Old and young aren’t as different as I had thought, as recent personal observation attests.

Some members of a local veteran band cool down with some late-night eating after each weekly practice. Because I just joined the band this week, they didn’t know me well enough to not invite me — ha, ha —  but invited me they did.

At least a full quarter of this band voted against Wendell Wilkie in 1944, another third has seen more than three times my 21 years and most of the rest hit puberty before my parents met. In other words, the band skews between relatively old and hellaold. Yet had their conversations been transcribed and rearranged, tonight’s dinner could have been credibly performed by a representative mix of teenagers.

The subject of the evening: We were kicked out of our rehearsal hall when the President of some association with control over it walked calmly in during practice and told our director that we had been reminded several times that we were not allowed to park in the alley because of the potential fire hazard.

As with teenagers, there was unrealistic whining bolstered by insight into the band that only a band member would have.

Why did Mr. President approach our director? He isn’t the head of our organization.

As with teenagers, there was fallacy.

This doesn’t make any sense. We aren’t the only ones who park in that alley.

As with teenagers, there was cattiness.

Well, actually, he didn’t yell at us. He kept his voice down, and I could tell by the way he announced that he was in AUSA, also, that it was all he could do not to cry.

As with teenagers, there was gossip.

I heard that in the letter they gave us, it says that someone asked one of our members had been asked to move his car, and that person said back, “Tow me.”

As with teenagers, there was implausible denial.

“Tow me?” That doesn’t sound like any of our people.

By my count, and from one practice, I could tell that “Tow me,” is the exactly the statement that at least four band members — one first trumpet, two clarinet, one tenor sax — in that band room would have said.

More over, getting kicked out of the veteran’s hall was a convoluted situation, and nobody really understood it, but they would only admit to it in their dramatic and accusatory tones of voice. Just like teenagers.

However much perspective changes over time, and whatever it is that experience adds to the human equation, just about everyone past adolescence has a teenage personality.


  1. hahahaha

    SO TRUE!

  2. dkzody

    Are all the members male?

  3. if you continue with your teaching career, you will note that teachers above all else seem to absorb the worst qualities from their students’ behavior.

    it is avoidable, but the cost seems to be eternal vigilance.

  4. Ima Peccable

    “However much perspective changes over time, and whatever it is that experience adds to the human equation, just about everyone past adolescence has a teenage personality.”

    Thankyou for clarifying/confirming a viewpoint I have had for decades concerning others as well as myself!

  5. Ms. Clix: I thought so.

    Ms. Zody: I’d say a good 70 percent of the band members are male, but, of those who showed up at the dinner table, about half of my sample were older women.

    Mr. Knauss: How true that rings. My first summer at camp did the same for me, and I’m still shaking off the effects from the second.

    Ms. Ferris: You’re welcome.

  6. dkzody

    Well, as for the ladies of the group, yeah, there are some out there who still act like they are 15. We had to deal with one this past year who caused more trouble among the students than other students did. I always wonder about those teachers who have Myspace pages…”are you still 15?” is the question I want to ask.

  7. Reminds me of a quote.

    He who teaches teenagers must take care lest he become a teenager. When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes into you.

    It went something like that, I think.

  1. 1 Drama Sickness « On the Tenure Track

    […] heard someone complain about drama at that same dinner I wrote about a few days ago. Another youngster, this one a recent high school graduate, plays the second french horn part in […]




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