Shannon, my 14-year-old, thinks I am hopelessly old-fashioned. She razzes me about my penchant for capri pants, the fact that my van is no where near an Escalade with rims, and that when faced with a dressy occasion, I often opt for pearls. My biggest faux pas, according to Shannon, is my inability to “speak cool”.
For instance, it is my understanding that when I witness my son make a spectacular baseball play, my response should be that he made a “tight” play. If he turns a double play, for example, and it wins the game for his team, that would be “sick”. Apparently, my vocabulary is decidedly unhip.
Shannon, herself, speaks to me mainly in adverbs. I hear “obviously”, “really?” and “seriously?” all the time. Wait. Say each one of those words out loud, slowly, with total contempt while rolling your eyes. That’s Shannon-speak.
What’s funny is I remember when I was growing up, we spoke an entirely different version of English than the kids today, which I guess is not that unusual. But I can just imagine my kids’ reactions if I were to respond to Shannon’s adverb-laden eye rolling with “I am so sure, Shannon”, or to my son wanting to try a new trick on his skateboard with an enthusiastic “go for it!” I think, just for fun, I will gauge my teenagers’ reactions when I break a fingernail and exclaim “Shozbot!” , ala “Mork & Mindy”.
So, when it comes right down to it, my speech is missing the “cool factor”. Even though Shannon and I don’t speak the same tongue, I hope she will listen to me when I give her advice. Maybe she will realize that even though I don’t communicate on her level, even though my pearls may be old-fashioned, my “pearls of wisdom” are not.