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OMG! (Like, Totally!)

As of today, I am officially the parent of a teenager.  A girl teenager.  A very pretty girl teenager.  I need a gun....

I am entering a phase of life during which I will become utterly clueless in the eyes of a child who once revered me.  I will be hopelessly unhip.  In fact, I already must be, since I can't imagine that the word "unhip" has been in vogue since the release of "Hotel California."  Oh, and my musical taste now sucks.  Once upon a time she thought it was cool to listen to not only the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and Little Feat, but also James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt and Sting.  Now, if the musician's name is more than one word long, and if it doesn't begin with a lower case letter and include a number and six consonants, it's not worth listening to.

For the next several years, my very existence will be a source of shame and mortification for her.  I will be able to make her cringe simply by opening my mouth or saying hello to one of her friends; I will be able to embarrass her any time I want. (Okay, so maybe there's an upside to this....)

The phone will no longer be ours.  Oh, Nancy and I will still pay the bills.  But none of the calls will be for us.  My daughter will point out that this is the perfect reason to buy her a cell phone, but I'm not sure we want to go there either.  She also wants a facebook page.  And one (or more) of those online IM accounts.  She's already emailing her friends all the time.  She makes me swear that I won't read her messages, but even if I did want to read them, I wouldn't be able to make sense of what she and her friends write.  We are all destined to live in a world without punctuation, capitalization, or traditional spelling, a world in which phrases become an indecipherable series of obscure acronyms:  nvm, omg, idk, l8r, g2g. 

SMN (Shoot Me Now...)

And boys.  Good God, there are going to be boys.  Lots of them.  (Of course she had to get her mother's looks -- it would have been too much to ask that she be short and funny-looking and bearded like her Dad....)  Hence the gun.  It'll have to be a shotgun.  Something I can be cleaning on the front porch as they roll up to the house for that first date.  I should probably get a hound, too.   And a rocking chair.  They all go together:  hounds, rocking chairs, shotguns.  Then again, I'm not at all sure that as a Jewish liberal New Yorker with an earring I'll be able to pull off the "Dad with the Shotgun" thing.  I wonder what it costs to put landmines in the front yard and driveway.

At least the second one isn't a teenager yet.  Then again, she's 9 already.  And very precocious.  

God help me....


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
*offers hugs of sympathy*

Mine's been a teen for two years now. Luckily, he's maintained a mellow disposition. But he mentioned being interested in a particular girl recently, so I can't help a little shiver.
May. 6th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
Actually, as teens go, I don't expect that my daughter will be too challenging. But if I could send her to a convent, I would. Thanks for the sympathy.
(Deleted comment)
May. 6th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Alis, I'm hoping the writer-of-fantasy thing will allow me to maintain a base level of coolness. And I always have the embarrassment weapon to fall back on should all else fail.
May. 6th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
Good luck. :)
May. 6th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks, J.T. I'll need it.
May. 6th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
"I wonder what it costs to put landmines in the front yard and driveway."

I was born in Texas, so -- though I'm a liberal -- I have some expertise in this.

The shotgun is cheaper.

Also, all you need is the ability to say "Yuh-huh", "I reckon so" and "Be back afore midnight. Er else." The gun will do the work for you ;)
May. 6th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, and chewing tobacco would help ;)
May. 6th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
"The shotgun is cheaper."

Yeah, I figured it might be. Then again, the landmines might be the stronger deterent. And with them, I wouldn't have to sit out on those cold winter nights...

And, I've been workin' on my "Where you takin' my daughter, boy?"

But chew? I'm not sure about that....

Edited at 2008-05-06 08:26 pm (UTC)
May. 6th, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
Lol, I feel your pain. I always figured if I had a daughter the first thing I'd do when boys came over to the house would be to take them into my office and show them my martial arts trophies:

"I got this one when I connected a roundhouse kick to his chin. You should have seen how his face turned yellow as he crumpled up. This trophy was awarded when I got him in a lock, almost popping his shoulder out like a chicken bone while he tried not to puke. This third one: a side kick to the brisket. It was funny how the tears were streaming down his face as he tried not to scream. So...where are you taking my daughter again?"
May. 6th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
Martial arts trophies would be good. Nancy's a brown belt in Aikido, so she can get in on this action, too. Actually, I think she's scarier than I am....
May. 6th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
All may not be lost. I notice that a surprising number of teens actually remain happy, focused, and loving to their familes.

But the phone?...that's a lost cause. Nothing can be done about that.
May. 6th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
I'd gladly sacrifice the phone for loving, engaged, and well-adjusted. But for now I'm going for the whole package, phone included!

Thanks for the comment.
May. 6th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
You are doomed. Doomed, I say.

OTOH, you'll find that once your children get past A Certain Age, you will suddenly begin to magically acquire IQ points again, so that even though you will always be unhip, you won't be eternally Stupid. :-)
May. 6th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)
Right. The classic Mark Twain quote: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."
May. 6th, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
As a mother of two girls, I feel you. Mine will not hit the teen years for anouther3/12 years. Although I have already started planning for the first boyfriend and first date. We have thought about the shot gun but, I think cleaning a nice big sword might be a little better.
May. 7th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
I've been thinking of buying a sword and dagger for a long time. Figured it might help with professional stuff when I write swordfighting scenes. This might be an added benefit....
May. 7th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)
Landmines. Nice touch. Paint's cheaper. A few well placed crimson drops, a chalk outline somewhere near your chair. Crime scene tape just to add that certain touch. And if any of the boys get cheeky, remind them who won the David and Goliath showdown. Or just buy a slingshot. You can drop the little buggers at thirty paces. Thffffftt! Thunk. "Next!"

May. 7th, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
Sling shot wouldn't be painful enough. But I love the red paint/crime scene tape idea! Thanks, Jana!
May. 7th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
you poor man. I have nieces like that...

and a good stare should keep the boys in line.
May. 7th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the links, Michael. I've got the stare down already. I've been practicing in front of a mirror since my odler daughter was about four....
May. 7th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
And your older daughter has been learning how ignore that stare since she was five. A technique she is teaching to Daughter the Youngest.

May. 7th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
...bearded like her Dad

bwauahaha...i did a doubletake when i first read this.

Just remember that it's only a few short years (although it will seem infinitely longer Im sure). My relationship with my parents, although stormy as a teenager, improved dramatically when I went to college. And truthfully, it was stormy at times but for the most part, not a bad relationship.

I have to agree that your career as a writer definately *should* give you cool points.

Casually polishing a sword when boys come to visit should keep them in line...
May. 7th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. She's a great kid with a good head on her shoulders. For all my griping, which was a great deal of fun to write, I'm not too worried.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )


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