Peer pressure is one of those behavioral concepts that never seems to have any positives associated with it.
I mean when was the last time a parent encouraged a child to give into the urges of his friends when it was against his better judgment? “That’s right, Billy, that curfew your mother and I set is only meant as a guideline. Heck, if you and your friends plan to steal cars tonight, then by all means, don’t bother being home on time.”
But on the other hand, if you’re a glass is half full type, peer pressure is actually a really great way to lead a life that others are sure to talk about.
“Mom, what’s it like to spend eight years in a Turkish prison?”
“I don’t know dear, but that boy Billy who moved back in with his parents down the street just got out of one so maybe you should go ask him.”
There’s no two ways about it, peer pressure can never be good can it?
While you ponder that question, I’m going to give you a little recap of the latest outing of our Dads’ Bucket List crew where we took part in a great American pastime that was born out of bad judgment – Friday night drag racing.
That’s right, we decided to let our kids see the flame of an overheated engine block on the family sedan with 23 months of payments still left on it.
From the moment we arrived at Atlanta Motor Speedway, we could smell that familiar race exhaust and feel the energy of the evening’s activity as cars lined up on the infield to get in their practice runs. We were all buzzing about what we were going to witness.
But, in order to make this a truly worthy Dads’ Bucket List outing, we needed one of our own to heed the call, get on the starting line and actually race.
And so, here’s where we come back to this concept of peer pressure. You see, that afternoon our only driving hopeful, Andrew Ziffer (a.k.a. The Ziff), left a voice message with a bunch of vagaries about being tired, having a headache, feeling bloated and being woefully shy of funds to cover the entry fee.
Without getting into every detail, let’s just say that over the next several hours I beat him down with peer pressure.
And guess what?
At approximately 9:13pm on a warm, breezy night south of Atlanta he put on a helmet, drove his Corvette out onto the track, spun his tires to heat them up, then revved his engine to the red line. And then?
Then he RACED!
And we high-fived. We jumped up and down. We looked at each other and shook our heads with perplexity. “Did he actually do that? Yes! You bet he did.”
So, I ask yet again, peer pressure can never be good can it?
Well, let’s just say The Ziff, his daughter Rachel and all of us there to witness it will not soon forget the night he went drag racing on behalf of our Dads’ Bucket List crew.
Go. See. Be. Do.