A month or two ago, I was at a farmer’s market a few blocks from our house. I love farmer’s markets, the fresh produce and flowers make me feel all healthy and natural. I was in line for a hot dog (I said feel healthy and natural, not actually healthy and natural), and I couldn’t help but overhear the group of four teenage girls standing behind me. They were only 13 or so, since they spoke about their junior high, and they had that very gawky look about them that only girls going through puberty possess. They were talking about sex and Louis Vuitton bags. Now, I know this farmer’s market is fairly fancy, but come on! They’re in junior high!!!

My best friend Tara and I discuss this a lot. We grew up in a small suburb of LA, one of those places where everyone is up in your bidness. It was an idyllic place to grow up, playing outside in trees and riding bikes and not having to worry about the outside world and it’s influences. It was a little bit of an eye-opener when we both got to college and girls had designer clothes and purses. I don’t know if it’s a testament to the way our parents raised us, or if we were too tomboyish to care about material stuff (and oh how I care now, mmm, purses). I can guarantee that I wasn’t talking about sex when I was in junior high, except to snicker whenever a teacher made an unfortunate turn of phrase (she said ‘erect a monument!’ *snort*).

During the 2006-2007 school year, Mike taught English at a high school in the inner city. He always had lots of funny stories about the things the kids said or did, but nothing prepared me for the note he brought home one evening. He’d found it on the floor of his classroom at the end of the day. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as I read it. Oh, who am I kidding, I laughed. The word “erect” still cracks me up!

A scanned copy, because you have to see it to believe it

A love letter from one teenager to another. Now when I read this, it scares me a bit because it’s written by a girl, and I have one of those at home. Is this really how teenagers are these days? Are notes like this in Maddie’s future? It’s a good thing Mike has that teaching credential, because it looks like somebody’s gonna get home schooled.