I’ve never liked teenagers. Why? Two reasons. First, on a personal level, that life chapter haunts me with the dark memories of acne, clumsiness and awkward attempts at talking with girls. (One could make a compelling argument I still haven’t out-grown two of these three.)
Second, teenagers continue to exist. Unlike the first reason which closets itself in the past, there’s occasional present day situations where I am forced to deal with this demographic.
Take last Tuesday for example. Our small group of three were on the third day of a four day hike through Nelson Lakes National Park. After walking for five hours, we had just crossed a frigid and waist deep river swollen by snow-melt. Mud caked our bare feet and legs. It was raining. We were cold, wet, and very tired.
So you can imagine the relief we all felt when we reached the trail leading to the hut 400 meters away. We knew the hut was hardly anything special, but it didn’t matter. It was warm, provided a bed, and most importantly, dry.
Or so we thought…
With the cruel timing that only sick and twisted fate can provide, an armada of canoes all filled with high school 14-15 yr. olds pulled up to the hut as soon as we arrived. Apparently they were on a school trip, something to do with “learning the outdoors.” The peacefulness of the lake was suddenly replaced with the piercing sounds of 25 high schoolers generously sharing their deafening chatter. Serenity now!*
I developed a pit in my stomach as I realized we didn’t bring nearly enough wine. It was a rough night, and hence the reason, I don’t like teenagers.
But just in case you’re wondering, the rest of our trip was great. The four days spent in the back county were filled with big lakes, bigger mountains and far too many walks uphill. The company of one French and one German made for good evening conversation. Our Tuesday night fiasco aside, it was a much welcomed break from the dull monotony of my day job.
*Seinfeld, Season 9, Episode 3.