I'm a terrible human being.

Everyday on my way to work, I pass the same teen waiting for the bus. He has black Beiber hair and usually wears combat boots, shorts and a black hoodie. He sings and enthusiastically headbangs to whatever is coming through his ipod. My hubby and I critique this kid's clothes each day.

"He's in shorts again. Does he notice the foot of snow?"

"Ooh, combat shorts. Way to stick it to black!"

"Honey, he's all Green Day up top with a natty red tie. Speech or girlfriend?"

"I don't get the way kids dress."

And that's the key. I'm completely mystified by the way teens dress (just as mystified as I was as a teen). Avril Lavine's mall skater look has had a hold on Northern Indiana for ten years. Blair Waldorf prep never even blipped the radar. Now that the 90s are coming back hard enough to register at Forever 21, I have even more of a reason to be confused by teen clothes. I wore some of the 90s in the 90s. Not cool a second time.
This is part of me realizing I'm getting older. I'm befuddled, missing my glasses and in need of prune juice. I'm starting to sound just like my mother who was appalled in 1997 that I wanted some flares. "Those are bell bottoms. They weren't a good idea the first time."

Here's why I'm a terrible person. I let a little bit of this slip in front of my youth kids, teen girls who have enough image problems without me piling on. All I said was that there's this hilarious headbanger whose clothes hubby and I comment on, and I could see their little self worth shrivel, their eyes fearful that now they have to worry about the thoughts of traffic. Of course, I can't say that I'm old and don't get it. I can't be written off as clueless like Mom. I'm supposed to be imparting wisdom into their lives, giving them guidance but because of my poor direction, I let them veer into a ditch.


Jennifer Wells said…
Oh, I'm sorry that you feel that way. We've all had moments of "slipping up," and wishing to take it back. I once made a critical comment about the appearance of someone who was on t.v., in front of someone who had the same issue.

If it makes you feel any better, the best thing that you can do to boost the self-esteem of kids is to spend time with them, which you are already doing. You are teaching them that they are worthy.
Jael Paris said…
I forgot how sensitive teens can be about appearance. If they think you're cool and you don't like the cut of their jeans the world just ends.
Jennifer Wells said…
It'll be okay. This week will be better.

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