I have a teenage daughter who, bless her heart, has the attention of several adolescent boys. Years and years and (yes, I must) years ago in a faraway land, I was a teenager.
I was not the focus of hormonal male adoration. Oh, I wasn’t entirely hideous (yes, I did have Farrah hair, but it was a good look – very feathery). Unfortunately for my adolescent love life, I’d honed my ‘come hither’ style on Harlequin heroines of the seventies. Feminism had crept into the story lines and the emerging empowerment of the time translated into feisty gals with witty repartee. Secure, confident alpha male heroes pursued – and readily managed – the heroines of my favorite books.
The gawky, pimpled, studmuffins in my little farming community were unimpressed.
Hell. They were terrified.
As are my daughter’s suitors.
I really want to add an evil laugh here, but script can’t do justice to the pant-pissing cackle I envision.
The local boys are now rethinking their obsessive state. Change is good.
Apparently, when a young man wants a girl’s attention in Boise, Idaho, he must toilet paper her house with the assistance of his able-bodied (and feeble-minded) buddies. Somehow, littering her front yard with soggy strips of white inspires her to return his passion. Or – this strategy might also serve to win back a lost love.
Well, friends, it hasn’t snowed in Boise yet, but we had a downy soft layer covering the rotting leaves I should have raked last week. That was the first night.
The next evening, I waited until I heard the snickers and shuffling feet – then hit the car alarms and opened the door. They scattered. No serious damage and I ended up with several unopened packages of Charmin. And you betcha – I gathered my treasure and stashed it in the garage. Spoils of war, baby.
What happened to flowers, candy, and bad poetry? Surely, this isn’t the face of adolescent romance in 2011? The YA my girls read is more sophisticated than this. Twitter, facebook, and texting do alter the reality of adolescent making rituals, but are silly pranks still the norm?
I hear enough to know drugs are available, sexual activity is more common, and social aggression (and the depression it sparks) is thriving. I’m almost pleased to see the dorky manner of semi-formal courtship. At least, in this small way, kids can be – kids. But, I’m still ready with the panic button and newly installed, motion-sensitive floodlights.
What rituals did you see growing up? What’s new with teen romance in your view? Any tips on removing soggy tissue from pine trees?