Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Essence of Teenage Boys

Essence of Teenage Boys
After school, Ron dropped the mail on the table and handed me a catalog. He had studied it as he slowly walked down the driveway and decided that I'd better throw it away, because this and this and this, pointing to specific pictures, was inappropriate. The catalog? Victoria's Secret.

Then after the normal uproar over homework (if it's not due tomorrow, it doesn't have to be done), they went to the girls soccer game at the high school. Home again, a little more study, a little more attitude. One boy is practicing his sarcasm (from the word sarka`zein - to tear flesh like dogs). So Steve and I played tag team working with the boys so neither one of us would wear out. Finally it is their bedtime and Rick looks at me tentatively, "Mom, I have a little problem at school."

Before school started this morning, he played Texas Hold 'Em, lost, then discovered the boys were playing for money. He has been forbidden to play poker, since we know that there is a gambling epidemic in the school system. Too many boys with too much time and too much money with too little supervision.

"How much, Ricky?"

Deer in headlight look. "More than five dollars."

"How much more?" I never did get a clear answer. "Who was playing?" He didn't want to say. "Isn't poker forbidden at school?" No answer.

His father told Ricky it was his problem so Ricky had to come up with the solution. Ricky offered two solutions: welsh on the bet or rat to the principal. Steve and I exchanged incredulous looks and explained to our oh-so-un-streetsmart son why those may not be good solutions. I then suggested to Ricky that he could pay it out of his allowance over the next few weeks.

"What?!!" slamming his open palms on the table, "That's MY money."

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