Monday, September 12, 2011

You can learn a lot from driving teens

At the risk of divulging a big secret (and drying up a key source of juicy information), it often seems to me that my daughter and her friends think there is some kind of invisible, soundproof barrier between the front seat and back seat that prevents all conversation from being heard in the front seat, and, as a result, often talk about things they probably wouldn't talk about at, say, the dinner table (which is even more amusing, to me, because I drive a Mini Cooper, not a minivan).

Whatever the reason for their (often uncensored) chit chat, I am grateful for the opportunity it has given me, over the years, to learn about aspects of my daughter and her friends' lives that they might not normally share with a parent (even one as hip as I am*) -- even more so now that they are teenagers.

So what exactly can you learn from driving teenage girls?

Without divulging any personal information (concerning my daughter or her friends), following are some samples gleaned not only from my back seat but from the top secret back seats of other Russian chauffeurs (aka soccer and basketball moms who have sworn me to secrecy):
  • What music they like (names of groups, lyrics and which ones have the hottest lead singer);
  • How they are doing in school -- and which teachers they like/don't like;
  • The latest teenage fashion trends and where they like to shop;
  • Who has a potty mouth or is always getting into trouble; and, perhaps the most invaluable...
  • What boys they like, who is dating whom, and what they say to each other (girls will often read aloud texts they receive/send to boys while chatting with their girlfriend(s) in the backseat)
(Note: I dread the day when I hear these girls discussing who is sleeping with -- or performing sexual acts on -- whom, which is hopefully many years down the line, but you never know.)

So what have you learned from schlepping your kids and their friends? Let me know via a comment.

*That would be sarcasm, just one of the many services I offer.

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