December 14th, 2013
One of the neighborhood twins greeted me outside my apartment tonight. She looked defeated. She’d just returned from Walgreen’s, a lengthy receipt hung from her pocket. “What’s the matter Eliizabeth?” She grinched up her face and said it was her mom. “Really?” I asked. “What do moms do to teenagers that’s so damn awful?” She tells me the whole story. In brief: She and her pal were buying toys for homeless boys. She bought Hot Wheels. Lots of them. When she got home, her mom hits the roof. No no no, that’s all wrong! That sort of thing. So Liz goes back to Walgreens and follows her mother’ directions this time. Which was to buy stuffed toys. Even me, I can see what a mistake that is. Boys in their early teens want things that make noise when you crash them. Stuffed toys, I don’t even know how to write the word for the lack of noise they make. Something like
bshhhshshh. Fogettaboudit. Anyhow, she’s got two bags of fresh and quiet toys in her arms. What’s a 13 year old girl gonna do? By the way, what’s the word for compressing your face so your nose and eyes and lips are all out of whack? Squinched up or grinched up? Okay, no more of this tough talk. I thought I could pull it off. Clearly, I was wrong.
So I was thinking about the dumb things moms do to try to make their fellows in parentage think they are miles above them in parental behavior. That’s why the stuffed toys. It’d be pretty doggone easy put an eye out on the back bumper of a ’85 Oldsmobile when it’s pulling out of a two couch cushion garage. It’s sad. That’s probably the reason girls tend to take up filter tip cigarettes when they graduate to smoking — it’s less likely to make your lungs look bad when you expire from this terrible practice.
Elizabeth and her friend wandered off downhill in the general direction of Walgreens, or it could’ve been the coffee shop that treats young teens with as much decorum as their mothers and fathers. (The shop is doing very well, by the way). Their assignment for tonight, come back with stuffed animals. And forget the rhinos and wolves. Silly bears and flightless birds — you know the ones that just waddle.
Okay, honey, you’ve got you marching orders.