Katy Perry's teenage dream is so frothy cool and full of good looking people in convertibles and underwear that it is easy to look back and think yeah, that was fun.
Then the song ends and I think back. Katy Perry didn't even go to my school.
My point is, the teenage years are not all one big beach party. And you should never - under any circumstances - attempt to catch a grenade for love.
Also? Team Werewolf is a mistake.
Do you have any idea what a werewolf at a beach party even smells like? You can take a vampire anywhere, as long as you avoid direct sunlight.
This is just as good a piece of advice today as it was in 1980. But short of making my own music video or spelling it out in bacon strips, how do I pass my hard-won teenage wisdom on to my own teenage children?
"Remember Mike Charmer!" I call after them. But can they even hear me?
Mike Charmer was the long-legged wide receiver whose attention I sought by sending in my friend, the long-legged tennis player, to make a case for me. Which she did, in many subsequent face-to-face conversations. In person conversation was what we had before there was Skype or text messaging. We didn't even have our own phones! What happened next was the oldest plot development in literature. You can't even blame the tennis player. Though for years afterward, out of what I can only assume to be remorse, she struggled in vain to improve my serve ...
Literature, I explain, is what we had before there was YouTube. But over the counter acne products? Exactly the same.
Sometimes I see a flicker of interest in their faces. Though thinking back on it, I cannot rule out the possibility that bacon was involved.