Teenagers in disguise

I’m not getting any younger, nor are any of my friends or family funnily enough. Some are ageing better than others physically of course, some will put it down to lifestyle or genes. We just put it down to who drinks the most or least. Now that I have embraced social media I have been exposed to a much wider range of age groups than I normally would, given that we have no kids.

We have friends who have children but only see them once or twice a year and the kids are always on best behaviour as they have been well bought up. We don’t mix with any urchin children. We only see them in the street as we drive past down-market areas on our way to somewhere nice. I don’t tend to speak to children as I am not interested in anything they have to say.

The ‘young people’ of this post are teenagers and beyond. This post is about what grown-ups actually are rather than maybe what young people think they are. We all know that young people roll their eyes at the points of view of grown-ups. Grown-ups despair of the ignorance and lack of common sense of young people.

I know for a fact, as I was young once, that the young only put on a facade of ignorance and lack of common sense to wind up their parents. It’s what I did and I cannot have been the only one. Young people can function quite happily without adult supervision and actually prefer it that way. This is where adults have the advantage though as parents are still able to deprive young people of their liberty while they can move about unhindered.

Very few young people have much respect for the older generation because they think we have somehow lost touch with our youth and sense of adventure. We are out of touch with the important issues that their lives revolve around. It’s not that we are out of touch. it’s that we don’t care a jot about some passing fad that is less interesting than the very cool fads of that time of our lives. We also had properly important things like Communism, Apartheid, different kinds of terrorists, political rather than religious ones. The threat of nuclear annihilation. You have your social media but we can use that too. No use trying to hide in there.

Today it’s more weedy stuff like the environment, taking some money off the greedy capitalists and being famous. They live on a diet of throw away culture and seem keen to tear down the efforts of those who built the world they will be living in. Funnily enough the keenest to ensure the worlds riches are shared rather than kept by those who earned the riches are always the ones without the riches. You also see very few grey haired people throwing dustbins at police lines.

Youngsters somehow have completely missed the point that we travelled the very road they are now treading. The very same one albeit with a different soundtrack and tools to hand. Did you know youngsters, that we think exactly the same way today as we did when we were your age for example. We are forced through the pressure of responsibility to act with more diligence or sensibility but we really would rather be racing about with our hair on fire or hanging out with our mates listening to quality vibes and chilling out. We have to go out and earn a living though.

We still like the same music we loved in our teens. Look at our CD’s or iPods. They are full of the sounds of our youth. Sadly the crap you have today has the shelf life of cheese. I’ve said it before but, dubstep? Please, if it was possible to torture a robot to death, dubstep is what it would sound like. Katy Perry and Nicky Munaj will not be filling our airwaves in 20 years time. We had life changing music. We had Disco, Punk, Grunge, New Wave, the New Romantics, Soul, Motown, Heavy Metal. You have knock off’s of the real thing and electronic pop. The only bands that are filling stadiums rather than regular venues and arenas are bands with men your fathers or grandfathers age in them.

We are actually just teenagers with a life’s experience. We still like the stuff we liked as teens. We like to look smart though rather than dress to shock. We grew out of that when we realised everyone just thought we were stupid or slutty. We still like to drink too much and as a result make bad decisions. We can’t dance any better than we think we can but at least we now know it. This is a lesson still awaiting you.

We have learned to wear our underpants below our belt line because no-one, not one single person, wants to see as much teenaged boys underwear as they think we do. It’s a great day for all concerned when they figure this out. Most adult women have learned that it is better to put a coat on rather than freeze to death outside a pub in a small item of fabric roughly fashioned as a dress. They are able to do this without instantly losing the interest of all the men in the vicinity.

There are a number of ‘grumpy old men and women’ shows on television from time to time where celebrity types sit and moan about bad manners or poor service and generally express their intolerance of stupidity or ignorance.We know youngsters actually think the same way and are just as intolerant of rubbish but we can make it sound amusing whereas you are just whingeing ungrateful brats. This is why being older is better.

You might think we are boring drivers as we drive you to and from your important appointments, while you would floor it and cut up your mates in their little cheap cars. I do know one thing though. When I am driving very fast at the limit of my, significantly greater than your, capability in a large modern car bristling with safety technology and you pass me in a cheap little car. You are not being cool and confident. You just have no idea of what your car can or cannot do yet when presented with something you didn’t expect. When you find this out will crash and die making your parents sad. They will say at your funeral how you were much-loved, with so much talent and promise. All I saw was a stupid kid with his hat on backwards driving like he was keen to move onto the next world let alone the next county.

This is why your insurance premiums are 10 times as much as mine. Being young is great and fun but it will dawn on you one day that we know better. I remember when I acknowledged to my Dad that he had been right all along. We grown-ups, certainly the lucky ones without kids of our own, are really just teenagers in wrinklier skin. Age is inevitable and a bit depressing as it accelerates with age. Birthdays used to take forever to come around. Now I seem to have at least three every year. What I can give the young reader as comfort is that, unless you get some awful disease, your mind will still work the same way when you are my age as yours does now. You will still think much the same way and like the same things. But you will have the benefit of learning a little more about what you can or can’t say or do without appearing or actually being an idiot. Well most of the time anyway.

Categories: Rants

9 replies »

  1. My husband is a grumpy forty-something, because he wishes he was still 18 and listening to The Smiths (I’m a headbanger yeah or something).

    I am a serene forty-something, totally at one with my age and my environment! I don’t miss my teens, twenties or thirties. I can do what I want, listen to what I want, and mostly say what I like.

    I’m glad teenage children exist, though. We will need them when we are pensioners :D!

    Lesley x.

  2. Agree with much of this Sandy and have thought many of these thoughts myself recently. I think it’s partly to do with sitting next to a 19 year old at work and knowing how boring I must come across to her. And I must be old because I don’t care to make any effort to make her think any different! I don’t need to make excuses for my supreme wisdom gained through my experience (and I am certain my music collection/knowledge is far superior to hers… Or most, come to that!) Hurrah for ‘middle age’!

  3. Love the picture. 🙂 This is something I think about a lot, I have a pre-teen at home and it sometimes seems as if we’re from different world. I have to aways try to understand and remember how I felt about adults and the world, when I was her age.

    • Also remember their world works a different way to how the older generation did, tech is more crucial, correct English not so much. The skills are fundamentally different. I love the photo too. Bandana’s are my drinking weakness

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