Before we went to the family Thanksgiving, we were at home visiting with Ashley & Chelsea. They had taken off together on Saturday morning to head up to the University Chelsea will transfer to next Fall. They went to see one of their friends who goes to school there, and she is also who Chelsea will room with. They have been friends since about 2nd grade and she's a sweet girl. She took both girls on a tour of the campus and explained to Chelsea what all the different buildings were.
While standing in the kitchen with me, Chelsea asked "Mom, what's the campa-, campa-nill, campa-?" I interrupted with "Do you mean Campanile?" She perked up with "Yea, that's it. What is it?"
I explained that a lot of Universities have them and that they were originally the bell towers for Churches. I also said that many of them still chime on the hour, and some play music throughout the day.
Chelsea said she heard there were traditions that went along with the Campanile, and wanted to know if they were true. I explained that yes, a long time ago a tradition started with couples signafying their love for each other by kissing each other under the Campanile at the stroke of midnight.
She gave me a confused look, and then she looked down at the floor awkwardly, which made that one vein in my forehead start to throb, because I knew that was not the particular tradition she had heard about.
She said she was told by a student at the University they had been to that the tradition now is that you prove your loyalty to the school by making out under the Campanile for one hour, starting at midnight. I asked what happens if you aren't dating anyone. She was told that random people will hang out there and you hook up with one of them.
Ok does this alarm anyone else but me???? I mean, let's look at the facts:
It's midnite which means it's dark, and romance is in the air with couples being there together. You have "random" people (guys & girls) hanging out near the Campanile. You think they are getting charged up by seeing all the couples there? Are we supposed to believe these are just super loyal students selflessly willing to give of their time to help other less fortunate students declare their loyalty? Uh, no...I'm not buying that one for a second. Call me paranoid or suspicious, but this is just asking for trouble.
I looked at Chelsea and said "Please tell me you can see how dangerous this is." Thankfully, her comment was "Well, duh, yea. I mean, that is totally stupid. Why would anyone just hook up with someone to supposedly prove their loyalty?" I was immediately relieved to say the least.
Then I turned to Ashley and said "What about your campus...is there a bell tower?" She cocked her head to the side and said "Um, mom, helloooooo. It's a church college remember? We have 2 churches right on campus and yea, both have bell towers...inside of them, and they are locked at night. So no worries there. I'm pretty sure no ones going to be making out on the church steps claiming to be loyal students. "
After we were done talking, I was thinking about the conversation, and I kind of got sad. I mean we never had "the talk" with our girls. It was more of a series of talks. They started out very innocent and minor discussing puberty and their changing bodies, and progressed to what the bible talks about regarding sex outside of marriage, as well as respect for yourself and your body, among other things.
One thing I told them was that I remember my Grandmother telling me that "Sex is a present from God, and it's not to be opened until your wedding night." If you look at it that way, it makes it seems so special, so precious. Something you look forward to, and a special way to show your love to someone.
But by saying "let's hook up under the Campanile" that totally changes that image from being special and precious, to meaningless and dirty. It's sad to think we have gotten to where sex isn't something special, but more of a recreational activity. Or even, something used as a bartering tool, or a weapon. Often times, it also involves violence.
All I know is that in light of this discussion, my daughters have my permission to be the least loyal students those campuses have ever seen.