Yes, the town I live in is small, but still, where are the teenagers? If I was to assume, all of them are in their respective bedrooms on their laptops or iPhones thinking that they are socializing.
From the time I was twelve years old until I had the stroke that summer right before I turned eighteen, if I wasn’t in school, studying, at my part-time job, babysitting or helping my mom (which wasn’t very often), I’d be sitting in my front yard, usually under the crabapple tree. Sure, there were times during the winter when it wasn’t a good idea to be out there, but because it was Colorado, there were some pretty warm days during the winter months.
What was I doing out there? I was socializing with the neighbors and my friends who lived on the same street. Yes, I had a number of friends who did live right there on Eudora Street. And I didn’t live downtown were there’s more likely to be pockets of cliques. I lived in Suburbia.
I learned how to flirt out there in the coolness of the shade that one tree provided. I learned how to be friends with those of the older generation by striking up conversations with the man next door, the woman who lived up the block from me and anyone else I saw outside. I learned how to be compassionate by observing when neighbors needed help.
At the time, I was sure that all residential streets were like mine. After all, on the next street over, Elm Street, I saw the same sort of thing going on, at least during the warmer months of the year. However, when I stop to think about those times now, I don’t remember this activity going beyond these two streets. Were the residents living there an oddity? I felt that life was extremely normal but I guess we could have been a little peculiar. It was the 1960s and early 1970s, when the “revolutions” of sex, love, race, and I don’t know what else were going on. If you went by what was on the news and in the newspapers, I was only supposed to hang around with my “clique”. Yet, there I was gabbing away with everyone on my street and they were gabbing back at me.
In today’s world, I don’t even see teenagers hanging out at the corner or at any of the fast-food restaurants. I wonder if they even hang out with each other at school or if they just text each other like mad. Do the teenagers of today know how to be social? I doubt it.