Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Teenage Drama on the Erin Front

For some unforeseen reason teenagers like me. And to qualify that I mean teenagers other than my 16 year old sister and my 14 year old daughter. I have some uncomfortable run ins with teens before but generally speaking I've noticed that teens like me and like talking with me.

That being said I usually can't stand them. Any of them. My oldest daughter Rose has one passably ok girlfriend who I have had a lot of pretty good interactions with. She makes me laugh. But as time passes I can't help but side with Rose when the two of them argue and I also can't help but dislike her more and more each time. 

One teenage girl I have met fairly recently makes me cringe daily but also makes me feel an incredible empathy towards her. I would never want to be under 20 ever again or certainly as much as I love my parents would I ever want to live with them again. 

I know this girls mom and like her very much too. I can see the same naive and sweet quality in them. They're just interested in what's going on around them but so unassuming in their character that you know they both have been screwed over in different capacities.

The mom looks into my eyes when I am talking to her and when I falter trying to explain something she lifts her chin up in this very supportive way like the way a parent looks at a child struggling to read a word they're unfamiliar with. 

I have a bad habit of 'falling in love' with people and obsessing over them. I think it comes from being the oldest of five children, all of my siblings much too young to be my friend or confidant. So I have always been searching for that best friend, that soldier on the Erin Front fighting for me. So in a defense against my nature and the times I have been screwed over because of it I keep most people, even people I like very much, at arms length. 

Regardless this teen girl and her friend had a cringe-worthy conversation I overheard this afternoon that I have been going over again in my head. 

It starts with my erstwhile teenage sort of friend whining loudly:

"I need a job. I need money. I want to get my hair cut and my hair dyed like now. Omg life sucks."

"I need money too!"

"What!? You have anything you want. You have like money to show. Like Cat says she has all of this cash and she ain't really got nothing."

"You should just like ask your mom to get your hair cut. Like she could take you or something."

"She doesn't let me dye my hair. That's why I need to get money cause she won't give me none."

I know this is an innocent conversation and I am well aware that I probably had several million conversations in my young life that would make me gag today if I heard those conversations retold. But something today made me want to scream and shout. 

We are living in comparative poverty as the 99% while our government and the 1% are stripping us of our rights and our ability to make a fruitful living! 

College educations are worth nothing because of the masses of educational debt plaguing us! You can be paying on four year degree every month with a payment of $300 plus that never ends while you're making $10 an hour! 

Youths are being shot in the street and outside their homes because of their color or their economic standing by a violent fraternal order of police who act without fear of punishment or retribution. 

Politicians sit high on the hill ruling us like a fucking oligarchy while we sit idly by thankful for our roads and the aforementioned corrupt police force. 

Don't you see what is falling apart around us while you're dicking around complaining about your fucking hair? 

The youth should lead us! 

Or wait. Here's where the anger and annoyance leaves me completely. It's not this girls fault. It's not her friend's fault or her teacher's fault. 

It's my place to start demanding change and standing up for my rights so these kids will learn from my example. I am the adult! I have the power and the intelligence and the wherewithal.

Then again I wish my mom would give me money so I could get a haircut too. 


Mwa said...

Ha! I always fall in love with people and obsess about them too! I am the oldest of four... Does that really have something to do with it? I always stay at arm's length, too.

erin said...

I really do think it has something to do with it. Although there were a lot of benefits to being the oldest I always felt closer to my parents than my siblings and that could get lonely because my parents were adults. Now that I'm older I find it easier to fight those obsessions with new people because I have four built in best friends in my siblings. But when I was 17 and then were 13, 10, 9 and 2 it was a different story.