Sunday, January 25, 2009

Aren't you glad you're not 15?

I have a nephew who is 15. It’s an awful age. All your little-kid perks and benefits are gone, but you are not old enough for your parents -- or anyone else -- to take you at all seriously yet. It is an age where you’re constantly hearing, “Oh, grow up! Act your age!” But that’s the problem: you’re not grown up, and chances are you are, in fact, acting exactly your age most of the time. The fact that the behaviour of your typical 15-year-old is obnoxious and loathsome to most of the population is not your fault. 15 is what you are, for one whole year. It’s not a fun year. That's just the way it is.

My nephew has kindly allowed me to be a Facebook friend. I honour this privilege by refraining from, as they say, “creeping his wall”. I read only his status posts, which I cannot avoid as they come up on my Home page, as the Facebook-savvy among you will know. His status post for today indicates that he has had a pretty awful week. As I recall, most of them are, so it’s all relative when you’re 15.

I badly wanted to respond to his post with a sympathetic comment, but was afraid pretty much anything I wrote would leave him open to the world-class mocking that teenagers practice. “Poor baby!” Nope. “Kisses from auntie!” Nope. I could write something like “F**k em, dude, u no u rock!” except that my comment comes with a little picture of a middle-aged lady attached and so…nope.

Nephew of Grammar, all I can tell you is that 15 doesn’t last forever. It is followed by 16, which frankly is not a heck of a lot better, but a little, and then 17, and before you know it (yeah, yeah, we old folks always say “before you know it”, like each stinking day wasn’t 147 hours long) you’ll be 18, and things really start looking up. Hold out for 18, NOG. It’s coming. In the meantime…

Poor baby. Kisses from auntie. U no u rock.

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