My daughters, like all adolescent girls, function in an alternate level of reality known as Girl World; a plain of existence where time slows to a crawl, and the residents live in a constant state of getting-readiness.
If the Teen Girl is awake and breathing, they are either doing their hair and nails, applying make up, or trying on clothes. If they are not engaged in one of these activities, call 9-1-1 immediately, and begin administering CPR.
No amount of prodding or pleading can motivate my Teen Girls to complete their beauty routine in a hurry. It can take up to two full days for them to prepare for a trip to the mall. After all, these are a people who require an hour and a half of hair and make up to take the garbage out.
Estimating the amount of time that it will take the average Teen Girl to get ready requires a complex mathematical equation. You must factor in Getting Readiness, multiply by the Probability of Cute Boy Sightings, and divide by the number of Current Shoe Sales happening at the mall in question.
Mall Getting Readiness inspires my Teen Girls to try on every single piece of clothing that they own, and then every single piece of clothing that their sisters own. These outfits must be accessorized, modeled, and stand up to the rigors of a popular vote, via telephone calls to all of their friends.
Next, they must engage in Fluff and Spray. Make up needs to be reapplied, nails need to be repainted, and hair needs to be restyled. During the Fluff and Spray process, it is strongly advised that you keep every window of your home open, or risk suffocation. After thirty minutes of this, they each have their own personal hole in the ozone, located directly over our home.
I try to hurry them, but to no avail. Selective Hearing is a common malady in Girl World, and the sound of The Mom's voice is filtered completely out. The house could be on fire, and the Teen Girl would not hear The Mom shouting to them to jump from the window. Of course, the thought of jumping from a window, fire or no fire, is ridiculous, because they might break a nail in the process.
Everyone knows that The Mom is ridiculous and outdated. The Mom is clueless when it comes to the subject of the current fashion trends. And since those who don't know fashion, know nothing at all, I am reduced to blubbering idiocy. I remain outdated and ridiculous until the Teen Girl needs an advance on her allowance, at which point I become beautiful and wise.
When The Dad returns home from work, there is no dinner to be found, for I have spent the day sitting despondently in the dining room, with my keys in my hand and my purse in my lap. He arrives to find me banging my head repeatedly on the table, and offers to take us out to eat at the mall.
I look at The Dad and take pity on his innocence. There will be no mall. There will be no dinner. We are operating in Girl World Time, and will all die of starvation before nightfall. "Load Up!" The Dad bellows, and just like that, three blurs fly through the room and out the door. I blink three times, in awe of his Dad Powers.
The call to Load Up is not a suggestion, as the Teen Girls once thought it was. They learned, the first time they tested this theory, that Load Up is a command of Biblical proportions, and is loosely translated to mean,"Get thyself into the vehicle, or be left behind."
I don't know what it is about their Daddy's voice that they respond to. Truth be told, I don't spend my time dwelling upon it, for I know that beyond all the Fluff and Spray, they are in tune with the sound of their Father's voice, have a healthy fear of being left behind, and are in a constant state of Getting Readiness for that final Load Up call.
As frustrating as Teen Girls can be, I know that they will soon leave Girl World, move on to Campus Town, and then onto Wife and Motherville. The air quality in our home will improve as the noxious fumes dissipate, the decibel level will decrease dramatically, and The Dad and I will retire to enjoy a slower life style of our own.
One day, I suspect, the phone will ring, and it will be one of my lovelies, all grown up and wanting me to baby sit. I will be happy to help them, of course, and will drop what I'm doing and run right over. Right after I Fluff and Spray.
Copyright 2005 Dori Knight
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