One of the great moments in a teen’s life is when your parents decide to go out of town for the weekend and leave you home.
OK, maybe with a brother or sister or multiples of both, but it is a great moment.
The plans that instantly run through your head are epic. Legendary. You will be hoisted around on the shoulders of your friends at high school and carried through the halls. You will go down in history as the holder of the greatest high school party ever.
Of course, the reality is never as good as what we plan. I can tell you from experience, teens can talk a big game but rarely come through. My problem? I was terrified my mother would bust me. Yes, terrified.
Sure, I would have some friends over and we would do some things that teens probably shouldn’t have been doing, but nothing that would get us on “Judge Judy.” Well, maybe not.
Plus, I had older brothers who would like nothing better than to rat me out to our parents.
My son wasn’t as worried when he was a teen, however. One weekend my wife and I went to visit my brother in Arizona – we lived in California at the time – and he threw a party for a house full of teens. The cops even showed up. He confessed to me the second I got home.
OK, he didn’t confess at all. A neighbor called me and told me. I made my son go to the police station and apologize to the officers and all of our neighbors.
Yes, I did secretly chuckle.
But even my son didn’t have the guts to throw a party like one that was recently held in New Jersey with more than 700 people in attendance.
Now, this wasn’t some teen party. This was a party for 2020. The owner of the large house rented it out on Airbnb for some people to host a party.
And host a party they did.
There was free food, booze and more than 100 cars parked out front.
Now, I am not a party organizer, and don’t pretend to know anything about organizing parties. But don’t you think that having more than 100 cars parked all over a neighborhood on a Sunday night might rouse the suspicions of neighbors?
The owner, sensing things were getting out of hand, left the house. Smart move, as published reports say postings from the party on Instagram attracted hundreds of more partygoers.
Police actually arrived at the house at 8:30 p.m. It took until early the next morning to break the party up completely, and with officers from multiple jurisdictions.
Yes, people were charged. Yes, this was a horribly stupid idea.
This instantly made me think of being a teenager again, and the temptation of having a party while my parents were out of town. This is the reason I never did. Invite 10 friends, they tell a few friends, those friends tell a few friends and the next thing you know your parents are spending your college fund on bailing you out and you are grounded for life.
I wonder what will happen to the man in New Jersey who owns the house where the party was held? I don’t mean by the police. He might be a grown man, but you can bet his mother will have a few things to say about this.
Brad Jennings is Editor of The Ogle County Life.