U R NOT XTREME
I just endured the sheer discomfort of walking by a group of rowdy (read: inebriated) teens as I left my boyfriend’s theatre on 52nd Street. There were four boys, dressed up as junior accountant types, in shirts purchased for school dances and “Game Days.” As they all clumsily humped the air (reasons unknown), one of them yelled in the gravelly voice that is unique to someone three years into puberty: “ALL NIGHT LONG, BABAY!” Walking away from said boys, and toward the Roseland marquis (showcasing a musical act unknown to anyone over 17) were three girls in hoodies, the stockiest of them in what I like to refer to as a “denim diaper.” Without missing a step in my two block walk to the train, I told (in my head) these kids a thing or two:
First things first. You are not extreme. In any way. I know you feel like you are because you push envelopes your parents have repeatedly tried to lick closed. You are, perhaps, more sexually active than the guy who sits next to you in Geometry. Maybe you are the only one in shorts. But guess what?! Your parents used to be idiots, by the time you’re 35 your sexual conquests will outnumber no one else’s (and even if they do, no one cares), and we all opted for long pants because it is 20 degrees outside. That’s right, you’re not the sexiest, but you are the coldest. In fact, seeing that much skin in a 14 degree windchill is actually the least sexy thing you could do. Even perverts are repelled by a purple, frost-bitten thigh.
My suggestion to you all is to not try to out do one another. Why strive to be the most “extreme?” Years of living, and the ups and downs that will come with adulthood will prove to be much more extreme than your occasionally smoking a “J” with friends. For instance, there is a middle-aged man around the corner from you all who is yelling to no one, and wearing a skirt made of umbrellas. He is so impressively extreme that I, a New Yorker, actually stopped for a second to look at his skirt, before running away from his crazy gaze. You can’t, and should never strive to be extreme, because if you succeed, you WILL be wearing umbrellas someday.
And another thing: it’s OK that you aren’t adults, yet. Your pseudo hipster garb isn’t fooling anyone; a true hipster has not been spotted above 14th Street in five years. And no junior executive in an Express Men button down has that much acne. So put on some sweats, have a (same-sex) sleepover, and save the mundane truths of adulthood for actual adulthood! Let your mom take you to PacSun and buy you a hoodie, because that’s the most comfortable item of clothing available, and you can’t get away with it after college. Save the humping for later! You have a lot of life ahead of you, and you’ll want your hips to be healthy when you are gardening in your seventies someday.
And you WILL garden someday. I know this because you aren’t original. In your isolated little world, you might feel like a pioneer, but I went to school with your clones 15 years ago, and in Ohio no less. Teenagers are all the same, no matter where you go: insecure, smelly, out-of-proportion monsters. I say, enjoy this sameness. Enjoy being the least, or at most, mid-level extreme. If you stop seeking extreme-ness, you might actually relax enough to become a truly interesting person someday.
And if that is not reason enough, well, a lot of “popular” people become really fat. So slow down while you can still see your feet.