Thursday, July 17, 2008

Say What You Mean

Some people just can’t take a hint. And if you’re 16 years old, and of the male gender, hints are received into the teen-brain-databank at the same frequency as…say, an overflowing trash can or a clothing-strewn bedroom…..or a nagging parent.

Not even a blip, I tell ya.

Taylor has a rather unique way of inquiring as to whether I might be persuaded to extend an invitation to his comrade to partake in a visit to this humble abode for the duration of several twenty-four hour periods.

Instead of just walking up to me and saying “Mom. Can Chris come up this weekend?”, Taylor has to take the long winded, infinitely more complicated approach. It goes like this:

Taylor: “Mom. Remember the last time Chris came up for a visit?”

Kathryn: “Uh. Yeah… memory’s not completely shot, Taylor. It was less than 2 weeks ago.”

T: “Riiiight. Well, even though he really came up for Carolyn’s birthday party, his dad had originally thought he’d have to drive him all the way up here and then all the way back to pick him up again, all for just, like, a few hours…but then you said he could stay over for a couple of days…”

K: (Stops typing to stare suspiciously at Taylor) “Uh-huh….”

T: “Anyway, he danced at the party with this girl and he’s asked her out, but we don’t know if she’s gonna say yes, but if she does….well…she lives up here.”

K: (Clears throat) “You mean Annmarie?”

T: (Eyes wide) “How do YOU know?”

K: “I have EYES, Taylor.I was there, remember?”

T: “Huh. So, we’re thinking that Annmarie could wait till the last minute to answer and it would mean that Chris would have to rush around…” (Glances up as commercial comes on the teevee that no-one is watching) “Hey! Isn’t that Clinton Kelly? That guy you like from that show you like? Man! He’s got some NICE clothes…I wouldn’t mind getting a jacket like that one of these days...”

K: “Taylor. Focus. I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.” (Although, I’m beginning to get a glimmer of where he’s going with it.)

T: “Well, it’s just that if she says ‘yes’, it makes more sense that Chris already be up here. And if she says ‘no’…well, then he’ll be here….already, ya know…hanging out with me. I can console him and distract him….and stuff.”

K: “Huh. But…if she says ‘yes’, how will Chris hook up with this girl? Are you going with them?”

T: “MOM! Geez….NO. Of course not! What kind of a friend do you think I AM?”

K: “Uh, obviously not a very supportive one. So, what you’re saying is that I would have to drive him to this…date? This child who is not of my loins?”

T: “I think I’m gonna hurl. Please do not say “loins” in my presence…ever again. It’s just to the mall…it’s not a big deal.”

K: “Uh huh. Let me see if I’ve got this straight: You want to have Chris come over for several days, forcing the rest of us to endure having someone not of our family under our roof and then you want ME to additionally drive Chris and pick him up from a possible date while he’s here? A date that will not even include YOU?”

T: “Well, yeah.”

K: (Sighs deeply) “I don’t know…..I’ll have to think about it. Couldn’t you just ask for money, tie up the phone and play your music too loud, like every other teenager?”

T: “Well, I don’t tie up the phone ‘cause I have my cell and I DO play the music pretty loud…but it’s on my iPod so you don’t hear it and I could use twenty dollars, if you’re offering….”

K: “How come you never go to Chris’s house? Chris’s dad should get to share some of this joy.”

T: “We prefer here. It’s way more fun. All my friends say so. It’s ‘cause YOU’RE THE BEST MOM EVER.”

At which point he smiles his brightest, handsomest, killer, ladies-you-don’t-stand-a-chance smile…hands on his hips, chest puffed out…suddenly reminding me of the pose that Mr. Clean makes…and that reminds me that there’s laundry in the dryer from yesterday that needs to be folded and so I say “Fine. Whatever…” as I blow past him, thinking “well, you’re only young once,” and “someone may as well enjoy this summer” as I hear the teenage-shout-of-victory rise up behind me…and I smile.

Parenthood: It’s not a job…it’s an adventure!

Anonymous said...

Ah, I remember those days. The kids always came to my house too. And I was always the one who drove them to the movies and picked them up. Don't worry. It passes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the joys of teen-aged angst. I remember it well. I'm not looking forward to going through it yet again! Great post-

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