Saturday, June 25, 2005

If you thought you were screwed up at 16... "If I Knew Then...", which is Amy Fisher's auto-biography. I checked it out from the library yesterday (remember, I don't believe in buying books) and finished reading it very early this morning. It never ceases to amaze Chad how fast I can read something that I'm really into.

When this book first came out, I was rather annoyed at the title. I thought, "Well, the whole WORLD knew what you did was wrong -- so what was your problem?" But the book shows an Amy Fisher who's not what we all saw on TV. She was really just a very scared, confused teenager who thought shooting her boyfriend's wife would really impress him. She's now married with a son and she champions all kinds of causes like keeping guns out of kids' hands and turning national attention to prison abuse in the U.S. She included in her book a list of warning signs for parents of teens who may be headed down the wrong path in life. She wants in part for her story to be a warning to kids who might think her lifestyle prior to the shooting looked like fun.

I can sense Amy's frustration when she tells readers... "Don't make the same decisions I did -- look what happened to me." Chad and I work with teens and I'm always frustrated when they make bad decisions. "But all you have to do is listen to me!" I want to say. "I've been where you are and that guy is not worth it! You don't know how much you'll regret this in ten years!" But the truth is that teens sometimes need to make their own mistakes. It's how they learn. It's how I learned. Unfortunately for Amy, her mistake got her seven years in prison, and all the things that go along with that.

She also -- like me -- is a columnist for a small community newspaper.

Amy Fisher has a Web site at


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