Thursday, March 25, 2010

Memory Lane: It Sucks to be Young!

For those of us who write YA stories, or even just have characters who are kids, I ask you...

Do you ever think about what you don't miss about being a kid?

I think a lot of the time as adults we remember the fun things like sleepovers, first kisses, and snap bracelets (those things were BOSS!), but are we really staying true to character in our writing if we don't round out the picture?

Let's indulge in some anti-nostalgia to get in touch with our inner child!

Top 10 Things that I DON'T Miss About Being a Kid:

10) Massive pimples before major events! Before prom when I was 16 years old, I got the biggest zit of my life on the end of my nose. Can you say, Rudolph the Reindeer? I covered it in about an inch of coverup, but yeah, my nose was officially misshapen for The Big Night. I do not miss zits.

9) Parental control of the TV! I'm not saying that I hate Jessica Parker or anything, but what kid really wants to be watching Murder She Wrote? 60 Minutes? Crossfire? Bonanza? (Sorry, Hoss, and Little Joe. You're boring.)

8) Bedtime/Curfew! When I was young, I had a 9 p.m. bedtime, which means that no matter how badly I wanted to stay up for The X Files, I wasn't allowed. Also, I live in the northwest, so during the summer it's light until about 11 p.m. I would lie in bed with the sunlight streaming in through my curtains, listening to the sounds of kids without bedtimes shrieking with laughter down the block. Not. Cool.

7) No money! Oh, I'm sorry, you wanted the new CoolNameBrandThingyMcStuff? Get a job. I once saved up months and months and months for a toy only to realize when I finally had enough money for it... that I'd outgrown it and no longer wanted it.

6) Homework! At least at my job I don't have to take anything home. Remember staying up late desperately trying to read the last of the book you'd been neglecting so you could finish that project that's due tomorrow? Yikes. Stress levels are on Defcon 1! I literally still have nightmares where I'll be in a panic over some research paper I forgot to write.

5) Stuff marketed for kids/teens is gross. I bought a shirt at the store 20 Below which was geared toward teens with no money--everything is $20 or less! The stitching came out in the first wash cycle and that was that. Also, anyone here remember Crystal Pepsi? I was reminded of that today, and thought "Why the hell would they make a pepsi that is only cool because it's clear... and then sell it in school vending machines INSIDE A CAN. The teens who buy it don't have glassware, people. They're at SCHOOL. We can't see the coolness. Also, now it tastes funny. Brilliant.

4) No one listens to you. "What's that, little Sally? You saw Old Man Jenkins shoplifting down at the store and then he blamed it on your friends? Well, that can't be possible! Old Man Jenkins is an adult. Stop making up stories--you're grounded!"

3) No car. Oh, you'd like to go on a date? You want to go to the mall? You forgot your coat at school? Well, I sure hope it's within walking distance, otherwise tough luck. Otherwise, you'll be taking the bus.

2) Other kids are jerks. Are you overweight? Too tall? Too short? Too skinny? Hair too curly? Have braces? Wear glasses? Walk funny? Too smart? Too average? Use big words? Use small words? Laugh too much? Act too quiet? Big boobs? No boobs? ...Well, you're pretty much screwed.

1) Feeling sorry for yourself. Everything seems worse when you have more hormones coursing through you at light speed and no control over the things that seem most important.

So, what about you guys? What do you not miss about being a kid? :)


Iapetus999 said...

Shoveling snow

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You pretty much covered it all. :)

Christi Goddard said...

Well, my step mom was a nazi b**ch so I couldn't wait to get out of the house. I had a job at 12 (yes, 12) cleaning hotel rooms. I've had a job consistently since then. At the time I was saving for a car, which I bought at 16. I moved out 2 days after my 18th birthday because I COULD. I rarely pine for the old days. I'm more of a kid now than I ever was when I was supposed to me immature and carefree.

KM said...

I'd definitely say the no car thing is the worst. Being dependent on parents to drive you around was awful.

Kat Harris said...

I love this list!

No. 2 is right on. It didn't matter how small your flaw was, the jerks in school made it seem like it was 100 times more noticeable than it really was.

Also, I can remember begging my mother to buy me a leather coat because they were cool and I was the only kid in school (at least it seemed that way) that didn't have one.

At the end of my senior year, she finally broke down and bought one for me. It's been nearly 20 years, and that sucker is still hanging in my closet. :-)

Latasha said...

The worst part about high school, besides the bullies, was getting to college and realizing that everything you learned in high school could have been taught in three semesters. Confirming that they were wasting a lot of our time.

松添 said...