagne?  Right... the legal drinking and purchasing age for liquor in the UK is 18.  Since everyone in my teen's entourage is just a junior, I requested that any and all alcohol products be removed from the limo.  

How strange is that - the teen turns 18 next spring and could go pub crawling Fridays after school dismisses for the day.  She can request a margarita at the local Spanish tapas restaurant and not have to include the word *virgin* while ordering.  We're just gonna pretend she's still in Texas and won't be allowed to drink until almost the end of her junior year in college when she turns 21.  Realistic - hopefully.  Wishful thinking - definitely.

And this whole prom date thing.  Back in the mid 80s when I attended prom right after the wheel was invented, you didn't go without a date.  Nowadays, or at least at the school my teen attends, it's more the norm to go solo.  Only teens who have been dating and are established couples go to prom together.  They feel no need to pair up just because they'll be wearing tuxedos and evening gowns.  Out of the 11 going in the teen's limo, only three of them are boys and they're fine with it.  No one is moping (except me) about the fact that my teen and all of her pretty little friends don't have dates.  

In another very UN-American twist, it seems the school has had to procure a TV for the prom cruise on the Thames.  There are some super-dee-duper football (in America we call it soccer) finals championship games on Saturday and the boys were threatening to go down to the local pub to watch it rather than pay £75 per person (no open bar included with that price, though I wouldn't have been surprised if it was) to attend some silly dance in a monkey suit.  Therefore, the boys have been promised a TV so they can steal away to stay abreast of the scores.  Men... whether 17 or 47 or 97, they remain very simple and predictable creatures no matter what continent they call home.

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