Junior high kids are different these days. Yes, there’s the usual angst over boys and peer pressure, the age-old questions about why some girls get to be "popular," and why those popular girls always have to be so fucking MEAN. The Le Sportsac purses and Guess Jeans I once coveted have become Coach bags, iPods (and I’d like to know who exactly is paying for those, BTW) and Uggs, but the idea is pretty much the same.
These kids though, they’re all about identifying with things I had never even heard of back in 1984. Apparently there is a girl in Demigoddess the Younger’s “Breakfast Buddies” group at school who has been very vocal about the fact that she is not into boys. I don’t recall having any openly gay kids in MY seventh-grade class. And I went to a city school, even. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being an openly gay seventh-grader, of course.)
Demigoddess the Elder's friend Alyssa is a pro-lifer. I think it says a lot about me as a parent that I was willing to give her rides to play rehearsal in spite of that fact. I even managed to keep my mouth shut while she and the Demis had political debates in the back seat of my car.
Posted on the wall over in the school cafeteria is a great big picture of Alicia Silverstone, who was apparently named “Vegetarian of the Month” by the school’s “Vegetarian Club.” Which I guess is a group of kids who actively encourage their fellow students to forgo the cafeteria’s delicious oven fried chicken and tator tot hot dish offerings in favor of Doritos from the snack bar. I guess no one clued them in to the fact that most of those kids are “vegetarians” already.
And Last night over dinner, Demigoddess the Younger recounted the last time she’d had tacos for dinner. It was during a Girl Scouts overnight a few months ago, and the girls had made both ground-beef and meatless versions to accommodate the vegan members of their troop. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being an openly vegan Girl Scout, of course.)
Now, good beef brings me so much joy that I could never go completely vegetarian myself, but I do make an effort to buy meat from hormone-free, vegetarian-fed, humanely treated animals. This means that, for financial reasons if nothing else, I make meatless dinners once or twice a week, because that ethical stuff is freaking SPENDY. So, thinking that if she liked them, I’d give them a try, I asked Ms. Younger what she had thought of the meat-free tacos.
“Oh, I didn’t eat those,” answered Demigoddess the Younger. “I ate the ones with the meat. Because that's how I roll.”