Deciphering The Teenage Girl: A Dad’s Struggle

Deciphering The Teenage Girl: A Dad’s Struggle October 7, 2015







Having a conversation with a teenage girl is like having a conversation with a neanderthal.

You just try and decipher the grunts and facial cues and hope they don’t bite your head off for looking at them in direct sunlight where they don’t have good angles and filters; #nofilters, #wokeuplikethis…my ass.

I look at my oldest kids and then look at my four year old and wonder what happened. They were all so cute and nice and needed me at one point. Now it’s all about boys, art and driving away…in a huff.

My oldest two just went to homecoming—or as they called it, “hoco2015.” They spent hours getting ready, texting, taking selfies, arguing over who was gonna wear what, and laughing with friends (I swear, getting ready is the whole point). They all went on the big party bus that their mother and stepfather own, and took a few hundred more selfies and laughed and seemed to be having the time of their lives.

When it was over, I asked, “How’d it go?” I was expecting breathlessly long-winded speeches about the new love of their lives, the best dancing ever and the gasped comments filled in with “OMG’s” and well, you know. Instead, I got, ”meh, k I guess,” and a bunch of eye rolls.

I stood there kind of slack jawed. I looked at my wife. She smiled and walked out of the room.

I sat down and nursed my cup of coffee.

A few minutes later my youngest walked in the room, “Daddy, can you teach me how to shoot my bow?” For halloween we bought her a Merida (from the Disney movie, Brave) costume, complete with bow and suction cup arrows. My face lit up and I showed her how to hold it, draw the arrow, and aim…but, I held on too long and before I knew I had done something wrong. She threw it down on the ground and ran away crying, “No daddy, I wanted to do it!”

Where is my friggin coffee?

My wife walked back into the room and I looked at her pleadingly. She stopped, patted my hand and said, “We never change.” I glared and she left again.

I topped off my coffee and walked into the living room, hoping to crash into my corner of the couch. Sadly, it was taken. I looked to the recliner, but it was also taken. “I guess I’ll just sit on the floor,” I announced. There was not a stir of recognition that I even entered the room.

Brynn sat inches away from a TV that is eight times her size as if the lifesize characters on the screen could only be seen via binoculars, and the oldest two sat with their phones, similarly only inches away from their face, as if they were guarding national secrets.

I walked over to the closest child and asked what she was doing. Her phone made a face-down beeline into her chest and she looked at me like I had the plague, “Umm, hover much?” I looked at the other child and she just rolled her eyes.

“Soooooo, what do you guys wanna do?” I risked disturbing the peace once again.

I was greeted with silence. Okay, well, I guess I’ll take myself back to bed. I grabbed a book, chugged the last swallows of coffee and went to lie down. As soon as I cracked a page, “Dad, I’m hungry.”

“Throw up and eat it,” I mumbled.


“Nothing. What do you want?” Again, I am greeted by silence. I get up and start rattling off items that I can cook for them. My replies are again, guttural mumbles of disapproval, “Meh, nah, eh.” They have yet to peel their eyes from their phones.

“How about some open ass?” Again, nothing.

I walk away, trying to lie down again. I pry open the book and get two beautiful sentences in but I hear again, “Dad, we’re bored.”

“Didn’t you just wake up like 15 minutes ago? How can you be bored already when all you have done is grunt and stare at your phone like it’s gonna breastfeed you?”

They look up. Thier squishy faces tell me that I am not funny and they aren’t amused. “Whatever.”

I nod and say “Uh huh” to myself. Even if I get up and we make plans, it will take another two hours for them to get ready anyway. I keep reading. I happen to come across the line from the Dalai Lama about our enemies being our greatest teachers. Without them, we would never learn to apply the dharma in our day to day lives.

I wonder what he would say about teenage girls?


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