Tales of an Instagram Nothing: Surviving a fun. Concert With Teenage Girls
If one were to ever ask me what was the joy of being a personal driver for others, it's dealing with people. Particularly teenagers. You see, teenagers are pretty much the greatest middle ground you have in pop culture. Either they like something or they don't, and their observations on life are about as ridiculous as you can imagine.
Photos by Violeta Alvarez
In the past three years, I've dealt with taking teenage girls to see Mac Miller, Mary J. Blige, Kid Rock, Jimmy Buffett (don't ask how) and One Direction. Each story somehow revolved around social awkwardness, the love of a local radio station, high-school drama and, of course, the actual concert.
Sunday, I was subjected to fun.
Now, this is not to deliver shots or terrible death threats toward the Grammy-winning New York pop-rockers, because they're rather harmless. Instead, this is about dealing with teenagers, particularly three of them who are rather sweet and nice and possibly aloof to 600 things about life.
One girl we'll call S. (She's a teenager, for Christ's sake.) She's the dominant one in her conversation while sandwiched between two others, one a girl (call her M) who discovered her shin cracked during a cross-country meet and ran that shit off like a boss, and a boy (let's name him Pac) who is shaggy-haired and heavyset. S claims to be the moral compass, a girl who is "deep" for all of 15, with an idea of fun that revolves around getting randomly set up for dates to homecoming dances and Starbucks.
Lots of Starbucks.
"Can we stop and get some before we go to the concert?" she asked me as I was leaving her parents' house, a rather modest piece of humble pie in West University. "There's one around the corner."
There was a Starbucks there. I parked, the three kids went inside and got their drinks. Outside, my eyes peered at a scruffy man in a ballcap pulled down to the bridge of his nose talking to the police.
"You know I could have thrown you in jail twice now, right?" the cop tells the man.
He's inaudible but I mean, he had to have been a regular. You know, the type of creeper who asks questions about your life while you sit in line trying to get a grande espresso, standing there in a mustard-stained T-shirt offering stock tips. That kind of sweet, gentle weirdo.
"He's always in there," S reports back to me as the kids climb back in. "He's nice."
Yes, future serial killers of America are nice. That they are.
A trek to The Woodlands takes 40 minutes from West University, meaning there are about to be stories that will subject my brain to its limits. There will be a tale about a boy who got into a major car accident because he was pissed at his father but felt better when S stayed with him, as opposed to going to a football game. Or S's thoughts on car-crash PSAs: "Oh, she wasn't wearing a seat belt but she's fine!"
Or how Instagramming while in the car will get you knocked loopy.
This sweet child, who figured it best to argue about her time living in England for four years and her lack of likes on Instagram because of how often she posted photos of her dogs, at least asks a few smart questions.
"You write, right? So what type of music do you listen to?"
I have to give her the general rundown, you know -- listen to everything, don't necessarily discriminate except for the pop version of country songs -- before S chimes in with, "I'm starting to dig country music!"
We may need to send her to Washington to help fix everything.
Story continues on the next page.