Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dear teenagers,

This kills me to write. 

At 33, I'm at an age where people vary widely in how they behave. Some enthusiastically embrace adulthood (by which I mean they become boring and start complaining about old-people stuff) and others do their best to stay youthful (by which I mean they act as if they're still young, but still deal with old-people stuff). I like to think I'm in the latter category (hell, I'm rarely mistaken for older than 25).

However.

Yesterday, after a week of waiting, I finally moved into my new apartment. I decided to grab lunch at a nearby franchise. What I didn't know was that 1) yesterday was the first day of school in Reno and 2) a million teenagers live in my neighborhood. Those bads were mine.

When I walked in, four teenage girls and their guy friend stood in front of me. No problem. The problem began when what must have been 49 other teens marched in all at the same time. Whenever that happens (and let's lump in any big group in this), there's going to be lots of happy energy. I get that. I bask in it. I encourage it.

However. 

You still have to stand in line. It's cool if you see a friend in front of me and hug and catch up, but it's not a license to cut. It's also — if I can emphasize this — NOT A LICENSE TO NEARLY KNOCK ME (or anyone) OVER.

Granted, I've tried to be conscious of my surroundings wherever I go. I say try, because sometimes it takes effort. Much of that teen energy never left me. And I'm awkward to boot. But whenever I'm a situation that brings to mind human dominoes, I usually manage to channel it.

Teenagers, you're all right. I like you. While I believe you are being utterly screwed by No Child Left Behind, I otherwise think you're OK. I roll my eyes at people who say you're the worst generation ever (every older generation says that, by the way, and not all of them are that great). The generation gap is always a case of people misremembering the past. In that regard, you're good and I can't wait for you to take the reins. It's your life; never let anyone tell you not to color outside the lines. 

But when there is a line, don't make a flash mob of it.

Sincerely,
Grandpa

Cc: My bad back

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