Thursday, May 12, 2011

Things Teens Dread...the parked car conversation

(alternatively titled "I Give Up, I Can't Write a Blog About Style, Having Finally Admitted to Myself That I Have Very Little Knowledge of this Subject". Should you require style information, this blogger is the way to go. This one is not. Overplucked eyebrows, frosted lipstick, and "athletic" legs in mini-skirts and Forever 21 shoes does not a stylista make...and don't be fooled! There are NO CUPCAKES! I've looked!).


There's nothing like being locked into a tightly confined space with a frowny-faced parent to inspire the deepest sense of dread, impending doom, and the imminent loss of some privilege or freedom in a teen.

You remember how this goes, I'm sure of it...close your eyes and think back.

The car rolls up to it's destination even slower than normal, and your mom, (because this is a uniquely mom-move...dads handle the same matters by smacking child on back of head and hollering "Don't be such an idiot!"), your mom is very slowly, very carefully, so as not to alert your teen/animal senses, turning down the stereo with one hand and simultaneously reaching for the automatic door locks with her other hand.

Except your teen/animal senses recognize this maneuver immediately and send you into a deep primal panic.

You want to wail, claw at the windows, send Lassie for help. Because your mom is now turning to you and speaking the eight most terrifying words in the New Revised Teen English Dictionary: "I want to talk to you about something."

Oh. Crap. Teens have died of hunger, grown old while waiting for their moms to finish "talking to them about something"!

So, as a survivor of this kind of torture (I actually spent years 13-16 locked into a Volkswagon Vanagon while my mom "talked to me about something", surviving off of old popcorn kernels I found on the floor and eventually being rescued when an S.O.S. note I scribbled onto a page of the bible was found by a passerby!), I am nothing if not compassionately sensitive to the feelings of my teen children.

I like to think I am not only cooler, but sneakier, by not introducing the talking part with an announcement (thus by-passing the groan and eye-roll!) and just jumping right into it. I do this WHILE the car is still moving and the radio is on. They have no idea what's happening! We are just cruising down the highway when suddenly words like "private parts" and "self-discipline" start coming out of nowhere (my mouth)!

In this way, my children will always associate Arcade Fire with warm talks about perverts, and Green Day songs will always elicit memories of friendly threats of beatings if grades don't improve.

Of course, the dad-method has some value, too. So I try to follow up my sneak attack with a jaunty head-smack and, when they've jumped out of the unlocked car and run with newfound energy towards school, a loud shout out the window, "and don't be an idiot!"

Because how will they develop any character without at least a little public humiliation? It's where I got all mine from, and I'm filled to the brim with character! Thanks mom!


  1. I love your style! At least when it comes to decor. I mean can redheads even have good style?Maybe from the neck down, or the chest down because if you don't shave your armpits then everyone's gonna know anyway.....Trust me. Thanks tho for turning me on to cashmere and cupcakes, that girl is so darn cute! and I'm not the only one who thinks so, am I right? She's soooo cute and modest. Anywayz, I love your blog, it always makes me laugh. Quickly, I gave up listening to my mom "talk to me about something" so she ended up resorting to leaving me "poignant" notes about my failures as a daughter and human on my steering wheel when she drove by my parked car in high school. I'd rather have the parked car convos. Peas out.

  2. Did these poignant notes have lots of CAPS and multiple underlined words? Like, underlined so hard the pen went through the paper?

    It was so friendly of her to leave them on your steering wheel...nothing better than nice kick in the gut after a long day of high school!

  3. You are hilarious! And aren't we ever grateful for the vanagons and eurovans...I mean come on imagine those experiences in a bug or a jetta...I mean give your mom some credit?! Way to go MOM! I like to think I did an equal amount of both...the introduction and the cruising down the road....but on the way to school....hmm...not usually, I couldn't get everything said that must have provided the condensed version or something!


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