Salem, I love you, but I’m glad my sister isn’t growing up here

For the record, I’m not saying Bennington is much better. But let me regale you with a tale of something I overheard yesterday on my way home from work.

My daily commute takes me past one of Salem’s high schools. As such I’m always apt to cross paths with any number of the kids walking to and from school. While I was waiting for a light to change at the crosswalk, group of girls who couldn’t have been older than fifteen were  jogging from the high school to the middle school, which is also on Highland Avenue. They also stopped to wait for the light to change and I overheard this exchange.

“Hey I got a new game,” one of the girls said. “Every time someone honks their horn, you get a point.”

“Oh, then I have a hundred points already.”

“Do cat calls count?” Another girl asked.

As I was crossing the street, it occurred to me again that these kids couldn’t be older than fifteen or sixteen. Maybe it’s the part of my brain that is terrified that that there are guys (or women, I’m not judging) of untold years behind the wheels of cars who are “honking” at teenagers in the vicinity of both a high school and a middle school. Although a part of me is hopeful that the “honkers” are at least teenagers themselves with their driver’s licenses, I’m more inclined to think that it’s the former. And just a couple days ago was when this happened and at least that woman was an adult, but it really does bring my home, which I’m generally very happy to live in to a whole new light.

Good for these girls for having a sense of humor about it and hopefully being self aware enough to protect themselves if the behavior goes beyond cat calls and honking. But I also have it in the back of my mind that my little sister is turning twelve this year and I am so glad that she is not growing up here.


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