Here’s Why Your Teenage Daughter Should Be a True Crime Fan
You Won’t Have to Nag Her About Safety. Plus, It Could Save Her Life.
Last Saturday night, my line dancing at the Grizzly Rose was put on hold by a can of pepper spray. Here I was, standing in line with my twenty-one-year-old daughter, two of her sorority sisters, and another mom when the bouncer opened one of our Alpha Chi’s purses and discovered it. The girls argued that they felt safer keeping it with them; the bar most definitely did not. Perhaps they’ve seen some ugly things happen when chemical weapons and chugged alcohol are in the same room. So, she and the other mom trekked back to the car to hide her safety blanket under the car seat. The rest of us waited.
The last time I went line dancing, I was older than my daughter but not by much. I don’t think pepper spray was around back then. If it was, I sure didn’t know about it. Safety just wasn’t something we thought about on a Saturday night. It wasn’t that I didn’t know bad things happened. They just wouldn’t happen to me.
That’s not the world my kids live in. They know bad things happen. Hell, they listen to stories about bad things that have happened all the time; all of my kids are true crime junkies. Perhaps it’s inevitable that, when your mom is a forensic psychologist who writes about serial killers and interviews psychopaths, an interest in the dark side of human nature rubs off. And I don’t know that it’s necessarily a bad thing, although I have mixed feelings about it.
Back in the Day
There’s something extraordinary about blind ignorance, especially when you’re young. It inspires risks and revelry and reckless abandon. Think about the first time you fell in love; I don’t know about you, but I was “all in” in a way I could never quite repeat once my heart got shattered into a million pieces. I wouldn’t trade that reckless abandon for anything — nor would I sign up for the pain that came afterward.
I’m glad I didn’t know about the soaring murder during my partying prime or that I was growing up during the “heyday” of serial killers. But I had other safety nets to keep me out of harm’s way. I grew up in a small town in a middle-class neighborhood where hitchhiking was frowned…