- Family and Parenting
Communicating With Our Teenagers.
Body piercing has become a huge business
A Kid Hits Thirteen and Becomes an Alien!
Am I Getting Old!?
As I sit here gazing at the laptop screen, hands poised expectantly above the keys of my extra, full-sized keyboard, I realize that I don’t have a clue about what to write. I did collect a few old self-help and nature books again with the intent of using them as a resource base for some mildly interesting hub article, but why do I need resources like this? I have lived for roughly 26,035 days: don’t bother, you’ll never read what I have to say if you see I’m that old. But, heck, all those days, weeks months and years, doing something different every day and living in several countries…why on earth don’t I have more to write about from the store somewhere in the gray matter upstairs? (I promise never to use “I” 11 times in an opening paragraph again!).
Maybe because it’s boring, that’s why. It’s funny, if you are a rock star or a footballer, never mind if you’re only 22 and still wet behind the ears, you already have a biography out, you are invited onto BBC Breakfast or other talk shows (not to mention reality TV, perish it), people hang on your every word as if you were some worldly-wise guru and not some precocious snot-nosed twit from Liverpool who happens to be good at kicking a plastic sphere around (British players excepted). If you’re a celebrity everything about your life is avidly dissected, consumed and committed to long-term memory.
But most of us here on hub pages aren’t celebs; few of us, in fact, have ever made a living, albeit tenuous, with a computer keyboard. Unless we were full time hangmen, snake catchers, lost treasure hunters or bullfighters; we are one half of a Siamese twin recently separated, or suchlike, our personal lives are unlikely to interest many readers. Anyway, if we had had exotic careers or rare physicality, we would be minor celebrities anyway, at least worthy enough for the grist mill on BBC Breakfast, which looks like it is often so short of interesting personalities it regularly digs up featured guests from one of the more prominent graveyards. (Ronnie Woods, Tom Jones, etc., don’t you react in terror when you see them!?).
I was going to do a hub today about what not to do if you don’t want to appear old. With 26035 days under my belt, I am far too old to worry about appearing old. I confine my efforts into trying to eat more healthily (loosing battle), exercise daily on my exercycle (just missed three days), and still drive expertly at a speed that doesn’t piss other road users off. (Clarkson would fail me).
Old Age. What an unhappy state in today’s youth driven society. Seniors now buy self-help books on how not to look old, how to be accepted by the young, how to speak their patois, adopt their mannerisms, dress like them and all the rest. Pathetic, and a waste of time. You still look like mutton dressed as lamb and end up being scorned by young and old alike, unless you are Sean Connery or Sophia Loren. There’s few on the planet with those genes and/or the money to buy eternal youth, to the extent they do. Take poor old Tom Jones again. What a dilemma he has. He’s too old to sing like he did and be a sex symbol, but his new gospel stuff as befits his senility is awful. His manager has told him he can’t wiggle around on stage any more, it’s undignified. He doesn’t need the money, that’s for sure: why don’t these people know when to quit and go and live on a quiet, sunlit beach somewhere? “It’s money, honey, my little sonny…” Yeah, I know.
Remember when you were young? I’m talking to the over 50’s now. Did you care a fig for anyone over about 22 when you were a teenager? Any person with grey hair was to be shunned at once unless you could weasel a few shekels from it. It’s even worse today - in the US and Britain at least. Today’s teens don’t even speak English: just look on Facebook if you can get onto a few of their pages. Love-making to today’s youngsters is as commonplace as picking your nose, and about as romantic.
As those who divided 26035 by 365 will already know, this columnist was a teenager around the mid 1950”s and I was certainly nothing like today’s crop; I didn’t have sex, if you could have called the embarrassed fumbling with Pam under the lounge table, sex. We knew of it and sought it, of course, but consummating matters proved far more elusive than with today’s kids who just come out and ask one another if “they’d like s- --g?”
The things we cannot do if we don’t want to look like Mr. or Mrs. Bygone Age. For a start, only “crusties” use email nowadays, it’s the new “snail mail.” it’s all texting, twittering, tweeting and facebook, etc. And if you do text, you type with just one digit, your thumb, never, the kids say, leave a message. Using the index finger immediately screams “Cotton-bud!” (Old and gray). Ladies? Are you daring to face the world - and your lover - with an untrimmed pubic hairs? When do you ever see un-waxed celebs baring these parts.
Do you older and wisers tell each other you “hook up?” Wrong! Hooking up has subtle undertones to teens, not just sexual ones. It will “date” you, but better just stick to dating if you are over about 25.
Are you one of these helpless people like me that confess to being overwhelmed by all the new technology around, from the microwave to the mini-computers: from the sat-nav to the plasma TV. Do you also say “I’m really clueless about computers apart from emailing.” Whoa! The teenies have immediately branded you as being hopelessly mired in yesterday; your 12-year-old is likely to know more than you do; they grow up from about 4 texting and “surfing the net” (another no-no which has left the rubric of the babes).
