10 Things I Learned from Teenaged Girls This Week

March 7, 2014


This past week, I’ve been hanging out at my college friend’s house in suburban Maryland.

It’s been really nice.

After all, I am a huge fan of free places to stay. Especially when those free places have a pantry full of food I never buy. Let’s just say it’s possible my breakfast on Monday consisted of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Doritos.

My college friend also happens to have two teenaged daughters. And since school was cancelled for the first two days of the week due to the “Massive Maryland Snow Storm”  (aka “Totally A Flurry If You Happen to Live in Michigan“), I got to spend quite a bit of time hanging out with them.

This has also been nice.

And educational. Not only have I learned a few things about teenagers I didn’t know, but also I’ve learned a few things about myself.

10 Things I Learned From Teenaged Girls This Week

1. I am not cool.

This kind of came as a surprise, to be honest, as I’d always kind of thought of myself as a pretty cool adult. After all, I regularly eat popcorn for dinner and I know who Pharrell is (even if I just had to use Google to figure out how to spell his name).

Plus, all my nieces and nephews seem to think I’m pretty awesome. I mean, not to brag or anything, but I have been called the Best Aunt Ever. I even have the jewelry to prove it.

best aunt

But my nieces and nephews are all currently ten and under. They’re a little bit easier to impress.

I tried to pull off the cool adult routine with my friend’s daughters by talking about Divergent and how I used to have a nose ring in college. When that didn’t work I made fun of their mom in front of them.

Yes, I did that.

I know.

I’m horrible.

But they’re TEENAGERS. Teenagers are basically piranhas. Really, really judgy piranhas. They don’t care if you know all the lyrics to “Happy.” If you’re their parent’s friend, you’re ancient and lame and you might as well just start wearing mom jeans already.

2. I cannot seem to stop myself from asking, “So how’s school?”

I did not want to ask this question.

I know this is not a cool question to ask.

I can remember my parent’s friends asking me this question and thinking to myself, “Uggh. Adults! Why do they all ask the same stupid question about school?”

I would hear this question coming out of my mouth and all I could think was, “Ahhhh! Make it stop! Make it stop!”

But, yet, it would not stop.

3. Facebook is not cool.

Or at least it used to be cool until adults started using it and made it all lame.

Now all the kids these days use Instagram. Hopefully us adults won’t mess that up, too.

4. You should never Instagram more than seven photos a week.

Anything more than that is just a cry for help. Of course, exceptions can be made in the case of special events like school dances and puppies. But, even then, you should really try to control yourself.



This to me sounded impossibly low. I have been known to Instagram seven photos before noon. Especially if my breakfast looked like this:



When I mentioned that I thought seven photos a week was too low and that I could never keep to that, I was assured that it didn’t really matter what I did because I wasn’t “school-popular.”

Ummm, okay.

5. There are certain things old people shouldn’t know about.

Like Vine.

And there are other things that old people should know about.

Like Percy Jackson.

I, meanwhile, know what Vine is, but had never heard of Percy Jackson. So that means I’m not only an old person, but a really bad old person.

6. Wearing stuff like hats and scarves and winter jackets in the middle of winter is still super duper uncool just like it was when I was a teenager.

Why do you think that is? Is there some kind of universal evolutionary purpose behind teenagers regularly attempting to freeze themselves to death?

Proof that I wasn't very cool as a teenager: I wore hats.

Proof that I wasn’t very cool as a teenager: I wore hats. And I didn’t just wear them — I wore them jauntily.

7. Another thing that teenage girls are still doing that they did when I was a teenager: worrying about being fat when they’re not fat.

Uggh, right?

That really needs to stop being cool already.

8. Nose rings are cool but tongue rings are gross.


Sorry if you have a tongue ring. But, ewww.

9. Teenagers can sleep FOREVER.

Not just for a really long time, but for FOREVER. At one point on Tuesday, I was worried they had both slipped into a coma they had been sleeping so long.

