Thursday, September 3, 2015

I Know What You Mean

I don't speak "teenager". I actually don't want to speak teenager, because an adult who continues to believe they can or should speak teenager is an annoying adult.

However.

It became apparent on Tuesday night that I need help in the "communicating with your young teen" department as discussions about joining the track team were taking place, and I made the {so obvious} faux pas of saying--yes, out loud, can you believe that shizzle--that I thought Anna could run fast. It went something along the lines of "you're so fast, you should join the track team, I bet you'd be great at sprints". Unbeknownst to the rest of us, this is an incredibly offensive statement that was {obviously} met with a stare and a "don't call me fast, I hate it when people call me fast" retort. Which went something along the lines of "DON'T CALL ME FAST, I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE CALL ME FAST".

And I was super confused and so concluded that I have officially lost fluency in "teenager".

(She is, in fact, very fast. So there's that.)

A few weeks ago, I hired a neighborhood boy to weed my flower beds. I hate weeding flower beds. I really dislike yard work in general. And this kid has a little side business going, so really, everybody wins. After he explained to me that it probably would be cheaper to hire a neighborhood kid to weed (oh. I thought that was you?) and the terms and conditions of his company, he walked the yard and estimated that it would take him 5-6 hours to weed, so his estimate was $180. Okay. Wow. Not what I expected. But I was able to reason with him that weeding doesn't require any equipment, and I'd pay him $20 an hour for three hours of work. He agreed and showed up at my house with his brother in tow, ready to weed. Which they did. In a little less than 90 minutes, but "three man hours", he assured me, fully expecting $60 for his work. Hm. Player gets played.

After that, I needed some more coffee to keep my brain from hurting.

What I really wanted to say was WHY ARE ALL YOU PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 IMPOSSIBLE? (I might move that number up depending on the day and who I'm dealing with.)

But, I realized. Maybe it is not them. Maybe it is not that compliments are no longer in vogue and weeds that have grown up through ground cover should be carefully pulled, not yanked and ripped along with all the surrounding ground cover (I was maybe a touch disgruntled that day). Maybe it's me. Maybe it's that I don't speak teenager and have aged out of coolness and relatability and everything else and now I'm sitting on the cusp of middle age. Maybe I'm the one who JUST DOESN'T GET IT. Lord help.

Because I don't see people flocking to my door hoping to be my friend. I certainly don't hear people "blowing up my phone" to talk to me. (That's teen speak, FYI, which, I was informed, no one uses FYI anymore. NO ONE. Then we had a contest to see who knew the most acronyms. And I was like IDRK, IDEC, TBH, it's NBD. Really. It's a BFD. Oh, and BTW, I've recently learned of a new Tuesday tradition in high school called something like TT Tuesday, where one goes around touching girls chests. I'll let you fill in the T, because I don't like that word. It's crass. And only people who have aged out of being cool say crass.) And my Instagram account is steady. On the decline, that is.

So a girl can only conclude that being cool with the middle school/high school set is no longer in the cards for her. (Honestly--let's be real. If you are cool and are not a high school teacher or a youth pastor or Young Life Leader, then we might have a problem with growing up. Everybody has to do it. Just not everybody does it well. Look at me.)

So if you're feeling the slightest bit out of touch, and maybe even beyond help, join me on the back porch for a Hot Toddy and know that you are in good company as we reminisce about the olden days before these youth went wild.

The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, "Sometimes I drop my spoon."
Said the old man, "I do that too."
The little boy whispered, "I wet my pants."
"I do that, too," laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, "I often cry."
The old man nodded. "So do I."
"But worst of all," said the little boy, "it seems
Grown-ups don't pay attention to me."
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
"I know what you mean," said the little old man.
{shel silverstein}

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