I'm not sure if it is because I am a different kind of mother, have a different kind of kids, or if they have a different kind of friends, but I am fortunate (?) enough to be a quite popular "add" on the Facebook pages of my kids' friends.
I really do not know why.
Well. I once heard it was because one of the friends saw my picture and thought I was "cute." For real? Yeah.
Still. It seems to me that most teenagers would want to keep their Facebook shenanigans as far away from parental types as possible. Not these kids. And they don't hold anything back, either.
Do I care? Fuck no. And that's probably why they add me. On top of being privy to the moment-to-moment uber excitement that takes place in a 15/16-year-old boy/girl's Facebook lives, I am also privy to their..... ahem.... "love" lives. And that is exactly what I am writing about. That word.
The L word. And why the FUCK so many chirrins are tossing it around.
Maybe I was just weird? I don't recall this ever being a thing when I was that age. I was a child of the 90s. I grew up in the South wearing thick black eyeliner, purple hair, and Jane's Addiction T-shirts. I had my little group of friends. I went to rock concerts and skipped school. We smoked a shitload of weed and fucked a bunch of guys. I was a bad kid. A BAD kid. I made these little sweethearts on Facebook look like the kids on Barney.
And I have ZERO memory of EVER having the kind of super-intense relationships with boys they seem to be having, certainly no memory of myself having them, nor any memory of my group of friends having them.
Sure, we had "boyfriends." Maybe. A little bit. Boys that we tended to hang out with exclusively for a few weekends until we got bored. I guess. If that is a boyfriend. I had TONS of friends who happened to be boys. Many more boys who were my friends than girls who were my friends. I screwed a bunch of guys. But there was no relationship. If I ever wound up actually waking up beside any of them, I grabbed my panties and hauled ass. Usually, it never went that far.
But LOVE? Oh hell-to-the-FUCK-NO.
The first boy who said the L-word to me was a boy named Eric in the 6th grade. I laughed at him, and then promptly broke up with him on my front porch. Then, Aaron said it in the 9th grade. I laughed at him, and promptly broke up with him on the phone.
The first boy I ever said the L-word to was my husband. I was 16 years old. And even that was after having a couple of days to calm down from the shock of hearing him say the L-word to me.
Yet I read these little 15-year-old girls and boys professing their undying love for their sweetheart of the day, whoever that may be, over and over again. They want to spend the rest of their lives together. They can't stand being away from each other during science class. Their lives are nothing without the other.
Perhaps my teenage lifestyle was not healthy. But neither is this bullshit. I would even go so far as to say that it is probably contributing to the death of marriage as an institution. These kids believe that is what love is. The sudden, intense, hormone-fueled, dopamine-firing, dark-closet-groping, Facebook shouting at the rooftops..... until one of them farts in front of the other and decides they're gross.
And on to the next one.
I can tell you this much. I have said "I love you" to only 4 men in the entirety of the universe. My husband and my children are 3 of them. The 4th man was not. A man. Not a real one.
So, yes. Perhaps my teenage lifestyle was not healthy. But I am the one who has been married 19 years.
Our kids deserve to know what love is. Why aren't parents showing them?