We all know our specialty here at 20/20 Productions is kids- and the worlds they create and inhabit. I’m turning 20 in less than a day and I’m faced with the reality that, come Tuesday morning, I will no longer be able to claim neutrality or ignorance based on my flowering youth. Now I have to deal with census questionnaires, tax forms, and ensuring that I don’t get cancer from too much microwave popcorn in lieu of real food. It’s a serious bummer, and I fully expect to uncover a bunch of Kodak photos in ten years that make me weep for the days of being able to record lewd messages on my friend’s message machines. Any of you in the same boat, or just feel like doing some ridiculous things this weekend? Join me, because I’m about to list the things that I feel like you have to do the weekend before you cross the barrier into becoming a fuddie-duddie.
-Pull a former high school teacher.
I went to a school whose divisions between student and faculty were gossamer threads. I would go to study hall and the classmate and the proctor would be swapping break-up tales. And that was fine with me- it offered enough distraction for me to listen to my ipod and text my friends about the fact that I had confirmation that xyz broke up with his girlfriend. Anyway, even if you didn’t go to a high school like mine, I think it is a guaranteed good time if you can go on the prowl for a former mentor in learning. It speaks to your courage, for one thing, and also as a good friend of mine says, there is nothing better in life than a story where you know you were either a bamf or a drunk mess. And here, my friends, you get to potentially be both.
-Try to finish a 40 of the cheapest beer you can find in fifteen minutes at typical teenage drinking spot.
For this, I recommend Cobra. Kudos if you do Nattie Light or Busch, and you’re a braver woman than I. The point of this is the fact that soon, you will have to pay for your own cheap beer. Now, at least, that ten bucks your mom gave you for the movies can instead be swapped for alcohol drunk in a sleazy park.
-Attempt to meet a teenage celebrity crush
I was (am?) a weird kid. My celebrities were different than everyone else’s growing up, so I don’t know how well this is going to pan out for me. But I’m game to try, because last week the office let me tweet to Kathleen Hanna, and nothing could strike me more starry-eyed than that other than, well, meeting her. So go track Justin Timberlake, or Vanilla Ice, or if you’re a Washingtonian, I hear Hilary is in town and planning her presidential takeover….
-Learn to play one song on the guitar and video message it to someone.
What could possibly be more synonymous with teenage angst like learning ONE song and sending it to the person you’re hooking up with? Because we’re sticking with the theme, might I suggest some Blink 182 or Yellowcard, or for bonus points, Fall Out Boy. Especially for the girls out there, I’m tired of just boys sending heartfelt songs along the inter-webs. You have just as much potential talent as your average emo male counterpart and, if not a guitar, than a fake ukele or garage band. Serenade us. I’ll let you know how mine goes.
-Do a Cindy Sherman-style photoshoot.
Maybe I’m just vain, but I love pictures of myself. It sounds terrible, but I like being to see bits of my personality and self expression take a visual form- I like the different people you can be in the lens of a camera. Rembrandt was the first person we know of to do self portraits of himself dressed as other people-so it can’t be all that bad for the way you turn out. Put on the outfit that best describes you in this moment- everything you’re feeling and hating and loving (because as Perks of Being a Wallflower taught us: I swear, in this moment, we are infinite) and get a friend to take your picture. Glare, grin, bare your teeth, smile widely, and recognize the tenacity of being right where you are.
That’s all I got- for now. Being a teenager has brought me as close as I’ll ever come to the vein of life: I’ve been able to rub elbows with insanely beautiful people, places, and things. To be minimal with it: I’ve gone places, in a lot of ways. I’ve drunk aplenty of the elixir of youth, and now the next phase of my life has to begin. And so it shall- but first, I have a few lingering things to indulge with.