Nothing brings a teenage girl so much happiness, as far as I can tell, as the opportunity to weep over tragedy in the lives of attractive fictional teenagers. Cupcakes, maybe. But it's a close call.
When the opening of the latest weepy teenage romance movie, If I Stay, coincides with back to school week, the teenage girls who hang out in my kitchen could not be happier/weepier. They beg for ticket money, for the car, for the opportunity to cry all over again with the movie version of the book they have already cried through twice. They have watched the movie trailer literally, like a million times.
How can I say no? They're going to pay me back, probably. They've finished their homework. Possibly.
A day later they do it all over again.
Now the soundtrack is everywhere I go. It's playing in my car, on my office computer, on the girl's iPad. Today is the greatest day I've never known, Can't wait for tomorrow, I might not have that long...
My own teenage girl could not be happier/sadder. She's making plans to cry through it again before the week is out. She's trying to talk me into going with her and her friends. "Oh god," I say. "You know I don't like sad movies."
She gives me the same look she gives me when I say I don't really like cupcakes. It's a mix of pity and resolve.
It is useless to resist a 16-year-old girl in the grip of happiness/sadness. When it comes to feeling, teenage girls are all in. Outpourings of emotion are meant to be stoked, provoked, amped, prodded, tweeted - but most importantly - shared. It does not matter how much I protest about my schedule, my preference for funny movies, my boring, old-person sense of been there, done that, know the ending. I'm pretty sure I will be going to see this movie.
The remake of the Smashing Pumpkins song, "Today," already has me feeling a little happy/sad. It is entirely possible, that someday, looking back, the greatest day I've ever known will have a teenage girl in it.
It will be really expensive and I won't have any say about the food or the music or anything else, but still.