In case you were wondering, being a teenager still sucks. I know because I eavesdrop on them like crazy at the park. I can do this because teenagers do not care AT ALL what I am doing. My life seems both boring and full of responsibility, which is pretty much the most unattractive combo ever invented. Sometimes I feel sad that they don’t know how truly awesome and exciting my life actually is, but mostly I am really glad that I can stare at them so blatantly that I forget I am pushing my daughter on the swing, until she yells, “Stop pushing my face, Mommy!” It didn’t take long for my kids to get in on the fun though. Now all three of us stare at them unabashedly on the swing set, and both my son and daughter fake laugh in their sad little-kid way at their stories, as if they meant to include us.
According to my research, teenagers still like to sing badly in harmony, they are really good at telling not funny, underdeveloped stories, they talk about “hot boys” and risky things that they never did, and their drugs of choice are primarily soda and “like two pounds of candy.” And they LOVE to do all of these things on the swing set.
The other day there was a boy and a girl who clearly came to the park to party. They each had a 2-liter bottle of soda and a pound of candy they had already done some serious damage to. Maybe you have never experienced this inebriating combo. It is basically the adult equivalent of drinking a fifth by yourself. My girls and me used to hit a pound of licorice at a sleepover just to get a little C-R-A-Z-Y and we would spend upwards of 6 hours giggling maniacally. Let’s just say our parents deeply regretted giving us that. These kids were in pretty deep. When we started our swing time, the girl was telling the boy about how her friend swung all the way around the swing set and came down on the other side. Though he was pretty lit, the boy had the sense to ask if her friend was hurt. “No,” said the girl, ”she just laughed the WHOLE time.” He was totally satisfied with this answer. Because he was sitting next to a girl on a swing. I asked my husband what sucks the most about being a teenage boy. He said, “All you want is to be THE MAN, and you are so not the man. And you think you are the only one who knows this, which is sad on like three different levels.”
They spent the rest of the time talking about how much soda they should drink before they went home and giggle-falling off the swing. My daughter was totally entranced. I could already see her formulating a bazillion repeated questions in her mind that she would ask later. And she did. “Why did that boy have a bottle?” “Why do they drink soda?” “Why is soda just sugar?”“Why did she swing on the big girl swing?” “Is she a big girl?” “Am I a big girl?” “Is my baby brother a baby?”
My favorite part is their worst stories ever. They are the best at not giving enough information to ever satisfy the listener. They always start out promising: “Dude, have you ever seen that video of the hamster?” or “I was at the library the other day and I saw this weird guy.” But then they tank almost immediately. “The hamster was doing all these stupid things.” “Like what?” “Just things that were so stupid. It was hilarious.” And “The guy was so weird” is actually the end of the story. My heart goes out to them. I recently re-read my junior high journal and it was really boring. It was primarily undetailed accounts of which girlfriend I was fighting with and lists of “who was there” with hearts and smiley faces around certain boys’ names. So, eventually we come out of it. But… my husband’s name does look a lot better with a tiny heart rainbow above it.