Troubled Teen

My sister found this photo a couple of weeks ago.   I am thirteen, standing on the street with a cigarette, obviously looking for trouble. I found it, but that’s another story.

I was a child of the ’60’s, but god knows why I thought it was good to look like this. I remember the place in Venice where I used to buy long silk-velvet gowns for $6. I didn’t wear underwear or shoes, but eye-make-up was a priority.

Can you imagine being my mother? What a nightmare it must have been for her. She sometimes screamed at me, “I only hope one day you have a child just like you!” I’ve tried not to hurl this same curse at my own kids, but teenagers tend to challenge one’s patience and sanity.

At thirteen, I insisted that I was adult enough to do whatever I wanted, but in reality I was a complete idiot. Thinking about Tavi now, I see how focused she is. At least she knows something about something, even it’s all about runway fashion. I was an empty vessel, rebelling against authority with all my might, with no other interests or concerns.

I used to blame my parents for how defiant and out of control I was, but now I’m thinking that teenagers have to be awful, if for no other reason than to break away and live their own lives. If they weren’t awful, you might not encourage them to move the hell out of the house.

But some teenagers are more awful than they need to be. Were any of you as awful as me? Or even more awful? Do any of you have an awful teenager of your own to try not to kill deal with? Please share with the class!

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63 Responses to “Troubled Teen”

  1. Sonia Luna Says:

    Sister Wolf you were a stunner, and you did indeed looked like trouble, and still do!
    I was considered the black sheep in my family, in retrospective my rebellion was rather mild, I sometimes wish I’d given my parents something to really worry about, if anything to have funny anecdotes to recount at parties, but I loved them to much to really go for it, plus being Italian and catholic the guilt was strong (thankfully I grew out of that!).

  2. Denise (denisekatipunera) Says:

    you’re beautiful.

    i never got the chance to rebel. Guess am living a boring life. hihihi.

  3. Sister Wolf Says:

    This has been so fascinating! So many different ways to rebel, and so many of you seem to have had an innate understanding of how far it was safe to go… unlike me.

    I am also AMAZED by how much everyone likes that photo!!! I hesitated to post it, since all I can think when I look at it is: “what an idiot!” xoxo

  4. Amber Says:

    I’m 17…I just wanna ask-does it (meaning life in general) get better?

  5. Dru Says:

    Amber- take it from a twentysomething oldie who had an awful time at seventeen, yeah it does. Especially after you’re out of high school (you mentioned you’re 17, so I assume you’re still in school).

  6. Aja Says:

    I second Dru. Amber I couldn’t be paid enough to go back to 17 years of age. I wish I hadn’t cared as much when I was there, but by comparison, your twenties are AWESOME. Chin up!

  7. Marmalade Wombat Says:

    So pretty. You could be a cover for a vampire book. Maybe you should hammer a paperback out and stick this on front. vampires are big right now – you can tell because all the tv crime shows are running episodes involving vamps.

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  9. antique sideboard Says:

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  10. KD Says:

    Wow . . . people say that they bunked off of school so casually! I could never do that. I’m 16 now and my hair is henna-d and I wear lots of eye makeup (navy mostly) and I think I look pretty teenager-y but other than that I am not a teenager at all. I have never done anything remotely illegal other than ducking the turnstile at the train station – and a policeman stopped me, so I haven’t done it since. Sure I have friends and a pretty good relationship with my parents & sister but I am a bit of a loner. This sounds super pretentious/hypocritical but I feel like the vast majority of people are insanely predictable, even when rebelling. My idea of going out is to museums. I’ve never been to a party and my parents are pretty liberal – its just that I’ve never been invited to one! I have a feeling that I’ll look back on my teenage years relieved that nothing too bad happened but sort of sad too (assuming it stays the same). I know a lot of girls who’ve never been kissed or been in a relationship, but I still feel like I’m the only one. Adults think teenagers are way more sexually active than they actually are!

  11. KD Says:

    Also I know that comment was super late but I was browsing the archives and wanted to comment on this post.

  12. KD Says:

    One more thing: I don’t know but I wish I did how people my age get into “clubs” or dancey places! I want to go but I also don’t want to risk getting mugged in a sketchy neighborhood. And I am way too scared of authority in general.

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