Saturday, April 18, 2009

learn to act your age, young lady

In the past few decades there has been a growing gap between adults and children commonly known as the teenager. The teenager is characterized by loud angry music, clothing that is either a size too small or too large, and an excessive use of eyeliner. Common symptoms of the teenager are bouts of moodiness, an obsessive need to slam doors, and feelings of alienation. Parents may feel that their children are in fact extra terrestrials, and not the cute kind that you can easily handle with a package of reeses pieces.

This relatively new phenomenon is now viewed as a rite of passage, a step in natural development. To parents, it is a nightmare, a second childhood for the immature at heart.

There is a sub-breed that is not oft mentioned, too frightening and weird for a person not of the Krell capacity to imagine. I was such a species, a teenager whose goal was not to be excessively weighty....

It was to be eighty.

If there was any morbidity it was that my tombstone might read-born nineteen oh eight. Boy she was swell, keen, moidergate.

I never wished to dye my locks black, only to wear a multitude of hats. I'd enjoy an instant sanka over a brewsky, and did not treat grammar loosely. To Sinatra and Garland about my room I would twirl, I desperately wished my hair would pin curl.

This was my rebellion, but it lead to a different form of alienation. Not from my parents, but from my peers. The difference is that this was not a phase. There is no cure because I have never viewed it as a sickness.

I never wanted to be different. I do not wear individuality like a pin on my sleeve, a thing to parade for the sake of show, because I know that I wear pieces of past conformity.

And Rhett Butler taught me not to give a damn.

I now view that alien-ness, that sense of utter alienation, as a true blessing, because I have always been able to think for myself. I have never wished, if I only had my own brain, my own heart, my own thoughts that are not wrapped up in how to wear my hair just so or what celebrity I should plaster on my wall. I escaped the herd, and thus I escaped the slaughter.

Don't dare to be different. Dare to be yourself.

And I'm not puffing on my slightly overwrought and cliched cigar.

5 comments:

  1. I swear- I could have written this! (though not as nicely!) I went through the same thing as a teenager. Everyone thought I was so strange- ew! why does she listen to music by dead guys? But I feel exactly the same way as you- by liking classic movies & sinatra as a teenager, I ended up being a person who is confident in who I am. It's funny that we were both like this as teens and probably both thought we were the only ones on the planet who liked these things at the time! If only there had been blogs back then we wouldn't have felt so alienated!

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  2. I completely agree, it's so nice to know that there are other people out there, however few, who also enjoy these sorts of things. :)

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  3. Meredith, darling! This is absolutely magnificent. I adore it. And you, of course. I don't have to tell you that I've always felt the exact same way. ♥

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  4. IAWTP! You should be a writer you have a wonderful way of expressing yourself with written words. I wish I could do the same!

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  5. kate aka billie: ♥

    alexa: thank you so much doll! *blushes*

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