How a trip to IHOP taught a teenager about why everyone hates teenagers
I would consider myself a person who observes a great deal. I watch how people work, how they talk and react. I find interest in that, and there is no better place to observe than in a high school, where I, a sophomore, spend a good amount of my time. I have found my observations to be quite the opposite of stereotypes set in by media. Most of my compadres are well balanced individuals with a good head on their shoulders. Don’t get me wrong, there is a large quantity of my school who is not any of those things and continues to live their lives by the beat of somebody else’s drum. Overall though I would say that there are enough quality guys and gals in my grade and the grade above me (and even the grade above that) for a person to be able to surround themselves so to not have to deal with the boring and mind numbing. I surrounded myself so much with the non foolish type that I began to forget the majority of the school and how they go about their business. Boy was I in for an awakening.
It was a weird night. 2016 was only a few days old and I had stayed pretty secluded for most of winter break. So when I ventured out into town with a friend of mine, I welcomed the experience, not only was I free of the reign of my old man and my mother but I was also meeting up with a girl I have grown a liking towards. As far as I knew she was alone but I had a sense that she had picked up a few friends along with her. Sure enough as we roll up in my friend’s 1998 VW Passat there was three more then expected. Before I go on, the reader must understand that the girl I was trying to win over was everything I want in a lady. Intelligent, sassy, kind, interesting and confident. Her friends on the other hand were fools. No other word in the Oxford English dictionary could describe them with more accuracy. They are loud, whiny, obnoxious and self centered, but if one wants the pearl they must deal with the oyster.
I was expecting a mellow evening with her, my buddy and me. Instead I ended up at IHOP at nine at night with three of the loudest human beings on the planet.
Now I don’t like to exaggerate, I feel misused exaggeration only ruins stories and discredits the writer. But these three girls did not stop “talking” (yelling is a better verb) from the moment they entered the backseat of my friends car to when the got out for the last time two and a half hours later. At least two of them were engaged in deep conversation the entire time. This kind of behavior is tolerable at a home or a party where you can walk around, get some fresh air, talk to other people, I mean hell I’m a lover of good conversation myself, but when you are locked to them that’s when the headaches kick in.
It didn’t occur to me at the moment but the ladies were basically playing the role of a stereotypical group of teenagers. The one of walking into a public area with other families and trying their absolute hardest to ruin everyone else’s evening.
My table was a half wood chair half booth situation consisting of four girls, two guys and a fair amount of IHOP’s own signature syrup. Me and my buddy sat on the south end commanding one end of the table, me in a chair and him on the booth side, he looked out into the restaurant at all the soon to be victims. The girl I was trying to get to know was on the north side of the table and her three noisy companions commanded the center part and the chair side of the north end. The service was slow and the food was bad, kind of what was expected at IHOP at nine pm. What might have not been expected is the amount of people there at the same hour. There was a family with two little kids who sat just behind us, a group of college students all dressed in matching pajamas a few booths away, a couple on the other side of the restaurant and a few singles spread throughout.
After we ordered the wild misuse of the English language began. The moment we finished ordering was the last moment of quiet for another hour. The topics included the entire list of “Everything that shouldn’t be yelled about at IHOP with a family ten feet away.” Those included sex, drugs, alcohol, social media, and annoying teachers. A starter kit for any teen looking to piss people off and hurt the image of their age group.
The girl I had a liking for didn’t partake in a lot of the conversation. She added in enough not to be left out but one could also tell she didn’t like it anymore than I did.
I sat their in silence, observing, analyzing, trying to understand why they act this way. The only thing I could come up with is that it must work, some guys either are charmed by the talk of vices or are too horny to care. Either way they do it for a reason. There is no way that each one of those girls true personalities is to act that way. The girl I was trying to win over is a theatre participant, so you can imagine she is pretty interesting and unique.
The whole time I was witnessing more then just a loud conversation in IHOP but rather a battle, a battle between a girl who is different and a girl who wants to be the same. Through observation I have noticed this battle is a reoccurring one. On one side you have the personality that “works” (as mentioned above) and the personality that is original and exciting.I understand the temptation to fall into the mold, most guys dislike a different girl who brings something new to the table. The primary reason I wrote this story is not to bore you with teenage angst but to help the few that are having this battle in them right now. I understand that this is a big website with lots of articles to read everyday but I hope that this story can help just one someone out there struggling with personal identity. If there is one thing that browsing the internet has taught me is that there is a place for everyone (I mean hell there are gatherings for people who dress as animals.) Truthfully though the world is one interestingly large puzzle and the problem is that we have to many of the same few puzzles pieces, we need more jagged edges and round corners.