I was in the DVD section of the library the other day and I heard two teenagers talking. The girl was saying to the boy in an authoritative tone, “No, you can’t check out that movie. It has too much gratuitous violence.” The boy, who was obviously trying to make an impression, said, “You’re right. I hate that.” And then after a long pause he asked, “What if the guy in the movie is a hero, and he’s being violent to save someone?” The girl said, “No, that’s still gratuitous.” Clearly that was her new vocabulary word and she planned to use it to full advantage to get the poor boy to check out some chick flicks.
Finally, he pulled a couple DVDs off the shelf and said, “How about these?” She let out a long-suffering sigh and said, “I’m still looking. Go and stand over there, and when I’m ready I’ll look at your movies and let you know.” He scuttled off.
Such self-assurance. Such arrogance. Only teenagers and really bad bosses can get away with talking to people like that. I kind of had to chuckle to myself. That girl is going to have a really hard road ahead of her. She’s going to have to learn that her way isn’t the only way. She’ll discover that as she gets older, men are not going to put up with that sort of treatment. Someday she’ll realize that she isn’t always going to be right.
I was really tempted to pull her aside and say, “Honey, you’ll be a lot better off when you sacrifice just a little bit of that confidence for some kindness. And if you allow for the fact that sometimes you’re wrong, an open mind will come flooding forth, and you’ll be grateful for it. And the older you get, the fewer people are going to have a crush on you, so you might want to consider appreciating it when it comes your way.”
I almost said those things, but why bother? She isn’t going to get it. Not for a few years, anyway.