Day 230: Swimming in a Sea of Tweens

I’m at Starbucks in the mall and it’s packed with tween boys.  My three main thoughts are, “Why aren’t they at school?” “Why are 12 year olds drinking coffee?” and “Holy shit, my kids are going to be like this.”

They’re all dressed in some kind of skater short that goes slightly below the knee and sags at the ass like they they have a pack of squirrels living in their boxers. It says, “I want pants, but I don’t want to cover my barely pubescent, sparsely-haired calfs. I also want shorts, but they have to cover the back of my knee for reasons I’ll never tell an adult.” These aren’t capri pants. They’re a new style, I want to name “shants.” As in, your shorts/pants which you shant, under any circumstances, put on your body. I sound like an old grizzled townie sitting in front of the hardware store drinking country time lemonade, whittling and muttering to myself, but these outfits  make me think these boys might have some clown DNA.

Full disclosure: I spent half a year in middle school wearing turquoise chuck tailors and paisley shirts like Skippy from Family Ties, but that seems almost quaint now. If one of these kids was dressed like that, I would think he had strict Quaker parents or lived at a halfway house with a dress code. I would take a picture, but my conscience is getting the better of me.

AND HERE COME THE TWEEN GIRLS. Holy Bejeezus, I had no idea it could get worse. This is eye abuse. When you’re at such an awkward stage in development, please try to keep it simple. Come on gals, if you’re that confused about your identity, don’t go clothes shopping, because apparently you’ll end up with skin-tight jorts and a Billibong hoodie. They look like surf boarding cheerleaders on Long Island Beach.  These poor girls are only a few short years from becoming swans, but right now they’re more like newborn foals.

I want to sit them all down at my table and tell them that wearing cut-off jeggings isn’t going to do anything to allay their confusion about their role in society. “Girls, they call you tweens because you’re between being a liability and a person, so it’s natural to feel weird. Just SLOW DOWN and try not to make any decisions about anything. I know you want to, and I know you think you know what’s best for you, but please just go look in a mirror and reconsider.

Don’t worry, I’m not hurting anyone’s feelings here. Tweens are way too cool and busy to read blogs, right? Actually, I have no idea. I’ll play it safe and brace myself for their wrath.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

11 comments On Day 230: Swimming in a Sea of Tweens

  • “Girls, they call you tweens because you’re between being a liability and a person, so it’s natural to feel weird." This is something I see myself saying in the future. It is very true. Is anyone else happy that their prefrontal cortex has matured and doesn't allow you to act as stupid as when you were a kid? I know I am.

  • HAHAHAHAHA T.S Elliot… hahahahahaha

  • I don't know about you, but as long as their underwear is covered I much prefer the 'shants' to seeing boys in skinny jeans. I'm 25 though so as a teen the baggy shorts were pretty standard for a headbanger.

  • Did T.S Elliot get there first?

  • trust me you didnt coin the word shants

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