Monday, November 22, 2004

Teen ennui

James Lileks:
Two moms, two daughters. The mothers are dressed well, late 40s; one daughter is a lanky teen wearing the standard sullen LIFE SUCKS face, eyes darting around to see if anyone catches her doing something as STUPID as looking for Christmas ornaments with her Mom. If you could intercede, you’d say “see this here? This item your Mom is considering for this year’s tree? In 25 years you’re going to come across this in a box of stuff when you’re cleaning out her house and it’s going to stop you dead just to look at it. Either you’ll recognize it, and be reminded of all those Christmases you had that you’ll never have that way again, or you won’t recognize it – in which case you’ll wonder what was so terribly important that a Christmas at home with your folks went unrecorded in your teenaged mind. Loss or guilt, your choice. Maybe both.” But of course if you do that, they call the manager. The other child was 13 or so, not yet infected with the bleak soul-sucking ennui of American Teenhood, but clearly looking forward to the day when everything would suck as much as it sucked for the cooler older girl.
My oldest is five, so I haven't yet dealt with this.

(And do people really shop for Christmas ornaments before Thanksgiving?)