Before you read any further, I should warn you that this article is sorely inspired by and dedicated to the life in times of the most formative period in a guy’s life as he claws his way through teenage hood. So needless to say, it’s going to be messy, disgusting, shameless, uncut and Sex’ified, so viewer discretion is advised. I’ll be 20 this December and as my Teen joy ride is coming to its inevitable stop, I’d like to take some time off and reminisce a few moments in the course of the past 7 years that made it all worthwhile. Sure it’s not going to coincide with what everyone reading probably went through, but at least a few definitely will.
Well, we (men) all did grow beards (up and down). A possible measure of a man, I somehow never quite was intimidated by guys with ‘macho’ moustaches or funky goatees; they kinda seemed hideous at the time. The first time I ever used a razor was much like my very own Bar mitzvah. Didn’t mean much back then, but looking back, it does bring a smile to my face. When I was around 15, a few guys in school just couldn’t stop fiddling with the half decent grown tufts of hair under their chin and not to mention the sudden craze to have these intricately paved side locks tapering off your ears. But for the sane non wannabe breed, we let the testosterone do the trick so yea…GROW A BEARD…check!
Most of us, especially me, tripped a lot, not to weed but music. My dad loved old country classics and most of the cassettes he collected sounded like these old cowboy dudes, sitting in a rocking chair out on the porch, a guitar in hand, they’d smoke a cigarette and sing about their horse or may be some honky tonk dame. Not much variety so to speak. The 90’s sure were dominated by the Backstreet boys and pop culture really wasn’t my cup of tea. I needed to find a genre that appealed to me, something I could listen to and relate to, my dojo music so to speak. I found it the first time I listened to Maroon 5. Now once you’re smitten by the music bug, just listening isn’t good enough. First you learn an instrument and play a song you love, then you wanna play it better than the original and soon you wanna write your own songs. This was the next phase of my teen years-starting a band. I played my first official gig when I was 16 and I remember screwing up a guitar solo and starting my vocal on a wrong key. But hell, the first time I walked on stage, the lights, the smoke machines, the crowd going insane…that’s something I’ll never forget. Over the past 7 years, music has been my escape from the ruts of reality and looking back I remember my first guitar lesson when I was 5, my fingers were sore from holding down the strings and my dad said “kiddo one day, it’ll be all worth it”…guess my dad was right…again. Now, I do the keys for a band called Ever Undecided (check us out on YouTube)…so yea…START A BAND…check!
Everything was going as per the Teen checklist- my hormones were going berserk; the word ‘funk’ was no longer a bad word so I guess I was finally ready to move to phase three. Guys, when we were say 15, most of us finally understood why things got HARD when we’d watch a slow mo Pamela Anderson wobbling and bouncing…uh…I meant running down a beach. Our reactions to a really hot dame on TV started with an initial giggle or a gasp and soon gave way to what Borat fans would refer to as a lil hand party. As the taboo status of sex in India was starting to wear off, so was my curiosity and not to mention fantasies. But once the initial involuntary hormone adrenaline spazzed out, as I matured so did my respect for women. But honestly, the hand parties felt damn good…LOL…so yea CONQUER SEXUAL FANTASIES…check!
On a more serious note, toward the latter half of any boy’s teen hood, he finally starts thinking like a man and no matter how brief they may be, he has his moments when he actually gives his future a serious thought. We tend to develop keen feelings and bonds toward people, bonds that we make based on our judgments, one of them being love. Now most Teen shrinks and experts would claim that we-Teenagers, don’t completely understand the universal concept of love. Yea that might be true, but for a teen’s take on love, I did ok. I was head over heels this really amazing girl for almost 3 years. How did work out for us in the end? Well, we had our moments. But were we happy? Yes, very. We aren’t together anymore, but the time that we spent together, is something no one can take away from me, it’s something you have to experience to believe, it’s something playing by the rules doesn’t offer. Today, I respect her more than ever though sometimes I miss her, really a lot. So yea, I knew an amazing girl, fell in love, she changed my world….MY FIRST GIRLFRIEND…check!
Now since we spend a chunk of our teen years educating ourselves, the buddies we make through school and college are the ones that stick for life. And out of the lot, you have one bro or soul sister that looks out for you no matter what. He either goes on to be your best man or she stuns a congregation as your hot maid of honor. In my case, I’m blessed with both. When I was 4 I got into my first brawl with this guy on the school bus and things got pretty messy. He scratched my face, I almost broke his finger and today he is my brotha from another motha. He told me not to give out his name, so for further reference, let’s call him the Bear Jew (lol, now he’s gonna kick my ass alright). The Bear Jew never had second thoughts when it came to being my partner in crime. Even when we were occasionally busted, he would never shy off and rat on me. He’s the only one that believed me when I claimed to have met Captain Kirk of Star Command. He sure is the brother I never had and my best pal. As for the maid of honor, my bumchum dudette could really make Wayne Rooney look obsolete with her fancy soccer skills. A stone cold Tomboy, she put on her first pair of soccer studs before she played with her first doll. One of the few people I know who think from their hearts, she’s always been there to punch me in the shoulder on those gloomy off days. Most teen dames flip for a sore dark circled Vampire (in your face Pattison), but she adores Spain’s legendary forward- Raul (Rooney’s better though :P). All in all, I’m blessed with both the Bear Jew and my soccer dudette, coz they’ve always had my back no matter what. (*fistpump guys)…FIND DIE HARD PAL…check!
When it comes down to crunch time, every teenager has to fend for himself. It is important to find yourself your own skill set that will get you through if things don’t wind up the way you thought they would. Your education, your degree, your scholarships are add-ons to your armor but you need a plan B just in case. Realistic folk say that you ‘have to love what you do’ while the ambitious lot tell you to ‘do what you love’, neither really matter. A degree from a fancy University alone isn’t going to guarantee a lavish future, coz sooner or later everyone hits a dead end. It’s how you react when you’re pushed, that defines you. I learned that the hard way. For guys like me who have a tendency to get involved in whole lot of stuff other than what’s prescribed, ‘clicking off’ (as my dad puts it) becomes really hard. So either you get a few things off your plate or you build a bigger appetite; the latter is harder, trust me. I’m still working on my plan B for the future…but hell, CHART OUT A PLAN B FOR LIFE…check!
As for my check-list, I did ok, apart for one thing that’s not it…in the words of Barney Stinson, I say a Bang bang bangeddy bang a bang bang bageddy bang…(deep breath)…I got 2 months more, who knows…I just might get lucky…
The recent Nokia ads on Young Dramas are really cliché and over rated. Being a teenager is a lot more than sneaking into a club or having a ridiculous debate about shoes. Yea, the parties, the booze, the road trips, the weed, the brawls, the heartbreak is an integral part of teen hood but people or should I say the ‘grown ups’ leave out the transformation in the psyche of a boy as he becomes a man. My teen checklist isn’t full proof nor shrink certified, but I hope it had at least one criteria you could relate to dear reader. Coz honestly, your teen years are the best 7 years of your life.