Monday, May 26, 2008


Millbrooker Towers still houses two teenagers. Just.

That's not to say we only just house them, but Deputy Dawg will leave his teenage years behind him on the glorious twelfth this year. So then Millbrooker Towers will only house one teenager, our own Wizzy who will be leaving for university life in Southampton in the autumn.

Anyway, the point of these musings: I've been off work poorly today and, apart from following almost every ball of the Old Trafford test match (nicely done, eventually, England), I've idly surfed around on the interweb and found a list of friendly advice to proffer to anyone just entering teenagerhood. The list raised both a wee smile and a nod of recognition. I might feel the need to pass these words of wisdom on to Wriggly Baby when the dreaded thirteenth birthday approaches.

"1. You are somewhat better looking that you think you are.

2. You are somewhat more popular that you think you are.

3. Your parents are somewhat more cool than you think they are. They are somewhat less cool than they think they are.

4. Your parents are sometimes wrong. You are wrong more often.

5. For any given "grown up" activity, somewhat fewer people are doing it than you think.

6. For any given "grown up" activity, somewhat fewer people are doing it than say they are doing it.
7. People are not thinking about you. They are thinking about what you're thinking about them.

8. You are entering a period of chronic, low-level insanity. You will look back on your teen age years and realize this. All teenage girls are insane.

9. Teenage boys are worse. They are stark, raving, often droolingly insane, and generally remain so well into their twenties.

10. There is nothing wrong with your breath. (Unless, like a certain member of The Millbrooker household, you've just eaten an entire jar of Garner's pickled onions in one sitting immediately before working in the co-op; then it's not just your breath you should worry about).

11. Your body smells just fine.
12. Noses never hit. Braces do not lock. Teeth sometimes hit. Lips chap, but it take a long, long time. You now know absolutely everything about the dangers of kissing.

13. Oh, I forgot. It's much easier than you think to get a hickey. If you get one, you will try hard to hide it. Your parents and teachers will try equally hard to pretend they don't see it, or don't know what it is. (This is not true in Millbrooker Towers where love bites, as they were called in my day, are pointed out and laughed at mercilessly).

14. The coolest kids in my class are failures now. This is a simple fact. If I had known it at the time I would have thought it a very fun fact. Now I realize it's kind of sad.

15. The nerdiest kid in my mother's class went on to win a Nobel Prize in Physics. (He is, however, still a major nerd.)

16. No teacher ever hates you. They just don't think that way. The good ones will love you a little or a lot. The bad ones will have the same emotion toward you that a factory worker has toward objects flying past on an assembly line.
17. Your parents don't hate you. Your parents love you more than you can even understand now.

18. If something is illegal, there is probably a good reason.
19. The things that you think will get you into trouble probably won't get you into as much trouble as you think, but will still get you into trouble.

20. The things you think might be dangerous are probably more dangerous than you think. 21. Tattoos last an extremely long time. Studies have shown that only 1% of teenagers who get a tattoo like them ten years later.

22. Nose rings and tongue studs last only as long as you want them, but bother parents just as much.

23. You're not stuck. It will end. But it's going to take a long, long time.
24. When you enter a room and everyone is laughing, it isn't about you.
25. When you enter a room and everyone is laughing, and you recently blew your nose, and they're all pointing at you, and there's something green swinging in the corner of your vision, considering revising rule 24."

The original of this list was found at

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