Well, there it is, out in the open. I’m Not Funny. Ergo, therefore, I don’t write much. I wish I was witty with panache and shebang, but I really I’m quite shebang-less at the moment. However, my dear Planet Teenage Boy citizen did write in a construction paper card that not only am I the best mom in the world, I am also magical. Pause for appropriate effect….. So how many of you moms out there are jealous, eh? Not many of them PTB’ers are capable of using such adjectives, much less appropriating them toward the One Who Gave Them Birth.
So I’m not funny, just a little bit magical.
Moms of teenagers do not like being in the passenger seat when our beloved Planet Teenage Boy (PTB) citizen is driving and decides that he “has” to cut someone off. If you are a mom with a PTB/PTG citizen and feel I am taking liberties with this statement, please feel free to express your willingness to get yourself killed by teenage offspring in the comments. I will update this post as necessary. I am still unsettled about my helpless position during my brush with death this morning on the way to school. Helpless beyond the screaming and yelling at the top of my lungs, that is, but I remain confident my input was somewhat effective if only to equally scare the bejeebers out of my Newly-Licensed Teenage Boy in the moment.
Of course, my PTB Citizen found the nastiest old guy (yeah, I know, who’s talkin) with the shortest temper on Earth to cut off. Thus we had war between the Old Guys and the Teenage Boys occur on our normally peaceful roads this morning, with me and all of my Mom-ness literally a captive audience. Let’s see, first OG flipped off TB, which TB found shocking, then OG chased us down, cut us off and tried the I’ll-teach-you-a-lesson-by-suddenly-slamming-on-my-brakes-in-front-of-you thing twice, allowing TB to show off his “skills” by swerving and testing the limits of our Minivan’s Antilock Braking System. Fittingly, OG’s license plate proudly states he is a “Dad,” and I must say the maturity level verified it. While I’m exceedingly grateful that OG’s wife didn’t let him pack the gun this morning, the whole flipping/chasing/lesson-teaching thing was not an effective example of mature conflict resolution skills for my citizen of Planet Teenage Boy. “Whoa, that guy has a temper!” was foremost in our debriefing.
Choosing not to go with either of the moral puppy dilemmas presented in today’s Post A Day question, I have been re-energized in my crusade to save the Earth, one teenager at a time. I came across Bridget Baker’s post where she mentioned a saying of her’s, a revolutionary one in my opinion, that “Responsibility is sexy.” While this has motivational pull for my own life, I immediately thought “Well, duh!” How did I miss this beguiling approach with my dear citizens of Planet Teenage Boy and Planet Teenage Girl? (PTB/PTG) Advertisers know the key term to motivating their gold mine 18 to 24 yr old male segment of the population is via the word and or concept sex. While they use this to get young guys to eat more hamburgers, I am wondering why no one has turned this little gem on it’s head for the Betterment Of Mankind In General? No one, that is, until Bridget Baker.
Teenage boys care about 3 things: girls, food, and sports. Not necessarily in that order. Moms of teenagers everywhere want one thing to occur on Planet Teenage Boy: maturity, civilization (ok, so that’s more than one thing, but it’s closely connected.) Why not create a win-win situation by marketing responsibility as a Sexually Desirable Trait? “Chicks think responsible guys are totally hot.” Can we get one of those video game makers to have those type of statements subliminally flashed across the screen when someone plays their game? I’m in. If I actually had any capital to venture, I would quickly sink it into a product which could simultaneously satisfy both teenagers and their parents. Forget the “Carl’s Jr. Burger Break” at halftime, replace it with a scantily-clad, flirtatious hottie lamenting the serious lack of responsible and mature guys to satisfy her needs. Can anybody say “Superbowl ad”??
Creatively productive. There’s the holy grail. To express the fullness of my potential as a unique individual and somehow do it well enough and often enough to get paid for it. Which is more important? Caitlin Kelly blogs about this and points out some of the beloved irony of us creative types — she won a Canadian National Magazine Award for humor for an essay about her divorce. Humor and divorce really don’t seem to go together, but that’s probably what made it work. I will spare you all the make lemonade with the lemons of life metaphor (whoops, that didn’t work.) In Real Life we must be productive, but do we put the cart in front of the horse with our focus on quantity? I am fascinated by Austin Kleon’s advice not to wait around until you know yourself to make things. Just make things, which leads to knowing yourself and thus the well of human creativity.
People tend to be amused by my eccentric creativity, but where is it’s value? That’s the big question. What makes a painting created by random slinging and splattering worth thousands of dollars, or not? I’ve got some pretty amazing metaphors and word plays up my sleeve, but what makes it marketable? Austin Kleon’s work, Newspaper Blackout, is a smash hit, but does the monetary value lie in the use of markers on newspaper? Would people value the same poetry if it were just typed out on regular ole paper? People are funny like that. Some things are perceived as wickedly cool, while others are relegated to lame gimmicks. I happen to think Austin’s work is Wickedly Cool, by the way. Does anyone care about the monetary value of Mom-ness? Is my in-depth research on the citizens of Planet Teenage Boy and Planet Teenage Girl significantly marketable? I have lots of creativity, but creating productively is the heaven to which I aspire.
Image via Galerieopweg
Planet Teenage Boy (PTB) and Planet Teenage Girl (PTG), specifically, their citizens. Constantly befuddled by their responses, sudden random acts of sweetness, moodiness, angst….. I always thought infancy was the most “fragile” time in mothering, you’ve got this helpless baby dependent upon you for everything, and whatever you do, as a mom, don’t screw it up. Then I Had Teenagers…. Now I truly believe the teenage years are the most “fragile”, because decisions of who they are and what they will become are bubbling up during this time. A sweet kid can suddenly veer off into random territory and it’s frightening. Other times, a teenager can be incredibly thoughtful and candid. The trick is, you never know what’s going to happen next. With a baby, some things are fairly predictable — the Eat, Sleep, Play Cycle. Teenagers are either eating everything in sight 24/7 or not eating at all and being freaked about being “fat”. Sleep… either up all night long as-though-this-is-not-going-to-affect-me-tomorrow, or sleeping 14-16 hours a day, Like A Rock. Play involves all of the social complicated-ness, boy/girl stuff, who they hang out with, and it’s not the result of an Arranged Play Date. Parenting teenagers is hard work, constant chaos, and yet attempting to appear Serene (insert perfect melodious music here). Infants require changing the diapers constantly, teenagerhood just brings in the poop a different way.