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Rated: 13+ · Letter/Memo · Contest Entry · #2068060
For the WDC Teen Contest: What makes a teen?
Dear Mom and Dad:

There are some things I’d like to point out which are no longer acceptable under the laws of being a teenager. Some of these addendum's may not be acceptable to you, and while I understand your biological desire to love and protect me, please take into consideration I am in the process of learning how to be my own person, and would appreciate your cooperation during this monumental event.

1. It is no longer acceptable to display any sort of affection towards me in public. This includes hugging, a kiss on the cheek, or trying to give me a high-five. High-fives are lame and while they may have been admissible when I was eight, they are now strictly forbidden, even at home.

2. When my friends come over, please refrain from interrogating them about our relationship status, their heritage, family structure, religious and/or political beliefs, natural hair color, how many piercing or tattoos they have, social security number, blood type, or any other information which is not relevant to their visit to our home. Relevant questions are as follows: How are you? Would you like to stay for dinner? Is there anything I can get you? Would you like for us to leave? These sort of questions will not only make you appear normal, but will also help me in my social standing at school.

3. You do not need to ‘understand’ the music I listen to. So, please refrain from downloading my playlists in an attempt to pick apart the lyrics to try to 'get to know me better'. I’m asking this of you for your own good. Doing so will result in hours of befuddled confusion in which you will undoubtedly need to consult an Urban Dictionary as a reference guide in order to understand most of what’s being said. While you may think music is some sort of portal into understanding me better, this is simply not the case. While music is very important to me, it does not define the type of person I aspire to be. Most of the songs I listen to have no significant meaning to me at all, I just like the beat.

4. Please ignore my constant mood swings, I don’t know what’s going on either.

5. While I appreciate you wanting to talk to me about my day, I really don’t think you’d be able to understand the complexities of being a teenager in today's society, as there are too many things going on in my life to remember what I learned in school. While I understand my grades are the only thing that seem to matter to you right now, my social standing is equally important to me. However, these matters are things I do not wish to discuss with you as for mentioned above. Case in point, popularity and personal appearance are things adults don’t seem to care about, i.e. Mom’s fanny pack, and Dad still wearing Crocks on a fairly consistent basis.

6. Speaking of fashion, I would appreciate it if you would allow me to pick out my own clothing and shoes effective immediately. Just because Mom ‘thinks’ something will look ‘cute’ on me does not mean it holds true to current fashion trends. Some examples are as follows: vests, button down shirts, slacks, penny loafers, and anything from the ‘school uniform’ section at Target. While I appreciate all the effort you have taken to make me look presentable at school, some of the my peers have begun asking me if I am a Jehovah’s witness, and asking if your daughter is going to become a sister-wife anytime soon.

7. I understand you think communication is important. However, lecturing is counter-productive as my brain can only take in about half of what you’re saying and retains only about ten percent of that. Perhaps this is because I have been at school all day listening to teachers talk about things which don’t interest me, asking me questions to ensure I am paying attention, and assigning handouts, papers, tests, and projects to prove they are doing their jobs. I have six classes a day, Monday through Friday, so if you feel the need to lecture me about something please do so by appointment on the weekend so it will not disrupt any social activities I may have planned.

8. I know you long for the sweet kid I used to be, but that is no longer biologically possible. I am a hormonal train wreck, a walking time bomb set to explode every time you start lecturing me about my choices. I am going to argue with you about most things, I probably won’t respect your opinions, and sometimes even think you are idiots. I am going to make mistakes, do things that disappoint you, and sometimes do things which disappoint myself. I am only human, after all, and would appreciate that you take this into account when assessing future punishments for me. We are going to fight, but fighting is something I feel inclined to do out of necessity due to our opposing views on just about everything. FYI: Before writing this letter, I spoke to both sets of grandparents, and they told me some very noteworthy information about their experiences with you as teenagers, which helped me understand why you’re so worried. Running away to Woodstock, Dad, really?

9. I understand this job is not even remotely close to being as satisfying as you hoped. I’m fairly certain when you had children the last thing on your minds was what would happen when they started high school. I can’t speak for your daughter, but I know there are times when you look at me and wonder where you went wrong. Let me assure you, this is not your fault, nor is it mine. This is a time in my life where I am trying to find out who I am, where I fit in, plan for a future, and somehow still maintain sanity. I think most parents forget they went through the same exact thing, and I will probably forget as well because it is not in our nature to remember traumatic events. My only hope is that you will read this letter, understand its terms are not personal, and still somehow learn to love the person you believe has stolen your sweet baby away from you. Trust me, your sweet baby is fine.

10. I need you to still believe in me. I know it must suck to always be 'the bad guy', to always be the subject of my rage, and to always feel like I could care less about what you think. I need you to continue to try, even when my actions dictate the opposite. If you need to join a support group, or talk to a counselor, I encourage you to do so. If you want to stay up all night with your friends drinking wine and talking smack about me, I don’t care, as long as you never give up on me. I know that it is likely I will never thank you for everything you do for me. In fact, I will probably continue to criticize pretty much everything you do and say.

I understand this letter is a lot to take in, and you are probably thinking I believe nothing you do will ever be good enough, but I am also relying on you to be the adults and allow me to be the kid for just a few more years. No matter how much I argue, whine, or make you want to pull your hair out, please don’t give up on me, as this is the best possible thing you can be doing for me right now.


Your Teenager
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