Celebrity Column | Teen spirit, writes Shweta Bachchan Nanda – Having teens of my own, who let me just add, I am not trying to impress.
Shweta Bachchan Nanda
Young people are intimidating. But I really want them to like me. There is something about a group of teens that turns me into a performing monkey. I want so badly to be the “cool mom” (a mythical creature like the unicorn) that it’s uncool. And truly as a demographic, they are awful — unpredictable, unappreciative and not amused. But it’s like being seated next to the popular kid at school. You are given this window and you want so badly to impress them; their approval means the world to you. That is exactly the effect teenagers have on me; it is shameful, and mildly embarrassing for my own children — to say the least. But we all have our Achilles’ heel, this could just be mine. I’m not committing to it, it’s a work in progress much like most of my adult life.
Having teens of my own, who let me just add, I am not trying to impress. I come into contact with a lot of them from time to time, if I am lucky! Just listening to them is like mainlining adrenaline. It’s fascinating, the world they inhabit. Initially, I would sit awestruck as they spoke amongst each other — in rushed mumbles that only other teens can hear. They use fascinating words. My daughter was negotiating a grade bump for a paper she gave in and when I asked her how the situation resolved itself she said, “It’s all Gucci.” Wherein Gucci = good. MINDBLOWN! I tried incorporating it into my conversations, but I kept getting rolled eyes and sniggers. I was using it all wrong apparently.
They wear the coolest clothes and pay a quarter of what I do for them. They have made technology their B@#$h. Most middle-aged adults know that the struggle is real. Sure, they use the word “like” a lot, which makes me mildly manic. I get it, though, carrying off bored, judgmental and equable isn’t for just anyone. So you sacrificed rhetoric, big deal. Let’s not forget their music, an arm and a leg (throw in your dignity) for their playlist… not a problem, when do I start sawing?
“I really want to throw a party for your friends,” I told my daughter this morning after yoga (oh, to be lithe and bendy) “Why?” she asked, sarcastic and incredulous at the same time. “I meant you should have your friends over for dinner.” I have literally no chill. “Ok, cool maybe we can do a pre,” she says. I need to ask her what that means, it’s pre-party drinks, duh. Suddenly, I have visions of what that would look like. Puke and kids groping each other on my couch, not exactly what I was going for. Suddenly, I am not so sure about being inundated with ‘teen spirit’ and am failing with backtracking gracefully. Pushed into a corner, of my own making, I have no choice but to put my mom hat back on and lay down the rules. “Why?” she asks clearly irritated. “All my friends think you’re so cool though, Mom.”