Maybe it’s because of the different times, or perhaps I’m older and grown up. Heck, perhaps being a teacher makes me notice this even more. Whatever it is, I cannot help but notice the awkward situation when I walk in certain teen hang out spots: the mall, a fast food chain, the theater, and yes, even coffee shops.
I was hanging out with Panda last night. Neither she nor I wanted a dull Friday night so we made a date of it: dinner and a movie. We were at Old Orchard Mall and we could not help but acknowledge the mass of teenagers (and preteens) roaming around. Whether they were shopping, walking around in their cliques, or even eating at the food court, they were everywhere! It was worse than two rabbits breeding.
As we went along our business and catching up with each other, I could not help but keep a constant eye at the teenagers around me. Last thing I wanted was to see a kid from school walk by; especially a kid I don’t know yet.
Looking around, I could not help but to think of the scene in “Mean Girls” where Cady, Janis, and Damian saw Ms. Norbury wandering the mall. Have I sank so low that being a teacher, my only natural habitat is school? I mean, I’m still cool right? My Quigley kids would vouch for me; heck, even the Tech Club would agree that I’m a hip young teacher. Right? Right?
Well, whether I’m cool or not, I could not believe the kids at the mall last night. The girls sitting around the table in the food court reminds me of middle aged women and probably desperate, who gather weekly to chat and gossip. The prep boys walking around the mall are precursors to drunken and over sexed frat boys in college. Finally, the punk rockers who assembled around a certain store or area best reflects the post-rock/hippie generation who are all for free love and pot. And here I am, normal and possibly cool, awkwardly among a crowd of teenagers asking myself if I, or anyone I knew, was ever like that?
Probably not. Boy how the times had changed.