TIPS FOR TEENS
There is perhaps, for all concerned, no
period of life so unpleasant, so unappealing, so
downright unpalatable, as that of adolescence.
And while pretty much everyone who comes into
contact with him is disagreeably affected,
certainly no one is in for a ruder shock than
the actual teenager himself. Fresh from twelve
straight years of uninterrupted cuteness, he is
singularly unprepared to deal with the harsh
consequences of inadequate personal appearance.
Almost immediately upon entering the thirteenth
year of life, a chubby little child becomes a
big fat girl, and a boy previously spoken of as
"small for his age" finds that he is,
in reality, a boy who is short.
Problems of physical beauty, grave though
they be, are not all that beset the unwary teen.
Philosophical, spiritual, social, legal–a
veritable multitude of difficulties daily
confront him. Understandably disconcerted, the
teenager almost invariably finds himself in a
state of unrelenting misery. This is, of course,
unfortunate, even lamentable. Yet one frequently
discovers a lack of sympathy for the troubled
youth. This dearth of compassion is undoubtedly
due to the teenager's insistence upon dealing
with his lot in an unduly boisterous fashion. He
is, quite simply, at an age where he can keep
nothing to himself. No impulse too fleeting, no
sentiment too raw, that the teenager does not
feel compelled to share it with those around
This sort of behavior naturally tends to
have an alienating effect. And while this is
oftimes its major intent, one cannot help but
respond with hearty ill will.
Therefore, in the interest of encouraging
if not greater understanding, at least greater
decorum, I have set down the following words of
If in addition to being physically
unattractive you find that you do not get along
well with others, do not under any circumstances
attempt to alleviate this situation by
developing an interesting personality. An
interesting personality is, in an adult,
insufferable. In a teenager it is frequently
punishable by law.
dark glasses at the breakfast table is
socially acceptable only if you are legally
blind or partaking of your morning meal out
of doors during a total eclipse of the sun.
your political opinions be at extreme
variance with those of your parents, keep in
mind that while it is indeed your
constitutional right to express these
sentiments verbally, it is unseemly to do so
with your mouth full–particularly when it
is full of the oppressor's standing rib
before you speak. Read before you think.
This will give you something to think about
that you didn't make up yourself–a wise
move at any age, but most especially at
seventeen, when you are in the greatest
danger of coming to annoying conclusions.
to derive some comfort from the knowledge
that if your guidance counselor were working
up to his potential, he wouldn't still be in
teen years are fraught with any number of
hazards, but none so perilous as that which
manifests itself as a tendency to consider
movies an important art form. If you are
presently, or just about to be, of this
opinion, perhaps I can spare you years of
unbearable pretension by posing this
question: If movies (or films, as you are
probably now referring to them) were of such
a high and serious nature, can you possibly
entertain even the slightest notion that
they would show them in a place that sold
Orange Crush and Jujubes?
is at this point in your life that you will
be giving the greatest amount of time and
attention to matters of sex. This not only
is acceptable, but should, in fact, be
encouraged, for this is the last time that
sex will be genuinely exciting.
girl in your class who suggests that this
year the Drama Club put on The
Bald Soprano will be a thorn in people's
sides all of her life.
you be a teenager blessed with uncommon good
looks, document this state of affairs by the
taking of photographs. It is the only way
anyone will ever believe you in years to
the use of drugs whenever possible. For
while they may, at this juncture, provide a
pleasant diversion, they are, on the whole,
not the sort of thing that will in later
years (should you have later years) be of
much use in the acquisition of richly
rewarding tax shelters and beachfront
you reside in a state where you attain your
legal majority while still in your teens,
pretend that you don't. There isn't an adult
alive who would want to be contractually
bound by a decision he came to at the age of
that as a teenager you are at the last stage
in your life when you will be happy to hear
that the phone is for you.
firm in your refusal to remain conscious
during algebra. In real life, I assure you,
there is no such thing as algebra.
If you like Fran's way of thinking, check out
her books at Amazon.com: Lebowitz