Author’s note: I have deleted the word “like” from my otherwise verbatim transcription in order to keep the word count under 7 zillion words. You may feel free to, like, insert it, like, wherever you like, because in all likelihood it was there in the original.
My fab friend Debba asked me to write a blog for Girlfriendology.com about how teenage girls can be better friends. While I may look insanely young, it has been a while since I was (in fact) a teen, so I turned to our very own teenage girl for advice and inspiration.
“Pi,” I said, “I need ideas for how teenage girls can be better friends.”
“Huh?” To be fair, we were at the gym and she was 45 seconds into a handstand. I repeated.
“I dunno,” she said and turned right side up again.
“It’s for DEBBA,” I explained.
“Uh-huh,” she said, beginning a third set of sit ups.
I could see this wasn’t the right place to begin the conversation.
I waited until we were driving home and tried again. “Seriously, Pi,” I said, “What makes a teen a better friend?”
She sighed, realized I wasn’t about to give up, and decided to help. “Making food for a friend, hanging out, maybe going with them to a sporting event. Ya’ know, support the school and hang out.”
“What do you do when you and Sarah hang out?” I asked.
“We generally drive around and get lost…and then find our way back.” I have visions of them going out for a smoothie and ending up in a different country.
“And with Emma?”
“We bake stuff at her house that never turns out right. I think next time we’ll try baking at our house, ok?”
“Of course.” I make a mental note to be sure the fire extinguisher is handy. “What about with Melissa?”
“I dunno, mom.” Exasperation.
“Well, do you ever slip a note in someone’s locker to make them feel better if they’re having a bad day?”
I get a look. “No.”
I realize I am hopelessly out of date. “Well, a tweet, or a text?” The look. “No.”
“Do you sit around and talk?” “No.” “Not even about boys, and school, and stuff?”
“Well, of course. But that’s just regular. We don’t talk about serious stuff.”
We finish the drive home in silence.
I consider sending messages to Pi’s friends asking them for help. Then I remember it’s exam week and decide that might not be the best idea on the planet.
I consider going into a deep meditative state and trying to remember what it was like to be a teen. But I’m laughing too hard (I can barely remember what I had for breakfast and Booker will probably climb into my lap and lick my face—not good for regression meditation).
I decide that the answer is probably somewhere at the bottom of a carton of ice cream. When that proves to be incorrect, I sit down to write. You can read Five Tips for Being a Better Teenage Friend on Girlfriendology.
Hope whatever you’re researching today goes better.
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