Saturday, March 6, 2010

Advice for Young Ladies

On warm nights, the neighbours behind us often have parties in their backyard. I've never met them, nor can I see over our back fence (we live on a slope, and the back fence is significantly above my head). I think that there must be a 20-something or older teenager that lives there cause the parties often sound like a lot of younger folks.

Now, I am not against parties. I understand that the Young People like to gather together occasionally for a rousing game of Scrabble and a glass of lemonade. Why, in my younger years I often did the same thing. Oh, the madcap frivolity! Let the kids have their sock hops and play their records. But if you love your life, do not wake my children while doing it. Because I will unleash a reign of terror and pain upon your tender young head. (Becky, is it "rain" or "reign"? I'm just not sure. And now I've gone and undermined my threat of violence.)

Or maybe I will just send complaining emails to my other neighbour, Jules. We have often bonded over our noisy neighbours. A few minutes ago, I was getting clothes out of the dryer when I heard a piercing scream from over the back fence. Ten seconds later, Nate was crying--"I heard a noise!" he moaned in that disoriented half-asleep state.

There seems to be one girl, maybe others too, I can't tell--who is always invited to these parties. And she is always screaming. I do not understand this, though I have witnessed girls doing this all through my life as a fellow girl. And perhaps I have done it a few times myself, though I won't say for sure. When you are young and you are at a function where there are boys and other girls that you are competing with for those boys, there is a desire to draw attention to yourself. 'Twas always thus, and always thus will be.

But if I could hop that back fence and find that child-waking, attention-seeking, shrill-screaming girl, I'd tell her what her mama and daddy should have:

Sweetheart, you need to know that screaming "Whooooooo!" at parties--or anywhere really-- does not make you more attractive. And the men that are drawn to you because of this kind of behavior are probably not the discerning, intelligent and emotionally mature men that you envision yourself settling down with. You already look lovely in your party frock/bikini/lampshade [I don't know what kind of party is going on over there], so why distract from that with these vocal outbursts? Let me tell you something about young men. They are clueless about why girls do what they do. They smile blankly when you whoop it up because they are waiting to see if you're screaming because you're happy/scared/angry/drunk/asking them out. They really don't know.

Honey, don't cheapen yourself by these shrill displays. It wakes my kids up, it shows your insecurity and it draws the Wrong Kind of Attention. Think Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, think Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court, not the residents of the Big Brother House. Play it cool. You can be better than this. You are smarter than this, and in ten years' time you'll shake your head over how you used to scream at clueless boys in the backyard and then jump in the pool. You can do better! I know you can. Now, put out that cigarette and reapply your lip gloss. And if you wake up my kids again, I will yank you over the back fence by your hair.

Perhaps I'm over-analyzing? Someone needs to help these Young Ladies, is all I'm sayin'.


  1. Nicely done with the 'Say Anything' reference. This has been my favorite movie since I can remember having a favorite movie. "I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen." Now that is movie gold. Napoleon Shapoleon.

  2. I LOVE your righteous indignation! And of course your advice is right on target. Mating rituals are apparently the same in Australia and the U.S. I imagine the alcohol was flowing, and that added to the foolishness. But, anyhoo, your advice for young ladies is perfect! You could write a newspaper column. But, I gotta tell you. A post about you dragging a girl over the fence by her hair would be a good one...

  3. This is hilarious! I will be printing this one out and sure to use it as material once I begin counseling young girls... per your permission of course ; )

    On another note, the last two times I've babysat (two different families mind you) there have been annoyingly loud parties going on @ the neighbors. In one instance, a drunk girl tried to get into my car as I was leaving. The Mama Bear in me definitely comes out when people are disturbing sleeping children.

  4. Okay, after I wiped the tears of laughter out of my eyes, it occured to me that you are channeling your father!! You really did sound like WAYNE.Well done and very very amusing.

  5. "Now, put out that cigarette and reapply your lip gloss"

    Now that's classic.

    Dissed in the malibu, doesn't know what to do....

  6. Thankfully, we don't have any teenage neighbors around, but the people who live just in front of us have BIRDS. Not like cute little parakeet birds, like, massive parrots or something with deep, deep, loud, loud squawks. And sometimes, when we're getting ready for bed, they will NOT SHUT IT.

    I'll chime in for Becky here-- you are right, it's reign. Like the French Revolution's reign of terror. Because terror is ruling the world. Or the neighborhood, in your case. :-)

    And I'm still scared.

  7. Apropos of these neighbors: The best oranges I ever tasted were from the the tree growing in their yard and hanging over your back fence. Gosh, they were good! Having a great fruit tree, however, doesn't grant one leave to behave badly...especially after midnight. Unleash HELL, Amy!

  8. Goodness sakes. I do know the brand of girlish coquetry you're describing and it bugs the shit out of me. I call it the Girls Gone Wild-ification of youth.

    I think that you might think about making a banner, like write it on a sheet--it could say, "Shh! Baby sleeping!" Or "Stop Screaming!" Or "Honey you can do better!" And hang it over the fence when the next party starts up. Then when they come close to read it or take it down, do your hair yanking thing.

  9. We went to the mall a couple weeks ago and there were so many screaming, loud talking teens there. I was so embarrassed for them!

    I'm a little shaky thinking how I would've handled those child-waking screams. Unfortunately, probably by doing some screaming of my own. And then I would have defeated my purpose.

    Perhaps a threat that if they were responsible for waking my children, they were then responsible for babysitting them?

  10. Oh so funnny. So so stinking funny!