Waiting for Godot: Fetching Teens from Parties

There is a reason I like to go to bed. I am old. It is 21h45 on a Friday night. I should be all toasty in my warm, winter sheets-and-down-duvet bed. Or in my pjs at least. Instead I am waiting to fetch a thirteen year old from a ‘glow-in-the-dark’ party.

‘What, pray tell, is a glow-in-the-dark party?’ you may well ask, curious Reader (Other than a night at home with a few close, menopausal friends during load shedding of course.) And why in the dark? They are thirteen! Far too many happy hormones a-hoppin’ I hope the supervising parents are checking around corners.

I hosted a thirteenth birthday once. For Child #1. Which was unfortunate for Children #2 – #5.

It’s a weird age: wannabe cool, and so desperate not to be caught out in some unanticipated ‘uncool’ moment – like holding your mother’s hand, kissing your mother, being with your mother…having a mother. In fact much of your social capital is bound up in how your parents are perceived. And let’s face it that’s stressful to those of us who are not cool, rich or good looking. It’s like the pressure of having to make pre-school Easter bonnets that match up to the creative mommies’ ones all over again. So I guess being fetched by your mother in her fluffy Uggs is social annihilation.

The sneaky mother in me stores up these death-to-teenage-popularity pieces of information to be used just before the piéce de resistance: threatening to twerk in front of their friends, if one is not obeyed. That and taking away electronic devices can reduce beefy adolescents to mute acquiescence.

Timing the collection from a teen party is a matter of supreme skill: too early and you are ignored by your unimpressed offspring; too late and you have embarrassed him. But here’s the crunch: tardiness is not measured by the time on the invitation, but on how much fun said reveller is having and other matters beyond one’s control, such as whether there are any boys left if your son is at a girls’ party and vice versa. Minutes count.

Speaking of the social scene, friends are ranked, you know. But it’s tough to keep up with the social media levels. ‘She’s a close friend because I’m on Snapchat with her’ is the new determiner. ‘Facebook confirmed’ is so yesterday.

Oops it’s nearly time. Gotta go. Hope no one sees my onesie under my coat.


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