Rockin' and rollin' in the valley

The question on everyone’s lips since Tuesday seems to be, "Did you feel it?"

The 5.4 magnitude earthquake that rolled through town was a reminder that no warnings are given prior to a shaker and we should be prepared.

You may remember that I completed CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training a couple of months ago. Since then, I’ve compiled an emergency kit that I keep in my car and am in the process of creating an emergency supply stash for our home.

Even for those in the community that don’t want to be a ‘first responder’ after a disaster, the information gleaned from CERT training can make the aftermath of an emergency much less uncomfortable and scary. I urge you to contact Paul Dutton, local CERT guru, to find out when the next training is.

Paul is the owner of Paul’s Professional Window Washing on Foothill Boulevard. His number is (818) 249-7917.

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So, have you heard about Purity Balls? I was reading Time magazine recently and they did a story on these dances where young daughters are escorted by their fathers to a ball where the girls declare their intent to remain pure until marriage. Their father then proclaims his devotion to protect her heart and be a strong presence in her life, also living in a pure manner.

Usually a ring is given to the young lady as an outward sign of her vow.

There is a ceremony where these girls and their fathers sign a pledge to uphold their vows.

Some of the girls are pre-pubescent, though the idea of the Purity Balls target girls who have hit puberty as that’s when the old hormones begin cranking. I like the idea that these young ladies have given some serious thought to an aspect of their life that they will encounter: the time to engage in sexual activity. It’s not a question of "if," but a question of "when."

There are some critics to the ceremony itself, stating that it’s "odd" or "creepy." However, in a world where we, and our children, are literally bombarded with sexually charged messages, I think it’s smart for the girls to have a rational, thoughtful discussion with her parents prior to encountering the temptation of sexual experimentation. Perhaps it’s necessary to make a big deal about their decision to remain pure until marriage to counter the non-stop media blitz. And what’s the harm in dads getting in on the discussion? As their daughters get older, I’ve heard that it’s tougher on dear old Pop to be involved in his daughter’s life. The Purity Ball helps solidify the relationship between the two.

I was listening to a commentator on the radio who has two teenage daughters. One of his girls came home and said that she wanted a purity ring, that she wanted to take part in the purity pledge.

He wasn’t buying into the religious aspect — the Purity Balls were founded by Christian evangelicals, I believe — and he wasn’t crazy about the moral component, either. After all, he reasons, the "urge to merge" is a natural part of being human. He said that in the early days of human evolution, many people didn’t survive past the age of 25; the need to procreate was ingrained early. Now, with it being common for people to live well into their 80s, it’s a matter of evolution catching up to society.

But he still saw the value in the concept of the purity pledge.

What is the downside of a dad building on his relationship with his daughter? To encourage her not get involved prematurely in the intricacies of a sexual relationship, one that could end up hurting her both physically and mentally?

At the very least, it’s a chance for girls to think before acting and for dads to let their daughters know that they care for them in a deep and meaningful way.

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