tell me what self-respect is

“Mom, I’m not going to get pregnant. I’m not going to do drugs. I just want to hang out with my friends, get some drinks, and have some fun.”

The first time I saw those words on a Facebook friend’s update status, I paused. And those words ring in my ears ever since.

They may not be the exact words, for it’s been years since she posted her status. I’m not close with her, in fact, we barely know each others’ names. She is a friend of a friend, and she is, from what I see on Facebook, the soul of the party.

Chatting with a male friend whose life operates both day and night, I find myself uttering the question of what self-respect is.

Of course, one’s values differ from another, and what’s wrong in having nights of fun? Either way, I know, it’s not my place to judge.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of alcohol. In fact, I drink alcohol for pleasure. A glass of wine or two at a celebration, a small glass of Baileys with ice at some nights, or my favourite, a glass of port.

I have never been drunk or tipsy, and I’m not intending to. I enjoy a company of a drink on my sleepless nights, and I enjoy a glass of ice wine during Chinese New Year, Christmas dinner, or other celebrations. Alcohol is a good ice-breaker, I’d say.

I’m not an against-going-to-a-bar person. In fact, chatting with an old friend with drinks would be lovely.

But I’m definitely against the hard-rock music that screams at your ears, and the fun that they claim to have; from drinking shots, going tipsy, smoking cigarettes, smoking shisha, and occasionally, some one-night-stands.

And don’t get me wrong a second time. I have nothing against clubbing, but I have something against those who don’t know where to draw the line of having enough. Not all people go there to get drunk and God knows what else, I believe. Sadly, some people do.

I just can’t believe that among those people, some are my friends.

I heard that one guy just takes one subject per semester and I have no idea what he’s doing in his very free time. Another has been dealing with drugs. Another has proclaimed himself to be ‘open’. One girl got anorexic. Many become alcoholic – drinking, clubbing, and smoking like life’s not fragile.

Two years out of high school, and this is the news that I heard.

If I could rewind the time and look at our innocent faces a couple of years back, I would, so that my impressions of my friends would be forever pure.

So that I would not be asking what on earth has happened, or why did it happen.

I wonder if their parents are questioning the same thing.

But again, it’s not my place to judge.

I just hope they all know what they are doing.

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