Category Archives: Teenagers

Adolescence

 

 

 

1960, Murdo grade school’s 7th and 8th grade, first boy-girl party in the unfinished basement of our “new” house.  I’m the tallest girl in the 8th grade, dancing with the shortest boy in the 7th grade. I have on two different dresses in these photos taken on the same night.  I ripped the side seam out of the first one trying to duck under someone’s arm during the first dance.  I had to go change into one of my older sister’s dresses. Click on photos to enlarge.

Adolescence

Awkward pauses, awkward poses.
Awkward stances, offering roses.
Teens are natural at this.
First date, first crush, first awkward kiss.

Stumbling to stand like newborn colt,
One day suave, just now a dolt.
All creatures need to learn to be
what they’ll be one day effortlessly.

We learn our lessons through mistakes—
missed swings at balls and fallen cakes.
There’ll be missteps. That die is cast,
but adolescence does not last.

I’ve used this photo before, but the poem is new. The prompt today is awkward.

Cold Weather and the Subtle Art of Wooing

 

Cold Weather and the Subtle Art of Wooing

A frozen little nose and frigid little toes
plague my teeny-bopper everywhere she goes,
for she does not cover tender little parts
when the winter comes and when the snowing starts.

Flip-flops on her feet, face naked to the air—
she seems to need to show us everything that’s there.
Little mini-skirts and a tiny cotton blouse
with nary a parka as she journeys house-to-house.

She says the weather’s nothing. She says she isn’t cold,
and she will not listen. She simply won’t be told
by her mother or her father that she should bundle up.
We try to give her mittens, hot cocoa in a cup.

Now once again she’s out of here with a new boyfriend
but without a coat or sweater to protect against the wind.
But then I see her logic. for when she subtly sneezes,
he drapes an arm around her to shield her from the breezes. 

So even though my daughter might seem naive and daft
not taking due precautions against the cold and draft,
there’s a method to her madness. She knows what she is doing.
Instead of dressing for the weather she is dressing for the wooing.

 

The WordPress prompt today is frigid.

Generational Drift

Generational Drift

It’s a symptom of their stage of life,
a product of their age.
Adolescents have to disagree
and posture, pout and rage.

That teenage chemical is now
rampaging through each vein,
bringing self-doubt, embarrassment,
confusion and disdain.

Nothing so discomforting
as advice of a parent.
Teens crave emancipation,
but go through with it? They daren’t.

They may neglect their family time
in favor of their friends.
The list of what is wrong with you?
Somehow it never ends.

If you could just dress better,
they might find it easier to
admit you were their parents
when they run into you.

But as it is they meet your eye,
their own eyes simply narrowing.
They walk by like a stranger.
To address you would be harrowing.

You rip your jeans and cut your hair
so it looks freshly tumbled,
but you cannot please them.
If you try, you will be humbled.

“Gross,” they’ll say, “You’re not a kid,
so why attempt to be one?”
But if you keep your present look,
they’ll say that you are no fun.

How can one be as old as you
and not know anything?
For their advice, they’ll go online
to consult the I Ching.

Ouiji boards and seances
bring advice from the past.
It seems words really ancient
contain more of a blast.

So parents, do not anguish
if you can’t reach your at-hand kids,
Just wait ’til you have passed away
and talk to your great-grandkids!

The prompt today is symptom.

Teen Idol

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Teen Idol

No mere pea in any pod,
nothing about her crass or odd,
all things about her svelte and mod,
designer clothes, designer bod,
her face a mask, her spine a rod––
Gucci-clad, Manolo shod.
Fortune gave an early nod
to one the whole world came to laud.
Yet as we throw the final clod,
how sad this beauty blessed by God,
choosing to end the whole charade,
now lies beneath the welcoming sod.
Her famous smile––a mere facade.

The prompt word today was “facade.” (jdb photo)

 

Partying 50’s and 60’s Style

When I was in the eighth grade, I had a party for 8th and 7th graders in our big unfinished basement. We must have borrowed the chairs and screens from the Methodist church, as I recognize the ugly screens in these photos. I wonder what we were hiding behind them? Possibly water pumps used to pump water out of the basement during a snow melt the winter before, although I doubt that was a problem as a year later, I spent the summer tiling and painting this basement. I remember my dad having to jack up the house a bit as he increased the height of the foundations when the ground settled one year, so perhaps this was going on at that time.

At any rate, my party was held before the gentrification of our basement took place, and it was a big deal. All the boys’ mothers were calling to see if it would be chaperoned and there were big discussions about whether it was appropriate to have a girl/boy party. The coach demanded that all the boys had to leave by 10 o’clock as they were in training for basketball and had a curfew. It was the only boy/girl party anyone ever had the whole time I was in junior high and high school, other than school parties where we played games but didn’t dance much.

The 7th and 8th grades were in the same room with the same teacher, who was also the grade school principal and the junior high basketball coach. (That’s his picture sitting in the stands at a district tournament with Jeff Sanderson sitting behind him.) While he taught one grade, the other one had study time and vice versa–– all in one big room. It was interesting to hear your entire 8th grade curriculum while you were in the 7th grade, so by the next year it sort of felt like a rerun, or deja vu.

I’m dancing with Alan Rada in most of these photos. He was a year younger than me and seemed to know what he was doing on the dance floor. I am wearing a different dress in the photos of the earlier part of the evening not because I was a fashionista with too wide a choice to limit myself to one garment per evening, but because I split out the underarm of my first dress when I was spun by an overzealous partner during a jitterbug. In fact, I think the girls were teaching most of the guys to dance at this party.

The two older somewhat sinister looking girls are my sister and her friend Dianne, who were recruited to chaperone, I guess. Since my sister Patti, on the left, was the one who taught me to dance, perhaps she was there to see that we were teaching the boys to dance correctly.

The boy with the crew cut wearing glasses is my across the street neighbor Billy Sorenson.  The little guy who looks like he is about to slap Henrietta Oldenkamp on the butt is Keith Weigandt. Don’t you love all the girls in party dresses, bobby sox and white tennis shoes? We were soooooo cool. (Well, they were.  I wore nylons and one inch heels.How ordinary of me.) This must have been 1959 or 60.

(When I took my doll collection out of my room, my mother decided to put it out in the hall.  Guess which one of us never grew up?  She must have taken this photo of me before the guests arrived because this is the dress that ripped out under the arm during a too-ambitious dance move.)