I have Courtney's blanket. It's an awesome stadium blanket adorned with the University of Texas logo and Cortney's name monogrammed on the bottom right corner. I don't know Cortney and I have no clue where this blanket came from. I discovered it in the hall closet the other day and let me tell you...it's the warmest blanket I've ever wrapped up in! I'm sure Cortney's dad paid at least a hundred bucks for it!
When one has teenagers, things like this just magically appear occasionally. I have never heard the name 'Courtney' mentioned in conversation and am pretty sure she doesn't live around these parts for most everyone out here in west Texas swing toward Texas Tech. Red and black are the colors of choice, not that horrid tint of orange that UT picked to associate themselves with. If this blanket could talk, I feel certain it would tell the tale of how it migrated to the heart of Texas Tech country. Since it can't, I'll just have to make up my own story. I have a feeling more than a few teens were involved.
Things magically disappear as well when you have teens in the house. I lost an iPhone a couple of years ago and we've had a sixty dollar Texas Tech sweatshirt vanish. Seems like I remember a hundred dollar pair of shoes walking off somewhere down the line as well. Those disappearances were the result of blatant thievery. More often than not, most things disappear because, well it goes like this:
"I haven't seen that hundred dollar pair of jeans with the spangles on the pockets lately. What happened to them?"
"Oh, I loaned them to (fill in the blank here) last month."
The ensuing tirade is futile for by now those jeans have likely made their way to Austin, Texas and there is a good chance that some chick named Courtney has her little hiney squeezed into them.
I have to give my teen some credit. She's not typically prone to loaning her stuff (paid for by Dad) out...that I am aware of. But things do magically appear in the laundry basket. I'll lift an article of clothing to eye level from time to time and purse my lips, thinking 'I have never seen this before in my life!'
I've had teenagers throughout the course of my life and this is simply a way of life for them. CD's never stayed around for long. I had spent an hour of my life slaving away at a piddly job just to make enough money to buy that CD...and some kid who calls himself 'Animal' is blasting it through his Bose speakers! Thankfully, the era of the CD has passed. Now all I have to fret about is exactly how many kids out there are piggy backing on a Spotify account that I slave away at some piddly job to pay for every month. And Netflix (rolling my eyes!) Exactly which kid out there in the vast universe is burning up my Netflix?
It's a given that when a herd of teenage girls appears at my house, their first course of action is to patch their smart phones into my wifi. Data, after all, is hard to come by and when a teen exhausts their monthly quota...life as they know it comes to an abrupt end. No more Spotify or snap chat for the rest of the month! Teens wilt like a dead red rose when the data's gone! You can see genuine pain in their eyes as they gasp for air. I try to sympathize but really, I get no sympathy when I run out of MONEY before the next paycheck comes in.
I suppose we as parents could be thankful that our children are of a giving nature but I really don't believe that concept crosses their minds as they hand over that hundred dollar pair of jeans to their best friend's cousin's friend's friend that they only met thirty minutes ago. No, the only thing flitting through their mind is 'Dad will buy me more..."
That puts the monkey on our back, right? Why do we do this? Why do we slave away at a job we truly detest for the majority of our adult lives just to buy our kids stuff which obviously isn't all that important to them? If it were, they wouldn't give it away! I can relate. If someone gives me, say, a shirt that I really don't see myself bonding with, I'd have no problem giving it to my best friend's cousin's friend's friend that I only met thirty minutes ago.
I think many of us as parents live with the notion that our kids will like us better if we spend money on them.
"Look, I bought you something you really don't want to show you I love you. Please love me back?"
Materialism is an evil that ravages our society today. Stuff makes our world go round, right? So we give our kids stuff to make their world go round. But, obviously stuff is not what they want or they wouldn't be haphazardly giving it away! Truthfully, what they really want...what they crave from us...is our time. In their own time, of course. They are teenagers, after all, and truly want our time and attention on their own time schedule. But trust me, they really want us to be there when they want us to be. The stuff we buy them holds little value. The time we make for them...priceless! They'd never admit it, but...
The house is a bit chilly this morning. Think I'll fetch that blanket from the hall closet. Courtney, I really like your blanket and I don't intend for it to get away! It's mine now, chicklet!