Teenagers Don’t Think I’m Cool

Before we get into the sobering realization of my fading coolness, I will throw down a little summer update.

So far this year, along with our first Boise outing (posted about here), we’ve gone on lots of walks around the ‘hood and to the park. Baby Ham had his first experience on an outdoor swing, which he loved.

We’ve also managed to spend plenty of time on the little strip of scrubby grass that passes for our front yard. Because we like to spice things up, we bought the world’s cheapest wading pool. This plastic circle of fun is a product that requires us to rienflate it every single time we wish to use it. Weight Watchers should definitely give me some extra activity points for how many calories I’ve burned pumping this thing up. And by “pumping this thing up,” I am referring to using the bike pump to inflate it, not motivating the pool to inflate itself, which would be vastly more awesome. Oh, look, here we are now:

The things I like most about this photo are Baby Ham’s confused expression and B.T.’s fist of passion.

Also,  my happy summertime smile is hiding the fact that I was in an absolutely awful mood. Baby Ham has been cutting teeth, and B.T. was waking up around 11pm every night for reasons he was too distraught to express. This thankfully ended after a few nights, but it took the wind out of my nighttime sails, so to speak. Which meant that the daytime boat wasn’t sailing so smoothly. Are you digging my oceanic metaphors?

Since there was no way I had time to take a nap on this day, Ryan suggested I neglect work for the rest of the afternoon and verbally motivate the pool to inflate so we could hang out with the kiddos together. A nice thought, but it didn’t work that well.  In fact, the pants you see me wearing in the photo are actually cranky pants masquerading as jeans. This little face did cheer me up a tiny bit, though…

And what’s a summer afternoon by the low-quality pool without ice cream?

Now that I’m wearing my happy pants (which look a lot like blue sweats that fit poorly and have holes in the crotch), I want to tell you about how I finally came to accept that teenagers no longer think I’m cool.

I was at Sorbenots the other day, which is my favorite place to get coffee in Baker City. If your loins are burning for a bit of Baker City trivia, the name “Sorbenots” is “Stone Bros” spelled backwards. Clever, right? Maybe like the Neveah of the coffee world, but slightly less obnoxious. This coffee shop is a hot bed of teenage girl action, and by “action,” I mean “making lattes,” not like “making lattes in bikinis.” Just a little FYI for any local pervs reading this.

I think it’s possible that at one time teenagers might have thought I was a cool chick. Before I married Ryan, I had a super awesome job that allowed me to indulge all the weirdest parts of my personality. I also I lived in a major city, was relatively young, and sometimes made inappropriate jokes. Don’t I sound super cool, and also awesome?

Now, I am often seen with a baby on my hip while trying to keep my two year old verbally corralled. My gray hairs have increased thirty fold, and until people start mistaking me for Ryan’s mother instead of his wife, I refuse to dye it. I often function on some major sleep deficits, so there is some extra, shall we say, artistic shading under my eyes. And since having babies means fluctuating weight (or being too tired to search the drawers for pants that fit), I have many times fallen victim of the dreaded “mom jeans” epidemic.

So a few days ago, I entered Sorbenots with B.T. in tow and ordered Ryan his usual large Americano. But I decided to add some flavah to my visit and joked, “Yeah, my husband wants a huge coffee – like 32 ounces.” So, let’s break this down:

1. Thirty-two ounces. That isn’t even that big of a coffee. Maybe in Japan that joke would’ve been met with appalled gasps, but here in the U.S. of A. people be ordering up enormous servings of just about anything. So 32 ounces isn’t joke-ably big – it’s just mundane and  normal. I probably should’ve used some astronomical number. Like  –  my husband is so tired, he wants to drink SIX HUNDRED OUNCES OF COFFEE! You have a cup that big, right? HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAA!!! Totally kidding because I’m so funny!

2. I did indeed have Baby Ham on my hip and was multitasking: ordering drinks while trying to stop B.T. from picking up every single piece of merchandise on the shelves. And trying to keep it low-key, so I wasn’t like, “I want three shots – B.T. PLEASE STOP TOUCHING THOSE CUPS THEY’RE NOT OURS – ummm…what was I saying?…oh yeah….over ice in a 16-oz – I SAID PLEASE DON’T TOUCH THE GLASS WE DON’T WANT ANYTHING TO BREAK…” And so forth. Note to consumers: when customers take 20 minutes to order two beverages, baristas are generally less prone to laughter later in the transaction.

3. I think I may carry some look of caffeine-related desperation on my face when I order coffee. Sometimes I’m pretty sure my smile is fake and I can’t help communicating with my face that I don’t really care how you’re doing just please give me some espresso as soon as possible. Women who order desperately are 37% less likely to have their jokes appreciated. That might be a fake statistic, but you can appreciate the sentiment.

So after my HI-larious 32-ouncer joke, this is what I got:

That’s right. Thirty-two ounces of hot coffee in a cup meant for cold beverages. With a straw. This is how it looks next to my 12 ouncer:

Behemoth. And there’s little B.T. giving me a wave in the background.

Back to the story. Teenage Coffee Girl put the coffee in front of me, and I was like:

“Oh. Haha! I was joking about the 32 oz.”

Teenage Coffee Girl: *doubt/pitying face followed by awkward laugh* “Oh. Well – I can make you another one!”

Me: “No, that’s okay. I was making a horrible joke. It will actually be funny bringing this home to my husband.”

TCG: *another awkward laugh with increased doubt/pity on face* “Are you sure? Well. Um. Okay!” *special customer smile*

This incident made me admit what I’ve been internally denying for some time now: teenagers don’t think I’m cool.

I suppose this is something better to realize now rather than later when I’m fifty and still trying to make sixteen year olds laugh at my middle-aged wit. Or maybe I should embrace the bad jokes. My youth leader growing up always made bad jokes, but he did it proudly. This was actually really smart, because he put himself in a position to make uncool jokes forever and because he was fine with it he just stayed funny.

Or maybe the real solution is to embrace who I really am – 30-plus years old,  so excited about my kids that I don’t really care if they make me lose my comedic edge. I am also a wife, a student, a worker for The Man, and one of awesome things about being an adult is that I CAN MAKE BAD JOKES TO YOU ANY TIME I WANT. So…boo-yah. Make me a damn coffee.

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