Nail polish, magazines, CD player, CDs, & chick flicks, the classic starter kit for any tween/teenage girl sleepover in the 90s. Sleepovers in the 90s would start off slow with social time, which literally meant having a conversation, discussing the latest happenings since we weren’t up-to-the-minute on everyone’s lives, while swapping out everyone’s CDs in the CD player…a little, Ace of Base, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Beck, etc. Then ease into more activities, painting nails, flipping through magazines looking at the latest hair & fashion styles, “Are you still French Rolling your jeans? That’s SO 80s!” Followed by pizza & basically any Molly Ringwald movie, lol! Then once the rents went to bed the real fun began, we’d get all kinda crazy, stuffing our faces with Cool Ranch Doritos & playing, “Truth or Dare”, and surprisingly the group of gals I ran with were always up for a good dare! Finally we’d often end the night with a classic game of, “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board”, where we would basically challenger ourselves to see if we could be quiet long enough to attempt anything remotely serious, we inevitably always failed. Then, sometime around 2/3AM we’d all start dozing off. It sounds so cliche, but those were simpler times.
Fast-forward and now I’m the one with the 14 year-old daughter hosting a b-day sleepover and to say it is complicated is an understatement. Let’s start with what should be a simple question, who’s invited?
In the 90s:
- Girls-If you are a girl having a sleepover then ONLY girls are invited.
- Boys- If you are a boy having a sleepover then ONLY boys are invited.
- Agender -Not having a gender or identifying with a gender. They may describe themselves as being gender neutral or genderless.
- Bigender -A person who fluctuates between traditionally “male” and “female” gender-based behaviors and identities.
- Gender Fluid- A mix of boy and girl. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more man some days, and more woman other days.
- Gender Variant- Someone who either by nature or by choice does not conform to gender-based expectations of society
- Third Gender-A term for a person who does not identify with either man or woman, but identifies with another gender. This gender category is used by societies that recognize three or more genders, both contemporary and historic, and is also a conceptual term meaning different things to different people who use it.
- Transgender-A person who lives as a member of a gender other than that expected based on sex assigned at birth.
- Two-Spirit-Is an umbrella term traditionally used by Native American people to recognize individuals who possess qualities of both genders
- Intersex-A person born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside. (Source: https://young.scot/get-informed/national/gender-identity-terms )
So my daughter made her list and on the list there was a young boy who identifies as gay, thus he’s attracted to boys, not girls, so couldn’t he spend the night? Well, the rule is ONLY girls (girls who don’t like other girls), but, he could have stayed with my son, if he didn’t identify as liking boys, thus, no, he will NEVER be able to spend the night in our house. It saddens me that we have so many children who are trying so hard to identify themselves and in doing so end up missing out on some of lives’ rites of passage. In the end my son ended up spending the night at one of his friend’s houses out of respect for parents of one of the girls who spent the night & the young boy who identifies as gay was able to stay until 10pm, then he went home….did I mention it’s complicated?! Finally, guest list was complete, next up food & entertainment!
Food & Décor
In the 90s: Helium Balloons, streamers, & birthday banners! Cool Ranch Doritos, Pizza, Pop!
Today: No more helium! But thankfully the food category is one that has withheld the sands of time. Those Cool Ranch Doritos haven’t gone anywhere & pizza and is still a huge hit!
Her theme was “The Office”, how cool is this b-day banner?
Phone: (419)944-6205 (Jan)
Facebook Group: Sugarberry Lane, https://www.facebook.com/groups/2408159029229938/
She will make you awesome favors and gifts for YOUR celebrations and special occasions.
She’s ALL ABOUT THE PRESENTATION!
And SUPER reasonable pricing!
In the 90s: CDs, Games, Magazines, Prank Calls, Movies…might have even TP-ed a house (shhhh!)
Today: Games, Movies….Smartphones!
They started the evening off with games, Taboo, & later Apples to Apples, both of which lasted for roughly 10 minutes. They also attempted watching the Pilot episode of “The Office”, which again lasted for all of 10 minutes. The energy level was through the roof, the excitement of just being together with other kids proved too much for one party goer to contain, which then made it tricky for other party goers to really enjoy themselves. They sang “Happy Birthday”, cut cake, & had pizza. The boys left, the girls calmed down, & got situation for the evening, chatted, listened to music, & they were asleep before midnight!
Next morning I’m in the restroom getting cleaned up and I hear, “hello”, “hello”, “hello”, every few seconds coming from my daughter’s bedroom. First thing that pops into my head is that they are calling a bunch of different people. I bop in the room to see who they are calling and I am introduced to Monkey App! Talk about a BAD BANANA!
What is Monkey App?
The way the Girls explained it:
It’s a fun app just for teenagers, no parents are allowed (1st RED FLAG), you have to be 18 or younger or you’ll get kicked off. It’s a fun way to meet other kids from all over the world (2nd RED FLAG…talk about an easy way for human traffickers to gain access to kids from everywhere!). You simply open the app and start saying “hi” to different kids. And you get like 10 seconds (3rd RED FLAG) or so to talk before it goes onto the next person. And if someone is doing something weird or looks too old we can report them (4th RED FLAG…because a lot of teens will definitely report other teens for doin weird stuff?!).
What it actually is:
With MONKEY teens connect their Snapchat accounts and can “meet” random people via video chat. To sign up, they have to share their phone number and Snapchat username and password as well as invite friends by messaging them. Friends will get a message that says, “Yo (name) someone was talking about you…” Once they’re registered, opening the app starts a connection with another user. Teens will see the age, gender, and location of the connection and can accept it or skip it. If accepted, the video chat opens for 10 seconds, with the option to extend the time if both parties agree or add the connection on Snapchat.
“One of the top reviews in a google search (by James Grebey at inverse.com) relates how as new user he encountered older men posing a young girls. As soon as Grebey accepted their invitation to chat, he heard just the type of revolting things you’d expect middle-aged perverts to say to kids. So, until there’s some way to guarantee the age and gender of the user, it’ll be off limits to my kids”.
“Found my 16 yo daughter on this app video chatting with random strange men. We almost went to blows. It is a dangerous app that is unregulated and can very easily lead to the wrong people becoming involved in your child’s life. With all the sexual trafficking happening in our state, this app is definitely in the RED FLAG zone!!!” (Source: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/monkey/user-reviews/adult )
I shut that down real quick, picked my jaw up & served the girls breakfast!
What I learned….
Going forward, if we are to ever have another sleepover in this house stricter rules must be put into place regarding Smartphones. I was under the assumption that other parents guarded their children’s phones the same way we guard our daughter’s and looking back I realize that was naïve on my part. Some parents have suggested taking everyone’s phones and storing them away while children are at the party/sleepover. However, as parents I know we want our children to have access to their phones so if they feel uncomfortable at any point they can call and be picked up.
I propose that, out of respect for all the parents, Smartphones can be used ONLY in the community spaces at other’s homes, where parents are within view/earshot. At bedtime phones must be left in a community space together and not touched until morning?
What do you propose? How do you handle Smartphones when you have gatherings, parties, or sleepover?
Have you ever heard of the MONKEY App? What’s your thoughts?
Don’t you wish we could just go back to the 90s?