“If you want to loose a friend, advise them.” This coda is more applicable today than ever and especially applies to the useless and never followed advice hurled at contemporaries or kids. It doesn’t go in one ear and out the other, it doesn’t even reach the first lug-hole, to use a particularly poetic cockney sobriquet. People resent advice which suggests the admonisher knows more than they do about “not forgetting their umbrellas, car-keys, raincoat, condoms, or what have you. Even the quavering “Sure you haven’t forgotten anything?” People employing that piece of useless verbiage should be immediately shot.
Tattoos are probably the most useful things ever invented to a parent. You can allow your teenagers to perhaps get a small one in a discrete place if THEY AGREE NOT TO HAVE ANY PIECES OF METAL STUCK INTO THEIR BODY…ANYWHERE, except earrings!!
Trouble is, they see celebs like Jolie and Becks covered in tats and the top musos with tongue and lip studs so, hey, man, if they gottem, mus’ be OK! It’s still a mystery why kids get these things on their tongues. It isn’t true, is it, that they use them for....???
It’s sad in GB how no one can make love any more, or even “sleep with someone,” or “get it on,” (risqué once). People in Britain don’t even f--k any more, for f--ks sake! It’s all this word that also applies to a mite-ridden, duck-like water-bird: that’s right, as we explored above, we just S--G these days.
Want to know what the old and hopeless do for fun? They don’t go to Tesco to shop, noooo, they go there to form impassable blockages in the aisles so you can’t shop. Or to stand, transfixed by some display of cans, just to stop you grabbing one and moving on. Then they will top it off by waiting for a couple of minutes after the cashier has finished then start fumbling through their pockets or handbags, saying, brightly, “Oh, I suppose you want some money, then?” Noooo, you can just gently limp out of the store like always without paying, don’t worry, dear.
Do you just hate rap music like me? Well, don’t let on…they (the enemy, the teenagers) love rap music to death and any condemnation by you of Bo Diddly, or Gutter Gertie, or whoever is the latest originator of this horrible noise and disgusting lyrics, will go down like British stocks. Say nothing. Wear ear plugs.
I now gaze despondently at women French kissing on TV (sucking face…snogging I mean, duh). That’s the new in thing to do, evidently, and they don’t have to be gay, in fact, most are not.
It happens on your local TV channel and even on places like the Oscars. It’s also common on campus and in high school now and is very “cool,” with the ability to shock the crusties, a totally win-win situation. Only used to see this once among gays.
All complaining and negativity must be discarded if you want to be young again and accepted by the genuine articles. Was it Henry Ford who said, “Never complain, never explain?” If you are ill and feel sick, hey, keep it to yourself and go to the doctor. Moaning about your health is, or should be, the province of the elderly - among themselves. It’s an immediate turn-off for someone younger.
Here’s one for the ladies. Stop bashing men. There are good and bad blokes as there are the equivalent in the female sector. No more jokes, such as “What do you call the useless piece of flesh attached to a penis?” Answer, “A man! (Of course).., Or, “If women didn’t have vaginas, there’d be a bounty on ’em.” True or not, this type of feminism and macho-ism has gone the way of the Dodo and should have no place in your life.
Do you constantly refer to the sixties, seventies and eighties as the “golden” years; the best times, yadderyadderyadder. Even if they were better than 2010, the kids of today are living their lives in today’s world and your reminisces are ancient, boring history to them. Really, the young and the old live in two different realities in any age. What the kids are up to today in the arcades, the parks and in their rooms has no meaning for older folks, any more than do our social and cultural interactions. When they are our age in the not too different future, they will doubtless remember 2000, 2010 and 2020 with the same nostalgia we have now for our lost youth. It wasn’t really the times, it was the hormones.
If you are bordering on senility, still don’t be afraid to try out new things or at least accept that others might find them fascinating and challenging. Kids these days have a lot of pursuits available to them that weren’t around when we were that age. We didn’t have bungee jumping, hot-air ballooning, in-line skates, sky-diving and all the rest. A study showed that being afraid of the unknown and fear in general shortened the life of rats! I mean you can see this in operation nearer home, look who always gets stung by a wasp, the scaredy-cat flapping away at them. If you cool, bro, det ol’ wasp he jes’ checks you out, bro, and he flies away!
Before you know where you are, your teenagers will have gone to school, got a job and a bank account, a partner who lasts and maybe started a family of their own. So let them have fun like they want now and try not to worry if they try sexual adventure, cigs, booze in moderate amounts- most of them survive the awful teens. You can’t stop them, only be there when they call. Anyway, soon you’ll have the grandkids to worry about!