June 07, 2017Sue's sister, Ann Elwood, came to visit for few days from New Hampshire where she lives. It was good to see her again. She and Sue spent hours talking and catching up on things (even though they talk every week). I always wonder how they can have so much to talk about. But I digress.
Ann told me about something that I admit I had never heard before, though it's on the Internet. And that was about being a "Seenager." Senior teenager.
Somebody wrote the following (I haven't found an author but kudos to whoever it is):
I am a Seenager. (Senior teenager)
I have everything I wanted as a teenager only 60 years later.
I don't have to go to school or work.
I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad.
I don't have a curfew.
I have a driver's license and my own car.
The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant and they do not use drugs.
And I don't have acne.
Life is great.
Wow, I thought. All of that is true! Remember when you were a teenager? For some it may be farther back than we'd like, but didn't you always want your own place? I did. Nothing wrong with Mom and Dad's place, but the rules there were not made by me. The dorm at college didn't count nor did the barracks I lived in while in the Air Force. Again, somebody else's rules.
But when I went to work in East Lansing I got my own place…alone. Now the rules were made by me. Interestingly, I voluntarily followed most of the rules I was used to but not all. My dad, for example, was a stickler about turning off the lights when you left a room. "Don't waste electricity," he'd say. "It costs money!" Now I could leave the lights on if I wanted. And I could stay out as long as I wanted with nobody waiting up with a lecture when I got home.
Dad also turned the furnace down at night. I was often cold overnight, so my rule was to turn the furnace down during the day when I wasn't there but keep the temperature warm and comfy when I was there.
So, yes, it was great to finally have my own "pad." But dad wasn't paying the rent anymore. I was. A rude awakening about what it costs to maintain your own place.
I now had my own car. Freedom! A beautiful '66 Chevy Caprice. But the feeling was slightly altered when I realized how much it cost to own and operate a car. Even when gas was cheap! Dad took care of those details before.
Now, it's true I that don't have to go to school or work but I kind of miss it. Except when I look out and see a foot of snow out there. I do miss the human interaction, though. Rico and I are here alone a lot when Sue works. I love him dearly but we have a little language barrier.
I get an allowance every month just like back then. But now it's Social Security. It's a little more than Dad gave me but not much. And now the allowance reminds me that I am getting old. That didn't occur to me when I was a teenager.
It's true that the people I hang around with are not worried about getting preggers but don't use drugs? Are you kidding me? Most of them, including me, take a cocktail of medicines to keep them alive. Maybe they don't use illegal drugs but they do use drugs.
I don't have acne anymore. I don't need Clearasil like I did in high school. I used it to cover the blemishes, but everybody knew they were there. Most of my peers used it, too. Once in a while, even today, a little red zit will pop up out of nowhere and it still makes me furious if I have to be seen in public. But it goes away a lot faster than it did back when.
Being a Baby Boom teenager was not easy for sure, but we thought we knew everything, we would live forever, and Dad or someone would be there to help with the finances, troubles, etc. Then came the 40 or so years of living on our own like we always dreamed. That was no picnic in the park either. But most of it was productive and fun.
So now we are Seenagers. I like the term. Life sure looks different from this vantage point than it did then. But I DO have everything I wanted as a teenager, and yes, life is great! And, best of all, I still have a crush on my seenage wife.
Email Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org.