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Saturday, May 11, 2013

We'll Let This One Slide Because You're Clearly Still Wet Behind the Ears

Another -- sigh -- repost.  While my wrists are getting much better, I'm going to give it a few more days.  Until then, I hope you enjoy this post from almost two years ago...

We’ve gotten away, I think, from the many, many amusements that are provided to us, free of charge, amusements too often not seen as the social faux pas and awkward stages that they are.

I refer, of course, to teenagers.

Fuzzy, awkward, insecure, I’m afraid that too many people have stopped seeing what these mostly-grown children truly are and see only what they fear.

Baggy-pantsed ingrates! Hormonally-raging pups! Texting, sexting, foul-mouthed, line-jumping, no-manners-having cretins!

Or maybe that’s just on my bus?

Or perhaps we’ve stopped seeing so many of them for what they because of what we adults secretly envy.

I mean, sure. I’d like my teenage body back. Heck, I’d like YOUR teenage body back, but you had your time, didn’t you? And so did I. I’m not suggesting that we lie down in the middle of the road and pray that The End is quick. All I’m saying is that maybe you shouldn’t wear that tube top.

Or maybe you should. Maybe I would write about it.

Why have we given teenagers so much power? Frankly, I blame Marketing – and the fact that the little buggers have so much disposable income. Would it be wrong to mandate savings accounts? Yes, I suppose it would.

We’ve focused so heavily on petting the tops of their shiny pubescent heads whilst crooning, Hey! how ‘bout a new cell phone? How ‘bout you personalize everything you own? How ‘bout you travel blindly, assured that you are supremely special and entitled to whatever you like?

Some of them seem drunk with this power, sure of their omnipotence.

Hey, I would be too, if I were being raised in a culture that worships youth.

There was a group of teenagers at the back of the bus the other day. Slumped in their seats, admirably walking the line between expressions intended to display that they’d seen it all and faces eagerly exuberant, they were, as James Brown would say, talking loud and saying nothing.

Easily heard above my iPod, I gave in and shut it off.

“You know what I hate the most?” says the one clearly winning the exposed-underwear category of this particular pageant.


“White people, man. I just hates white people.”

The bulk of commuters around me, all white, go stiff and silent as the kids nod in agreement with each other as they run down the list of things they hate, these 15, 16 year-old citizens of the world. Me, too! Me, too! I hates Cheerios! I hates unsalted fries! I hates white people!

I turn around, smile, with my best Aunt Pearl face, into the eyes of the one who seemed to have the most to say.

“Oh, n-not you, ma’am,” apologizes Droopy-Drawers. He is mortified, and it shows in his eyes. “I didn’t mean you.”

“Oh, I know you didn’t mean me,” I said, leaning toward him, “but you never know who’s listening when you talk that loud, do you?”

And then I went back to my iPod.

I got off the bus a couple stops later, hoping they’d think about that: about what was said, about the future that they wanted to be a part of.



Geo. said...

I love these bus vignettes, Pearl. It's like somebody put wheels on old wild west saloons. You make it fascinating.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I hope they thought about it too but you know teenagers...oooh...squirrel.

vanilla said...

You are out to change the world, one "Pearl" of wisdom at a time. Blessings, and keep the faith.

Indigo Roth said...

Heh, they'd been Pearled. Tho I notice you envying their low-slung pants. Oh yes. Roth x

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Again with the brevity - and the bravity! One teenager okay. But in bunches they scare me!!!

Bravo to Pearl, champion of Commuters. Hope your weekend is wrist-action-free and healing continues. YAM xx

jabblog said...

After all, they're only human. Aren't they?

jenny_o said...

You never know what or when the "aha" moment is going to be. That could have been it for that particular young man. I do know that I had a couple of those myself as a result of being stupid :)

I wish I had your way with The Words, Pearl!

Lo said...

Bad enough to be hat4ed, but to be lumped with Cheerios and unsalted fries is just too much.

Loved this blog. Good luck with the wrists.

Daisy said...

Pearl, you remind me of Jeanne Robertson .... and this post reminds me of you, the bus, and teens.


Love you. Hope the wrist is soon healed.

Daisy said...

I think teens tend to say things when they are in groups that they probably wouldn't say ordinarily. It's a shame they don't think things through before speaking. Maybe the intervention from Aunt Pearl will be just what he needs.

Gigi said...

Kids...they say the darnedest things; don't they?

Surely we weren't that clueless when we were that age? Of course not.

Kathleen McCoy said...

That's so great that you made them stop and think -- at least for moment! And I agree that it would be grand to have one's teenage body back! But I wouldn't opt for anything else from that era -- the insecurities, etc.( I never appreciated that lithe little body when I had it.)

River said...

You may have got off lightly Pearl. some teenagers, when looked at, get quite belligerant, saying "what you lookin' at?"
Scary, that.
Clearly your group were better raised and still retain manners, while pretending they don't.

River said...

Sorry, belligerEnt.

Elephant's Child said...

The wheels on the bus go round and round... You obviously have the power of a cat in your gaze. The ability to out-face a teenager is impressive. Congratulations - and I am very pleased to hear your wrists are improving.

the walking man said...

What can I say...you would have gotten a completely different response on a bus here. That is if the bus ever came.

Nessa Locke said...

white people ((((shudder))).

scary man.

I feel ya.

Pat said...

Bravo Pearl!