They can also sleep ANYWHERE. Here is just a short list of places I found teenagers sleeping this week: on the couch, on the floor, on the kitchen counter.

10. I couldn’t do it.

Watching my friend with her daughters filled me with awe. She’s such an amazing mom — so full of love and humor and grace. And she’s raising daughters who are every bit as awesome and smart and funny as she is. Even if they do regularly try to freeze themselves to death.

I know I could never be a mom myself. Admittedly, I’ve known this for a while. I mean, I’m barely responsible for myself. I really shouldn’t be responsible for other humans.

I’m happy with being the best aunt ever.

Well, that is until my nieces and nephews reach their teenage years and I become the uncoolest person ever. I wonder if I can get that in a bracelet, too?

 Learned any life lessons from hanging out with teenagers recently? What’s cool among the teenagers in your life? Do share! I’m pretty sure sharing is still cool. Maybe?

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On March 7, 2014 at 11:40 am Rika | Cubicle Throwdown said:

    Wow, that *is* a jauntily-worn cap! Well done! I just turned 29 and had a family with teenagers and some pre-teens at my dive shop this week… I was watching the little ones on their iPads and concluded I am now ‘old’ as I couldn’t believe their little fingers racing with so much dexterity on the screen. When I was 9, I could barely swing a baseball bat correctly. Jeez.
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted..Roatan Review: Deliciosa Creamery

    • On March 7, 2014 at 2:32 pm Sally said:

      I know, right? I had to take a typing class in high school and I was HORRIBLE at it. In fact, I had to take it pass/fail just so I wouldn’t ruin my GPA (nerd!), and I even almost failed it. My fingers just didn’t work that way. It took me years (and a whole bunch of last minute 5-page essays in college) to get me any good at typing. I would never survive as a teenager today.

  2. On March 7, 2014 at 11:52 am Hata Trbonja said:

    In France smoking is cool. Also carrying big heavy purses on your forearm is very, very, cool. Even though it makes them all look like grandmothers, they keep doing it. Pinterest is definitely not cool and neither is “natural” looking make-up.
    So far this is all I know. I will keep us, uncool people, aware of any new developments.
    Hata Trbonja recently posted..Finding Style

    • On March 7, 2014 at 2:30 pm Sally said:

      Fascinating! I’m staying in a hostel in NYC this weekend and it’s full of teenaged French girls. Maybe if I started smoking and sporting some smoky eye, they’d accept me as one of their own, what do you think?

  3. On March 7, 2014 at 7:03 pm Leah said:

    It was fun to have you visit! The girls really liked it because they said I didn’t yell as much when you were here. :-/ And FYI, apparently this blog post was read aloud to a gaggle of high school girls this afternoon.

    • On March 7, 2014 at 10:45 pm Sally said:

      WHAT??? But I thought blogs weren’t cool! Ahhhhh!
      P.S. The high school girls should feel free to leave comments telling me everything I got wrong and how terribly uncool I am because of it. 🙂
      P.P.S. Great to see you too!

  4. On March 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm Priya said:

    I think you’re pretty cool. Just get a nose ring and stop saying things like “how’s School?” because, I mean, do you really want to know? I mean, I don’t even want to know.
    Priya recently posted..Defining Your Travel Purpose?

    • On March 8, 2014 at 7:44 am Sally said:

      Sadly, I don’t think my nose is made for nose rings. It got really infected the first time around (not my fault! I swear! I cleaned it all the time but I have really sensitive skin). So, alas, I will have to leave the cool piercings to others.

  5. On March 8, 2014 at 12:50 pm Lucy said:

    I’m from the Uk, I’m 25. I thought I was still young and cool, until I went to visit my cousins, who are all American. One is 12 and when I couldn’t name all of One Direction, she looked at me and said “Wow, you must be a massive loser in England”.

    Ahh dear.
    Lucy recently posted..5 Arseholes you’ll probably meet while travelling… and how to make the most of them.

