RAISING A TEENAGER
Something mysterious happens along the way in their journey to adulthood. They suddenly go off to junior high school, and sequester themselves for the rest of their teenage years. Appearing periodically for nourishment, and CD’s they then retreat into their world of darkness and avowed silence.
Teenagers develop a form of communication that requires only two words; “Give me”. “Give me” Is a convenient phrase when put before all grunts and moans in indicating their displeasure with their suddenly ignorant and out of touch parents!
Being a man of sadistic curiosity, I decided to investigate and I now have a report for you of what I have discovered.
I broke my study into two groups. In the first group was the nice, well-adjusted teenager. You have seen him yourselves. He dresses in a normal fashion. His pants are strapped at the hips, the clothing is not torn or deliberatly ripped. On his most radical day, he will wear a designer label on his shirts. Another way to tell is he speaks in complete coherent sentences. There are no hand-gestures to go with his speech, unless he is Italian. (I do make allowances.) You will find this type of teenager in a library, church, store other than a music store, or home and even in the great outdoors, conducting normal conversation, in English with his parents and siblings. ”Yes” and “No” are standard words that can be used without losing face.
Then there is the second group. HE is barricaded behind his bedroom door. The room itself has a less that 7 foot ceiling. This is because of the amount of clothing, books, CD cases, guitar and amplifiers, uneaten or half eaten sandwiches along with the bedding that covers the floor! Generally he wears dark T-shirts with slogans or pictures of anarchists. Sometimes, the shirt will be obscene in both words and pictures.
“Give me mhtxr “ with his hand out means he needs money. “Give me futd” while pointing to his open mouth means he is hungry. He can periodically come out of his nest to venture to school, and it is easy to spot. Generally, cookie crumbs will follow, guaranteeing, if you don’t have a dog, of finding him eventually. Molting season is year round, the clothing falling to the wayside even as I write this. I found that using my pool pole, that extends to three times it’s height, I can stick it in his room, twirl it around and if something grunts or not, know if he is in there!
One of the ways you know he is in his nest is by the beat and rhythm of the walls pulsating behind his closed door. The lyrics are in a foreign language, and whatever the hell they are singing, they are repeating for hours!
Their complexion is usually gray, to grayish blue. Their hair harbors runaway robins, refusing to fly south for the winter. Pants are worn below the hips, so everyone can see their underwear. This is convenient as Mother can then see if they are clean.
But what is the cause that creates these two opposite groups. The results will astound you, as they did me.
The bedroom door! Yes, that thin piece of wood on hinges is the culprit!
If the door is left open, normalcy will prevail, and invading the room, leave the teenager exposed to the world! Closing it, you then have a teenager who looses touch with the world, losing social skills such as speech and taste in good music! Also, without the advantage of the additional sunlight that is barred from entering the room, the teenager will fade in color to that gray or grayish blue I mentioned, becoming consumed by his own self!
I hope this helps.
Please remember my pals Joan and Anita.