I get the whole rebellion thing. Everyone needs to test boundaries. It's healthy. It's normal. It's a rite of passage. It's also a cliché, and sadly, quite a few people never grow out of this. All cliques are guilty of this. No exceptions.
Now I'm all for people from all walks of life hanging out wherever they choose. It's a free country. However, please make note of your audience and express some tact. Namely, the douche bag, wannabe emo/skater kids that were hanging out at the playground around noon today. Here are a few of my thoughts:
1 – Don't go to a playground, then whine that there are little kids there. It's a playground, you idiots. That's like going to a Dave Matthews show and then bitching that hippies were there.
2 – Come to think of it, what person over the age of 15 that doesn't have children and/or is a teacher hangs out at a playground? I was a lame teenager. And by lame, I mean LAME. I didn't drink. I didn't do drugs; hell, I was so lame I wasn't even offered weed as a teenager. I thought school was awesome. I rode my bike as a mode of transportation. I bummed rides from my parents and went to see my grandparents every weekend because that was fun for me. I didn't party. With all of those things taken into account, though, I would have been damned if I sought my kicks out by tooling around the kiddie slide and swing set. Skate parks I can get; those are legit, and for all ages; it has its own code amongst patrons, which I can dig. But a playground? Really? I love simple pleasures, but there's a fine line between having fun and just looking like a dumbass.
3 – Watch your mouth around kids. Not just my kids, but as a general rule. I understand that you're trying to wear the badass shoes, but really, have some tact. I know that my kids will see and hear things I don't want them to, as well as pick up some habits I find unsavory, but there's a time and a place for them to hear swearing. It's called Grandma and Grandpa's house.
4 – Likewise, don't smoke on a playground. If your mom did that around you with her 19th boyfriend on the back porch while standing over as you played in your sandbox, that's your childhood. I know smokers that can and do keep their habit from wee folk. I'm not against smoking; do with your body as you please, so long as I'm not forced to join you. Don't go into a kid-friendly place and start puffing away. It's not fair to them.
5 – Let's get something straight right now: cutters don't make their activities known to the general public. I've known enough of them to know this about the group: they do it under secrecy, and will hide it at all costs because it's one more way they feel freakish and ineffective in the world. The pain helps them cope with the world around them, and it's something they feel they can control. It's isolating for them. It's not advertised. When you walk into a public place and start showing off your cut up arms, you don't really have a problem; you want attention. That's the opposite of cutting. Get over yourself and go find something productive to do.
6 – Get. Your. Hair. Out. Of. Your. Eyes. Head flicks don't count. Try a headband. I've got five bucks and CVS is around the corner. My treat. I watched A Night at the Roxbury. Once. That was all I needed.
7 – This one, I'm guilty of as well. As a self-conscious teenager (hell, even as a self-conscious adult), I wore pants in all weather. I hated my legs. In many respects, I still do. However, I know now that when it's 80 degrees and humid, it's fucking HOT. You're not doing anyone a favor by wearing a hoodie, kid. It's okay to ditch it. We've all got batwings.
I know that people need some time to grow up. I'm just here to help move the show along.