Sunday, November 08, 2009

flying the coop


don't these parent birds look a bit like they'd like to get the hell away from the teenager birds?
or at least as if they don't really want to be seen with them.

when i found husband, he was someone else's husband (which is surely a whole 'nother story for another occasion) and that means that he came with a couple of complementary kids. daughters. husband is a filly producer, as my mother would say.  they're good girls and have always accepted me, so i've honestly avoided much of the drama (tho' not the angst) of being the step-mother. mostly because i've never tried to be their mother. you see, in my eyes, they have a perfectly good mother and the last thing they need is another one. so i've always tried to be the perhaps a bit aloof, cool aunt kind of person. the one who takes them exotic, exciting places (the philippines) and who cooks strange dishes and fabulous cakes. i've pretty much succeeded in that role. which is good, because i designed it myself and it would be a little bit sad if i couldn't even succeed at something that was exactly how i wanted it.

but today, in the throes of PMS and dread about being away in the coming week, the teenagers had me pretty close to the end of my rope. the whole morning, listening to vapid conversation peppered liberally with incredibly annoying poptøser (one of those words that's just better in danish) slang, i held on to the thought that i'd leave it all behind for a blissful hour and a half when i took sabin to riding. during that time, i'd be able to forget all of the signs of aging that it surely represents that i have no patience for all that teenage stuff and i'd be able to breathe and hear myself think. but no. there were people coming to look a the house at 2 and so we had to be elsewhere. that was convenient for sabin and me, because she rides from 2-3 on sundays and we leave at 1:30 to go saddle the horse and get ready. so as i was leaving, i asked husband where the girls were going to be. and he informed me that they were going with me. which he was not, he was going to look at farm place with some friends with whom we might be interested in going together to buy a big farm place.

i can tell you that this did not please me. i informed him that if we did not return, it was because i had managed to find a large horse to throw myself under while we were away - in the interest of that being less painful and a veritable pleasure in comparison to spending the day in the company of vapid teenagers. however, sabin was riding the largest horse (felix) and i hated to scare her, so i restrained, but still, in retrospect, it would have felt better than enduring the emptiness of the exchange between the 17- and the 14-year-old.

and it's not to say that i wasn't undoubtedly as empty and vapid as a teenager. full of made-up crap, quasi-dirty lyrics to songs that were undoubtedly just noise to my parents, and self-centered, look at me me ME dance moves and lots of too-loud laughter and an appalling vocabulary. but sometimes, it's just too much. and i'm grateful that my full-time child is only 8 and that those days are still a few years away.

so am i getting old or what?

17 comments:

rxBambi said...

Hmmm, interesting. #4 (17yo), that lives with us, is I guess not speaking at all to me. I saw her at the school the other day and she completely avoided me. When I asked why she didn't say hi she said she was in the middle of a convo and didn't want to be interrupted. The second day I got nothing as well. I told hubby that was fine, but I wasn't going to talk to her either. Petty? Yes, but I feel better.
Sheesh.

CatLadyLarew said...

Congratulations on not throwing the PMS princesses under the horse.

An Open Heart said...

Love the photo and I concur with your association of it to parents and teenagers....and, yes, the vapid, vacuous ramblings of that age group can be VERY trying.....bless you for taking the high road.....later on in life, they will appreciate it, too.

S

My name is Erin. said...

The thought of my Abby as a teenager is what keeps me awake at nights, so I try not to think about it. I try to be gratful that I find teenagers so annoying, if I didn't would I be one of them... still? That would be a sad, sad thing.

trinsch said...

i'm happy that you survived to tell the tale :)

my dad (i have an older and a younger brother) always likes to tell people, that girls is what you want when you have kids, not boys. that is, until they reach the teenage stage. then you only want boys. no teenage girls! and i do believe he means it. i was really annoying, had it all figured out. in fact i think it has gone down hill ever since i was 17.

Jelica said...

hmm, i wonder if it is easier with teenage boys? you must have nerves made of steel, though to endure the teenage crap, well done :)))

JC said...

Teenagers ... I've got two ... enough said

Cyndy said...

My Sunday afternoon was filled with teenaged boys. A lot of them, but most of them mine. Why do I always seem to have more kids than just my own in tow?

Started with brunch in town. Had to get two tables to fit us all. May use the two table thing again the future. The banter was nicer at my table.

Then we went to buy basketball shoes for all. Shoe shopping with kids. I have always done this with the whole crew so that it will not be a month long process. We enter the store and I give them 10 minutes to browse. Then I line them all up in chairs, get them measured, and then let the trying-on begin. 45 minutes later I get pay the bill and everyone leaves with their own bag and boxes. Done. My daughter and I can spend that much time picking a color when it comes to shoe shopping...

The difference between boys and girls in this situation is that instead of being verbal they are physical. They nudge each other, push each other, and occasionally throw in a single word like "dork." Meanwhile I look at the people looking at me wondering how (or maybe why?) I do it all.

Music not a problem in the car. They all just plug into their own iPods. Ice cream cones fill their mouths, and, for a moment, there is peace...

Monique said...

I'm sitting here cheering & clapping through my tears as I read trinsch's comment. I have boys, boys, boys & not girls. They're 7 and 8 and are a never-ending strain on my patience. So does this mean I'll breathe some sort of sigh of relief when they're teenagers? They'll become laid-back & low maintenance & I can laugh in the face of my friends with girls? Cuz at 7 and 8, I endure really bad, endless conversations about poop and pee and farts and boobs and butts. That's funny shit.

Char said...

LOL i always claim the aunt card with my nieces as i filled the neices yesterday with gummy bears and allowed them to do hilarious "i can be anything i want to be when i grown song" and then taught them the 'woooo woot' dance. their parents probably secretly hate me.

Protege said...

What an interesting story, I simply can not even imagine being a step-mom.;)
The story of how you found your husband is the one I would like to hear about.;)
xo

Just Jules said...

I remember thinking - I have no idea why I am acting like this and yet I can't stop. ughhhhh yes I remember well.

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

You are totally the amazing, interesting, cool aunt! It is a really powerful role to have in the lives of young girls - they are lucky to have you.

But it's also important for them to see that even the cool aunt has limits on what is fun and cool and what is just flipping annoying!

Maggie May said...

something is definitely in the air, because i just wrote a post about my teenage son Dakota, and then looked at my reader to find THREE posts on teenagers!

Molly said...

So you inspire me with your kitchen post and then freak me out with your teenage girl horror stories! Thanks a LOT :)
My only consolation is that I've many years 'til I have to deal with that, whereas my new kitchen is only a few weeks away!

Lisa-Marie said...

When my mum died, I was 21, and my sister 16 and I became her guardian. I so, so understand what you are talking about! I think I may have aged a year in a day at some points!!

Christina said...

heh heh~ you handled it well! meaning you brough them back alive. lol
xo