Monday, December 31, 2007

18th Birthday Party

Jimmy's friend Rose turned 18 yesterday and I was invited to come to her birthday dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. When I got there I discovered that I was the oldest person almost 10 years. I can't decide if this just made me old, or gives me enormous coolness points. I'm hoping for coolness points. I did get the looks of awe (or envy) from the table when I handed my ID to the waiter for my alcoholic beverage.

It was a good decision that I wore black, as most of the kids there did as well...and let me tell you, the eyeliner was not needed by any one of those kids there...because they weren't fooling anyone. It was really strange being at a table of kids where they are so desperate to prove that they are different from everyone else, that they end up being so alike in their teenage angst.

I sat next to this girl who came in, said hi to everyone, and then sulked in her seat most of the night. I started talking with her when I heard her muttering about how no one was talking to her. She was text messaging the whole time, I didn't think that it was right to disturb her. Throughout the night I heard about how her mom decided that it was ok for her to dye her hair anyway she wants (which I don't think she will do now), about her drama with her former girlfriend and her former boyfriend, her body weight, how she doesn't get buzzed when she drinks alcohol, how the girl next to her pissed her off, and how she was out of her "comfort zone" at the dinner and that was why she wasn't more outgoing. (Yes, I realized that was all in one sentence.) She came to the dinner without any money, so she didn't order anything. I offered to buy her dinner but she refused...citing that she doesn't eat very much anyway and that when she does it hurts her stomach. I made sure to order extra food though as she had no problems with eating french fries if they were on my plate or drinking water if the glass was in front of me. She was a sweet kid, but by the end of the meeting I just wanted to shake her and tell her that her life would be so much better if she just stopped sleeping around, that she should eat on a regular basis, and that no matter how well she thinks that she can handle alcohol...she is a DUI waiting to happen.

But she seemed to be the arch-type of all of those at the table. One girl, who was cute in that mascot kind of way, was a thirteen year old in the accelerated learning program. She is smart, outgoing, and already a 32D (she proudly announced that at the table). I think that she did manage to get the waiter's phone number, even though she refused to tell him her real age. I remember being that boy crazy and wanting more (she lamented alot about how she was still a virgin). I just hope that she lets reason rule her head or she could be heading for trouble too. And just wait until her father realizes that she has his credit card, security code, and social security number memorized...or at least until he get the next credit card bill.

It was funny....Jimmy had mentioned that he also felt that the others were making too big of deals about all of the social crap that goes on in high school. He couldn't believe that just a few months ago, his life had that same urgency. Everyday he surprises me with the new levels of maturity that he reaches.

To all of those kids at the table last night...take it easy...high school was nothing compared to what your twenties and thirties are going to be. You'll look back on this time and think that you were just as ridiculous as I saw you. You're life is not going to end, it is just beginning.

And to the waiter last night, thank you for bringing me that second drink.

1 comment:

Kerrith Black said...

Your story reminds me of all the emo/goth kids I used to hang out with several years ago after High School. It is funny how hard they have to work at being depressed and not caring about anything.

They spend all their time fighting conformity by conforming to a different group. After several years of body modification through tattoos and piercings, voraciously reading Anne Rice books(even the bad ones)religiously and wearing a wardrobe consisting of the finest that Hot Topic has to offer, they still aren't any closer to an epiphany.

I wish that you could tell your brother's friends that it will all get better soon. Unfortunately, in a couple of years, they will start going to places like Area 51 and Sanctuary. Which will perpetuate this phase of their lives far longer than it has any reason to last.

Someday they will find themselves much older, still hanging out at the same clubs, doing the equivalent of comparing My Chemical Romance to the Cure or Depeche Mode and the new generation of misunderstood, angst ridden youth will stare at them blankly having no idea who they are talking about.