Suburban Turmoil: Your Space is MySpace 

Hubs and I were just getting settled in our seats at the junior high play when I saw them.
Hubs and I were just getting settled in our seats at the junior high play when I saw them. “Omigosh.” I whispered as the lights went down. “Look who is sitting right in front of us.” “Who?” Hubs said, leaning forward. “Tricia and Troy.” “Who?” “Chelsea is sleeping with him. A seventh grader! And she gets drunk, like, every Saturday night. Can you believe it? And last month, she got really wasted and cheated on Marcus with some guy from another school. The whole seventh grade was talking about it!” I shook my head disapprovingly and sat back in my chair. (I’ve changed the names, by the way, to protect the slutty.) “How do you know all this stuff?” Hubs asked in amazement. “Oh,” I said casually, “MySpace.” I know moms and dads are supposed to hate MySpace and ban their kids from using it, but I love it. Love it. Because as the resident Household Spy overseeing two teenage girls, MySpace makes my life a whole lot easier. I check my stepdaughters’ MySpace web pages every week or so, partly to make sure they’re not getting all Go Ask Alice on me, but also because I’m nosy. MySpace gives me all the thrill of reading a diary and none of the guilt. Because anyone can read this stuff, right? So why not me, a person who can really appreciate the fact that one of my stepdaughters likes little old men and raccoons and the other ranked 68 percent Ghetto Gangsta in the What Kind of High Schooler Are You Quiz? I mean, these are the kinds of things that a parent needs to know. I admit, I haven’t learned anything on their sites that I didn’t already know. (I am, after all, an expert in quietly picking up the phone during someone else’s conversation and listening as long as it takes to make sure the receiver is absolutely, positively working properly before carefully putting it back down). But I’ve gathered quite a bit of useful blackmail information on their friends. Which former Girl Scout’s screen name is Smokin’ a Fattie Spliff? Which school principal’s son brags incessantly about shoplifting? Who is the 12-year-old cheerleader with the filthiest mouth this side of the Cumberland River? I have the answers to all these burning questions. And I know who to send straight to the never-never land of voicemail when her name shows up on our caller ID. Obviously, the MySpace coup has been a major turning point in my battle to figure out what the hell my teenagers are thinking. But now that I’ve found a map for the secret world of suburban teen angst, I could really use a decoder: What it is, gurl? I freakn luv Matt more n anything. Hit me up again. I come to ya page every day then I tell my peoples bout it. Hit me back aiight. I think imma die if we can’t hang. Excuse me. What? These are the kinds of comments you can find on the MySpace pages of my stepdaughters’ schoolmates. I’m thinking the lingo must be an extra layer of protection for teens in the event that adults happen upon their pages, because damned if I can understand half of what they’re talking about. The funny thing is that I’ve known many of these kids for years. I watched them from the stands when they were 8-year-olds in pigtails running around on the soccer field. I’ve eaten lunch with them in the elementary school cafeteria. And I’ve heard them speak plain English on many, many occasions. So where is this trash talk coming from? And what possessed some of them to post cleavage-baring, provocatively posed photographs of themselves? And where are their parents while they’re doing it? Because I’m telling you from watching my stepdaughters that it takes hours to create and maintain a MySpace page. Yet clearly, most of these kids are pretty confident that Mom and Dad will never find out about their own questionable corner of the web. I guess that’s where I come in. I’ve created my own MySpace page to show these kids that not all parents are clueless morons. Some of us are just faking it. My screen name is Da Nosy Stepmom, and you can find me at www.myspace.com/danosystepmom. I hope that parents out there will join me in my campaign to take back MySpace. If we make our online presence known, we can try to inspire good spelling habits, or at least convince these poor kids that Abercrombie skirts are waaaaay too short and Eminem sucks. So. Y’all down? Hollaback. Read more Suburban Turmoil at www.suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com or on the Scene’s blog at www.pithinthewind.com.

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