Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows my teen years were.. among the less savory years of my life.
Which is putting it mildly.
To this day, I still feel a certain apprehensiveness around anyone between 13 and 17, with a few exceptions. Those exceptions are either related to me in some way (blood or marriage), or I met them and got to know them one-on-one, without their cronies or fan club or whatever.
Sans the element that drives them to be perceived as socially superior, otherwise known as "being cool."
Teens are immature, capable of being endearing, predictable only in their fickleness, and TINY.
It's this tininess about which I feel compelled to rant.
As I walked home from the gym the other night, I happened to exit right behind a trio of teenagers just come from Subway (I could tell by the bag clearly marked "Subway"). One was a 6' or taller boy, very slender, wearing what teen boys wear these days, and two were girls. One girl was short, petite, and brunette, wearing shorts. The other was short, curvy, and blond, also wearing shorts.
I had the misfortune to be stuck walking at a slovenly pace behind these three for about half a mile, but during that time, I noted the brunette and the boy were obviously dating (made apparent by their holding hands, then linking arms, then wrapping arms around waists, and a kiss here or there).
While cute and romantic, this prospect grew to almost comical because her head barely came to his shoulder.
Which brings me to my rant. When I was 15, I was the tallest girl in my class, weighed 180 pounds, had curves to knock out a race-car driver (had I known how to use them), AND I was intelligent, to boot.
But I suffered from low self esteem, a result in part from bullying, but also in part from comparing myself to all the freaking TINY girls in my class, and wondering what was wrong with me that I was so huge and heavy and fat.
Yes, boys and girls, I called myself fat.
I'll have you know that 180 pounds is perfectly AVERAGE for someone 6' tall and large-boned.
Did I know that at the time? No.
Would I have cared? No.
Because movies always depicted women as being skinny, thus skinny women got the attractive men, and since I wasn't skinny, I had a snowball's chance in hell of being pretty enough to "get the guy."
So not effing fair.
Then I started wondering about this little trio. Was the brunette one of those bitchy, back-stabbing types? How did her friend feel stuck with them being all mushy a few paces behind her? Maybe she liked the guy first and her friend stole him.
Or maybe they were all decent sort of people (for teenagers) and I was reliving my nightmare at their expense.
Teendom: When unrealistic expectations are the only reality.
Thank God we all outgrow it, right? Right?