Thursday, June 15, 2006

What were you like as a teenager?

I was anti-social. I liked to stay in my room & read, write stories, or watch TV. I was not into organized sports. I was shy & I really did not like going to 'events' unless it was a carnival or fair. Meeting new people was agony to me. I had a small circle of friends & kept to myself. I did not put a lot of effort into my appearance (when you wear a uniform all day & have your hair, makeup, jewlery & shoes stictly limited, there just isn't much motivation IMO. I made up for it in college)

My parents are VERY social, so I was a big problem to them, though I might not have been to less socially active parents. I was not really a rebellious child. I didn't stay out past curfew or sneak liquor or cigs. I didn't mouth off. My parents were well known in my home town. No matter how sneaky I thought I was being, someone would see me & tell my folks. EVERY TIME! I learned that lesson very quickly when I was still in grade school. As a teen I knew I would get busted & there was never anything I wanted to do so bad that was worth the risk. Anyway, from about the age of 14 I knew I was going to go to WVU, the then #1 party school in the nation & I could do all the wild stuff I wanted to then with no parental reprocussions (as longa s it didn't involve bail). So I waited. My brother cound;t be convinced of this & regularly was surprised to be busted for sneaking out, underage drinking, tearing his car around in vacant lots, etc. Mostly for sneaking out & drinking in the woods. Which was really dumb of him. If we wanted a beer, even at 16, (the drinking age was 18 then) we said "Hey Dad, can I have a beer?" and he said "Sure, you have to drink it in the house." So what was the point of getting some one to buy you a six pack & sneak of into the woods? I never got it. I never really had a curfew, though my car had to be home by midnight. I was free to drop it off & leave again. My parents wanted to know where I was, who I was with, when I might be home. But they were open about the curfew thing and cut you no slack if you stayed out until 2am and had to get up at 6am to work or something. Logical conscequences were a big thing with my parents. The only thing they were really adament about was no drinking & driving & no getting into a car with somoene who had been drinking, even just one beer. I never had a boyfriend in HS so sex was a non-issue.

My parents main issue with me is that I didn't want to go along to watch my brother's baseball games or to 'family events' that the Jaycees were sponsoring (my dad was very involved in jaycees) and I had no problem sharing my unhappiness at being where I was with everyone in my vacinity. I was a sulky, whiny teen when I was dragged out to things I didn't want to do. Eventually they stopped making me show up at most things.

I never really grew out of the anti-social thing. At least not IRL. I am much more social online than I am in person. I've never apologized for my sulking & whinyness. But then they have never apologized for pushing me so hard into social & athletic situations. Mistakes were made all around as I see it. I could have behaved better & they could have eased off on the pressure. My parents and I accepted our difference shortly after I graduated from college & that was closure for me. My older son is very shy & slow to deal with social things. I am trying to both respect that & encourage him out of it. But I am not going to drag him repeatedly to things I know he doesn't enjoy on the theory he'll just get over it, because I know it doens't work that way.

6 comments:

faery-wings said...

Good to see that you are breaking the cycle with your son. Too many parents end up overcompensating becasue they don't want their kids to be shy like them. It sunds like you have a good understanding of him.

glynis said...

This is well written, Stacey. It really sounds like you understand yourself and that is great...especially if you see the same thing in your son.

Tink said...

Isn't it a prerequisite to be anti-social as a teenager? I never was but so many of my friends were (aha how can they be friends if they were anti-social you say).

heather said...

ITA, there is no point trying to change someone if that's just the way they are! It's great you can understand your son because of your own experiences.

Bonnie said...

Someone else that I can relate to and sounds like I was as a teenager.This is a nice insightful post into who you are.

Bonnie said...

This sounded a lot like me as a teenager! (read mine to see). It gives a lot of insight into you as a person too. I enjoyed reading it.