Is there anything sweeter than a summer night with your friends as a teenager? Dropped off the teenager at the movies (after two quick changes -- one into considerably less than she had been wearing just moments before, one with a little bit more, allowing that her father might be right about how chilly a theater would be). Minutes later, it turns out the local gang isn't exactly the fact-checking department of the New Yorker, meaning the 8:40 showing of The Simpsons Movie starts at 10. So what's dad's solution? After much cellphoning to various parents, I cart four fourteen-year-olds up the street to a Starbucks, because it seems like caffeine is in order. Another parent agrees to ferry them back to the theater later.
That's the non-urban life. Can't just walk anywhere, especially at night. And the friends live all over town. When I was that age, we'd have had license to wander the village aimlessly until an appointed hour (which would have been well before 10). Of course, at that time the local theater was showing "art" films, which sometimes meant '70s porn and sometimes meant art films, but in any case it was rarely showing much that 14-year-olds could see. And if we'd had a plan fall apart and were obligated to let the parents know about Plan B, we'd have needed dimes for everyone (for the payphones), and luck in getting hold of anyone, 'cause no cellphones and no answering machines, baby. We were way out there on the edge, man.