Thursday, June 17, 2010

Real Life Teenage Angst

I know a lot of us out there write YA, and I'd like to think that because of it, we're more in touch with our young side. But there are some things, such as perspective, that dramatically change from the age of 18 to 30. And I didn't realize how much it had changed until this real life encounter:

Me: So how's your summer going?

Teenage Patient: Alright. I guess.

Me: What's going on?

Teenage Patient: Well, my girlfriend is going to Florida for a week. (the kid's frown turned down to his chin and his head was hanging so low I couldn't see his eyes. Which is um...kind of important when trying to do an eye exam).

Me thinking to's not the end of the world.
Teenage patient can tell by my facial expression that I just don't get it how dire his circumstances are.

Teenage Patient: Well, we've been dating for like a year and four months. So you know.... (head hangs even lower)

Me (straining to keep a straight face): Sounds serious.

Teenage Patient: Well, yeah.

Me proceeds to check his peripheral vision and fail miserably at holding back a smile.

Teenage patient can tell that my smile is a reflection of me laughing at him on the inside.

Me: I'm sorry. When I was 18 and if my boyfriend was leaving I'd be upset too. But, now if he left for a week. I'd be like See ya.

Teenage patient then proceeded to ask how old I was, and then made my day by saying that I looked like I was in my early twenties, and told me about the new tattoo he was getting today of a skull with wings coming out of it's ear sockets that would span the width of his back. Thank you teenage patient for not only making my day but teaching me a good review on what true teenage angst really is.


  1. Teens are definitely more emotional than those of us with a few more years behind us. They find drama everywhere!

  2. Yeah, I remember going through a similar situation w/ my gf (later turned wife)... now, I'm definitely in a different place (in some ways, though, I miss the angst).

  3. I've recently "reconnected" with an old boyfriend on FB. It's funny how intense those emotions still feel so many years later.

  4. Funny conversation!

    My boyfriend left for college when I was eighteen. We'd only been dating for two months, but I bawled. Oh, the angst. Teens feel everything worse.