The Care and Feeding of Teenage Girls

My child is 12. I’m already pretty much done with the attitude and the unending requests for her to do things that I refuse to allow her to do (including, but not limited to, dying her hair blue, wearing makeup and text-messaging her friends 3,000 times a month*). Each day is a new challenge, as she comes up with new things that deem me more and more ‘uncool.’

Our current issues are music, clothes and her attitude (although, she does not feel any of these things are ‘issues,’ in particular, the last thing).

Each morning, I drive the princess to school and each morning I am on the receiving end of her forked little tongue informing me that whatever song is on the radio is the worst song in the world and only 90-year-olds like myself think it’s cool. This playlist is wide-ranging and cuts through every genre, from the Beatles to Barry Manilow to Green Day. It really doesn’t matter if she LIKES the song. What matters is that I STOPPED on the song before she could submit her vote.

Apparently, the previous 11 years have taught her nothing about the sanctity of Car DJ. If I own the car, I get to pick the jam, amiright? Being the immature asshole I am, I retaliate the best way I know how…singing along to the worst of the lot. If I happen to be super lucky on any given morning, I’ll find a little diddy from Culture Club or Rick Astley (she has a white hot hate for Rick Astley…which, as it turns out, MOST people do).

Clothing choices also rank fairly high. I’m quite tempted to take a picture of this child’s closet so you can see the absolute wealth of clothes this kid has. She has way more clothes than I ever did at her age…hell, she has more clothes than I do now. Between me, her grandmother and her 17-year-old cousins, she is on the receiving end of a LOT of really cute stuff. However, she chooses to wear either black track pants or black cut-off track pants and a sickly gray-brown colored hoodie. With wheel-less Heelys. All winter, I couldn’t get her out of flip-flops and now that it’s spring, she insists on wearing these clunky, ugly-ass shoes.** I’ve asked her numerous times to shake things up a bit and add some color. She’s having no part of that, so I send her to school each day looking like she’s about 3 steps away from changing her name to Pestilentia and spending weekends in the woods drawing pentagrams. You can understand my reluctance to take her shopping at Hot Topic, no matter how much she whines about it.

[sidebar: Have you ever sneezed so hard you snap your spine clean in half? Yeah, I just did that.]

I get that she’s in some sort of ‘finding herself’ thing that all girls go through around this age. I don’t have to like it, though. I’m also fully cognizant of the fact that this is the karma my mama always warned me about coming back and biting me square in my big ass. I was admittedly pretty rotten and smarmy as a teen. I’m paying for it now, fo’ sho’.

It’s only going to get worse, too. Today’s amateur goth is tomorrow’s black-leathered human tackle box. Of course, in MY house, she won’t have the ability to pierce and ink herself until she no longer resides in my house, because that’s how my conservative ass rolls. However, there will be fight after fight after fight about why I’m so unfair and so uncool and OMGWTFBBQ everyone ELSE’S mom lets them do whatever the hell they want! As I have informed her numerous times, she seriously drew the short straw getting me for a mother…if total freedom and no discipline were the goals.

My co-worker sent me this video today:

(I hope to hell that works, as I have no idea how to embed on this particular blog…if it doesn’t, no worries, I’ll keep editing it until I finally get it)

He put the caption: “Do you think your child will want to wear this to HER prom?”

I took a short respite from creating legal masterpieces (HA!) and watched the video. A couple of things struck me.

1. Does this child have a mother?
2. Has her mother seen this “dress?”
3. What was the purpose of that ass-cape?
4. Flip-flops? Really?
5. Did she buy it or is it, like, Pretty in Pink gone tragically awry?

Once I was able to move past those initial thoughts, I considered what would happen if my child tried to leave my house on prom night in that thing. I couldn’t really wrap my mind around the details, but in the end, I would win. Even if I were unable get the point across myself (because teenage girls have a pretty hearty ‘mom-filter’ that turns actual words into something akin to the Charlie Brown teacher noise), thanks to modern technology, I could simply snap a picture with my camera phone, send that off to my mother and the phone call that would follow would be one for the ages. If I were a betting gal, I would say that my child’s phone would literally burst into flames in her hand as my mother gave her a ‘what-fer’ like no other ‘what-fer’ has ever been delivered.

On the other hand, my mom may just call me, glass of merlot in hand and laugh her ever-lovin’ ass off at the fruits of the curse finally coming into full bloom.

She would, of course, be completely justified.

I was talking to another co-worker this morning about how snotty my child has gotten over the course of this school year.

“Have you seen the movie, Thirteen? she asked.
“Yes, and it scared the holy shit out of me.”
“Me too, and I’ve got a BOY.”

It’s only the beginning. I’m going to try to focus on keeping the battle scars to a minimum and the neighbors from calling the authorities when our battles reach fever pitch.***

Stay tuned. I’m sure I’ve got about six more years worth of teenage angst to bore you with.

* OK, I already sort of accidentally allowed that but didn’t realize I was allowing such a thing until I got my $750.00 phone bill. It should go without saying that we’ve now remedied that particular problem.

** I’ll admit that I’m not entirely unhappy that she eschews the wheels, as the last time she had the wheels in, she rolled herself right off the top of a flight of stairs. While tragic, it was maybe one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

*** This is a totally false statement. I rarely yell and she is the queen of the silent treatment. In fact, if there is no noise in our house, it means that someone is in some SERIOUS trouble.

Published in: on May 12, 2008 at 6:35 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Early on in that video I believe the reporter does say that she did indeed MAKE that dress. Do you think her mother helped?

  2. I think the words got lost while I was processing that she was 17 and wearing that particular dress…to a prom.

    If her mother did help, it makes me wonder what she would consider appropriate dress for an adult cocktail party.

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