So, last night I am minding my own business- snooping and spying on FB. Then I see it- a petition has been started by a local high school student. Oh, if the radio station is sharing this- it MUST be something amazing right?????
Ummm. No. It was a poorly written lame argument in response to the new tardy policy at the school. Now, you only get two a semester before you get “written up.” Whatever that means. This person discussed the fact that the students do not have time to use the facilities- because it takes the average person 4 minutes to do that. Not sure where she obtained that nice little statistic- however, I am fairly certain she is wrong.
So, in honor of my Master’s of Science degree- (see, I am a scientist), I went to conduct a study. I found the first group of people I saw and tried to explain what I was trying to find out. We ended up having a multigenerational argument over whether or not 5 minutes is plenty of time to take care of your elimination needs. ( I really think that the people who disagreed with me are too young to get a vote- so, I won.)
I remember vividly (okay, perhaps I only have a vague recollection- but, whatever) having this exact same discussion when I was in 7th grade. So, obviously this proves that we were advanced. We tried to start a petition, without the aid of the internet- and it lasted about 6.5 minutes. I remember feeling so indignant. I would never be one of those adults lacking in compassion. I mean, these people do not understand! The adults have no idea what it is like to have to switch classes- not to mention stop and talk to our friends, go to our locker- try to find a piece of contraband bubble gum… AND go to the bathroom- all in five minutes!!!! Oh, the horror!
Then, I started looking at our comments. Several of the adult commenters were actually friends of mine- pretty cool people in my opinion, and we were all spouting essentially verbatim,- the SAME arguments that were provided for our teenage quest for justice.
Oops. We had become those judgmental freaks that we all swore we would never be like. I see teenagers out in public, and I shudder. Why? Why would they act that way? Why can’t they just GROW UP? I seem to have forgotten- they are just kids. They are learning to deal with the world in their own way. They have not yet experienced every thing I have.
As much as I hate to say it, my mother was actually pretty smart. She employed a rather clever tool- “If all of your friend’s parents allow them to do ___ (insert whatever insane thing I wanted to do), and they call me, then you can go.” So, my friends and I would spend hours planning our trip (Okay, it was probably minutes- and most likely said in passing) to Woodstock ’94. It was life or death. A life changing event. If I was not allowed to go, I was certain I would die, or at the very least spend the rest of my life decidedly uncool. Needless to say- none of us went. I probably did end up decidedly uncool. My mother simply found a way to avoid the whole “THAT’s NOT FAIR!!!!” conversation. Pretty smart chic. It still irritates me.
I did not realize that I had left the realm of young adulthood, and entered this gray area of just plain old adult. I am in my mid-thirties, and really thought I was still pretty much the same as a kid. I did not understand that I was hurtling through life so fast. Furthermore, I did not realize that I had stopped thinking that irresponsible behavior is okay. It happens gradually. So gradually that you cannot even see how intolerant you are becoming. I suppose it is maturing. Perhaps a better word is evolving.
This act of becoming a “grown- up” is so cruel. You do not even see the changes that are subtly changing the way you view the world. It’s funny that it just takes one little girl’s petition to remind you- remind you that you did become that person who caused you so much grief as a child. Experience changes everything about us- and part of the process is giving these kids the room to have their own experience. They tried to tell us- we did not listen. And, now… we are trying to tell our kids. Guess what? They are not listening. Because “Parents just don’t understand.”
*I do not drive a Volvo and my son does not play soccer. However, I do LOVE Everclear.