Sunday, August 26, 2012

The PDA -- Or, Sweet Memories Of Youth

The Public Display of Affection, or PDA.  What is a young person to think or do?  This is my view on the whole thing, which may be entirely wrong.  Please do not be offended or feel that I expect you to agree with me.

My two daughters went to institutions of higher education where there were fairly strict rules about the PDA.  Although, at one of the colleges, there was some latitude.  PDA's were discouraged in the main campus area, but in the "lower campus" and off-campus, as I understand it, your business was your own.  The other institution, as it seemed to me, was a bit stricter.  A couple could be fined or at least "talked to" for PDA-ing pretty much anywhere they might be spotted by an authority figure from the school, including off-campus.  My understanding is that those in charge of running the school were concerned for the reputation of the school.  And, I do believe, they had the best interests of the young people at heart.  I do have a bit of an issue, though, with the policy of this latter college.

I  appreciate the idea of encouraging in young people the development of a proper social decorum.  In a professional situation, and attending classes at a college could be viewed as such, the idea of treating others in a more formal way is a very positive one.  On the other hand, school is not the workplace, so a little hand-holding and a kiss for your special someone as you see him or her off to class is really not that big of a deal, and is even rather sweet, at least in my book.

When it comes to locations that are outside the area of the school itself, though, it is my personal opinion that these young people should basically be left alone, with perhaps some gentle guidance from their elders.  It can be a bit uncomfortable to see a couple making out in a hallway or common area, appearing as though they are unaware of the presence of anyone else, but it can be handled with a GENTLE word or good-natured ribbing by a friend or authority figure.  I see absolutely no need to humiliate the young people.  And fining them monetarily seems completely ridiculous to me.  After all, these people are young, but they are also adults.

Personally, I remember my own days of young adulthood, when I so much enjoyed lavishing affection on my beloved.  (I would like to apologize to my own kids, if this is TMI.)  I would have been getting fined ALL THE TIME, and it most likely wouldn't have stopped me.  I would have just set apart a budget for PDA fines.  Rebel yell. ;-)

Yes, we need to help young people develop common sense about romantic behaviors.  But, we also need to have some heart for these lovely individuals.  PDA's can often be some of the sweetest memories of youth and of our early times with our spouses.  My dad, who I spoke of in another post, was very smart about this and the following anecdote still makes me laugh.  There was an old sofa in the living room of the home where I lived until I married.  The old sofa was eventually replaced by a new sofa, and the day it arrived, my dad solemnly announced, with a twinkle in his eye, "Here is the new couch.  For you and Chris to make out on."

And this leads me to my own PDA advice.  Making out is fun, but carries with it less danger when undertaken in a place where you can easily be caught.  Enough said.

This post is written from my own perspective on things.  I am not The Pope, or any definitive Authority.  If I have made any mistakes or you feel I am being unfair, please forgive me.  If you disagree with my views, I understand.   

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