Thursday, October 28, 2010

Surviving Brick Wall Syndrome or The Fine Art of "K"not Caving In

First - a disclaimer of sorts.  Teenagers!  No, this isn't about mine or any others in particular, just a generalization of sorts from mental notes that I have taken over the years.  So, please, don't be offended by the comments and not continue to read on.  This is NOT about YOUR child, unless of course, you want it to be and then all I have to say is Feel free!

Get ready to raise your hands and raise them up high!  That's right.  Big question here!  Who of you out there in cyber never never land has had to suffer the debilitating effects of  BRICK WALL SYNDROME?  You know the one I am referring to!  It's what happens to many, many TEENAGERS whose ears and brains become temporarily encased in an invisible wall of bricks at about the age of 12 1/2.  For some, it lasts until they graduate High School, if we choose to let them survive that long.  For many others, they may not ever outgrow it and independently knock down that wall until someone else has had reason to knock it down for them.  There you go.  I see those hands high in the air.  I knew it!  Wouldn't you just love to jerk a tidy little knot into their scrawny necks while stuffing a bar of green soap into their smart mouths!  There are days, there are days/

Teenagers!  Some are wonderful.  Others are free spirits, creative, funny, entertaining, sensitive, brilliant, loving and then, there are the rest of them - calculating, sneaky, scheming and conniving  I guess at some point, they all take on the characteristics of the latter group as a way to prove their independence and stature in life.  Trust me, you get no guarantees when you are raising one and they don't come with a trade-in value.  We were all teenagers at one time.  We survived.  Our parents and grandparents didn't shorten us, though I'm sure it was threatened.  They didn't take us out of this world just because they brought us into it.  Were we really that bad?  Can't be.  I don't remember things being that way.  I am quite sure that right about now, my mother is interjecting something that I did when I was a teenager.  I, however, think I have conveniently forgotten all of those things.  I was perfect!  Weren't you?

I've heard many parents make the comment that children should be tucked away in a locked room with a guard on the eve of their 13th birthday, and not allowed out until they were ready to turn 20.  Hmmm, maybe even 22 or 23.  What do you think?

Teenagers!  They are everywhere!  You can't escape them, you can't escape their attitudes, their lack of thought behind their actions or their comments, their body language, their propensity to cast long thoughtless rants of cursing toward those that don't see things "their" way or have created an obstacle to hinder their progress with absolutely anything.  There are teenagers that claim 1st Amendment rights and let 4 letter words roll out of their mouth with ease.  They don't seem to understand the concept of what is and isn't proper and acceptable in public or anywhere else, for that matter.

Seriously, you go to the movie, and in the middle of chomping their gum with their mouth open, they snatch your tickets from your hands and gesture "theater's over there".  Now wait a dadburn minute!  I just paid $28.00 for two tickets for a Friday night movie and the best I get is a grunt and a head toss.  Give me a break!  What about the bag boy/girl at the grocery that stand there and chat with their friend on another aisle while slamming your dozen eggs down into a bag with bath soap and cleanser, and then stand there and glare at you when you don't tip them because they helped you load your groceries into your car.  Or, that boy and girl that are blatantly promiscuous while standing in line to buy the goodies at the movie.

Drive through window at your favorite fast food chain - cute little girl in way too much eye makeup, again chomping gum, "that'll be $15.90".  "Lady, I need ones, you got any ones.  I can't break a twenty.  Got no change.  Just pull up there and sit.  I'll get the manager and he can bring you your money and your order.  C'mon lady, pull up.  There's other people behind you waiting on their food too!"  So, I pull up and I wait, and I wait and I wait.  Guess what, 5 minutes, 10 minutes and no change or food, so I go in and ask to see the manager to collect what is rightfully mine.  The over made-up teenage girl that took my twenty, has apparently gone on break and yep, you guessed it - with my money!  She put the order in and never entered it as paid.  It took some stern looks and turning forty shades of red in the lobby of the restaurant, but I did eventually get my change and my food, however, it was cold.  So, I made them start fresh.

I bet that if you stop and think about it, you can come up with a dozen scenarios involving teenagers that you really envisioned wringing their necks, or throwing them over your knee and giving them a good paddling.  I know those are all daydreams and wishful thinking and we've all been there!

Now, I know that not all teens are not incorrigible, but I also know that at some point, we've probably all had at least one incident similar to the above.  It's sad, it's really heartbreakingly sad to know that there are teenagers out there that for whatever reason, simply don't know how to act, how to speak and how not to be offensive - and furthermore, DON'T CARE!  Why should they, they are going to leave their minimum wage, 15 hour a week job and go home to their Playstation 3, IPhone 4 and a cave where they can retreat and escape all of the rest of us.  Gee, must be nice!

Okay, I think I'm finally done ranting.  Now, it's time to become brick masons and figure out a way to rebuild that brick wall so it has windows and doors.  I feel better already!  Now, if I could just figure out a way to teach that usher at the theater that grunting went out with cave men.  Oh well, another day!

Make a difference to someone!  Be the example of the "right way" and go knock down a brick wall or two, but you might want to keep that bar of green bath soap handy just in case there's a mouth here and there that needs to be washed out with soap!

Later y'all and God bless you (especially those with a teenager in the house)!