  6. On March 8, 2014 at 11:42 pm Ross said:

    As for # 6, years ago I noticed “You have to be cold to be cool.” My kids think I am so uncool when I say that (as I point out shivering teenagers wearing shorts and a t-shrit and no jacket or coat while waiting for the bus on winter mornings in Utah). I just laugh like hell. I think it’s funny. But then again, I’m not cool.
    Ross recently posted..Virgin River

    • On March 16, 2014 at 12:40 pm Sally said:

      Yes, one of the really fun things about not being a teenager is being able to laugh at all the stuff they think is cool (and you also used to think was cool) while being totally uncool while doing it.

  7. On March 9, 2014 at 8:40 am Stephanie - The Travel Chica said:

    I miss those days when I could sleep for 12 hours.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Alternative transportation revolution

  8. On March 9, 2014 at 1:03 pm Ceri said:

    I haven’t hung out with teenagers since I was one so I have no idea what’s cool. Saying that, I’m about to go and teach a bunch of them so I guess I’ll find out soon. Kudos for surviving that, hun! (Being around teenage girls, I mean.)
    Ceri recently posted..9 Ways You Can Afford to Travel

  9. On March 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm Emily said:

    It has been a while since I was a teen and yet, save for the facebook, Vine, and Instagram/technology stuff, it seems that there are a lot of weird similarities as to what is deemed cool or not. I am glad to be reminded of these ‘lessons’ without having to go back and re-live my teenaged years!
    Emily recently posted..Our Time Out

    • On March 16, 2014 at 12:36 pm Sally said:

      Omigod, I would NEVER want to go back to my teenage years. Heck, I would never even want to go back to my early twenties. I was just such a miserable jerk all the time. Those people who say that their teens and early twenties were the “time of their lives”? Yeah, I don’t get them.

  10. On March 14, 2014 at 5:55 am Sussan Morris said:

    Not more than 7 Instagram photos a week?? I wonder how these kids would have reacted if, at all, they met my gorgeous niece in her late teens. She doesn’t even hesitate posting 7 -10 pictures a day at times..:) I just loved the way you documented your entire experience here!

  11. On March 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm Laura said:

    I don’t think I would be considered cool either. I never know how to relate to teenagers. And, like you, I know what Vine is and never heard of Percy Jackson. But I totally agree – no idea how moms of teenagers (or otherwise, I suppose) do it!
    Laura recently posted..Winter in Ohiopyle

    • On March 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm Sally said:

      I know, right? I was such a jerk I as a teenager. If I was my own mom, I would have totally given myself away. Not that anyone would have wanted to take me.

  12. On March 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm Helen Boulos said:

    Being cool takes so much energy non? I am thinking, looking back, that perhaps we required all of that sleep to sustain our energy for being cool. Plus we were probably always sick from being underdressed.

    Also, bravo for braving Michigan winters!

    I love your voice. Thanks for sharing your amazing sense of humor!

  13. On March 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm Carmel said:

    I don’t like teenagers. I recently asked Shawn if he could just take over raising our kids when they hit that age so I don’t end up killing them. I didn’t even like teenagers when I WAS a teenager.

    And yes, #7 needs to stop.
    Carmel recently posted..ANGKOR WAT IN PHOTOS

    • On March 30, 2014 at 6:22 pm Sally said:

      Yeah, me neither. Although I did really enjoy my friend’s teenagers if only because they weren’t mine. Plus, I found it really entertaining how easily embarrassed they would get if either I or their mom did something “uncool”… which was pretty much all the time.

  14. On April 13, 2014 at 8:11 am April said:

    What an awesome trip you just got there. Maybe I could try that too of course with my family. We can visit one of our college friends in Maryland and perhaps we can experience what you just had there with the teenagers. Well, teenagers are pretty cool these days especially with what’s social media has been doing lately, teenagers will definitely know everything on what’s cool and what’s not. I just can imagine myself asking the, “how’s school?”, maybe I could really see those angry bird look in their faces. Anyway, this is a great experience that you’ll never forget.


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