How To Embarrass Teenagers (A Geeklet Story)

Can I still call my kids geeklets now that they’re all teenagers?

So I’ve got driving duty this weekend for my daughter’s volleyball practice.  Scene : A Honda Pilot with four 16yr old girls jammed into it. They are discussing the recent walkout, how it went with various teachers, etc… and one of them clearly says “…we were listening to Macbeth and we just left.”

Fast forward through the fifteen or twenty minute ride, waiting for a break in their conversation, but it never comes. Instead there is a steady discussion about parties, school events, math homework (oh, sure, you bring your math homework with you in the car ride but not your Shakespeare?) and general kinds of things teenage girls discuss, peppered with too many “likes” for my liking.

But then, when we’re about a minute from practice, there’s a lull.  I can tell they’ve run out of things to say because one of them is singing along to the music on the radio.

“Did one of you say you walked out of Macbeth?” I ask. I look in the rearview mirror.  Three sets of eyes are staring back at me as if to say, “Wait, is the adult talking to us? Who ordered this Uber? Two stars.”

My daughter in the front seat, shrinking rapidly, says, “None of them know about your obsession with Shakespeare.”

“I’ve run a Shakespeare website for ten years,” I continue.  Now they do.  “And if you thought I was going to let that pass by unnoticed you’re sadly mistaken. Which production were you listening to?  Do you remember?”

She did not.  I did not expect her to, but that’s ok.  I would have been annoyed with myself if I hadn’t mentioned it.  You never know.  Could have spurred a whole conversation. She might actually *like* the class. If not, I could maybe even convince them that it’s more interesting than their teacher is making it sound.  She said they were reading along as they listened to the play.  Not a horrible technique, but man, GET UP AND READ IT YOURSELVES.

Maybe if the topic came up faster we could have found more to talk about, or maybe I’m just overly optimistic when it comes to my favorite subject.  In reality we got to practice and they jumped out of the car, although they did at least wait for it to stop.

I have no idea who was more embarrassed, the girl I tried to talk to, or my daughter.  Eh, they’ll live.





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