Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Which one would you take? I'll go for authentic any day.
From age 14-18, my life in northern Virginia was a unmemorable blur of junk food eating, stress, longing and feelings of complete isolation. Thus, my teenage life didn't begin until I came across the wild bunch in France.
My older sister and I strolled the complex at night, aimlessly searching for someone to take an interest in us besides skeevy french men with less than honorable intentions. We came across a wall where they all sat, swigging sips of cheap wine from the bottle and trading cigarettes like currency. A man who was much too old to hang with such a crowd, played renditions of awful hits on his beat up guitar.
"You all speak English . . . ", I stated finding my own voice trailed off into the distance with intimidation.
"And you're American", replied one of the good looking, tan English guys.
Be still my beating heart.
Thus it began. From that point on, I spent the entire summer realizing how shamefully behind I felt. My fashion looked dated (yes dear friends these were the days before Topshop and H&M hit the US . . . but I quickly learned to do all my shopping from these shops on summer break). Yes, I had "snogged" a boy before but it had been a pinnacle of my year not the markings of a successful night out. Yes, my virginity was intact. But this was an exclusive club to which I was the president, vice president and it's only member (which wasn't a good thing). No, I don't get drunk often. "Okay well there was this one time when I drank too much wine with my dinner", I said trying painfully hard to relate. Take a swig of this? Okay. Wait, that burns like hell! Give me some water. Shit, that's tequila, you bastards. What's a "spliff"? Oh, that's a spliff. And suddenly the world went lopsided and hazey.
My life would never be the same. Whether it was wheeling a drunk friend home in a wheelie trash can, watching friends get into drunken brawls, starting sing-a-longs of Donovan's Mellow Yellow on a bus or getting thrown out of a club by our ears, my true education in being a rowdy teenager began at that point.
I guess that's why Skins USA is not at all believable to me. Because American teens don't behave that way. Maybe in the cities. But that's a big maybe. And sorry, but people don't call it "spliff" here either.