Wednesday, December 05, 2007

peer pressure

I'm sure everyone is familiar with the tried-and-true parental phrase, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you jump, too?"

I had a friend in college named David. One summer, he had a weekend-long party at his family's beach house. On a rainy afternoon, he had all the guests watch his vacation footage from his trip to New Zealand. This trip included the new and exotic bungee jumping off a bridge. (It was over 20 years ago.) In the video, David was shown standing on the bridge, absolutely terrified, trying to work up the nerve to jump. He finally did, screaming the entire way. He said it never stopped being scary. I asked, I thought reasonably, why he did it. "Because all my friends did it," he replied.

"Um, David, you are officially every mom's nightmare come to life. You're the guy who literally jumped off a bridge because your friends did!"

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