You know how teenagers are supposed to be all emotional and fly off the handle at nothing? How they can get manic over one thing and suddenly nothing else matters? How they are so confused about what’s going on in their bodies and minds that they can hardly process it? Do you adults remember being like that?
I think I’ve actually become more emotional as I’ve gotten older, although I am less confused. Good thing, too – I would hope at my age I’d have achieved some insight on things. Perhaps it’s because of that insight that I have a certain amount of patience with teenagers. I’ve read quite a bit on their brain development (or lack of it, as it were) and I understand they literally do not have the capacity of an adult to reason and understand consequences for actions. A while ago, I witnessed a teenager prove that theory.
There is a young lady living a few doors down from us who must be around nineteen years old. She always plays the music in her car at such a great volume that it’s a wonder her eardrums haven’t exploded. One morning at about nine o’clock when I was still sleeping (I work late, okay?), she drove into the driveway and started washing her car, leaving the doors open so she could listen to her music at what must have been concert levels. Six units down and with my windows closed, it was like I had my own stereo playing.
Due to it not being the first time, I decided to go talk to her. Because her back was to me and the music was so loud, I had to actually tap her on the shoulder before she knew I was there. I asked her to turn her music down. I said it was inconsiderate at any time of day to be making that kind of racket. I told her it would be helpful if she would refrain in the future from sharing her music with all citizens in a five-block radius. I expected her to be peeved, like teenagers are.
She totally wasn’t. What she seemed to be was surprised. Surprised that everyone in the neighbourhood and beyond wasn’t absolutely delighted to listen to her tunes. Taken off-guard that I would make an issue of it at all. Disconnected for a moment that my request pertained to something she was doing wrong. It was odd.
I know many adults are similarly self-involved, but it is the navel-gazing tendency of adolescents that perhaps makes them more prone to this behaviour. That is, not realizing how their actions can affect them or others. It’s not that they’re mean, they just don’t immediately consider it. This girl was quite dumbfounded. It had evidently not occurred to her that what she was doing could annoy a nauseated pregnant lady who worked nights, was moody like nobody’s business and who still had an hour to rest before The View was on.
It makes me think that being the parent of a teenager must be very tiring. Parents? Is it true?