Last week, we hosted a party for Heir #2's 14th birthday. It was his first boy/girl party and therefore a very Big Deal. As the host parents, we realized that our job was to provide a clean area with plenty of refreshments, and then pretty much pretend not to exist. We thought we'd done pretty well. We were friendly but kept our respectful distance...no harm, no foul.
But we apparently blew it on the refreshment front. We've gotten so accustomed to the fact that we don't "do" so many mainstream-common things, that we've become perhaps a little clueless about them. We don't typically drink soda. (We also don't call it "soda". We call it "pop", but I promised myself not to use that word lest I get mocked by friends from outside the Pittsburgh area. Whoops.) We know that teens like it. So with all good intentions in our hearts, we got some. No big deal, right?
We picked up a variety of soft drinks and felt pretty good about ourselves as hosts. Cola, ginger ale, root beer...we had it covered. Only...it was (horror of horrors to the teen set!) the wrong brand. We served not the preferred Coca-Cola or even the acceptable Pepsi. We didn't even have the at least recognizable Faygo. Our cooler was full of Blue Sky. In all of our self-assured feelings of being in-tune with what would please them, we forgot the number one rule of that age group: Image (and label) matters. And the self-righteous hippie products from the food co-op are, we found, quite below contempt.
It only hurt a little, then, when we saw the puzzled—and then disgusted—reactions, as several guests did a double-take and scoffed, "What is THIS?" and then declared that they were Not Thirsty.
Next time we may just go full force and serve wheatgrass juice. Sigh.