When I was a teenager, I can remember detesting most adolescent girls. Many of them were sly, dishonest, cheats, spoilt, flouncy, manipulative and stupid. I thought I had happily left all that behind and forged my own friendships with wonderful women who I can't ever imagine being any of those things.
However, recently teenagerhood has re-emerged in my entourage and I am, again, mostly appalled. What is it about some teenaged girls that makes them so impossible?
In this particular case, things started off fine, then deteriorated rapidly, and kept on deteriorating. Keeping her word seems to be an insurmountable problem - saying she'll come home at Xhr and then not doing, or making contact to warn she might be late. As though it's okay for a teenager to be out at any hour with anyone, especially a boyfriend and come home when she likes. How do you develop an attitude like that? How is it she has no local girlfriends of note?
Then inviting NG to dinner, spending that afternoon hogging the living room watching a DVD with the boyfriend, sending dad out to get food when the fridge was stuffed full, and, the last straw; announcing she has 'homework' to do with boyfriend, so could dad just cook?
Then, wanting to go to a 'party' for the class at a friend's house where the parents are going to be out for the evening and then there for the night and everyone was going to doss over. Was the boyfriend going? Evasive "dunno"s, no indication of the address, or phone number of the house. It turns out the 'party' for the 'class' has 4 teens, one of whom is, of course, the boyfriend; that the parents are out all night and there's just a neighbour to contact in case of fire... Her surprise at the utter horror of deceit and manipulation as expressed by dad is followed by hysteria at having plans blocked and being unceremoniously collected at 11.30pm.
Then, when a girlfriend comes to stay at the same time as my parents, total disregard towards them is shown and lack of respect to the point my folks become irate. What happened to family hierarchy, where the eldest members of the family are given the most respect and the younger ones show it? Does it have to be explained that my folks should have first choice of tv programmes in my house? Or that their room is their space? Or that they shouldn't be ignored at dinner? Or that she shouldn't sprawl across the sofa in the hope they will give up and go to bed? Or that her friend's super-picky eating habits is an important piece of information for the head of the house? Or that they help clear away the dinner things?
"She hasn't been brought up, dear" says NG, "she's been fed."
There was me hoping for a family member, and I end up with a project.
For how long is, of course, up to her...