Last week Brad, Corrin, Dave, and I decided to go float the Comal River in Texas for a few hours. My parents agreed to watch the babies and my sister, April, took the other kids to the Natural Bridge Caverns. Life was good and we headed toward the tube rental place.
We stopped to pick up a lunch and drinks to bring with us while we floating down the river.
We showed up to the tubing rental place and there were three guys in front of us. They looked like regulars because they had their own tubes and were just paying for air for their tubes. They looked to be in their early 20’s. From the face up, they were fairly decent looking young men. From the neck down, they were trainwrecks and pretty scary looking. They had tattoos all over their bodies. I am not a fan of tattoos but think that is a personal choice. However, when you have tattoos all over your body of different weird characters and weird sayings, that is just weird to me. One of the guys had his nipples pierced and had two circle loops in them. They looked very rough and I am going to make one more stereotype and guess they were probably drug users. As soon as they started floating the river they pulled to the side and had baggies with “paraphernalia”. I realize that there are LOTS of nice (good) people with lots of tatoos on their bodies. My husband has a tattoo.
We got our tubes and got in the river. The three guys were right ahead of us. A few minutes into the trip, we saw a group of girls that were on a bachelorette weekend. One of the girls had a crown on and a bright pink veil. There were about eight of them and they looked to be about twenty-four. They were having fun and I thought that my daughter, Paige (or other daughters) could easily be apart of this group in a few years.
The three sketchy guys immediately got close to the girls and started flirting with them. They offered one of the girls a cigarette and she immediately took it. She was having fun. This was a bachelorette party. The girls were drinking beer and I think they thought it was cute that these guys (who obviously could never get them) thought they were hot.
As we continued to float down the river, I couldn’t help but stare at them. The girls had no intentions of getting with these three guys. However, I don’t think these guys understood that. It looked like they were going to try and score with one of the girls.
I started to panic inside just thinking about this scenario. What if one of the guys offered a girl a beer and quickly put something in it? This could be any of our daughters. They were innocent and just having fun.
As we floated longer down the river, you could tell a few of the girls were aggravated that these boys were clingers. I told my husband that I would talk to my girls about this. The girls should have not started accepting things from these shady guys in the beginning. The girls were having fun but their intentions were to just have fun and socialize. I don’t think the guys had the same intentions. I told my husband that the girls needed to just go to the side of the river and tell the guys they were stopping and insist on the guys continuing on. I wish this would have happened but it didn’t. The girls were stuck with these three guys for about two hours. Who knows what things they told them (Where they were staying, etc).
I know that I tend to be over paranoid but as a mother to a daughter who will be in college in a year, I was worried. My daughter doesn’t like hurting people’s feelings so I know she would have been nice to the boys, just as these girls were.
I want to tell my daughters that when they go with a group of people (girls and guys), you need to be careful of strangers (even ones that don’t have weird tattoos or pierced nipples). Some strangers have expectations that once you start talking to them, you are obligated to talk to them for as long as they want to. That is not true. If you go on a floating trip and you start to feel uncomfortable talking to strangers, immediately cut it off and move on. Discuss this possibility and scenario beforehand and have a plan. Have a code word that everyone will understand that means “We need to get away from this person.”
I know that most people are nice and good but you have always be aware that there are bad people too. My friend Chris is a juvenile crime detective and he told me that teenage and young adult girls need to be very aware of their drinks and their surroundings. There are people out there (and they sometimes look like clean cut preppy guys) who use drugs in women’s drinks to get what they want. Alcohol and young people cause a lot of heartache. He sees it over and over.
The point of this blog is to talk to your kids. Tell them they need to go over different scenarios and what they would do in that scenario. My daughter will be in college in a year and I can’t shelter her from the world. I need to make sure that she makes smart choices when faced in different scenarios.
I pray that the young ladies ended up having a safe and fun weekend.
My question for you is this: What advice do you have for your teenage kids?