The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

That's What She Said…

3 min read


I recently became brutally aware of the craze creeping over every home with an 11-year-old girl: Hannah Montana.

No, I wasn’t living under a rock last year.  I just failed to realize just how huge the phenomenon was until a miserable three-hour experience babysitting a group of girls over winter break.

My education began by watching multiple episodes of Hannah Montana on TV followed by a competition as to whose parent would spend the most money buying concert tickets for them.

This, of course, was after I was coined a “super loser” because I had never heard of the Jonas Brothers.  Apparently “they’re like, totally gorgeous.”

The money-grubbing children are not the only problem here; parents are the real crazies.

Paying, and more importantly doing, anything to get their hands on tickets to see the alternate personality of 16-year-old Miley Cyrus is ridiculous.

One radio station held a contest for fathers to race in high heels to win tickets for their daughters. Hundreds of men humiliated and hurt themselves in a popularity battle within their own family.

Tickets ranging anywhere from $64 to $4,000 are snatched up by parents. What exactly are they teaching their children?

“It’s OK honey to drain your college fund so you can go to that concert—you’re still young!”

The most reprehensible case I heard was the woman in Texas who forged an essay from her daughter for a contest to win tickets to a sold out Hannah Montana show in New York.

The letter opened with the line “My daddy died this year in Iraq.” Turns out, her dad is alive and well.  Not to mention, he has never even served in the military.

Through one letter, mom managed to teach her daughter dishonesty, manipulation, insensitivity and an incredible disrespect for soldiers and their families.

What happened to the word “no?” It seems parents are so desperate to please their children and appease their wishes that they end up sacrificing good sense.

I remember the days when a trip to Chuck E. Cheese was an appropriate award for good grades. Five bucks in tokens and an extra cheese pizza- we were happy for days. No need for a trip across the country to see a concert that we won’t remember in 10 years anyway.

The Hannah Montana generation is going to get a rude awakening when they find themselves in a pile of credit card debt from spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need.

Now to be completely fair, I understand the overwhelming need for tweens to be in the presence of the latest bubble gum rock star.

I would be a hypocrite if I said I couldn’t relate, since I did just spend a small fortune on a Spice Girls Reunion Tour ticket.

The difference is- the money I used to live out my 7th grade fantasy is cash I earned.

My parents did not pretend they were dying, rob a liquor store, or cash in their life insurance policy to indulge my desire to wear the leopard print dress and plat form shoes hidden in the back of my closet.

Frankly I would be laughed out of every family function for a year if they knew I forked over serious dough to get my groove on to “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life.” Add another year to the mockery if they knew I was looking forward to this more than graduation.

What’s a little college degree and job security given an opportunity to shake hands with Victoria Beckham?