Wednesday, July 21, 2010

3 Ways Teenagers and Soap Opera Characters Lead Amazingly Similar Lives

This isn't a business post or an inspirational post. It isn't even a post with great tips for doing something better/different/faster.  It is a mom post.  About the thoughts that occur to me sometimes in dealing with my boys.  My sons are ‘grown’ if we’re strictly counting legal age of accountability. One is 21 and one is 18. The 18 year old just graduated and lives with us. Yesterday I was reminded again how teenagers and soap opera characters lead very similar lives. This is what they seem to have in common:

1-The perfection of the long, overly-dramatic, did I mention LONG? look they give when they are questioned about a sticky subject or caught in an obvious untruth. Let’s face it, almost everyone has at least briefly watched a soap opera. You know how the character is able to hold this look right into the camera just as the show goes to commercial break? The one that begins as a frightened ‘Oh my gosh, did Willow just hear me admit that the triplets I’m carrying may be my father’s brother’s drycleaner’s cousin’s babies and not my husband who is being held in a unidentifiable third world country jail’? and then slowly turns into a look of challenge and ultimately defiance ‘I don’t believe she heard anything and I’m going to stand here and look innocent and peeved that she appeared to be eavesdropping in the first place’? THAT’s the look my Max has perfected when I ask him how it is that report cards were sent out a month ago and yet haven’t seemed to show up in our mailbox a mere 5 miles away from school yet, or when I remind him that I’ve asked him 300 times to unload the dishwasher and ask just what day that could possibly happen. If only I could get him on contract so he could get paid for the acting. Which leads me to #2…


2-The effortless nature of wearing nice clothes, being invited to great parties, having gym/club memberships, and just showing up everywhere they are supposed to be without ever seeming to actually go to a JOB (unless you count the occasional hospital, police department, or family corporation). People in soap operas are like most teenagers. They always have nice clean clothes and yet never seem to be hovering over a washing machine. They are members of the neighborhood pool without ever having paid a homeowner dues bill. They just expect that they will have good food and be given great opportunities without any thought of actually clipping coupons and stocking the fridge. And like the magic of television, my children are walking around in pretty nice clothes and well-fed through no effort of their own.


3-The lack of acceptance of the simple fact that it is far better to confess early than be found out later.
On television people rarely learn from their mistakes or the mistakes or others. They stubbornly refuse to admit to the affair, the evil twin, or the baby switch scheme but they always always always end up exposed as liars. Teenagers are often the same way. My son knows his report card is horrible and he knows that eventually it will find its way to me. Yet when he is questioned repeatedly about his grades, his exams, etc, he is adamant that all is good. So when it finally arrives I am mad. Mad at the grades but more angry (here is the crucial part that soap opera characters and teenagers never grasp) at having been repeatedly lied to about it. Really angry as I sit and remember the many opportunities he had to ‘fess up when he chose to hold on to the cover-up instead. And never has there been a shot-out of gangsters at the local hotel or any other sudden and far-fetched tragedy  to instantly make me forget that I'm mad at him.

I suppose I could wish that my children had aged right through their teenage years and reappeared on my doorstep looking quite unlike themselves or either of their parents as the soap opera characters do but I don't.  Despite the frustrations I have great boys and enjoy them far more often than I want to throttle them. And since they are young in real-life I can assume that they will outgrow most of their soap opera ways.  Until then, join us tomorrow for another episode of 'From my Basement Corner Office'...
JEM

5 comments:

Second Chance Moon said...

Love it! Mine are not teenagers yet but all three of your comparisons are right on! I found you from #31DBBB and I am really new to blogging also. Just started mine last month. I am soaking up so much information and wondering if I'll ever be as wise as some of the others!

susie kline said...

You hit it on the head! I might have to watch an episode or two of a soap opera to learn how to deal with these devious teens!

Christy {Home-Mom} said...

i got hooked on dool after a 5 year hiatis and came back to find all the people were still the same. I'm sort of looking fwd to teenage years but I know I'd better enjoy them where they are ;)
stopped by from laddy bloggers ;)
Christy
Home-Mom.com

Blondie said...

Welcome to the blogoshere, JEM! Have fun!

More Milestones said...

Hey Jem, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
: )