Yes Mulan how did you escape under the circunstances that affected all of us, how could you be popular when we were forbidden to associate with classmates?
I got married in 1962, at 17, so I really think it was the times, and probably where I lived. Washington is a Liberal state, politically too. I was NEVER forbidden to associate with anyone. I think I recall it being discouraged, but my friends came to meetings with us sometimes, and it was just no big deal. I do remember getting an invite to the Senior Prom when I was a sophomore, and I didn't want to go with the guy who asked me, so I said I wasn't allowed to date outside my religion. My mother told me I shouldn't have lied to him, and wanted me to go to the prom, but I didn't.
I didn't go overboard on the worldly friends and dating thing though. I knew I would never marry a worldly guy, so it was always just fun dates from high school, to games or school dances or to play tennis or out with a group for burgers. My parents always knew the kids and they came to the house first for "inspection" I guess.
Another thing that may have made a social difference is that in the Seattle area, there were scores and scores of young people, and we all knew each other, or someone made sure we met everyone. We had monthly get togethers, either a dance or just a food fest, or in the summer a big beach party at the park or a pool or a barbecue in someone's large back yard. One of the families had a large party room in their house and we had lots of dances there. There were always lots of chaperones, and it was totally on the up and up. Once there was a get together I hadn't heard about, for some odd reason, so one of the guys drove 20 miles to get me when I didn't have a ride. The party had already started when they called to see where I was. He brought his teenage sisters so it was cool. I spent the night with his sisters, so he didn't have to drive me home so late after the party. We all stayed up very late, and were groaning into the pillows Sunday morning when their mother woke us to go out in service. Never got a break from that either.
One Winter (I think 1961) we had an unusually (for Seattle) hard, cold Winter, and the lakes froze over. We got a big group together and went ice skating on the smaller lakes and had a bonfire on the beach. Lots of parents, but it was for the teenagers. I think they realized in those days that we needed that association.
After the circuit assemblies, there was always a party, and it was "where is it?" not "is there a party?"
I remember some great times back then. We all took turns hosting the parties. I'll be there were 100 teenagers. Most of them are still JW's too, and all of the above is probably a big reason why they stayed.