I have been meaning to write this post for months now. I want to record, for posterity’s sake, the language and interests of 13-year old males, one of whom currently resides in my home and shares my last name. Kids, as you know, say the darndest things. This gets stepped up a bit once they reach the tween and teen years, or so has been my experience. Here are just a few noteworthy snippets of conversations with a few American, male teenagers:
My son, like so many kids today, is an avid listener (and downloader) of rap music. (Often referred to by me as “Rap is Crap.”) Music, like television and advertising, has a profound influence on young people, and my son is certainly not exempt. M.’s initial texts to friends is limited to just three characters: Sup. (For those of you unfamiliar with gansta language, this is an abbreviation of “What’s up?”) My son would never greet a friend with a “Hi” or “Hello” or even “Hey.” And, this is just one word (can you call it that?) in a vocabulary that also includes, “Homey” and “Bro.” Whose child is this? Where is my Caucasian, half-Jewish kid?
For awhile now, a favorite response of M.’s is, “That’s gay.” Initially, I was quite taken aback by the somewhat derogatory use of this term, until I realized that it had nothing to do with people who are not heterosexual. ANYTHING, including inanimate objects, can be “gay.” My favorite misuse of this term came late in the school year as the students and staff prepared for the state achievement tests. M.’s class was not permitted to take the tests in their regular classroom (which was Band) due to the lack of desks. They were re-located to the cafeteria, where they could properly sit and work. M.’s response to this room change was, “That’s gay!”
The fascination and obsession with fast, and often expensive cars has begun. For awhile now, M. has informed me that he intends to drive a Mustang or Camaro when he gets his license, preferably as his first car. (Yeah, right! The insurance for a 16-year old, male driver of a sporty car probably costs a few thousand dollars per year.) Fairly recently, the price tag on favored cars has risen considerably as M. and his friends talk non-stop about Bugattis and Maybachs. Personally, I was unaware of the existence of these particular automobiles, most likely because their sticker price is in the millions, and well, I am female. They often talk about becoming doctors (M. wants to be an anesthesiologist) or orthodontists so they can earn enough money to purchase their dream cars. I am thinking they might need to either become pro sports players, rappers or rock stars, or their generation’s version of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs in order to write that check!
Sticking with the topic of cars, I recently picked up a friend of M.’s to bring to our house. Since he and I were alone in the car, I attempted to make small talk during the brief ride. I asked what car his 16-year old sister would be driving once she got her license. This question prompted A. to divulge that he has already informed his dad of the following (and I quote), “My first car is going to be a sexy car, and you know, not all sexy cars are expensive.” ( I have overheard the boys use the “s” word while playing video games. I am not sure what’s “sexy” about gore and violence?) I guess they, like Justin Timberlake, are “bringin’ sexy back!” Oh, my!
A few years ago, a co-worker shared with us her then 13-year old son’s interpretation of the acronym, WTF. He informed her that EVERYONE knows it stands for “What the farm?” Fast forward to 2010. My own son informed me that WTF is short for “Where’s the fruit?” Just the other day, M. clued me in to the more positive, current meaning, which is “Well that’s fantastic!” And it is.
I am fairly certain that I will be privy to more peeks into the mind and interests of the developing male teen, and so I end this post with, “To be continued…….”