Did you have a curfew when you were younger? I did - and I'm slightly embarrassed to tell you how early I had to come home when I was in high school. Although I never ever gave them any reason to not trust me (in high school, anyway) my parents apparently didn't trust me as far as they could throw me. All 4 years of high school I had to be HOME by 10:00. Unless I was with a boy - then I had to be home by 11:00. Have I left you scratching your head trying to figure that one out? Well let me know if you find the logic, I never could.
Having such an early curfew was almost dangerous. On more than one occasion, I'd be going down Rt 3 from somewhere on the south shore (usually the Hanover area) going as fast that that van could go so I could be home as close to 10pm as possible. There was just nothing safe about that scenario. Of course, you have to remember I didn't have a cell phone, as teenagers do now, so I couldn't call my mother and tell her that I was on my way home and I'd be there at 10:15.
I remember one night quite clearly, I was out with my boyfriend and we were at his friends house with a whole bunch of other kids. We weren't in the same room, I was hanging out with the girls in one room, he was with the guys in another room. I had to be home by 11 (which is humiliating when you are out with a whole bunch of people you don't know) and he came in to the room I was in at about 10:50 with NO PANTS ON! I kid you not, he had his boxers, a shirt, and nothing else. I never found out what the boys were doing that night, but it apparently did not require pants. We had a conversation similar to this:
Me: Um... you don't have any pants on
Boyfriend: nope. Don't know where they went
Me: Do you see how I have to be home in 10 minutes and we are about 20 minutes away from my house?
Boyfriend: I can drive like this
Me: You cannot drive me home with no pants on
Boyfriend: why not?
Me: Because I SAID SO, and also, what if your car breaks down and my father has to come get us?
that was him saying nothing as he bolted out the door to find some pants. I don't think I made it home by 11 that night, but I'm sure everyone was better off for it.
In college, when I was home for the summer, my curfew extended to about midnight. That ended up with the same scenario: me going about 100mph, trying to get home by midnight. That lasted one summer, and then my mother started spending the summers down the cape and I was free. Thus, the era of Meghan's curfew was over.
I still do not believe that strict curfews are safe. Now that the technology exists, I'd rather tell my children they have to be on their way home by a certain time, but not impose a specific time they have to be walking in the door. I'll have about a million different ways to check up on them and make sure they are really on their way home, so I guess I have it easier than my parents did.
I can promise you, my daughter will not get to stay out LATER when she's with a boy than when she's with her girl friend!